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Monday, September 13, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation

I know there are a couple of dedicated Swamp rats (you know who you are) who have been anticipating my return from my self-imposed exile. I'm easing my toes back into the murky depths of Bear Swamp with a back-to-blog pictorial essay.

Our trip to Pennsylvania.


Our visit to State College, PA, home of Penn State University, brought us to this old farm on one of the best trout-fishing streams in the eastern part of the state. I spent some time exploring while David got his line wet.



There were stone posts around the perimeter of the yard. I think they were once linked by fencing material.


















The yard was very shaded by hardwood trees and enormous firs, making for some interesting moss and lichen formations.


It almost resembles a globe, don't you think?



After we left State College, we visited friends near Bethlehem, PA. This is one of several bridges built in the early 1900's that cross the Lehigh River. We were walking along the river to MusicFest, where my twelve-year-old goddaughter Sofia was dancing with her Irish Dance academy. (At the end of the post you will get a chance to see her in action.)


When we arrived in Tunkhannock, PA (near Scranton-Wilkes Barre, and of which David will never learn the correct pronunciation), we were delighted by my online choice of our bed & breakfast called Sharpe's House, owned by Harry and Dorothy Sharpe. We didn't get to meet Dorothy, because she was in Michigan having a reunion with several of her high school chums. Harry was a wonderful host though, and Dorothy had left several choices of nut breads for him to serve each morning. He's a very good slicer. He also did very well cutting up large dishes of summer fruits and made a perfect pot of coffee. He even made us hard-boiled eggs each morning. He was friendly, but not intrusive, and so accomodating. We were the only guests the first night, and since we would have had to share a bathroom, Harry turned down two last minute requests for rooms on the subsequent days. Isn't it wonderful to be liked?



There were walking paths with discoveries, both whimsical,




and sublime.



Finally, the wedding day of our dear friends' daughter, Sharon, arrived. I loved the setting of a simple country church with summer flowers befitting their surroundings. The ceremony was meaningful and full of humor. And the bride was lovely.




Here is Sofia's promised dance. No, that isn't her real hair; they all wear insanely curly wigs. They're big into uniformity.

32 comments:

Cora said...

A wonderful and beautiful place. I bet the wedding was gorgeous...love a country outdoor simple wedding!
?tried to watch the video, but it is private...so no can do! =(

Glad to have you back!

Ruth said...

She's ba-a-a-ck! Yay!

Those fence posts are beeeautiful. Yes globe-like.

David won't say Wilkes-Barra?

That B&B looks C - L - E - A - N. :D

The wedding looks and sounds so sweet, and humor too?

This was a nice little appeteaser for more more more.

Sandy Nawrot said...

So glad to see you back...I've missed you! It must have really been getting to me because I dreamed last night that we met. Love the pictures (OMG, and the one at the top of your page!!!). My computer won't run You Tube for some reason so I'm going to have to come back and see your baby dancing!

Oliag said...

Hello Beautiful!! It is so good to see you back and I hope you had a real nice break...Love your new header too.

Wonderful photos from your trip...love, love, love those stone posts...I have a thing for lichen:)

My favorite part though was Sofia's dance...I'm sure your feet must have been tapping...


xo

Barb said...

You visited a couple of my old stomping grounds. I was born in PA, married there, and we raised our children in Lancaster County. We had season tickets to Penn State Football games. I love your photos of the lichen covered posts.

CottageGirl said...

I feel as if I was with you ... like a mini-vacation. Your words and pics brought bit of peace on a rather hectic day, my girl! What a lovely time you must have had ...

Sophia is quite the dancer ... High kicks and all. Plus she is adorable!

Good to see you, my sweet friend!

Cindy said...

Welcome back! Looks like you had a great summer.

Char said...

what a wonderful and beautiful trip. the wedding looks so sweet and intimate. i was over some of that area when i visited family in quakertown this spring.

VioletSky said...

It's about time you stopped gallivanting and got back to us.

Susan said...

Thank you, Cora! It's good to be back. PA really is a lovely state. We lived in SW near Pittsburgh about ten years ago, and several of our friends from there moved to the eastern part of the state. The mountains and valleys are really beautiful there.

Susan said...

Dear Ruthie, yes, I'm baaack! :) At least I think so. I realized I wasn't getting much more work done not blogging than I did when I was blogging, so that disproves that theory. ((shrugs)) Much better to be creatively fulfilled than to have a clean house, don't you think?

Teehee, David can pronounce Wilkes-Barra; it's the Tunkhannock he has trouble with. (tun-kannik). He just cannot get it and twists it every which way. He's so silly.

Yes, the B&B was very clean...pristine nearly. Just the way I like it when I know strangers have been sleeping and eating there before me. It was really lovely inside. A typical Victorian farmhouse with lots of oak floors and woodwork. I thought I took pictures, but apparently I was lame in that department.

Lots of wedding humor with the bride inserting pithy one-liners occasionally. There was a song quiz that went on a little long, but overall it was quite entertaining.

Susan said...

Awwww, Sandy! That's one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me! I love it that you dreamed we met. I plan to make that dream come true sometime in the future. Maybe this winter we'll make it to Hawthorne to see my sister, and it's not that far to Orlando from there. We could meet halfway for a long lunch?

Dont' you just love that sweet little dove? She was nesting right outside my friend's dining room window and I had to get some shots. I love how they turned out.

I forgot to put the video setting on public, so that might have been the problem. I fixed it.

Susan said...

Hello Gorgeous(Oliag)! Thank you, I did have a nice little break, and now it's just as nice to be back, chatting with my friends.

Ohhh, I am nuts about lichen!! You should see all the photos I took! There are some great ones on the stone wall where Humpty was sitting, but I didn't want to post toooo many and have everyone think I had lost my mind while I was gone! ;) I'll put some up from time to time.

Sofia is such a doll! I was there when she was born and for the first two or three years of her life she wasn't sure whether I was her Mimi (she chose that name) or her mommy, so she would go around chanting Mimimommy, Mommymimi all the time. It was so cute. She's been dancing since she was four and is getting very good. She just won several first place trophies in a competition!

Susan said...

Thank you, Barb! That is high praise coming from such an accomplished photographer such as you! And, of course, you live in my favorite state of all...Colorado! I haven't been out there since 1999, but David just got back from Rifle where he goes for his annual hunting trip. I'm even more envious after looking at some of your beautiful shots!

Susan said...

CG! How the heck are you?!! Does this mean you're coming back, too? Or just visiting an old friend? I'm happy that I was able to bring a peaceful feeling to you on your busy day. I've missed you!

Sofia is a real sweetie and so is her mom, my friend Lynn.

Susan said...

Hi, Cindy! It was a pretty nice summer, as summers go. My trip wasn't nearly as exciting as yours, though. The Galapagos Islands!! That is life-changing!

Susan said...

Thank you, Char! Don't you just love Pennsylvania? Just the rich history alone is enough to make it a destination trip, but you have those beautiful Allegheny and Pocono Mountains to look at. It was good to be back there. And now it's good to be home.

Susan said...

Awwww, Sanna...you missed me? That's sweet! I didn't really do that much gallivanting...I was only gone a week. I've just been lazy. Well, I've always been lazy. :)

Wanda..... said...

Hi Susan...Have missed your reflections, but these were worth waiting for. Such dreamy lake and beautiful bridge scenes. You must be very relaxed and revived after such a vacation! Welcome back!

stacybuckeye said...

It's so nice to see you back :) Just looking at your photos relaxed me and I needed that! Thanks.

California Girl said...

Some very cool photos. Love the wall posts. They not only look like globes but also hieroglyphs. Very cool. The bride looks amused and the groom looks bemused.

Sounds like a nice trip. Welcome back.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

Oh How I missed you! Glad to see that you are back and that you had a lovely (or so it looks) time exploring! LOVE the dove nesting - you are quite good at snapping wildlife. (natural light? with a low aperature?) What a neat B&B and wedding. Can't wait to read more about your adventures.

Carol said...

I love the dove in your header...I have many that come into the yard to clean up under my feeders..but have never seen a nest.

ds said...

Welcome back!!!!! I will proudly call myself a swamp rat if it means you'll stick around for a while (a loooong while)...
Looks like a most relaxing vacation, a lovely wedding, and those pillars are something else (what is it about lichen?).
Your photos are gorgeous, the new header sublime, and I am always awed by Irish step dancers. Incredible.
So, so happy to see this--and you :D

Susan said...

Thank you, Wanda...I'm glad to see you posting again as well. Yours are always such a joyful experience.

Well, I was very relaxed while we were gone. :) As soon as we got home, it was go, go, go...back into the fray. I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie. Yum!

Susan said...

Stacy, it's good to be here. While I felt a lot less pressure in my absence, I missed the give and take of my conversations with everyone.

Hope you are feeling well...it won't be long now!

Susan said...

Cali Girl, you definitely captured the demeanors of the bride and groom. She laughed (when she wasn't crying) through the whole ceremony, and he was very quiet and letting her have center stage, as it should be.

You're right! The posts do look like they have heiroglypics. I hadn't thought of it that way before.

Susan said...

Jackee, you doll, thank you! I missed you, too.

I think that shot was in natural light and I brightened it a bit in processing. I took a few with flash and they were just too harsh. I'm pretty sure I had the camera set to auto, so I have no idea what the aperature number was. I let the camera do all my thinking. ;)

Susan said...

Hi Carol! Isn't that dove so sweet? She was right outside my friend's dining room window. I think Lynn told me that the nest was originally built by a robin and the dove took it over after the robin left. This is the first time I've ever seen one nesting. I would love to have seen the eggs, but I didn't dare disturb her.

Susan said...

ds, you sweetie! I think I should have Swamp Rat tee-shirts made for all my loyal friends! Or maybe leather jackets and we can be a gang! hehehe

Those pillars may have been the highlight of my trip, photography-wise anyway. I'm a nut for lichen and mosses. I'll have to post some of the ones I took of the stone wall. I didn't want to overload on my first post back!

I love my new header, too. I know I say that every time I change it, but this one is so unusual it may turn out to be one of my favorites.

steviewren said...

My oldest granddaughter takes Irish Step dancing, but they don't go as far as having to wear curly wigs. Your goddaughter is really talented.

Love your photos and description of the bed and breakfast.

Susan said...

Stevie, I would love to take lessons and learn how to do it, but I have too many bouncy things. ;) I've heard that it's fabulous for trimming the legs though.

Thank you!