To say that a Pennsylvania State Capitol tour in Harrisburg is a pleasant surprise is a massive understatement. For a state that was founded on Quaker values eschewing materialism, there sure is a whole lot of 23K gold, Italian marble, and two dozen stained glass windows created by a student of Tiffany. And all of this in that awkward middleground between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, surrounded by farms, many from Amish families, and industry. What could pass in part as, perhaps, the mansion of a turn of the century American magnate or an elaborate cathedral, or even just a museum, is actually the capitol building. And with free tours of the capitol building, you’d be silly not to visit and take it all in. Just don’t blame me if you get a sore neck from gazing upwards at the ceiling and walls.
If Howth is the Dublin day trip to experience a quiet seaside village, then a day in Dún Laoghaire is one for experiencing true Irish life. Dún Laoghaire is home to a bustling city center; a waterfront area complete with a harbor, promenade, and piers; not to mention the Irish National Maritime Museum.
Where Dublin is a busy, congested and rowdy capital city, just a short rail ride away in Howth it is like a different world. A peninsula along Ireland’s jagged eastern coast, Howth juts into the Dublin Bay. It seems worlds away from Dublin.
Pretty sailboats dot the marina while larger fishing vessels go in and out of the harbor. Charming homes and businesses in pretty pastel colors line the streets which get steadily steeper as you head towards the peninsula’s interior. But it is the cliff walk along the edge of the sea that stole my heart and, quite simply, took my breath away.
Whether you simply want to sit quietly along the windy coast and watch the seagulls gliding effortlessly over the crashing waves and the odd frolicking seal; or take a hike along Howth’s cliffs, no visitor to Dublin should miss the chance to visit Howth, if only for a single day’s escape.
If you have the same black or green tea that’s your go-to every day, then I’ve got some unique and delicious tea suggestions to help you spice things up. Tea seems more popular than ever, especially loose tea in particular. But the standard bagged black tea or standard green can get boring very quickly. I’ve made a list of five unique teas, and maybe a little unusual but absolutely delicious teas you’ll want to brew up immediately. Whenever I travel, I make sure to sample the local teas. Every time I find something new and special. Each of these teas I’ve stumbled upon during my travels. Don’t forget: tea makes a great souvenir!
Philadelphia soft pretzels are an iconic part of the city’s food scene. Philadelphia is a foodie town: cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and roast pork sandwiches are local favorites. There’s plenty of fine dining options in the City of Brotherly Love, if that’s your thing. But street foods that are sometimes messy, sometimes indulgent and always delicious seem to satisfy so much more, at least for me. And it’s said that Philly eats six times more pretzels per year than the average American. So where can you get the best soft pretzel in Philadelphia? I went on a soft pretzel adventure to find out!