Thursday, August 25, 2016

the most beautiful spot in every state

while pursuing the internet this morning, i came across a list of the most beautiful spot in every state.  as someone who knows her home state pretty well, i was curious to see which spot was chosen in pennsylvania.  i was pleasantly surprised to see that cherry springs state park was the spot picked in pa!  cherry springs state park is very remote which makes it an ideal spot for stargazing.  astronomers from all over are attracted to this location because the dark skies uninterrupted by light pollution make the perfect backdrop for viewing constellations and meteors.

ryan's aunt and uncle actually own a cabin in this part of pennsylvania, literally right at cherry springs.  i thought it was rather ironic that i found cherry springs on this list this morning because we're actually going out to cherry springs this weekend to visit ryan's family for the day!  pretty funny.

love, laurie  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

the harford fair

we had absolutely no plans of going to the harford fair this year since we just went to the wayne county fair two weeks ago.  however, we were watching the local news on monday and saw that the fair was offering a tiger show and performing pets show.  after seeing that news segment, it didn't take much convincing to get us to go.

last night after work, we headed up to the fair.  we walked around the exhibits, got a bite to eat, and saw three shows.  the first show was the tiger show.  there were 6 humongous bengal and siberian tigers that did tricks and stunts.  they were some really big kitties!  then we saw the performing pets show (which is what really drew us to the fair) where 3 dogs and 6 cats did all sorts of tricks.  i truly can't imagine how people train animals to do these types of things.  we finished off the night by watching the tractor pull which is always entertaining!  i left my "real" camera at home for the night, but we did manage to snap quite a few pictures on our phones . . .

^totally amused that this tractor wheel was taller than me!^
^a gingerbread house replica of the fair's hall of vegetables.^
^these llamas had such great personalities.  they were fair celebrities and they knew it.  they were so friendly and were so excited when people would come over to visit them.^
^this guy was a miniature clydesdale.  i had to take a picture for my mom who is in love with clydesdales.^
^i know it's awful, but i'm just going to come right out and say it.  every time ryan and i see animals in these white outfits at fairs, we think they look like they are wearing ku klux klan outfits.  right?!  please tell me someone else thinks this too!^
^this rabbit had a face that looked just like a chipmunk!^
^we got the biggest charge out of this bird.  he kept posing for the camera.  he was really friendly and liked ryan a lot.  he had a sign on his cage that said "i'm stressed please don't try to touch me!"  he didn't seem too stressed to us.^
^very big kitty cats!!!  the wrangler said that they each eat 15-20 pounds of raw meat per day.  i would not want that grocery bill!^
^after seeing this, we are now convinced that leko needs a pink mini coop too!^
^not a fan of this trick!^
^ryan sure loves watching these crazy tractor pulls at the county fairs!  i can't believe people put so much effort and money into this activity!^
love, laurie

. . .

ps: last year at the harford fair

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

a little video of our weekend getaway in massachusetts

we were so glad that we were able to travel to massachusetts this weekend for my friend nicole's wedding.  we filmed a little bit of video during our quick weekend there.  here are a few little snippets that we captured with our phones of our road trip to massachusetts, the animals at the bed and breakfast where we stayed, and the wedding.  (the music is "now and always" by brooke annibale.)

love, laurie

Monday, August 22, 2016

a quick weekend getaway in massachusetts for nicole's wedding

this weekend, my dear friend nicole (who i have known since preschool) got married in western massachusetts, so we took a quick trip up to new england this weekend for her wedding.

we hit the road early saturday morning and drove up to the town of northampton, massachusetts, which is a cute little college town with a quaint/trendy downtown main street scene.  (vegetarian and vegan restaurants lining the streets as far as the eye can see.)  we were starving after driving for over 4 hours, so we grabbed a bite to eat and walked around for a little bit to stretch our legs.

after checking out northampton, we headed to the neighboring town of florence, to check into the vegetarian bed and breakfast where we were staying.  the b&b is owned by a sweet couple who live completely off the grid and make all of their own energy via solar panels.  they also have llamas, emus, peacocks, guinea hens, chickens, dogs, and a donkey on their property.  it was an interesting experience to say the least.

we headed over to west chesterfield for nicole's wedding on saturday afternoon.  she lives on many acres of conservation land.  the wedding ceremony was held in a meadow right behind their house, and the reception was right in their backyard.  it was a small, simple, and beautiful outdoor summer wedding.  nicole looked absolutely beautiful and we had a great time.  (the food was incredible too!)  after partying until after 11pm, we headed back to our b&b for some rest.  the next morning, a majority of the wedding guests met up with the bride and groom for sunday brunch at a historic building in the center of the town of florence.  i'm glad nicole organized the brunch, because it was nice to be able to see everyone once again before heading home.

we snapped a few pictures during our quick two-day massachusetts wedding getaway (some on my real camera, but most on our phones).  we also took some video, which i'll share as soon as i edit it all.  here are a few pictures from saturday and sunday . . .

^ryan got a kick out of the little pilgrim hats on the massachusetts turnpike signs!^
^after we ate lunch in northampton on saturday afternoon, we spotted a cute little doughnut shop across the way.  we walked in to check it out and found this "elvis" doughnut which was a massive fluffy doughnut with banana glaze topped with peanut butter and chocolate.  it was really good!^
^there were guinea hens running all over the place day and night at the b&b!^
^the emus were nuts.  when they talk, they make a drumming sound.  it really sounded like someone was out in the field with a bunch of bass drums.  i've never heard anything like it.^
^ryan made friends with this llama the morning we left.^
^there were 9 peacocks on the property!  they totally ran the place too, it was pretty funny.  when we were eating breakfast on sunday morning, they came right up to the front screen door and sat on the front step looking in, waiting for someone to come out and feed them!  when we left, the b&b owners gave us a peacock feather as a souvenir.^
^the b&b owner is really into henry david thoreau, so he built by hand a replica of thoreau's cabin on his property!^
^he uses the cabin as his "man cave" i guess.  he wrote an entire book that has been published about building this cabin and he wrote the book in the cabin.  it was neat, but i'm happy to report that we didn't spend the night in there.^
^this magnificent view is nicole's backyard!  (it was also my view from where i was sitting for the wedding ceremony.)  it's conservation land, so it can never be developed.  let's just take a moment to appreciate that "backyard" view!!!  ryan was ready to move to new england based on the view from this meadow alone^

^it was so nice that 3 of nicole's high school friends were able to travel from pennsylvania to massachusetts for her wedding. it was a nice little reunion too. i absolutely love this picture.  i'm so glad ryan snuck in with our camera behind the wedding photographer to snap this photo as a memento!^
^we didn't get a group shot on our camera because the wedding photographer snapped it so fast, but our friend ashley's dad did manage to snap it quick on his cell phone.  i'm bummed that it's really blurry, but glad we have it!^
love, laurie