Austrian Gift Guide

Travel

With this Austrian gift guide, treat someone special with an inspired or made in Austria gift!

If you’re looking for something special for someone hard to shop for, this Austrian gift guide might just be for you. For centuries Austria, and especially its capital of Vienna, has been a center of culture and politics. It’s the birthplace of Mozart and Klimt, not to mention where plenty of delicious sweets were first concocted. Whether you’re looking to wow someone special with something refined or create a sense of nostalgia recalling a trip that once was, check out this made in and inspired by Austrian gift guide!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 29, 2021. Last updated November 24, 2021.

2021 Holiday & Christmas Events In Philadelphia Region

Travel

Christmas Village in Philadelphia with City Hall.

Ready to feel festive? Well, by the time you get to the end of this post you will be ready to celebrate the season, no matter how you want to do it! It is that time of the year to make the holiday season merry with the giant list of holiday celebrations, winter festivals, and Christmas events in Philadelphia and across the region for 2021!

As we all slowly return to “normal” life and the year comes to a close, there is so much to celebrate. This year for the winter holiday season, there are far more options than last year. But even if you’re not quite ready to fully jump back into the social season, there are possibilities for you to enjoy. From Hanukkah to Christmas in Philadelphia and everywhere in between, it’s time to deck the halls and countdown to the New Year!

Here are more than 60 of the best, most unique, and fun holiday and Christmas events in Philadelphia and across the region plus New Year’s Eve events, too!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 19, 2021. Last updated November 23, 2021.

Explore Quebec Waterfall Canyon Sainte-Anne

Travel

Not far from Quebec City, Canyon Sainte-Anne is surrounded by trees.

Many visitors to Quebec City will take the roughly 20-minute journey north along the St. Lawrence River to see Montmorency Falls. The large Quebec waterfall is visible from the highway and is very popular. But for those willing to drive a little farther for an experience that is more intimate and off the beaten path, there is another option. Only a short distance farther, Canyon Sainte-Anne offers a chance to experience a pristine waterfall nestled amongst the trees.

The Quebec waterfall Canyon Sainte-Anne offers an impressive and immersive experience, too. Multiple suspension bridges cross over the waterway, allowing you to take in multiple views during a brisk hike in the fresh air. A visit to the waterfall is a refreshing outdoor adventure that lets you recharge.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 1, 2021. Last updated November 2, 2021.

Fall in Love with a Weekend in Quebec City

Travel

Spend a weekend in Quebec City and explore the historic city with European flair.

It’s easy to get lost in Quebec City. The often narrow cobblestone streets of Old Quebec meander: climbing hills and descending stairs. You’ll spend a weekend in Quebec City lost and you’ll love every second of it.

The French-speaking capital city of this Canadian province is often noted as being the most European in North America. Although it’s difficult to be completely convinced you’re in Europe, it’s still charming and quaint on its own.

A weekend in Quebec City is just the right amount of time to get familiar with the picturesque city and enjoy its je ne sais quoi.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published October 25, 2021. Last updated October 25, 2021.

Fallingwater Has to Be Seen To Be Believed

Travel

Frank Lloyd Wright's stunning Fallingwater is a great day trip from Pittsburgh.

If you had to come up with a list of things to see in Pennsylvania or day trips from Pittsburgh, a visit to Fallingwater certainly would top that list. Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the home from the late 1930s has stood the test of time with its remarkable architectural flair. It’s also stood the test of that waterway that runs directly under the house.

While many “must-see” attractions are mostly just hype, Fallingwater lives up to expectations. For me, it far exceeded what I was expecting. Balanced just atop a waterfall, Fallingwater has to be seen to truly be believed. Photographs simply don’t do it justice. The wooded surroundings of mature trees and opportunities for hiking help to transport visitors away from the busy world and daily life of distractions where we all seem to live. You’ll leave Fallingwater wishing you could spend the night. If only!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 30, 2021. Last updated September 17, 2021.

A Fun Pittsburgh Weekend Getaway

Travel

Notable sculptures adorn and surround the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh.

Anyone who has been to Pittsburgh could be easily fooled into thinking this former industrial city was a major metropolitan. Although it’s the second-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, it sure doesn’t feel like it: it seems much bigger. The city has a lot to offer. It is a mix of world-class museums, fantastic architecture, and acclaimed educational institutions. But with delicious and unfussy food options, it never feels too big for its britches.

A Pittsburgh weekend getaway is urban fun but without all the stresses one normally associates with city travel. The city’s downtown area is relatively compact and accessible for exploring on foot. But if you want to see more of the city, having a car at hand doesn’t hurt. With a car or public transit, you can explore more of this sprawling city with its many distinct neighborhoods.

Pittsburgh also has a small-town feel where people greet you and, no joke, warn you when you’re approaching broken glass on a bridge. Seemingly no matter where you go in the city, it feels personable and welcoming.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 23, 2021. Last updated August 31, 2021.

Charm & History: Things to Do in Lititz PA

Travel

Historic stone and wooden houses line Main Street in Historic Downtown Lititz, PA.

With its miles of rolling farmland, small towns, and Amish community, Pennsylvania‘s Lancaster County has become a popular destination for day trips and long weekends. And Lititz, PA, is rich in that small-town charm. Sitting less than a dozen miles from the city of Lancaster, downtown Lititz is a world away and ideal for exploring on foot. Visitors can gawk at the more than hundred-year-old buildings of exposed stone and wood that dot Main Street. And beyond that, there are further enticements like antique stores, coffee shops, and even an authentic British pub. There are enough things to do in Lititz, PA to keep you busy for several day trips.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published July 26, 2021. Last updated July 28, 2021.

Hershey Gardens: Sweet PA Botanical Garden

Travel

Spring flowers brighten the landscape at Hershey Gardens.

It is undoubtedly the chocolate and the amusement park that usually draws visitors to Hershey, Pennsylvania. And who could blame them? But, if you’re looking for more fun things to do in Hershey, Hershey Gardens is a charming and relaxing way to spend several hours. It goes without saying that the gardens are sugar-free and thrilling in a much more low-key way.

The 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum are modest but just the right size to comfortably see in a single visit. And the magic of gardens is that they are always changing: there’s never a bad time of the year to visit as each season brings something special.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published June 28, 2021. Last updated June 28, 2021.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2021 Heads Outdoors

Travel

The FDR Gazebo welcomes visitors to the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021.

Last year’s Flower Show in 2020 was held on the verge of the pandemic. Despite that, it was still one of the best in years. For a while, it seemed questionable whether there would be a Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. But, oh, what a difference a year makes — and those vaccines aren’t half bad, either. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has truly embraced the challenges in front of them with the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. For the first time in the show’s nearly 200 year history, it is being held outdoors. And that’s not all that’s different.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published June 7, 2021. Last updated June 7, 2021.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2021 Preview

Travel

Will Philadelphia Flower Show 2021 live up to the hype? Here's what you can expect, what I'm anticipating, and how to plan your visit.

In any normal year, the Philadelphia Flower Show is a sure sign that spring is coming. But, as we all know: things are a little different this year. But don’t fret, you will still be able to attend this inspiring East Coast tradition in 2021. Forget Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff to summer will be the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. Titled “Habitat: Nature‚Äôs Masterpiece” and running from June 5th through the 13th, it will be held outdoors for the first time in its 193 year history.

But with all these changes, the expectations are sky-high for the flower and plant festival. Will the Flower Show live up to the hype? I’ll be attending the Flower Show and will share a follow-up. But until then, here are all the details of what you can expect, what I’m anticipating, and how to plan your visit.

(Update: The outdoor venue really added a lot of new energy to the show, although it still needs some additional tweaks. Read more in my full review.)

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Post by Corinne. Originally published May 31, 2021. Last updated June 7, 2021.

Grounds for Sculpture’s Fun, Thoughtful Art

Travel

"To Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968, Artist, Tool and Die Maker" by William T. Wiley.

It’s always important to keep an open mind when visiting a museum, but Grounds for Sculpture takes it to a whole new level. The sculpture garden located near Trenton, New Jersey, beckons you to look closer and expect the unexpected. The couple cuddling in the grass? A sculpture. The gigantic pumpkins? Sculptures. The vibrant peacock? Well, no that’s an actual peacock strutting around and calling out.

Grounds for Sculpture is a great blend of something for everyone. There are dozens of impressive works that you’ll marvel at and wonder how they were even constructed. And there are plenty of kitschy social media photo opportunities that will thrill and engage visitors of all ages.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published May 3, 2021. Last updated May 9, 2021.

Delicious & Easy German Recipes

Food, Travel

A giant pretzel, beer and Johanisbeer Shorle at Munich's Chinesischer Turm in Englischer Garten.

If you ask me, German food is vastly underrated and underappreciated. Some cuisines require skilled precision and mastery of difficult techniques. But there are plenty of easy German recipes that you can perfect at home. I have pulled together some hearty, satisfying entrees, tasty starters, plus desserts that are worth indulging in.

The term “German food” is a bit too broad. Every region of the country has something different and special to offer. This round-up includes recipes from across the country: Bavarian food to Berliner. My hope is you’ll find pleasure in some classic comfort food and discover some new delicious dishes.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published March 29, 2021. Last updated April 2, 2021.