Friday, January 5, 2018

And That's A Wrap

I am never with it enough to share Christmas live...
so instead I'll share Christmas memories. 


Christmas festivities began on Christmas Eve Eve 


The house was decorated and the gifts were wrapped and 
my side of the extended family enjoyed an evening together. 


This year we began a new holiday tradition. 
Homemade Schw√§bisch Pretzels inspired by our trip to Schw√§bisch Hall. 
They were delicious. 


The advantage of an Italian son-in-law is 
getting a Christmas Eve invite to a 7 Fishes celebration.  
I didn't take my camera, but I did take photos on my daughter's camera. 

Christmas Day was quiet at home with our son, daughter, grand
and a visit from my husband's parents. 

Cooking in her new kitchen

For Christmas gifts,  I gave family members photo books of our summer family trip to Germany. 


Desserts were simple recipes - 
tried and true. 


A few days later, my daughter and her husband arrived from out of town, 
so now our whole family was together. 


Since my son was born on New Year's Eve - 
we celebrated a few days early with a dinner at his favorite restaurant, 
Wing Lee's Cuisine in Horsham, PA

On New Year's Eve 
we had my husband's entire family here for a celebration. 


It was a mixed bag...
Christmas, a birthday, an engagement and of course the New Year. 


Thats when things got so wild the cops had to come calm us down. 

 
Not really. 
We have peeps in the family who have to work on holidays. 
Be thankful for those first responders and medical personnel!


And of course there was plenty of gift exchanging going on. 


He did just turn 21 after all! 

We spent some time translating the German messages our relatives sent. 
Two of my kids took AP German in high school. 
It has come in handy for sure! 


Since the entire family was able to make it - 
we thought it a good time for a family photo. 
4 Generations! 


And New Year's Day brought my family back together 
for a traditional German Pork and Sauerkraut dinner. 




And what holiday would be complete without some tears? 


And that wraps up the 2017 holiday season. 
Whew! 




Friday, December 15, 2017

A Different Kind of Traffic Jam

In rural Big Valley, Pennsylvania (aka Kish Valley) - 
located in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains - 
and you can still find a traffic jam. 

Waiting to Pass Safely

Somehow, this kind of traffic jam doesn't bother me, 
but maybe that's because I wasn't in a hurry. 


The valley has a relatively large population of Amish (3,000+) and Mennonite - 
thus the common sight of a horse and buggy. 

No Snow Tires...or Snow Shoes

Seeing the Amish population in Pennsylvania is just another 
super cool thing about living here. 

Making Good Time

You might think, "Look at that fancy yellow buggy." 
But there isn't color choice when it comes to your buggy. 
You own the color of your Amish church affiliation. 
It is dictated along with many other things affecting your life. 

At the Dry Goods Store

In this region, a yellow buggy is the Byler Amish. 
A black buggy is the Renno Amish 
and a white top is the Nebraska Amish. 

The Buggy Dealership

Each affiliation practices a different degree of technological conservatism - 
thus no cars and other modern conveniences. 

Most people think of the Pennsylavania Amish in Lancaster County - 
but this settlement from 1791 is in Mifflin and Huntingdon Counties and
 is about 2 hours away from Lancaster. 

I Wonder What They Keep in the Garage

This was my second stop here en route to picking up my non Amish 
son from nearby Penn State for Christmas.  
May he enjoy his modern day conveniences. 

Click on any photo to go to my Big Valley gallery. 




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Who Doesn't Love A Castle?

When you hear a location referred to as a castle district, 
you can't help but be curious, 
especially after having just returned from a trip to castle laden Germany. 


This building is castle-like, 
especially since its original purpose was a post office. 
Does this looks like a post office to you?

Post Office Remains

I have NEVER seen a US Post Office this beautiful. 
Today, the post office has been moved to a more post office like structure and 
the old building serves as a museum related to the history of Saginaw. 

Myers Bros Jewelry Store

The museum has some interesting displays, 
including this original jewelry store. 
The Myers Bros Jewelry Store 
was open 1914 -1974 in Saginaw. 


I have to wonder what a post office used a staircase like this for. 


They definitely were not hauling mail up and down those steps.  


Or chandeliers like that? 
It is more like an old mansion than a post office! 
But in 1898 someone had architectural beauty in mind. 

A nearby church

Outside there were some other beautiful buildings - 
which is how the name Castle District came about. 

The Hoyt Library next door was closed when I was there. 

Walking around these few blocks had some nice structures, 
but outside of this immediate area I didn't feel quite so safe. 

Saginaw Block


Castle Museum 
500 Federal Ave, Saginaw, MI 48607 
Free parking in rear 
Donation $1 - Worth every cent. 

For more images of the Castle District click here