Sunday, September 27, 2015

Do you remember my gnomes?

Look what we saw on vacation:
"The Gnome Project," by Jessica Peill-Meininghaus

I didn't pick it up, but maybe I should have as the reviews are on the whole good:

What do you do when life is too chaotic? How about felting a gnome? Or 365 of them, one for each day of the year.

Artist and wool crafter Jessica Peill-Meininghaus decided that she needed a project to teach herself follow-through in life. She settled on making one of her popular felted-wool gnomes every day for a year. With pipe cleaners and wool roving, amidst the chaos of raising four children and moving cross-country, Peill-Meininghaus felted her way through hundreds of charming, pointy-hatted, often bearded characters.

Lavishly decorated with photos of each charming creation, The Gnome Project is the surprising and magical story of what happens when we commit to something small. (Hint: It's something very big, as in making life more meaningful.) Here is her inspirational tale, complete with gnome-making instructions. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lititz, Lancaster County

This is actually a cute little town with a very picturesque main street with lots of little stores.  We had a cup of wonderful loose leaf tea at Cafe Chocolate of Lititz.
We were not in love with these mugs, our old bones need to use handles.
Had to check out Ewebiquitous.  Great little yarn store.  Didn't buy anything though.

Saw this dog who is actually cocking his leg at another store.  If it hadn't been over $200 would have bought it and put it on our front step as a joke.
The town square of Lititz.
The building behind the sign is the Wilbur Chocolate Factory and Museum.  We did bring home some of the milk chocolate for the kids.  It wasn't too bad we were quite impressed.  The museum needs work, but it doesn't cost anything to look around.
Saw this sign for this store.  We decided we would give this place a pass.  
We ate lunch at The Tomato Pie Cafe and it was really good.  We had quiche, salad and a herb scone, and really enjoyed it, would highly recommend it.

We did stop by Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, but didn't do the tour.  I did buy one of their hot pretzels and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's the first I have ever had a hot pretzel and it was good, and only cost $1.

Overall a good way to spend a few hours.  Lots of on street parking costing 25 cents per half hour!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The mystery of the elevators.

I swear some things just puzzle me and then get on your nerves..........

At the hotel we stayed in there were two elevator doors in the lobby:
When we left our room on the 7th floor, there were three elevator doors:
Never noticed or thought much about it to start with but I did eventually notice how odd this was after going up and down a couple of times.  Just could never figure out where the third door went too.  Then add in we are going senile and couldn't remember if we had got on all elevators; we swore we had, this was turning out to be a puzzle.

Finally asked the guy behind the desk and the door furthest away in the photo above, is not in use.  The hotel has 9 floors and only floors 3 through 9 are in use and floors 1 and 2 have not been renovated yet.  They have put a false wall up on the ground floor so you only have access to the two doors and the third elevator doesn't work at all.

We then got talking to one guy and he said had we noticed how the middle elevator door always stopped at the first floor, which is where the hotel admin is at the moment.  I said I had figured it was ghosts or something???  He said that floor was where the old lobby was.  It is now on the ground floor.

Glad I got all this sorted out as it would have driven me crazy!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Some thoughts about our trip.

We love going to the States.  They are such a patriotic bunch, flying the American flag everywhere. They truly believe their country is the best and I admire them for that.  Only once did someone mention how bad Obama is and as I said to him, "who would you prefer him or Donald Trump, running the country?"

He muttered something and as I then said, I was from Canada, and honestly we are no better off with the bunch of "misfits" we have running to be the next Prime Minister!

As many of you know, we are British born and as we came to Canada when we were in our 20's, we still have our British accents (dh and I;) the kids though sound as Canadian as the next person.  It totally confuses everyone and for some reason American's love hearing us talk?

Anyhow, we have got our response down pat now when people ask where we come from:

"We are British born, but live in Canada."

I must admit I think I blushed bright red from head to toe though one day, as I was talking to a cashier when I noticed another lady standing next to me, just looking at me.  I thought I was holding up things, and of course I apologized......I am Canadian after all...LOL  We apologize for everything, whether it's our fault or not.  Anyway she said no she was enjoying listening to me talk, and then turned around and told her friend to come and listen to me talk.  At that point I just clammed up, as I couldn't think of a thing to say.  

I honestly don't think about my accent and it surprises me when people notice I speak differently, as I never hear it.

The majority of the people are so well mannered; at least with us.  I guess it helps that we always say please and thank you, and if a job is well done I will let people know.  Whenever I talked to the ladies who took care of our hotel room, I always said thank you for a job well done.  I did find though that some people were just plain rude with people especially in the fast food places.

We were in one place and the daughter who was my age or older and her mother, were just plain bloody rude to the girl behind the counter.  Now granted she was as slow as molasses, but even so, don't be rude and disrespectful.  

I finally said to the mother and daughter, "you both seem to be having a bad day?"

Now I am not sure if it was my accent or someone spoke to them, but they both stood there with their mouth's open!!!  I don't remember what they said, but their attitude didn't change with the poor server.....LOL

My only gripe........I wish the exchange rate had been better, as I couldn't/wouldn't/didn't spend anywhere near as much as I normally do when do there.  The one thing we did find cheaper was the gas/petrol; they have super cheap prices for gas and we paid as low as $2.26 USD per gallon.

I look forward to our next visit to the States.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

More photos from taken from the train in Strasburg.

Corn maze, with a person watching over so you don't get lost.
 A barn with the sides open to let the tobacco dry.




We couldn't see a lot as the corn was so high. 

 Getting ready to do some work.

Spreading cow muck....in the background those are "hotel rooms." 
 A closer up look at the tobacco drying.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Back Home........

Tired though.  Had a straight forward drive back.  The only "exciting" thing that happened, we got stuck with the custom agent who had too much time on his hands!!!

As well as the usual questions about where we stayed, he wanted to know why we went there.  So mentioned the Amish and Mennonites.  Asked us if we were Amish or Mennonites how many British accented Amish or Mennonites are they in the world?

Asked how much we spent and then wanted to know what we spent it on.  So then I started on about the Peppa Pig ball pit, and Thomas the Tank Engine.  That shut him up!!  I guess he was only doing his job, and you know two "middle-aged" people with British accents would look a bit dodgy!

Will need to rest up and will get back to normal in a day or two.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Thomas and Percy...........

We went to Strasburg to the have a ride on the train.
And who did we bump into; Thomas the Tank Engine:
and Percy......
There were so many excited children there.  We didn't go on those trains, we decided to go on the regular train.  We decided first class was the way to go:
Very comfy seats and air conditioned.  Plus there was a wood stove for the winter.



 I will post more photos from the train ride.  We enjoyed it, but will admit to enjoying the looks on the little kids' faces when they saw Thomas or Percy.  If you want to learn more about the Strasburg Railroad Company, please click on this link.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

St. James Church, Lancaster

My photos will not do this place justice but it was a lovely church from the outside; it wasn't open to go inside.  Plus the church yard was very interesting.




 I have never seen raised graves like that before.
 There was a number of graves with the informational plaques and flags beside them.

 I thought this plant was pretty.  No sure what is is.
We were talking to a local guy...............no shocker there for people who know me and he was saying that all the stained glass windows are lit up at night and are stunning.  However despite the fact this is a very safe city I have no desire to wander around when it's dark!!

You can read more about the church here and see what the inside looks like.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lancaster's Central Farmer's Market

Lancaster's Central Market, is the country's (USA) longest continuously operating farmer's market.  Here are some of the photos I took.  Everything looked so fresh and yummy looking.

 These lettuce looked so fresh and green.

 I was told this was a type of Milkweed.
Below is a plant called Pumpkin on a Stick.  It is an ornamental eggplant.  I had never heard of this before.  It is used in flower arranging.
 Pom Pom Mushrooms are something else I had never seen before, have you?  Felt soft and furry on the outside.  It is a meaty mushroom.
Tangerine Lace is a micro green.  It does have a pleasant citrus taste; again something I had never heard of.
 All the cookies below are for doggies!!  They look good enough for humans to eat.
 An old fashioned candy store.
A lovely place to visit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Peppa Pig and the Garbage Truck..........

Well I am saying hi from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Would you believe they  (US Customs) let That British Woman and her hubby into the US of A again????

Have lots to report, but if you are on my Facebook page you saw me mention our busy day that involved Peppa Pig and a garbage truck on Monday.

Now for those of you who are not in the know Peppa Pig is a delightful cartoon character from Britain and Our Little Munchkin ADORES her.

Dd asked us before we left if we would have time to pop to a Toys R Us store when in Lancaster County and pick up a Peppa Pig ball pit for her, as we can't get it at Toys R Us in Canada.  
The store was around 40 minutes from where we are staying but that wasn't a problem.  We decided however to ask at the local Toys R Us store to make sure that store actually had it in stock. They were so nice in that store and got them to do an actual physical check and it turned out that they didn't have the actual Peppa Pig one.  So we said we would drive further if another store had one and they found one at a store around an hour and a half away.  No problem after all it was for Our Little Munchkin.

By this time it was 4 pm and we decided at the spur of the moment, that we would drive over there and then.  We would pick up the ball pit and have a bite to eat and be back by 8 pm.

We have a great GPS so plugged in the address and off we go.  We decided to use a toll road as it was faster; again no problem.  It was rush hour, so a bit slow going at times.  Did get a bit of a shock when we had to pay $9.25 toll fee, but we got there.  And sure enough they had put aside the Peppa Pig ball pit.  Decided we should get extra balls, so picked up another 100+ balls.

Get back into the car and decide we were not paying another $9.25 in toll fees so would go the longer way home, but it was going to take an extra half hour.  At this point its only 5:45 pm, so with stopping off for something to eat we would still be back by 8:30 pm at the latest.

We really had no idea where we were going other than on the I95 interstate.  Dh kept saying to me, I hope this isn't taking us through Philadelphia; it better not be taking us through Philadelphia?  Well you guessed it, that's exactly where it took us.

Then to add to all of this we got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams.  We were literally crawling for I think 9 miles.  Turned out a Garbage truck had broken down and was blocking off a lane.  Plus there was some sort of sports game; I am guessing American Football on at the stadium.  The traffic was just awful.  How one broken down vehicle could cause that much chaos was beyond me.  Why they didn't tow it off the live lane was also a puzzle.

Suffice to say we finally got into the hotel around 9:30 pm.  We slept like logs and we can actually say we have been to Philadelphia.  From what little we saw it actually looks like a pretty nice place.  We will not be going back though this trip, as we have plenty of other things to do.

We did stop for a bite to eat on the way home, but were in and out in no time as we were the last customers being served.  Will say we have had great food on this trip so far.

Now those customs guys had better not want to do a thorough search of the truck, as if they empty out all those bloody balls, I am not going to be happy; they can pick them up!!  The things we do for our kids and grandchildren!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

All ready for the big day........

Got all the gnomes done for Our Little Man's birthday party.  Here they are all lined up ready to go:

I then made a gnome and baby hat set for a couple who are expecting in January and are going to the party.
I used a different yarn for the set and as they are not going to find out the sex of the baby, I thought the colour was appropriate for both a boy or girl.  I would love to make this is a variegated grey yarn.

So far I have five babies and a wedding in the first four months of 2016.  So more baby gift sets and a baby quilt to make.  Better make a start on them!