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Friday, October 30, 2015

Fab Friday Faves 10.30.15

Happy Halloween my Dears!   I am usually very much in the Halloween spirit, but this year it happens to fall on the day that we are FINALLY moving!  Can you believe it?!  We are loading up a small trailer on Saturday with what we have left here and heading down to Florida to start looking for a house.  We got a cute little rental house in Dunedin about a five minute drive from the water and 15 minutes from Honeymoon State Park so we should be able to enjoy ourselves while house hunting.  That is probably a good thing considering how stressful house hunting can be.  If you may remember we also took a load of our furniture and such down to Maryland last weekend, because that is where the next job is.  It was a quick trip but we got a little tour of the area and had a great dinner with some friends that are already there.

Josh has spent a chunk of the week in Houston for training so I have been packing and cleaning on my own which I actually almost prefer in our tiny apartment, but I am exhausted!  So without further ado, here are my Friday Five!  Enjoy and have a safe and spooky Halloween!

1. As my final trip in to NYC, I decided to go to Alice's Tea Cup Chapter II  on the upper east side.  It is an Alice in Wonderland themed teahouse and this location is adorable as I am sure the rest are. These have been around for quite a long time and somehow I had never heard of them until last week!  I got a nibble platter with some yummy food and a pot of tea, and of course a wonderland themed cocktail.  It was such a fun experience!  Check out one of the locations if you are visiting, it is worth it, and check out my blog in the near future for more info!

2. On Sunday, Josh and I went over to Pier A in Hoboken for the "Rock the BBQ" festival.  We weren't sure what to expect but we were blown away.  There were a couple dozen vendors from all over, serving BBQ and a few other delicious treats.  We actually ended up staying for about four hours because we could not get enough of the food and they had live entertainment and were playing the football games on 80" TVs.  I had the best chili ever, from Dark Side of the Moo, a food truck that can be found all over Manhattan and NJ, a lot of amazing ribs and The delicious pork poutine pictured above.  Super awesome Hoboken event in one of my favorite spots.

3. As I mentioned, Josh was in Houston most of the week and yesterday morning, I got a delivery of these beautiful Tulips.  Really brightened my day!

4. Saturday when we got back from Maryland we went for a walk to Left Bank Burger Bar for one last burger there, and while we were sitting we overheard a couple people talking about "The Ghost of Uncle Joe's".  We missed the event last year for some reason and I had really wanted to go so we decided we would check it out.  It is a big cover band concert in the historic Jersey City and Harsimus  cemetery. Weird right, a concert in a cemetery?  But last year they raised $14000 dollars for the preservation and care of this beautiful place.  We ended up staying most of the night for bands such as Hall and Oats, KISS and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  So much fun, but also scary once it got dark with everyone all dressed up in some pretty scary constumes.  There was also a random rooster running around, which I am hoping is not there for Santeria or something and was just brought in for effect!  The bands were awesome, especially KISS who dressed up like Wall Street investment bankers ;)

5. Friday evening when we got to Maryland, we met up with the Marston's and the Dutkiewicz's for dinner.  It was so good to see everyone, especially this lady that I spent almost everyday of the last year with.  We got these awesome spiked Birthday Cake milkshakes and I got to see all the little Duke's including new baby, Colton!

Today I'm spookily linking up with:

Jennie @ The Diary of a Real Housewife
Lauren @ Style Elixir
Erika @ A Little Bit of Everything
Tif @ Bright on a Budget
Amy @ {The Farmer's Wife}
April @ A.Liz Adventures

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

One Last Weekend in the Poconos

The Poconos have become one of my favorite places to go since we have lived in New Jersey so I knew we had to go one last time before we head south.  We decided to check out Mt. Pocono, a small resort community home to Camelback resort, Mt. Airy and Great Wolf Lodge a couple hours northwest of here.  The drive out was breathtaking, with the leaves in full splendor. 

Just as we were driving in to Mt. Pocono, a small thunderstorm rolled in and the sky turned the most stunning shade of red.  I've never seen anything like it!  It only lasted about five minutes so I didn't have a chance to get out and get any better pictures, but you get the idea.

We checked in to our hotel and thought that we would go over to Mount Airy Resort Casino for dinner at one of their many restaurants, and then throw a few bucks in the slot machines.  Unfortunately, I threw a wrench in our plans with my expired driver's license (I let my Maine license expire because we are moving to Florida right away, so I figured no use having to do it twice).  I have never had an issue before but they have one of those little card scanners and it was a no go.  They are actually even so strict they had to have a security guard escort us across the casino floor to the restaurant we wanted to go to.  Pretty ridiculous but what can you do?  I did get to wear this cool bracelet though.

Luckily my Gnocchi Ragu au Poivre at Bistecca was amazing, but I was really sad we couldn't play the Son's of Anarchy or Ghostbusters video gaming machines!

Since our evening got cut short, we went to sleep early and were up early for our hike to the top of Mt. Tammany at the Delaware Water Gap.  josh had found the hike and said that everyone online said it was easy.  I wasn't too concerned, but if you recall I fell in Soho a few days earlier and tore the tendons in my foot up into my ankle.  I put on a brace and thought I would be okay.  Even thought we got there pretty early, there was absolutely no parking and we had to end up walking about half a mile from our spot.  It was such a gorgeous morning though it was totally okay.

It doesn't look too high, but our hike would take us to the very top of the mountain.

The trail didn't waste any time getting right into it.  Straight up!  My stupid ankle brace thing ended up digging right into the spot where the tendons had torn so I stopped a couple minutes in and just took it off!

The hike was a lot further than I thought, we were about 30 minutes in, having gone straight up the jagged rocky trail when we saw an elderly man that had obviously done this hike hundreds of times so we asked him how much further.  He informed us that "we hadn't even started"  I was thrilled!  Haha.  not only was my ankle hurting, I also was feeling somewhat nauseous for some reason.  I have to say though, that the view from half way up was almost enough to make it worth it ;)

After a lot more straight up hiking we reached the top, absolutely stunning!  And mostly I was excited for the trip down that took us on the backside of the mountain for a different view.

About half way down we came to this nice little waterfall.  So pretty, and the yellow leaves made it even more beautiful.

I love trees that grow on rocks!

The creek running down the mountain.  

After about 3 hours, we had made it!  My ankle was sore, but I didn't damage it any further, and I didn't throw up!  I really thought the view from our parking lot was almost as beautiful as the hike!

After that big hike, we needed some sustenance.  We stopped at one of the first places we saw which was a breakfast all day country diner/BBQ joint called the Hickory Valley Farm Restaurant.  The menu was amazing and we ate a lot of smoked meat and eggs!  Delicious!  We also picked up some Homemade Pumpkin Butter and Apple Butter made my Moon Shadows Farm, a local preserves company.

We went back to the hotel and showered up quickly and got back out to do some more exploring.  We stopped at the Pocono Candle Shoppe, to look at candles, not really knowing what else the place held.    Not only were there more candles than I had ever seen before but turns out it is a haunted house.  Not like a Halloween haunted house, but actually haunted.  Turns out that until 1901 a scientist by the name of William Redwood Fisher lived and worked in the house with his family.  He had lost his father to Yellow Fever and dedicated his life to finding a cure for not only yellow fever but also Small Pox.  He was a government funded scientist with a lab in the basement of the home where he experimented on many different types and sizes of monkeys that the government sent him.  He sometimes had hundreds of Monkeys in the basement, most were small spider monkeys, but apparently he even acquired some chimpanzees and a gorilla.  He did these experiments for years but never found the cure.  After he died the basement was closed up, and until a few years ago, although the home was lived in, no one ever went into the basement.  Everyone that lived in the house though did have some strange experiences hearing monkeys running around and screeching and even sometimes being poked or having their hair pulled.  The current owner finally decided to go into the basement and found Fisher's lab just how he left it, with all of the old medical and testing equipment and the cages the monkeys were kept in. Creepy!

Anyway, you can now take a tour through the basement and learn the history of Dr. Fisher and his monkey experiments.  It was very interesting and the story has been featured on a few Paranormal investigation shows.

On a lighter note, after the haunted house, we stopped at one of our favorite wineries, Franklin Hill  (we had been to the actual vineyard another time we were out) for a tasting.  This wine is so great and they had some new kinds we had to try and buy.

Somewhere that I was excited to go was The Peddler's Village, a HUGE antique mall (well, like a bunch of barns put together) with more antiques than I have ever seen in my life.  We were just getting there as they were getting ready to close, but we made plans to come back in the morning. I did get two vintage NYC postcards and Josh got a Tina Turner shirt.

Just down the road was American Candle (apparently the Poconos are big into candles!)  This was another massive building, like barns put together and each section was filled with different things.  One was clothing, one was jewelry, one was collectable ornaments and one was candy.  I wanted a lot of stuff but all we got was a bunch of candy that we did not need haha!  All these bins were filled with every candy you could ever imagine.  

It was getting late, and we had a long day, so we decided to stop at the Pocono Brewing Company for dinner.  Be warned, the Pocono Brewing Company does not brew their own beer but they do have an awesome draft selection and some amazing sandwiches.  They also have a kids game room so we tried our hand at doe darts, Big Buck Hunter and Skee Ball after dinner.  I won as usual.  And with that it was time for bed!

We slept in a bit on Sunday morning but were still out the door at a pretty decent time.  We again didn't have much for plans but I really wanted to stop at the Pocono Farm Stand and Nursery.  We had driven by it a couple times and I was sure they would have some sort of baking and apple cider.  They did have more variations of pumpkins and gourds than I have ever seen before.  Have you ever seen a Snake Squash?  I have!

We quickly discovered they also have a petting zoo.  We all know I love animals so we spent a good 20 minutes playing with and feeding all of these sweethearts.

 Is this not the most beautiful arrangement of Mums you have ever seen?

They did have an adorable little indoor section with many different and locally made preserves, cheese and baking.  We picked up some cheese spread, apple cider donuts and of course, delicious hot apple cider.

We then headed back to Peddler's Village and spent over an hour digging through the treasures.  If we didn't have to move it all right away I would have bought so much stuff for our house!

One last stop!  Josh never should have mentioned it but we were near Popcorn Buddha, my favorite flavored popcorn place.  I bought an absolutely unnecessary amount of dill pickle popcorn that I am still eating a week and a half later!  Totally worth it!

And that is it, our crazy packed trip to the Poconos.  I will miss the area so much!  I will leave you with this awesome car we passed on the way home.