Travel – AroundMainLine.com – The Philadelphia Region's Main Line Magazine http://aroundmainline.com Living and Loving Philadelphia's Main Line Thu, 11 May 2017 19:59:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Charm of Chesapeake City http://aroundmainline.com/living/the-charm-of-chesapeake-city.html http://aroundmainline.com/living/the-charm-of-chesapeake-city.html#respond Sun, 19 Jun 2016 22:46:51 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=635 A gem of a road trip, a glorious destination wedding choice, and one romantic seaside town-Chesapeake City is the secret sleepy hot spot that Main Liners are about to fall head over heels in love with.

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By AML Publisher
Photos by Jubilee Photography

Pell Gardens is a popular setting for brides and grooms to hold an intimate outdoor wedding ceremony.

Pell Gardens is a popular setting for brides and grooms to hold an intimate outdoor wedding ceremony.

Chesapeake City is one of the Main Line’s best kept daycation secrets. Just over an hour from downtown Wayne (with no traffic on 95), this quaint slice of Cecil County, Maryland is a seaside getaway not to miss. My family has dined many a Mother’s Day at the wonderful Bayard House Restaurant—delighting in their award-winning crab soup, tournedos Baltimore and a most delicious Bloody Mary…or two. The Bayard House looks out onto the famous Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C&D Canal), one of only two vital sea-level canals in the United States. The C&D Canal is an international waterway and the third busiest canal in the world!

Travel & Leisure Magazine named Chesapeake City “A Top 10 crowd-free weekend getaway near America’s largest cities.” The town was formerly known as “The Village of Bohemia,” since Chesapeake City was a dream of Augustine Herman. The First Lord of Bohemia Manor, Herman (1621-1686) was a Czech explorer, merchant, and cartographer who lived in New Amsterdam and Cecil County. In 1764 a canal route was marked and the actual project started in 1824.

Chesapeake City is on the National Historic Registry as well as Maryland’s Historic Registry. The town is an ideal, romantic fall daycation-just over an hour drive from the heart of the Main Line.

Chesapeake City is on the National Historic Registry as well as Maryland’s Historic Registry. The town is an ideal, romantic fall daycation-just over an hour drive from the heart of the Main Line.

But, this terrific city would not have thrived and survived had it not been for the great Allaire du Pont-yes, of those du Ponts. Allaire C. du Pont sparked the revitalization of Chesapeake City and led the efforts to preserve thousands of acres of farmland in southern Cecil County.

Ms. du Pont was an illustrious, grand dame who resided at her nearby Woodstock Farm until her death in January of 2006 at the age of 92. A very successful horse breeder, the farm was home to Ms. duPont’s beloved Kelso-a mud-colored gelding known fondly as “Kelly.” The only five-time “Horse of the Year” (1960-64), Kelso retired to Woodstock Farm in 1966 where duPont often rode him on foxhunts. (You can visit Kelly in a horse cemetery behind the farm office in a shaded area identified by a circle of weathered Greek columns and majestic trees.) A quote at the base of Kelso’s granite marker simply says: “Where he gallops the earth sings.”

Allaire lead a life of Gatsbian-proportions-traveling to exotic locations across the globe. Along with her husband, Richard du Pont, a member of the prominent du Pont family whom she wed in 1934, the dynamic duo flew on the airship Hindenburg, made frequent trips to exotic ports such as Cuba and Venezuela, and reportedly held extravagant ice skating parties on the nearly frozen canal.

Award winning crab soup, courtesy of The Bayard House (bayardhouse.com), is part of the Chesapeake City experience.  The restaurant offers upscale spectacular water view dining on Maryland’s eastern shore.

Award winning crab soup, courtesy of The Bayard House (bayardhouse.com), is part of the Chesapeake City experience. The restaurant offers upscale spectacular water view dining on Maryland’s eastern shore.

Allaire du Pont was an aviation buff, and as a national glider champion set a women’s endurance record in 1935, soaring for five hours and 31 minutes. Legend has it she buzzed the Chesapeake City Bridge as part of her proficient skills and lifelong daredevil mentality. Today, visitors can view Allaire’s needlepoint-which graces the walls of the Bayard House, a hobby she took up to wean herself of a smoking habit. “If it was not for Allaire and her love of Chesapeake City, the town may not have been preserved and restored. Mrs. du Pont took it upon herself to see that the town was renovated and many of the buildings, which were falling apart, were restored. She was quite a woman,” explained Natalie Gentry, the Bayard House Restaurant Manager and town Ombudsman. du Pont’s needlepoint graces the walls of the restaurant.

A must stop is Canal Creamery, where Bella from Lancaster enjoyed a sweet taste of Kilby Cream’s farm fresh ice cream! Visit chesapeakecity.com for more information.

A must stop is Canal Creamery, where Bella from Lancaster enjoyed a sweet taste of Kilby Cream’s farm fresh ice cream! Visit chesapeakecity.com for more information.

The town itself is an ideal fall daycation-and a memorable weekend getaway. Downtown boasts charming and unique boutique after another, and distinct historic homes and buildings dating back to the 19th century. For the kid (in all of us) delicious farm fresh Kilby ice cream is a no-brainer at the Canal Creamery. “The town itself lends itself to such a great day trip from the Main Line. We have a wonderful museum, there are boat rides, and you can dine here on the canal on a beautiful day and sit outside. Giant ships pass through the canal and it can be very spectacular,” explained Gentry.

The Bayard House, circa 1835, also serves as a growing popular wedding venue, with accommodations up to 150 from April to October outside on the lawn looking out on the canal. “The cool thing about Chesapeake City for our brides that really draws them in, is that it turns out you have your own little town for your wedding. We’ve had a lot of brides from West Chester, South Jersey and the Main Line. It’s really a different wedding destination but at the same time it’s perfect because it lends itself to great pictures at Pell Gardens and a quaint feel. And, the guests have all the bed and breakfasts here to choose from. It’s a destination wedding that seems like you are so much further away than you really are, but it’s a hop, skip and a jump from the Main Line,” explained Gentry.

The town’s annual Ghost Walk is this weekend, Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th from 6-9p.m.Visitors can enjoy a spooky revolutionary tale told along a specified route of porch locations around town.

The town’s annual Ghost Walk is this weekend, Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th from 6-9p.m.Visitors can enjoy a spooky revolutionary tale told along a specified route of porch locations around town.

If you have not discovered the sleepy northern Maryland town of Chesapeake City, well, you are in for one fantastic treat. Chesapeake City is a romantic weekend away, a convenient fall daycation, or an excuse to explore one gorgeous town with family and friends. I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful, brisk October afternoon walking along the town’s quaint streets and soaking in the scenic C&D canal. Once you decide to experience this eastern shore gem, you will fall in love with Chesapeake City just as I have through the years. Safe travels!

DIRECTIONS TO CHESAPEAKE CITY, MARYLAND

From I-95 North:
I-95 South to Exit 896 South (Middletown-last exit before toll). 896 S. to Route 40 W. After crossing into Maryland, make a left turn at the fifth light, Route 213 S. Follow Route 213 S. Cross over Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Bridge. Continue under bridge to stop sign. Take a left on George Street into town.

From 1-95 South:
I-95 North to North East Exit #100. Bear to the right to 272 South. Make a left onto Route 40E. Make a right on Route 213 South. Follow 213 South. Cross over Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Bridge. Exit immediately to the right after crossing over the bridge. Continue back under the bridge to stop sign. Take a left on George Street into town.

Have a wonderful daycation/vacation spot that you would like AroundMainLine.com to cover? Send us your suggestions for across the Delaware Valley and beyond to: info@aroundmainline.com.

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A Longwood Gardens Christmas http://aroundmainline.com/happenings/a-longwood-gardens-christmas.html http://aroundmainline.com/happenings/a-longwood-gardens-christmas.html#respond Wed, 08 Dec 2010 11:06:35 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=1101 Dazzling floral displays, stunning trees, holiday music, 500,000 outdoor lights, and dancing fountains under the stars are just a few of the highlights of the popular display.

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By AML Publisher
Photos by Brittany Ostrov Photography

A Longwood Gardens Christmas runs through January 9, 2011.

A Longwood Gardens Christmas runs through January 9, 2011.

A Christmas fantasy awaits guests to Longwood Gardens near Kennett Square, PA, November 25, 2010 through January 9, 2011. Dazzling floral displays, stunning trees, holiday music, 500,000 outdoor lights, and dancing fountains under the stars are just a few of the highlights of the popular display A Longwood Gardens Christmas. Timed tickets are advised, with tickets issued for specific dates and times. Timed tickets are available now and can be purchased online at www.longwoodgardens.org, or in person at Longwood.

Inside Longwood’s 4.5-acre heated Conservatory thousands of poinsettias accented with amaryllis, Narcissus, begonias, cyclamen, lilies and hydrangea flourish. Elegantly decorated trees shimmer and sparkle with festive flair. In Longwood’s Exhibition Hall, an ornate art nouveau tapestry fashioned from live pink poinsettias and ferns surround a towering 25-foot Douglas fir adorned in raspberry and pink ornaments, preserved pink roses and gilded cones.

The Orangery’s center walkway is resplendent in pink poinsettias and blue coleus accented with paper whites, alyssum and bay laurel.

The East Conservatory hosts traditional red, green and silver Christmas hues, featuring red cyclamen, begonias, Artemisia, Serbian spruce, lilies and more. A towering 28-foot Douglas fir, the largest indoor tree in the display, draws all eyes to the Patio of Oranges where it is dressed with begonias and red glass ornaments.

More than 500,000 outdoor lights adorning 75 trees in classical and free-style form styles enchant both young and old.

More than 500,000 outdoor lights adorning 75 trees in classical and free-style form styles enchant both young and old.

More horticultural finery, including swags of exotic plants, Christmas cactus baskets, living wreaths, and decorated trees flourish throughout the Conservatory.

Longwood works its holiday magic outdoors, too. More than 500,000 outdoor lights adorning 75 trees in classical and free-style form styles enchant both young and old. The lighting extravaganza (the cords for which would span 39 miles) includes the illumination of two of Longwood’s Treehouses. Fountains dance day and night to holiday music in the Open Air Theatre (weather permitting) beneath glimmering starry snowflakes. Young and old will delight in Longwood’s outdoor train display nestled near the Idea Garden. Natural edible ornaments adorn the Wildlife Tree created especially for Longwood’s feathered and furry friends. The Gardener’s Tree features ornaments crafted from garden findings, including gourds, seedpods, and cones.

Longwood captures the magic of the season—and the music—with holiday concerts, organ sing-alongs and carillon performances. The ornate Ballroom is the setting for daily organ sing-alongs on Longwood’s renovated 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ. Evening choral and bell choir concerts at 7 pm and 8 pm feature favorite area groups, including:

Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 11, 12, 18 and 19 in Longwood’s Terrace Restaurant at 8:00 and 9:30 am.

Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 11, 12, 18 and 19 in Longwood’s Terrace Restaurant at 8:00 and 9:30 am.

Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 11, 12, 18 and 19 in Longwood’s Terrace Restaurant at 8:00 and 9:30 am. An array of breakfast items that are sure to please the entire family await Reservations are required and prices include Gardens admission. Ages 12 & over $40, ages 5-11 $22; Ages 4 and under, free. Pricing for Garden Pass Members are ages 12 and older: $32; ages 5-11: $18. On New Year’s Eve, Longwood will remain open until 10 pm with special festive activities for the entire family. Find fun around every corner with strolling performances by carolers, and a barbershop quartet. Families will enjoy a balloon artist, a kids’ craft station and more! A spectacular 5-minute fireworks display tops off the fun at 8:30 pm. Activities begin at 3 pm.

In anticipation of the popularity of A Longwood Gardens Christmas, admission will be by Timed Ticket, with tickets issued for specific dates and times.
A Longwood Gardens Christmas runs November 25–January 9, 9 am to 9 pm. Timed Tickets allow entry during half-hour intervals throughout the day, from 9 am to 8:30 pm Longwood will remain open until 10 pm on Saturdays and December 26-31. Timed Tickets are on sale now at www.longwoodgardens.org or in person at Longwood.
General Admission prices are $18 for adults; $15 for seniors (age 62+), $8 for students (ages 5-18) free age 4 and under. Complete information is available online at www.longwoodgardens.org.

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Buzz: Fall Family Events at Dutch Wonderland http://aroundmainline.com/happenings/buzz-fall-family-events-at-dutch-wonderland.html http://aroundmainline.com/happenings/buzz-fall-family-events-at-dutch-wonderland.html#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2010 10:46:33 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=1003 Lancaster’s Dutch Wonderland has a fun group of fall activities for local families to enjoy.

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By AML Publisher
Photos courtesy of Heather Berkenstock, Belle Vie Photography

On September 25 and 26, Dutch Wonderland will celebrate Princess Brooke’s love of reading with special appearances by such favorite children’s books characters as the Cat in the Hat, Corduroy the Bear, Frog and Toad, and more.

On September 25 and 26, Dutch Wonderland will celebrate Princess Brooke’s love of reading with special appearances by such favorite children’s books characters as the Cat in the Hat, Corduroy the Bear, Frog and Toad, and more.

Many families might think of Dutch Wonderland as a popular summer destination in Lancaster County. But, coming up this fall are a bunch of great seasonal activities planned to enjoy. From Readers’ Jamboree that embraces the parks commitment to childhood literacy, to Fall Farm Days and Happy Hauntings, the three special events offer plenty of affordable and festive entertainment.

Bethany Alwan is the Senior Director, Branded Operations for Dutch Wonderland Family Entertainment Complex. “We are really open almost 8 to 9 months of the year which many people might not realize. One of the most popular fall events is, of course, Happy Hauntings where we have a lot of fun embracing a Halloween theme. We transform the park so that the merry-go-round becomes the Scareeeee-Go-Round, Roller Ghoasters, and the Trick or Treat Trail. It’s a family-friendly Halloween themed event but its not overly scary so the little ones will enjoy it as well,” explained Alwan.

Upcoming Events at Dutch Wonderland

Readers’ Jamboree at Dutch Wonderland Celebrates Literacy
Dates: September 25th and 26th

For the third year in a row, Dutch Wonderland was voted among the Top Five Best Children’s Parks in the World in Amusement Today’s 2010 Golden Ticket Awards.

For the third year in a row, Dutch Wonderland was voted among the Top Five Best Children’s Parks in the World in Amusement Today’s 2010 Golden Ticket Awards.

On September 25 and 26, Dutch Wonderland will celebrate Princess Brooke’s love of reading with special appearances by such favorite children’s books characters as the Cat in the Hat, Corduroy the Bear, Frog and Toad, Llama Llama in Red Pajamas, Pig from If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and Skippy Jon Jones. Other special entertainment for the day includes performances by children’s musician Bruce Fite and Superreader. All activities associated with Readers’ Jamboree are free with paid Park admission.

To further support the Park’s commitment to literacy, there will be a book drive to benefit the “Reach Out and Read” program, a national non-profit organization that promotes early literacy by giving new books to children in pediatric exam rooms across the nation. Guests ages 12 and under who donate a children’s book to the book drive will receive one free ticket to Dutch Winter Wonderland, a family-friendly holiday event at Dutch Wonderland. There is a limit of one ticket per person per donation.

Come Down to the Farm at Dutch Wonderland
Dates: October 2nd and 3rd

On October 2 and 3, families can experience life on a farm with Fall Farm Days at Dutch Wonderland. Guests can celebrate fall, farming and harvest with music and educational booths all weekend long.
Highlights include:

  • Tiger Tom musical performances
  • Scarecrow building
  • Square dancing with Do Pas O Square Dancers
  • Favorite farm animals from Eastland Alpacas and Melody-Lawn Farms Dairy Cows
  • Fall food sampling from Kegel’s Produce, Oregon Dairy and Turkey Hill

Happy Hauntings Brings Friendly, Ghoulish Fun to Dutch Wonderland
Dates: October 16-17, October 23-24, and October 30-31

Now in its 13th year, Happy Hauntings features more than 20 themed rides, including the “Scareeeee-Go-Round,” the “Bat Swing” and the “Witchie Whip.”

Now in its 13th year, Happy Hauntings features more than 20 themed rides, including the “Scareeeee-Go-Round,” the “Bat Swing” and the “Witchie Whip.”

Enjoy hauntingly friendly fun that’s ideal for families at Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland. Now in its 13th year, Happy Hauntings features more than 20 themed rides, including the “Scareeeee-Go-Round,” the “Bat Swing,” and the “Witchie Whip.” Guests also can trick-or-treat, paint a pumpkin, play ghoulish games and enjoy spine-tingling treats. Entertainment for Happy Hauntings includes magic shows, and storytelling with the Princess and Knight of Dutch Wonderland. Returning this year is the “Trick-or-Treat Trail.” Duke’s Lagoon will be transformed into a hauntingly good time for all trick-or-treaters, and guests can make their way through 10 stops along the trail for candy and other surprises. Special trick-or-treat bags will be available at both the front gate and the beginning of the trail.

Every Sunday night at 6:30 p.m., families can participate in a special costume contest that offers prizes for the Spookiest Costume, Most Creative Costume, Best Book/Movie/TV Character, Best Homemade Costume and Best Pair/Family Participation. The costume contests are sponsored by AAA Central Penn. Happy Hauntings is open October 16-17, October 23-24, and October 30-31 from 3 to 9 p.m. Admission is $19.95 per person. Parking is free.

Dutch Wonderland hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is open rain or shine. Admission prices are $31.95 for Royalty (ages 3-59), $26.95 for Senior Royalty (ages 60-69) and $19.95 for Senior Plus Royalty (ages 70 and over). Royalty-In-Training (ages 2 and under) are free. For more information about Dutch Wonderland Family Entertainment Complex and its related attractions, please call 1-866-FUNatDW or visit DutchWonderland.com.

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The Franklin Institute’s Cleopatra Exhibit http://aroundmainline.com/happenings/the-franklin-institutes-cleopatra-exhibit.html http://aroundmainline.com/happenings/the-franklin-institutes-cleopatra-exhibit.html#respond Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:14:40 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=974 Centuries of art and history unfold at the Franklin Institute with the first U.S. tour of artifacts from the life and times of Egypt’s legendary Queen, Cleopatra.

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By AML Publisher
Photography courtesy of Courtney Apple Photography
Click here to view our Facebook slideshow and more photos

What did Cleopatra look like?  After her death, the Roman emperor Octavian ordered all images of her destroyed. Of the countless images created of the queen during her lifetime, only a handful of coins and sculptures remain.

What did Cleopatra look like? After her death, the Roman emperor Octavian ordered all images of her destroyed. Of the countless images created of the queen during her lifetime, only a handful of coins and sculptures remain.

Main Liners can walk like an Egyptian with the world premiere of “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” at the Franklin Institute now through January 2, 2011.

The world of Cleopatra VII, which has been lost to the sea and sand for nearly 2,000 years, surfaced on June 5th when the incredible exhibit opened its doors to the world for the first time. The new exhibition features nearly 150 artifacts from Cleopatra’s time and takes visitors inside the present-day search for the elusive queen, which extends from the sands of Egypt to the depths of the Bay of Aboukir near Alexandria. The exhibition is organized by National Geographic and Arts and Exhibitions International, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM). It features statuary, jewelry, daily items, coins and religious tokens that archaeologists have uncovered from the time surrounding Cleopatra’s rule, all of which are visiting the U.S. for the first time.

Naos of the Decades (387-361 B.C.) This naos-the inner shrine that held the temple god-may be the world’s first astrological chart.  The year is divided into 36 decades, or 10-day periods. It is the first U.S. tour of artifacts from two ongoing searches into the life and times of Egypt’s legendary Queen.

Naos of the Decades (387-361 B.C.) This naos-the inner shrine that held the temple god-may be the world’s first astrological chart. The year is divided into 36 decades, or 10-day periods. It is the first U.S. tour of artifacts from two ongoing searches into the life and times of Egypt’s legendary Queen.

Also on display is an original papyrus document from Cleopatra’s time containing an inscription that scientists believe was written in Cleopatra’s own hand. After Egypt succumbed to Roman forces and Cleopatra famously took her own life following the suicide of her lover Mark Antony, the Romans attempted to wipe her legacy from the pages of history. Cleopatra thus has remained one of history’s greatest enigmas, and her final resting place is one of Egypt’s unsolved mysteries. The story of her life and time unfolds in a dramatic setting with high-definition multimedia, original soundscapes and a mobile-based social media experience. Additionally each guest receives an audio tour with admission that provides a rich background to the featured artifacts.

Visitors to the exhibition follow the modern-day parallel stories of two ongoing expeditions being led in Egypt by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s pre-eminent archaeologist and secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and Franck Goddio, French underwater archaeologist and director of IEASM. Goddio’s search has resulted in one of the most ambitious underwater expeditions ever undertaken, which has uncovered Cleopatra’s royal palace and the two ancient cities of Canopus and Heracleion, which had been lost beneath the sea after a series of earthquakes and tidal waves nearly 2,000 years ago.

The exhibition opens on the tenth anniversary of Heracleion’s discovery. On land, Hawass and a team of archaeologists are searching for the tomb of the ill-fated lovers Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Never-before-seen artifacts referencing Cleopatra, excavated by Hawass’ team at the temple of Taposiris Magna, about 30 miles west of Alexandria, are featured.

The nearly 150 artifacts in the exhibition – from the smallest gold pieces and coins to colossal statues – provide a window into Cleopatra’s story as well as the daily lives of her contemporaries, both powerful and humble.

The nearly 150 artifacts in the exhibition – from the smallest gold pieces and coins to colossal statues – provide a window into Cleopatra’s story as well as the daily lives of her contemporaries, both powerful and humble.

The exhibition also showcases artifacts from Goddio’s continuing underwater search off the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, begun in 1992 and sponsored by the Hilti Foundation. Goddio’s remarkable finds bring visitors inside his search for the lost world of Cleopatra, including remnants from the grand palace where she ruled. “The aim of our work is to reveal traces of the past and bring history back to life. We are delighted to present our underwater archaeological achievements and discoveries off the coast of Egypt to the American public,” said Goddio. “Cleopatra is one of the most fascinating figures of ancient Egypt,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Mission Programs. “This exhibition tells her remarkable story through rare artifacts excavated from two ongoing archaeological projects in Egypt, bringing ancient Egypt’s famous last pharaoh back to life through modern-day exploration.”

The exhibition contains “social tags” displayed throughout the exhibit, which encourage and guide visitors in sharing their Cleopatra experience on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other social networks through their mobile devices. The tags also feature links to online videos and information, which take patrons deeper into the Cleopatra experience, enabling them to learn and enjoy the exhibition even more.

AML goes one on one with Mark Lach, exhibit creative director and Senior V.P. of Arts and Exhibitions of Programs for the Franklin Institute to learn more about the experience of bringing the world premiere of Cleopatra to Philadelphia.

AroundMainLine.com: Explain your role with the exhibit.

French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio’s search has uncovered Cleopatra’s royal palace and the two ancient cities of Canopus and Heracleion, which had been lost beneath the sea after a series of earthquakes and tidal waves nearly 2,000 years ago.

French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio’s search has uncovered Cleopatra’s royal palace and the two ancient cities of Canopus and Heracleion, which had been lost beneath the sea after a series of earthquakes and tidal waves nearly 2,000 years ago.

Mark Lach: It has been a privilege really starting with the King Tut exhibition and now we are revisiting ancient Egypt once again. It is my responsibility to oversee what you are seeing here; certainly the artifacts can stand alone. They are pieces of history, pieces of her world. But, if we can bring some sort of context and some sort of environment, theatrical touch to things, I think it puts people there. During the King Tut exhibition, people would say to me, “I probably will never get to Egypt so today is my trip to Egypt.” So, with that type of responsibility, our team has really brilliantly designed and presented this exhibition to deliver the same experience.

AML: What is the most fascinating thing you have learned about Cleopatra during this experience?

Mark: I am probably like everyone else, we know her name. We have Hollywood’s view of her—a take on Cleopatra as this beautiful and powerful woman and we have this incredible exhibition. But, most of us know very little. I am just amazed at how strong of a leader she was. We think of her as this sensual, influential and charismatic person that maybe used her beauty but this was a fiercely smart woman with a great deal of drive and passion. Cleopatra also had a great deal of pride. When she was defeated, she refused to be humiliated and she took her own life.

AML: This really presents such a rich, educational exhibit for young and old.

The exhibition contains "social tags" displayed throughout the exhibit, which encourage and guide visitors in sharing their Cleopatra experience on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other social networks through their mobile devices.

The exhibition contains "social tags" displayed throughout the exhibit, which encourage and guide visitors in sharing their Cleopatra experience on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other social networks through their mobile devices.

Mark: When we had our King Tut experience, the little boys who came through (who were grade school children)n would walk out puffing their chests saying, ‘I could be King.’ Now, the little girls can walk away from Cleopatra and think ‘I could have been queen.’ This is really such a powerful story about one of history’s strongest women.

AML: How do we know Cleopatra was beautiful?

Mark: I don’t think we really do know if she was beautiful. In fact, with some of the images on the coins—if our ideal of beautiful is somewhat the same as what it was at that time-indicate she may not have been classically beautiful—like Nefertiti. One of the exhibits is called “Her Beauty and Power.” What we can deduce is that she was probably quite charismatic, quite seductive and a very sensual and driven person. These two men, Cesar and Marc Anthony, were probably attracted to these qualities. All of these attributes combined made her stand very strong in her seat of power and are why we are here today celebrating Cleopatra.

TICKET INFORMATION

Individual tickets for “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” range from $11 to $29.50, which includes an audio tour. Tickets are timed and dated, and admission is 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays (last entry at 3:30 p.m.); and 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays (last entry at 7 p.m.). There are discounts available for groups of 15 or more and for Franklin Institute Members. Due to high ticket demand, advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Information and tickets are available at 1-877-TFI-TIXS, www.fi.edu and www.searchforcleopatra.com. Information about discounted tickets for groups of 15 or more is available at 1-800-285-0684.

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Family Fun in Baltimore’s Famed Inner Harbor http://aroundmainline.com/living/family-fun-in-baltimores-famed-inner-harbor.html http://aroundmainline.com/living/family-fun-in-baltimores-famed-inner-harbor.html#comments Sun, 20 Jun 2010 12:18:29 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=951 AML has the perfect family vacation to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor planned for you!

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By AML Publisher
Photography courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

The Admiral Fell Inn is a renovated urban inn located on Baltimore’s celebrated waterfront.

The Admiral Fell Inn is a renovated urban inn located on Baltimore’s celebrated waterfront.

AML sent the Berkenstock family of Lansdale for a fun three day summer vacation to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Thinking of taking the kiddos on the road? Don’t worry about figuring it all out—below is the perfect three day Baltimore family experience planned out for you. Want more information on planning a summer family vacation to Baltimore? Check out visitbaltimore.org for a complete guide and details for your Inner Harbor experience. Or, visit their new website—bmorehappy.com.

Safe travels!

Day 1

The Admiral Fell in What?
Admiral Fell Inn
www.admiral-fell-inn.com
888 South Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 522-7377

Located in Baltimore’s historic Fell’s Point, the Admiral Fell Inn is a renovated urban inn located on Baltimore’s celebrated waterfront. The Fell’s Point section of Baltimore is a jaunty water taxi ride across from the more famous section of Inner Harbor, but it’s not to be missed, especially if you prefer your lodging a little subdued. Fell’s Point itself is worth a trip, as its cobblestone streets are brimming with charming shops, boutiques, galleries, pubs, and restaurants.

With its spectacular setting on the Baltimore Harbor, the Inn is convenient to all of Baltimore’s major attractions. The lively and colorful district, founded in 1726 as the oldest waterfront community in Baltimore, is known for its old world charm and retains the feel of a European village with brick sidewalks and Belgian block streets. The historic Admiral Fell Inn has old world character and modern conveniences. The Admiral himself would surely have approved of air conditioning!

The kid in all of us will appreciate a pirate adventure aboard a real-looking pirate ship!  Search for treasures and blast enemies with water cannons as you sail around the Inner Harbor!

The kid in all of us will appreciate a pirate adventure aboard a real-looking pirate ship! Search for treasures and blast enemies with water cannons as you sail around the Inner Harbor!

Baltimore’s Booty
Urban Pirates
www.urbanpirates.com
410-327-8378

Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies appear to have driven pirate popularity right off the big screen and into real life with the Urban Pirates. A pirate adventure aboard a real-looking pirate ship. Search for treasures and blast enemies with water cannons as you sail around Inner Harbor.

The crew of four salty dogs stays in character for the one-hour tour. All landlubbers are outfitted with pirate vests and waist sashes. The pirate crew then trains the new recruits in the ways of being pirate-y. And, the crew leads visitors in song and dance. When the ship comes under attack from a rival pirate, the new pirate recruits defend their ship with water cannons, soaking the attacking pirate and driving him off.

And if you think life at sea without toothpaste and teachers could rot a pirate’s teeth and brain, this crew will happily prove you wrong. They get all visitors involved in a challenging competition to build a boat out of a square of tinfoil, 4 popsicle sticks and a strip of duct tape. Teams have five minutes to build their best seafaring vessel. To win, it must not only float, but also hold cargo. The team with the boat that holds the most fishing weights before sinking is named champion (the record was an impressive 18 on this trip). Even better, Urban Pirates host adult only cruises in the evenings, which are BYOG (Bring Your Own Grog).

Dinner in a Ship-Shaped Restaurant
Captain James Landing
www.captainjameslanding.com

A ship-shaped restaurant, Captain James offers steamed crabs on the dock (in season) Baltimore-style, breakfast all day and every variety of food you can think of. Walk East on Boston Street or along the promenade to view new, urban redevelopment, The Can Company shops and eateries, boats and gorgeous views.

Monkey Bread at Miss Shirley’s is a must! www.misshirleys.com

Monkey Bread at Miss Shirley’s is a must! www.misshirleys.com

Day 2

Breakfast in Wild Style
Miss Shirley’s
750 E. Pratt Street
www.missshirleys.com

Miss Shirley’s is a signature breakfast and lunch spot in downtown Baltimore—walkable from the Inner Harbor. You must try the Funky Monkey Bread! Located one block from the Port Discovery Children’s Museum.

Big Fins, Small Fish and a Missing Flipper
The National Aquarium
www.aqua.org

The National Aquarium venues together hold living collections that include more than 16,000 animals from more than 660 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning, naturalistic habitats.

The National Aquarium venues together hold living collections that include more than 16,000 animals from more than 660 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning, naturalistic habitats.

The Baltimore Aquarium in the centerpiece of any visit to Inner Harbor. Home to more than 16,000 animals, the aquarium features the all-new 4-D Immersion Theater. Sharks, rays, clownfish (like Nemo!) and the giant sea turtle Calypso (pictured right) are just some of the wonders. Don’t miss the dolphin show. And jellyfish fans—you know who you are—must see the new exhibit.

Parents’ Choice
Maryland Science Center
www.mdsci.org

Named by Parents magazine as one of the country’s top 10 science museums, this is one of Baltimore’s premier locations. Enjoy three floors of hands-on exhibits, IMAX films, planetarium shows, kids’ room, observatory and more. Walkable from the National Aquarium—or take a water taxi to rest any weary legs.

Dinner with a View
The Rusty Scupper
www.selectrestaurants.com/rusty

Harborside Dining and Drink at Its Best: The Rusty Skupper

Harborside Dining and Drink at Its Best...
The Rusty Skupper

The Rusty Scupper is an Inner Harbor institution and just a short stroll from the Maryland Science Center. Repeat visitors could no more skip the “skup” than avoid the aquarium. Renowned for their delicious Chesapeake Bay cuisine, The Scupper has been a popular dining experience since 1982—with romantic views of the Inner Harbor. If you’ve never had Baltimore crab cakes, this is the place to have your first.

Day 3

Funky French Toast
Blue Moon Café
1621 Aliceanna Street

Blue Moon is one of Fells Point’s most popular brunch spots. They say the captain crunch French toast tastes as unique as it sounds. You will enjoy fresh, flavorful food in a funky atmosphere at the Moon.

Stand in a Bubble
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
www.portdiscovery.org

Kids who groan at the sound of the word “museum” will love this place. You can touch everything. You can get wet. (Or stay dry, parents, with a little help.) The little ones will love the world of Curious George. The bigger kids can climb and slide. The museum offers three floors of educational and interactive exhibits, programs and activities for children ages 2 to 10 years old. And, everyone must try the bubble maker. Stand inside the circle, slowly raise the rope, and watch as a bubble rises up around you—amazing!

Inner Harbor Dragon Boats

Inner Harbor Dragon Boats

Peddle Your Own Dragon Boat
Inner Harbor Dragon Boats

Take these dragon-inspired “Chessie” paddleboats out on the picturesque Inner Harbor, located just west of the Top Of The World building.

Top of the World Observation Level, World Trade Center
401 E. Pratt Street
www.baltimore.to/TopOfWorld/index.html

Baltimore’s World Trade Center is a must-see for anyone visiting Charm City. That’s because the 27th-floor observation deck—”Top of the World”—offers panoramic views of the Baltimore Inner Harbor and Downtown Baltimore. It is a great place to get a sense of the city. The observation level also contains exhibits about Baltimore and its economic renaissance. The World Trade Center is the tallest pentagonal building in the world offering breathtaking views of Baltimore from an elevation of 423 feet. It may be the best view of the Inner Harbor. It is certainly the highest!

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Mother’s Day Events Around Philadelphia http://aroundmainline.com/living/mother%e2%80%99s-day-events-around-philadelphia.html http://aroundmainline.com/living/mother%e2%80%99s-day-events-around-philadelphia.html#respond Sun, 02 May 2010 12:46:00 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=892 AML finds eight ways to spend the week with mom around the Main Line and Philly region as Mother’s Day approaches.

The post Mother’s Day Events Around Philadelphia first appeared on AroundMainLine.com - The Philadelphia Region's Main Line Magazine.

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By AML Publisher
Featured photography courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

Chesapeake City, Maryland oozes with old world charm, quaint shops, gorgeous gardens and great dining. It’s a great daycation spot with mom and less than a 90 minute drive from the heart of the Main Line. Photo courtesy of Jubilee Photography

Chesapeake City, Maryland oozes with old world charm, quaint shops, gorgeous gardens and great dining. It’s a great daycation spot with mom and less than a 90 minute drive from the heart of the Main Line. Photo courtesy of Jubilee Photography

1) Chesapeake City, Maryland
www.chesapeakecity.com
Read our full story on Chesapeake City

Quaint, historic and charming Chesapeake City, Maryland-located in Cecil County-is a short and beautiful drive from Philly’s western suburbs. It is one wonderful daycation for a very deserving mom in your life! Chesapeake City’s historic area is on the National Historic Registry, as well as Maryland’s Historic Registry. The town has many restored historic homes, shops and galleries, featuring hand-painted originals and prints, antiques, collectibles, clothing, gifts and crafts.

Boasting a bevy of B&Bs, it’s a perfect getaway for mom and daughters or sisters for the holiday weekend. The town’s holiday dining spot for Mom’s Day is, without doubt, the Bayard House.The restaurant serves award-winning crab soup, tournedos Baltimore, and a breathtaking tableside view of the famous Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C&D Canal), one of only two vital sea-level canals in the United States.

Additional sites include the Canal Museum, art galleries, summer concerts, boat tours, and tours of the nearby horse country. Convenient to several large cities on the east coast, this historic village on the banks of the C&D Canal is a favorite spot for those seeking a weekend getaway or a vacation retreat.

The Michener Museum’s exhibit ‘Icons of Costume: Hollywood’s Golden Era and Beyond’ is sure to delight mom.  In the spirit of the exhibition, the museum is holding a fashion and accessories trunk show spotlighting regional artisans and their work on Saturday, May 8.  Photo courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

The Michener Museum’s exhibit ‘Icons of Costume: Hollywood’s Golden Era and Beyond’ is sure to delight mom. In the spirit of the exhibition, the museum is holding a fashion and accessories trunk show spotlighting regional artisans and their work on Saturday, May 8. Photo courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

2) The Michener Museum
Fashion and Accessories Trunk Show
Saturday, May 8th 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Doylestown, PA
michenerartmuseum.org

Mother’s Day in Doylestown will not disappoint! In addition to the dozens of fantastic shops and dining spots downtown, the Michener Museum boasts an exciting new exhibit that opened on April 17th—Icons of Costume: Hollywood’s Golden Era and Beyond. Icons presents over 50 items selected from one of the most extensive collections of movie memorabilia ranging from Marlene Dietrich’s black velvet evening gown from Shanghai Express (1932) to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s black leather jacket from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).

In the spirit of the exhibition, which runs through September 5th, the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Denoon Shop presents a Fashion and Accessories Trunk Show spotlighting regional artisans and their work on Saturday, May 8 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Locally made jewelry, scarves, coats, hats and more are available for purchase with proceeds supporting the Museum and its community programs.

3) Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA
Saturday May 8th, Sunday May 9th
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
www.longwoodgardens.org
Twitter: longwoodgardens

Give Mom the gift of a gorgeous tour of Longwood Gardens and a special fragrance to mark the day. Always in Bloom is the first signature fragrance for Longwood, debuting in conjunction with their exhibit Making Scents: The Art and Passion of Fragrance. The exhibit, which opened on April 10th and runs through November 21st, is the first major exhibition for one of the world’s leading horticultural centers.

More than 260 different Genera of aromatic plants and flowers have been added specifically for the exhibition, joining more than 5,500 types of plants from around the world already housed in the historic conservatory. The exhibition will trace key moments in the history of perfume, beginning with the earliest recorded Egyptian scent around 1800 B.C.E. and culminating with Coco Chanel’s release of No. 5 in 1921, the first perfume for the modern woman.

Longwood Gardens is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mother’s Day weekend offering special events throughout. In addition to acres of fragrant and colorful spring blossoms, Longwood offers mom a host of delights including music, fine dining and unique gifts in The Gardens Shop. Visit longwoodgardens.org for full details.

4) The Junior League of Philadelphia’s Main Line Shopping Event
Suburban Square, Ardmore
Wednesday, May 5th 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
www.suburbansquare.com
www.jlphiladelphia.org

Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo and shop for mom with The Junior League of Philadelphia! The JLP will be hosting a shopping benefit at Suburban Square in Ardmore on May 5 from 5-9 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the nonprofit Junior League of Philadelphia and its Project GREEN: Using Nature to Nurture community programs. Tickets are $20 each and entitle the holder to a discount pass valid at participating Suburban Square stores. Tickets may be purchased on the JLP website or at the registration desk on the night of the event.

Pick up Mother’s Day gifts or shop for a fabulous new summer wardrobe. To view a complete list of participating stores or to learn more about membership in the Junior League, please visit jlphiladelphia.org.

Nannygoat Antiques is part of the stores participating in the sidewalk sale in downtown Narberth. Photo courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

Nannygoat Antiques is part of the stores participating in the sidewalk sale in downtown Narberth. Photo courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

5) Narberth Sidewalk Sale and Circus
May 6th, 7th and 8th
narberthonline.com

Narberth has a full weekend of fun activities planned this Mother’s Day weekend, with three days of Spring Sidewalk Sale, and three Saturday circus performances! The action kicks off with music and street food, 6pm Thursday, May 6, at Forrest and Haverford Ave. Right around the corner, the Narberth Avenue shops “On the Hill” are giving away free dessert.

The shops of Narberth take to the sidewalks all day Friday and Saturday, and many have crafts, specials, and fun, family activities planned for Saturday afternoon. There will be music all day Saturday, and an 11:30 AM performance by the DanceXpress dancers at the train station circle. From Noon to 4pm Saturday, you can catch a ride on the “Narberth Local”, two trackless trains running between Downtown Narberth and the Circus at Narberth Park. Circus performances are Saturday, May 8, at 1pm, 4:30pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available for $8 at the tent or in advance at the Library and the Borough Office. Call 610-664-2840.

Take mom to Manayunk for dining and shopping!Be sure to stop in Molly Cygan’s popular The Little Apple store on Main Street, across from La Colombe coffee, for free champagne and adorable gift ideas.  Photo courtesy of Courtney Apple

Take mom to Manayunk for dining and shopping!Be sure to stop in Molly Cygan’s popular The Little Apple store on Main Street, across from La Colombe coffee, for free champagne and adorable gift ideas. Photo courtesy of Courtney Apple

6) Manayunk Loves Mom!
May 8th and May 9th
www.manayunk.com

‘Manayunk loves Mom!’ is the special weekend of activities, discounts and complimentary gifts retail owners will be offering shoppers and diners May 8th and May 9th. Among the cool kudos in store for moms dining over the weekend in Manayunk: Kildare’s will offer mom a complimentary pint and Mango Moon will serve mom complimentary champagne and a chef’s specialty appetizer. Over a dozen retailers will offer discounts and gifts with purchase. Speaking of gifts, Manayunk’s hot new retail space The Little Apple is the must-stop in the Yunk to grab a great, affordable gift for mom. For a full list of the specials and participating stores, visit Manayunk.com.

7) Please Touch Museum’s Spring Strings
May 7th to 10th
Mother’s Day Hours: 11.am. to 5 p.m.
Moms get free general admission for Mother’s Day Weekend
www.pleasetouch.org

The Please Touch Museum will be tuning its strings in anticipation for the Spring String celebration! Come and enjoy the musical styles of Ann Goering and Brian Rafter while they play a number of different stringed instruments around the museum, including upright bass, bowed psaltery, autoharp, guitar, violin, and viola. Little maestros can also try their hands at a ukulele, hammerete, melody harp, and child-sized upright harp and guitar in our Program Room. Mom will get free general admission for Mother’s Day Weekend.

Adventure Aquarium has a fantastic week of activities planned. On Saturday, meet your favorite NBC10 personalities up close and in person at Adventure Aquarium!  Photo courtesy of Off the Leash Portraits

Adventure Aquarium has a fantastic week of activities planned. On Saturday, meet your favorite NBC10 personalities up close and in person at Adventure Aquarium! Photo courtesy of Off the Leash Portraits

8) Adventure Aquarium and NBC10 Day
Saturday May 8th 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
adventureaquarium.com
Twitter: AdventureAqua

In celebration of Mother’s Day, Adventure Aquarium and NBC 10 invite you to celebrate the women in your lives by giving the gift of adventure. On Saturday, May 8, meet your favorite NBC 10 personalities up close and in person at Adventure Aquarium! All moms will receive a complimentary flower (while supplies last) and, from 10 am to 2pm, guests can meet renowned members of the NBC 10 team, who will be on-hand to greet guests, sign autographs, and perform in Adventure Aquariums live shows.

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The Blue Max Inn http://aroundmainline.com/living/the-blue-max-inn.html http://aroundmainline.com/living/the-blue-max-inn.html#respond Wed, 11 Nov 2009 15:49:36 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=667 The quaint Maryland town oozes with charm…and one of the best places to hunker down for a romantic weekend is the beautiful B&B known as The Blue Max Inn.

The post The Blue Max Inn first appeared on AroundMainLine.com - The Philadelphia Region's Main Line Magazine.

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By AML Publisher
Photos Courtesy of Jubilee Photography

Christine Mullen, Blue Max’s Inn beautiful and charming Inn Keeper, will make your stay in Chesapeake City memorable.

Christine Mullen, Blue Maxs Inn beautiful and charming Inn Keeper, will make your stay in Chesapeake City memorable.

Christine Mullen always loved the Blue Max Inn and was involved in the banquet and bridal industry for years in Maryland’s Cecil County. When she found out the owners of the Inn were putting the gorgeous historic house on the market, in 2004, she quickly took the chance for her dream job. Today, Mullen is the proud owner and innkeeper of one of Chesapeake City, Maryland’s four beautiful Bed and Breakfasts. “People come from Philadelphia all the time and always say to me, ‘This is the best kept secret, we had no idea this great town was here.’ I think Chesapeake City evokes the charm of a European village because we have the (C&D) canal so we see the large ships going through; we have a beautiful historic district, fantastic shops and great dining. It really is such a wonderful place for me to call home and welcome my guests,” said Mullen.

The Blue Max Inn started as a B&B in 1990. The house was built in 1854 and was once owned by renowned writer Jack Hunter who penned the runaway best-selling novel, “The Blue Max.” Hunter was a well respected and well liked man in the Chesapeake City community. The book was made into a movie in 1966 with George Peppard (best known for his role in the ‘80s hit television show The A Team) as the lead role, and costars Ursula Andress and James Mason. Mullen has a vintage movie catalog, with Peppard on the cover, on a breakfast nook to display to guests.

One of the cozy bedrooms the Inn boasts. The rooms rent for $150-$300 a night, depending on the season. There are plenty of fall and holiday activities on the horizon in Chesapeake City.

One of the cozy bedrooms the Inn boasts. The rooms rent for $150-$300 a night, depending on the season. There are plenty of fall and holiday activities on the horizon in Chesapeake City.

Known affectionately across town as “the house with generous porches,” the Blue Max also boasts Chesapeake City’s ‘most photographed man’, Max. Max is large, impending, albeit friendly looking ceramic pirate statue that stands guard from the top balcony. “When I bought the Inn, I found Max (my mascot) in a shop in Florida and shipped him up here. I knew he was the perfect touch! And, he is quite the conversation piece. You certainly can’t miss him when you arrive in town and drive by,” explained Mullen.

Mullen boasts a strong marketing background. Via her website, BlueMaxInn.com, she offers online gift certificates which are popular in the fall with the seasonal activities the town plans. Christine also works hard to come up with creative ideas and fun adventures to keep her guests coming back and the pipeline of new customers growing. In the winter, her now popular Blue Max Inn Murder Mystery Weekends are a big hit. Think of a modern day version of ‘Clue’ with up to twenty strangers converging on the Inn for a weekend with unknown outcomes. “It’s a total hoot. People really get into the murder mystery weekends. A week before they come to Blue Max, everyone receives their instructions and character in the mail. I have guests arrive in full character and garb on Friday evening! Others, of course, it takes a bit of time for them to warm up. By Saturday evening, after we have a fun cocktail hour, someone has been murdered and then we go to dinner as a group and have some conversation, try to figure out the winner,” explained Mullen. At dinner at The Bayard House just down the road, the murderer is revealed and prizes are awarded to those who ‘cracked the case’ successfully.

The Blue Max Inn is frequently referred to as the Inn with the “generous porches.”

The Blue Max Inn is frequently referred to as the Inn with the “generous porches.”

Mullen has a loyal following of return guests who make the short drive from the Main Line and Philadelphia suburbs. Another portion of her clientèle come up from Baltimore, and to stay for the night in Chesapeake City after a tour of the nearby Brandywine Valley. The Inn is spacious-with seven luxurious rooms and two suites-all with private baths. There are four relaxing porches, charming décor, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.

With the rich culture and community of Chesapeake City offering monthly activities, Mullen said guests are steady at The Blue Max year round. She admits running your own B&B is a tremendous amount of work but says the experience of owning a business she admired from afar for years is very rewarding. “This is a tough job doing it all yourself, but I absolutely love it. The best part of having your own bed and breakfast is that you meet the nicest people. Because your average person (who is not social) will go to a hotel. But, it’s a certain clientèle who chooses the experience of a B&B. And, I love the chance to meet my guests and welcome them into the beautiful Blue Max Inn experience.”

Guests of the Inn looking for a delicious dinner can walk about a block to the Bayard House, which overlooks the C& D canal.  Pictured is one of their most popular entrees, Tournedos Baltimore.

Guests of the Inn looking for a delicious dinner can walk about a block to the Bayard House, which overlooks the C& D canal. Pictured is one of their most popular entrees, Tournedos Baltimore.

The Blue Max Inn, Chesapeake City, MD

RATES: $135-$300/per night ($150-160 average, $300 a night peak season)

WEBSITE: www.bluemaxinn.com

UPCOMING MURDER MYSTERY WEEKENDS:
January 1st & 2nd – Roaring Twenties Rub Out
February 5th & 6th – Four Duces
March 26th & 27 – Murder at Chesapeake High

SCRUMPTIOUS BREAKFAST: Mullen’s specialty for her lucky guests when they come down to enjoy breakfast is her baked ham and cheese croissants, which are accented with a little bit of orange marmalade, dipped in egg wash and baked in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes. Christine also whips up delicious eggs Benedict, Mimosas (on request), fresh coffee, great company and more.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN CHESAPEAKE CITY

Visit chesapeakecity.com and check under their activities calendar at the top left of page for ongoing event details.

Pet Parade with Santa: Saturday November 21st
An annual event always the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Details online (chesapeakecity.com activities calendar) pending

The Inn’s official mascot is Max, known as the ‘most photographed man’ in Chesapeake City. Mullen found Max in Florida soon after she purchased Blue Max and thought he would make the perfect accent to the Inn’s striking façade.

The Inn’s official mascot is Max, known as the ‘most photographed man’ in Chesapeake City. Mullen found Max in Florida soon after she purchased Blue Max and thought he would make the perfect accent to the Inn’s striking façade.

Festive Christmas Tea w/Lunch: Saturday December 5th
Catch the Christmas Spirit in Chesapeake City in a 250-year-old Farmhouse full of tradition!
11:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Sinking Springs Herb Farm and Retreat
www.sinkingsprings.com
Phone: 410.398.5566

Two sittings: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm. Reservation required. $18.00 each

Candlelight House & Walking Tour- Saturday December 12th
An annual event always the 2nd Saturday in December

Self guided walking tour of private homes, churches and bed and breakfasts decorated for the holiday season. Carriage rides and Victorian carolers add special ambiance for the event.
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Advance sale ticket available from 11/01/2009 to 12/11/2009 will be $10. Tickets on the day of will go on sale at 4:00PM in Town Hall and will be $15. Rain, snow or shine. Call Mary at 410-885-5995 or 443-553-0071.

To make reservations or inquire about availability at The Blue Max Inn, contact Christine Mullen at 410-885-2781 or toll free at 877-725-8362 (410) 885-2781 Toll free 1-877-725-8362. You can also visit the website at bluemaxinn.com. Online gift certificates are also available. The Blue Max Inn has year round events and specials for her guests, including her popular murder mystery weekends.

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The Road Less Traveled: Iceland (Part 2) http://aroundmainline.com/living/the-road-less-traveled-iceland-part-2.html http://aroundmainline.com/living/the-road-less-traveled-iceland-part-2.html#respond Tue, 22 Sep 2009 14:27:23 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=583 From glacier lakes to geysers, rainbows and black beaches, Ambler photographer Laura Kicey continues one wondrous journey documenting the mystique of Iceland.

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By Laura Kicey
Photos courtesy of Laura Kicey

Ambler photo journalist Laura Kicey continues her three part series documenting her weeklong journey of the mystical country called Iceland. Kicey’s trip was funded entirely by a new, innovative website called kickstarter.com – which specializes in micro-patronage for creative ventures and concepts. For other kickstarter.com success stories, visit their website.

Pictured is a fortuitous shot of The Great Geysir of Iceland, for whom all geysers are named. The Geysir first erupted in the 14th century.  It used to erupt every 60 minutes until the early 1900s when it became dormant. Earthquakes in June 2000 subsequently reawakened the ‘sleeping’ giant and it now erupts approximately every 8 to 10 hours.

Pictured is a fortuitous shot of The Great Geysir of Iceland, for whom all geysers are named. The Geysir first erupted in the 14th century. It used to erupt every 60 minutes until the early 1900s when it became dormant. Earthquakes in June 2000 subsequently reawakened the ‘sleeping’ giant and it now erupts approximately every 8 to 10 hours.

The Geysir, for which all geysers are named, burbles and steams constantly in between eruptions. The explosive drama of the geyser’s spout against the backdrop of the purple, June-time landscape, surrounded with jewel-toned pools of steaming water, rich blue skies and intense sun was quite rousing. But, the intensity and raw power of our next stop at Gullfoss, the grandiose Golden Falls, dwarfed even Geysir. When you pull into the parking lot, you can neither see nor hear this raging force of water cutting into the land, but after a short walk over the hill, the turbulent wind and mist grab you and start to pull you into the core of Golden Falls. Standing on a ledge a few feet from the edge, separated by only a single thin wire, the wind at your back edging you forward, it would be easy to get swept away by its puissance.

The map, that my faithful navigator Sandra was consulting, appeared to suggest the most convenient route to get back to Reykjavík, passing by Þingvellir (a large national park), would be Route 365, rather than double back the way we had come. As we turned off the main road, the terrain immediately changed as we crested our first (and certainly not our last) blindhædir and entered the most desolate lunar landscape we had seen yet: moss, volcanic rubble, and craggy mountains as far as we could see. When we stopped to take some photographs at one point, when we stopped speaking we realized the air was utterly silent. The occasional SUV was the only reminder we had that the road we were on actually led anywhere: there were no buildings, fences or animals, only the thick dust clouds that rose as passing vehicles disappeared – after forcing us off the narrow roadway, that is.

Part of Laura's challenge was navigating the desolate, and many times dangerous, roads that are par for the course in such a land. “Even on the major roadways, there is a peculiar lack of signs indicating direction or distance to and from major points in Iceland,” explained Kicey.

Part of Laura's challenge was navigating the desolate, and many times dangerous, roads that are par for the course in such a land. “Even on the major roadways, there is a peculiar lack of signs indicating direction or distance to and from major points in Iceland,” explained Kicey.

Miraculously, we emerged on the other side of this no man’s land back on a main road, hurtling towards Reykjavík. After dinner, we ended up taking a stroll through the streets of the city, taking in the last rays of daylight around 11 p.m. We did have to make it an early night, as the trip we had planned for our second full day was going to be quite an undertaking: driving from Reykjavík to the glacial lake of Jökusárlón in the southeast of the island and back again – about 12 hours on the road altogether.

The weather that met us each day seemed perfectly appropriate for the character of the day’s wanderings, and the gray gloom of this day was no exception. Our first stop, about two hours drive from Reykjavík, was Vík (fully: Vík í Mýrdal), which greeted us with some characteristically stunning visual drama – deep black sand beaches, fast-moving gray clouds with a mist of rain, and towering cliffs dressed in lupines and fog. After a quick lunch of soup and bread, we walked the beach, admiring the Reynisdrangar – columns of black basalt said to be trolls petrified by morning light – and the swirl of nesting seabirds, mostly puffins and fairy terns. When we’d had our fill of rolling about on the black sand, we took off towards Vatnajökull and the glacial lagoon. The landscape changed quite distinctly at several points along the Ring Road on the south coast, and frequently hid the ocean from view although we were quite close to the shore. The glaciers of the Icelandic Interior (the remote central highland region that is off-limits most of the year), including Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull, were always visible in the distance, remaining the sole constant as the roadscape shifted from flat, lupine-covered plains to barren black lava fields to placid glacial rivers reflecting the gray sky. We stopped to take a closer look at the moss-covered volcanic rock and found the moss to be incredibly thick and bouncy – closer examination proved even more like walking on the moon than just appearances.

Vik is an Icelandic coastal village, known for its popular offshore spires called Reynisdrangar, meaning ‘troll rocks’, which are actual columns of black basalt. Legend has it the ‘trolls’ became petrified by the sun as they were dragging a boat to shore.

Vik is an Icelandic coastal village, known for its popular offshore spires called Reynisdrangar, meaning ‘troll rocks’, which are actual columns of black basalt. Legend has it the ‘trolls’ became petrified by the sun as they were dragging a boat to shore.

Even on the major roadways, there is a peculiar lack of signs indicating direction or distance to and from major points in Iceland. No matter how far removed you feel from civilization, however, it is rare that another vehicle is all too far behind you as the last disappears from sight. The road dips inland at Skaftafell National Park, close to the Vatnajökull glacier, and turns back out towards the water – and there, suddenly, icebergs are upon you! Sandra and I stopped dead in the parking lot and shrieked with delight in the car: unimaginably majestic, the icebergs were an amazing shade of pale blue-green, with veins of black. They are constantly moving, but ever so slowly, out to sea – breaking, colliding, melting. Being in their presence is peaceful, like watching the ghosts of long-dead giants passing by. Tomorrow there will be all new icebergs, and those I saw will be long gone, but quite unforgettable.

The weather that met us each day seemed perfectly appropriate for the character of the day’s wanderings, and the gray gloom of this day was no exception. Our first stop, about two hours drive from Reykjavík, was Vík (fully: Vík í Mýrdal), which greeted us with some characteristically stunning visual drama – deep black sand beaches, fast-moving gray clouds with a mist of rain, and towering cliffs dressed in lupines and fog. After a quick lunch of soup and bread, we walked the beach, admiring the Reynisdrangar – columns of black basalt said to be trolls petrified by morning light – and the swirl of nesting seabirds, mostly puffins and fairy terns. When we’d had our fill of rolling about on the black sand, we took off towards Vatnajökull and the glacial lagoon. The landscape changed quite distinctly at several points along the Ring Road on the south coast, and frequently hid the ocean from view although we were quite close to the shore. The glaciers of the Icelandic Interior (the remote central highland region that is off-limits most of the year), including Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull, were always visible in the distance, remaining the sole constant as the roadscape shifted from flat, lupine-covered plains to barren black lava fields to placid glacial rivers reflecting the gray sky. We stopped to take a closer look at the moss-covered volcanic rock and found the moss to be incredibly thick and bouncy – closer examination proved even more like walking on the moon than just appearances.

Seaweeds have been used in Iceland for over a thousand years for various purposes including food, animal fodder, fuel, manure, dyeing and medicinal purposes.  Humans have been consuming some variations of the seaweed since the year 961.  The edible seaweeds were chopped, cooked and then prepared with milk and flour to be eaten as a nutrient-rich thick pudding.

Seaweeds have been used in Iceland for over a thousand years for various purposes including food, animal fodder, fuel, manure, dyeing and medicinal purposes. Humans have been consuming some variations of the seaweed since the year 961. The edible seaweeds were chopped, cooked and then prepared with milk and flour to be eaten as a nutrient-rich thick pudding.

Doubling back again through the alien landscapes, hoping to see Svartifoss (a remarkable waterfall in Skaftafell which inspired Reykjavík’s most impressive cathedral) before returning to Reykjavík, we were told at the visitors center it would be a 45-minute hike each way. We decided that with 4 hours on the road still ahead of us plus a dinner stop, we couldn’t afford it. We carried on through to Vík where we paused long enough to stop at the Strondin Bistro; the service was fairly awful, but the burger that filled our empty stomachs at 10 p.m. could not be matched for divine flavor. The weather was taking a turn for the worse: fog was darkening the skies and the rain was coming down more steadily. Driving up a very steep mountainside cloaked in milky haze, the edges of the road dropped off from imagined cliffs. It was a harrowing drive home, especially for someone who hates driving as much as I do (Sandra does not have a driver’s license) and is unfamiliar with the twists and turns of the road ahead. Still, it wouldn’t be the last of our death-defying driving. We made it back to our Reykjavík base quite late and packed our bags so that we could launch early for the West Fjords and Strandir Coast.

Of the icebergs Kicey viewed melting and heading out to sea: “Being in their presence is peaceful, like watching the ghosts of long-dead giants passing by. Tomorrow there will be all new icebergs, and those I saw will be long gone, but quite unforgettable.”

Of the icebergs Kicey viewed melting and heading out to sea: “Being in their presence is peaceful, like watching the ghosts of long-dead giants passing by. Tomorrow there will be all new icebergs, and those I saw will be long gone, but quite unforgettable.”

The drive northwest along the Ring Road was fast-moving, and we paused only a few times to admire the changing landscape before we were abruptly ejected onto one very rough road. We stopped almost immediately at a stretch of rocky beach when I was struck by a rainbow-like array of seaweed and kelp in every imaginable color washed ashore. Unlike every other beach I have ever been on, despite the massive amount of dead and decaying organic matter, it smelled fresh and salty and was a feast for the eyes. When we got back on the road, I was only willing to go about 30km/hr, but we soon realized we might never get to Djúpavík at that speed. The road from there on out was extremely rough, paved with only stones or dirt, and barely one and a half lanes wide. We pulled into Holmavík a couple hours later, which is the last “big” town on that route in the north – about 300 residents. After refueling the car, we stopped by Café Riis, a tiny pub, for some lunch. Expecting a rustic, pub-style meal, we both ordered a roasted bacalao (salted cod) dish with potato cake and salad. We were blown away when we were served beautifully presented platters worthy of a much more upscale restaurant: all locally-produced cheese, fish and shrimp. It was impeccably prepared, with delicate, bright flavors.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

The road heading north from Holmavík was even narrower, and followed the bend of every fjord, making the drive woozily repetitive but ever more harrowing as the roads became increasingly rugged. Although as the driver, it was hard for me to appreciate it fully, the weather and the scenery were stunning. Golden sunshine was chased by brief bursts of showers inland, dramatic clouds played over the mountainsides and ocean views; breathtaking terrain rolled past, dotted with tiny farmhouses and clusters of sheep, and waterfalls appeared at regular intervals.

The last two fjords before our arrival were particularly treacherous, and I had to do everything in my power to keep my cool. Sandra would point her camera out the window to shoot the scenes for us to view later, averting her own eyes as the drop induced a bit of vertigo. The final kilometers of road into Djúpavík hugged a cliff face with falling rock tightly to our left, and went into a sheer drop without a guardrail abruptly to our right. Around the last turn of the fjord, our jaws both dropped when a wide rainbow touched down on the road in front of us. As we pulled into Djúpavík around 9pm, on the longest day of the year, we were both shaken and awestruck. We were shown our room by our kind host, Eva, then unpacked and decided to take in some of the midnight sun.

Laura Kicey is a photographer and artist based just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been shown in a number of galleries regionally, and has appeared in numerous publications internationally. Laura can generally be found lurking in dark alleys and other places she likely should not be. For more of her work, visit her website at: laurakicey.com. Laura’s email is: lk@laurakicey.com.

To read part one of Kicey’s travelogue, click here.

The post The Road Less Traveled: Iceland (Part 2) first appeared on AroundMainLine.com - The Philadelphia Region's Main Line Magazine.

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Ice Ice Baby http://aroundmainline.com/living/ice-ice-baby.html http://aroundmainline.com/living/ice-ice-baby.html#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2009 19:14:36 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=554 Backed by an amazing new website called kickstarter.com, photographer Laura Kicey sets out on a one week photographic journey to discover the wondrous country called Iceland.

The post Ice Ice Baby first appeared on AroundMainLine.com - The Philadelphia Region's Main Line Magazine.

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By Laura Kicey
Photos Courtesy of Laura Kicey

Several months ago we connected with Ambler photographer Laura Kicey by a cool twist of fate. I was thrilled to learn that Kicey was gearing up for an exploration and photo journey through Iceland. Kicey worked closely with kickstarter.com, a website offering a very innovative and productive way to fund creative endeavors. Through kickstarter.com, individuals across the United States can communicate an interesting, creative idea to a network of people who offer a tremendous source of encouragement and potential funding for the project. Kicey raised all of her funds for her trip thanks to a group of 32 strangers who pledged a total of nearly $3,000. She returned with thousands of images – 260-plus of which are now available on Flickr. Kicey stated she is considering a trip to Alaska next year because “I love cold, icebergs, remoteness, etc…so it is right up my alley.” And, after looking at her captivating collection of photos, we could not agree more. The following is part one of our three part series following Laura Kicey’s Icelandic adventure.

Enjoy!
Sarah Lockard
AroundMainLine.com ePublisher

Kicey and her travel companion, Sandra, enjoyed a lunch picnic their first full morning in Iceland overlooking this mountainside cabin and lake.

Valley Haus
Kicey and her travel companion, Sandra, enjoyed a lunch picnic their first full morning in Iceland overlooking this mountainside cabin and lake.

Every step leading up to my adventure in Iceland meant moving forward without any sense of what was to come. I was not sure I could afford the trip at all, which prompted me to launch an art sponsorship program. Likewise, although we have been friends for years, my travel companion Sandra, (who lives in Stockholm) and I had only met once in 2005. And, despite having seen many photographs and some movies of Iceland, nothing could truly prepare me for what I was to experience. Similar to the all-too-common sign we would eventually see on one-lane roads in the more rural areas of the country – BLINDHÆDIR, which indicated that you were about to crest a hill blind, without any sense of what was approaching from the other side, this trip rested on a hundred leaps of faith occurring on an almost hourly basis. It had been several years since I had traveled beyond North America and the need to venture outside the country was becoming quite strong. While planning for the week-long trip, I realized that even though I had a companion to share the costs and I was going to keep myself to a strict budget, it would still be a financial stretch. One of my friends, joking that she would like to live vicariously through my trip, offered to become my sponsor as long as she could have a print of one of my photos from the excursion. At first I scoffed at the idea. But, soon it started to become clear that I couldn’t afford the trip on my own and might have to take my friend’s offer seriously.

Around the same time, another friend alerted me to the launch of kickstarter.com, a website serving as a platform for users to gain sponsorship for creative projects, so I was one of the first people to sign on and present a project. In return for financial backing, sponsors would receive their choice of a print from the trip. Because of the generally turbulent economic climate, I was not anticipating a great deal of interest in such a project – and was genuinely surprised when I ended up raising close to $3,000. Sure, most people could not afford a huge contribution, but so many people – friends, family, complete strangers, even kickstarter.com staff members – all became intrigued enough to become involved, with the result that the trip essentially paid for itself. The added dimension of sharing my trip and the images I would create with my backers created a certain level of excitement for me, and even posed a challenge to my abilities. Once I reached Iceland, I realized that the beauty of the country speaks for itself; for a photographer, it was more a question of being able to do it justice in the limited time I had.

“Once I reached Iceland, I realized that the beauty of the country speaks for itself; for a photographer, it was more a question of being able to do it justice in the limited time I had.”

“Once I reached Iceland, I realized that the beauty of the country speaks for itself; for a photographer, it was more a question of being able to do it justice in the limited time I had.”

While driving to JFK, I received a constant flow of text messages from my traveling friend, Sandra, who had arrived in Reykjavík much earlier in the day than I. Though she had made it quite clear in advance that “Iceland is PURPLE!” – the whole island seemed to be carpeted in purple lupine flowers (the Nootka Lupin or Alaskan Lupine) by the time I was looking out the plane as we landed. As the midnight sun sat low on the horizon, the sky, the mountains, and the earth – everything was truly glowing violet. To all appearances, I was landing on another planet.

The Flybus, an airport shuttle service well-equipped to handle the influx of travelers coming into Reykjavík, ferried me and the other stragglers on the last arrival of the day through a delightfully lavender but scarcely populated lunar landscape to drop off each of us at the door of our respective hotels. As one of the last two riders to be deposited outside Hotel Cabin on the waterfront around 2 a.m. local time, I was able to watch the single hour of Icelandic night pass – more of a twilight than a real darkness – and then track the sun as it went back on the rise immediately. Across the water, I could make out a huge, looming, deep purple mountain, with a thick, cottony indigo cloud obscuring its peak, and a sliver of moon hanging low in the sky… and the air was filled with the scent of flowers. Despite my delirium, I wanted to grab someone off the near-empty streets and dance from the thrill of this sight. Instead, I tried to keep my composure and checked into the hotel to find Sandra sleeping in our tiny room with paper-thin walls. She awoke and we talked excitedly until our eyelids grew too heavy.

We rose in time to catch the tail end of breakfast downstairs: simple but traditional Icelandic fare. Well before I had left Iceland, I had become addicted to the tangy yogurt-like breakfast staple called skyr – actually a traditional Icelandic cheese – so I was overjoyed to be greeted with a full bowl, topped with fruit and cereal, alongside toast with cheese, boiled eggs and cucumbers, and a much-needed cup of coffee. We set off towards downtown Reykjavík to collect our rental car, pick up something for a picnic lunch at the ‘big’ (though by US standards quite diminutive) Kringla Mall, and then indulge in what would be the most touristy of our day trips: the Golden Circle, which includes Geysir and Gullfoss – a full day of geysers, glowing blue pools, and waterfalls in the southwest region of the country, on the Reykjanes peninsula.

“As our time there wore on and we spent more and more time among such landscapes, it became easier to understand why the Icelandic people…believe in what they call “hidden people” – trolls, gnomes, elves, fairies and the like,” documented Kicey.

Travel on the Ring Road, the main highway around the coast of the country, as well as most other roads on the Golden Circle area, is fairly smooth and fast-paced, and gave us our first taste of both the scenery and the experience of driving in Iceland. The roads both inland and coastal are generally punctuated by roundabouts, and on either side you regularly see clusters of tiny native horses, long stretches of flat ground carpeted with the vibrantly purple lupines, otherworldly stretches of lumpy volcanic rock thickly covered with gray-green moss, or distant snow-capped mountains. The contrasts and colors can’t be compared to anything I’ve ever seen, but if I had to draw a comparison, I would liken it to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, the deserts of the West, the moors of England blooming with heather, the surface of the moon, and Alaska, all rolled into one. Iceland offered a cornucopia of vibrant lime greens, chartreuse, black, purples, sage greens, rich blue-greens, hearty rusts and deep reds. As we spent more time among such landscapes, it became easier to understand why the Icelandic people for the most part believe in what they call “hidden people” – trolls, gnomes, elves, fairies and the like. The strange rock formations, the traces of brute natural forces, the flora and the fauna are all so entirely unique and possess strongly anthropomorphic and supernatural qualities, one cannot help but be charmed by the notion.

Our first stop was at a massive crater called Kerið. On the face of it, it seems difficult to muster enthusiasm for a large hole in the ground. When the powerful geo-forces of the island go to work, however, this particular hole in the ground becomes an intensely blue-green pool of water, ringed in gold-white mineral deposits and black rocks, surrounded on all sides by volcanic earth of a warm maroon hue. Neither Sandra nor myself being keen on heights, we redirected away from perilous drops back to the safety of solid land.

Kicey entitled this photo ‘The Comedian.’ The Icelandic horse is the descendant of the horses from the Scandinavian countries, Scotland, Ireland and The Isle of Mann.

Kicey entitled this photo ‘The Comedian.’ The Icelandic horse is the descendant of the horses from the Scandinavian countries, Scotland, Ireland and The Isle of Mann.

In our few hours on the road it appeared that there are no longer any truly wild horses left in Iceland, as every herd we came across was fenced in, along with much of the burgeoning sheep population and scant numbers of cattle. Even from a distance, it was obvious that the demeanor of the Icelandic horse is quite different from your typical thoroughbred or even wild pony from any other part of the world. We pulled over to admire some and they ran off towards their feed trough, apparently expecting us to fill it. When we caught up with them, they were inquisitive and playful, jumping, rearing, scrunching up their remarkably expressive faces, with thick manes whipping in the strong winds. Though we didn’t have time to take a ride this trip, I know I will find time for a tölt (a gait that is unique to Icelandic horses- a fast and very smooth ride) on my next visit to Iceland.

Laura Kicey is a photographer and artist based just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been shown in a number of galleries regionally, and has appeared in numerous publications internationally. Laura can generally be found lurking in dark alleys and other places she likely should not be. For more of her work, visit her website at: laurakicey.com. Laura’s email is: lk@laurakicey.com.

Continue on and read part two of Kicey’s travelogue.

The post Ice Ice Baby first appeared on AroundMainLine.com - The Philadelphia Region's Main Line Magazine.

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Wine and a Feline http://aroundmainline.com/food/wine-and-a-feline.html http://aroundmainline.com/food/wine-and-a-feline.html#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2009 12:35:01 +0000 http://aroundmainline.com/?p=493 In anticipation of the 19th annual Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival, AML highlights Chalfont’s Peace Valley Winery and discovers the lure of a beloved vineyard mascot.

The post Wine and a Feline first appeared on AroundMainLine.com - The Philadelphia Region's Main Line Magazine.

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By AML Publisher
Photography courtesy of April Ziegler Photography

A cozy winery hidden on a hilltop in Bucks County has much to offer Main Liners looking for a pleasant daycation this summer. Peace Valley Winery, Chalfont, PA

A cozy winery hidden on a hilltop in Bucks County has much to offer Main Liners looking for a pleasant daycation this summer.
Peace Valley Winery, Chalfont, PA

In 1967, Susan Gross was working as a chemist, rubbing elbows with horticulturists and thinking about her next career move. A country winery was not on her radar. But, before she knew it, Gross was a proud owner of a bare stretch of cornfield in quaint Chalfont, Pennsylvania. She had never been on a tractor in her life. As many first time entrepreneurs do, Gross went with a gut feeling-experimented with her new piece of property and planted three acres of wine grapes along with a large experimental plot of hybrids from France and Germany.

Seventeen years later, Peace Valley Winery opened (in 1984) with Robert Kolmus as a partner. Today, Peace Valley is a quaint, country winery in the heart of Bucks County farmland with over twenty acres dedicated to over two dozen varieties of grapes. “Our philosophy is one of a laidback approach. We are certainly not wine snobs out here at Peace Valley. We are a working farm and small town vineyard, and our loyal customers prefer us to the state store brands-because we have great wines and they can support a local business” Gross explained.

Each season there seems to be something on the harvest for wine lovers to enjoy at Peace Valley. In the spring, Peace Valley rolls out their well known Spring Fling, based on the German style of spring wines that have a secondary form of fermentation or additional ‘spritz.’ It’s flavored with an herb called woodruff, with its sprigs used to sweeten the batch. Gross serves Spring Fling in a punch bowl at the winery (for lucky guests) and adds frozen strawberries to the mix to keep the wine cold and refreshing-while allowing the strawberries to release their natural flavors.

Starting June 5th through the 7th, Peace Valley will release their Summer Solstice wine, one of their most popular in their selection. “It’s sweet and fruity and comes in a very attractive blue bottle. So many people anticipate the release of our Summer Solstice to put aside as a great holiday gift. It has wide appeal,” explained Gross. And, in the fall, Peace Valley offers a ‘pick your own’ event where visitors can select their own grapes in the sprawling fields. For families, the property is also home to several acres of dwarf apple trees which bring in large crowds come harvest time.

The ever illusive and legendary Moe has become part of the vineyard experience with regulars of Peace Valley.

The ever illusive and legendary Moe has become part of the vineyard experience with regulars of Peace Valley.

Gross is proud of the selection and quality of her wines that keeps regulars coming back, part of a loyal family of local fans and vineyard enthusiasts. “We have a very interesting and wide selection of wines. Our chardonnay is one of our most popular, it’s a Chablis style that has been fermented in very cold temperatures and is very light with lots of fruit flavors and very little oak. It sets us apart from other chardonnays,” explained Gross.

The cozy winery sits high on a hidden hilltop overlooking Peace Valley Park. Besides a stop at Peace Valley, which offers a satisfying daycation for suburbanites, this pristine pocket of Bucks County countryside is packed with other must-sees. Down the road from the winery is a lush lavender farm, a bike trail, a 365-acre lake where people can sail or take an eight-mile hike, a quaint country farm market and the historic Pearl Buck House. “It’s really quite a day trip to come out this way! So many of our first time guests are so pleasantly surprised when they see what is here in this region of Chalfont-it really is ‘God’s country,’” said Gross.

Part of the great appeal of Peace Valley is the resident feline, Moe. Moe’s adventures in and around the winery are well-known by regulars and documented in monthly e-newsletters. Through the years, his squabbles with winery visitors (other cats, an opossum or two) have done their damage on his battle-worn ears. “Everyone always wants to know what Moe is up to! He is quite the cat and came to us with two brothers from a stray that was hanging around. Moe is a survivor-he had two brothers, Manny and Jack, who have since passed. Moe seems to have a certain je ne sais quoi that draws people in,” explained Gross.

Peace Valley is one of thirty-six wineries participating in the 19th annual Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival, June 13th and 14th at Split Rock Lodge in the Poconos. Visit splitrockresort.com for full details.

Peace Valley is one of thirty-six wineries participating in the 19th annual Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival, June 13th and 14th at Split Rock Lodge in the Poconos. Visit splitrockresort.com for full details.

Peace Valley will also be one of the thirty plus Pennsylvania wineries participating in the 19th annual PA Wine and Food Festival coming up on June 13th and 14th at Split Rock Lodge in the Poconos. For wine lovers across the tri-state region, it’s a golden opportunity to conveniently sample some of the best wines the state has to offer. “We have been a loyal part of the festival since its inception and would not miss it for the world! There is nothing else like it for wine enthusiasts across the state of Pennsylvania. Instead of traveling hundreds of miles to visit and sample all of the amazing wines that these vineyards offer, wine lovers can spend the weekend at Split Rock and have them all in one convenient location. There’s a great sense of camaraderie among the industry as well, so for us as a small vineyard, it’s a reunion of sorts with all of our Pennsylvania vineyard friends,” enthused Gross.

Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival

When: Saturday & Sunday, June 13th & 14th 12pm-6pm

Event Details: Thirty-six wineries across the state will be on hand providing educational seminars throughout the weekend. The festival will feature continuous musical entertainment on three separate stages, Pennsylvania’s finest wineries and a wide selection of food vendors to tempt your taste buds. Split Rock also offers a weekend package for our overnight guests. Each Festival attendee will receive a commemorative wine tasting glass, and you must be over 21 to be served. Pets are not allowed on festival grounds.

Website: www.splitrockresort.com/wine-festival.php

Cost: Advance Tickets $25/Group (25+) $22/Day of Festival $29Attendees Under 21 $6/Children 2 and Under are Free

For more information on the festival or for reservations, call 800-255-7625 or log on to www.splitrockresort.com

Peace Valley Winery will be exhibiting at the 2009 PA Wine and Food Festival. Their winery is located at 300 Old Limekiln Road, in Chalfont, PA. If you are interested in tour information or contacting Peace Valley Winery, call 215-249-9058, email peacevalwinery@enter.net, or visit their website at: www.peacevalleywinery.com.


Peace Valley Winery is less than an hour drive from the heart of the Main Line, approximately sixteen miles off the 309 exit from the PA Turnpike.

Hours of operation are: Wed-Fri & Sun 12-6pm, Sat 10-6pm

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