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.

16 TV Shows Set in Munich & Bavaria

German Films, Learn German, Travel

Rosenheim Cops are one of many tv shows set in Munich and Bavaria!

Before the days of streaming all day every day, television offered a special connection with its audience. Whereas films are an occasional commitment of a couple of hours, television shows are a weekly part of life. The characters and settings become personal. And with tv shows set in Munich and across Bavaria, you truly get to experience the region in a new way.

You can be entertained with a humorous take on everyday life or become immersed in a local crime series. There are options for whatever strikes your fancy.

If you speak German, the options are seemingly endless. But thanks to today’s connected world, many streaming services offer English language subtitles for shows.

Sit back and get ready to binge Bavarian style with these 16 TV shows set in Munich and across Bavaria! (If films are more your style, try 13 Great Movies Filmed in Munich & Bavaria.)

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Post by Corinne. Originally published March 22, 2021. Last updated April 2, 2021.

13 Great Movies Filmed in Munich & Bavaria

German Films, Learn German, Travel

Ludwig II is one of 13 great movies filmed in Munich and Bavaria!

While it certainly is not as fun as being there in person, you can immerse yourself in all that Munich and Bavaria have to offer from your sofa. Or wherever you prefer to watch!

That is right: I am talking about movies filmed in Munich and around the state of Bavaria. You can fill an afternoon with a romantic comedy or learn something new with a historical drama. There are options for whatever strikes your fancy, although the options are more limited if you do not speak German.

If you want to experience Bavaria without seeing a film that is set in the German state, keep reading! I have some honorable mentions that might surprise you.

So, go ahead, grab a Bavarian Bier (or your favorite beverage) plus some popcorn, and check out these movies filmed in Munich (and Bavaria)!

If you prefer television shows to movies, check out these TV shows set in Munich and Bavaria.

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

Fun Beer Festivals in Munich, Germany

Food, Travel

Munich beer festivals are an important Bavarian tradition.

For many around the world, the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Munich is beer. It’s not too surprising that beer festivals in Munich are a big deal. The region is home to so many wonderful breweries and Bavaria famous for the Reinheitsgebot (a law mandating the purity of beer and its ingredients). Attending a Munich beer festival is a great way to experience some Bavarian traditions; in all reality, they are considered a Volksfest in Germany and less so a beer festival.

Each season of the year has its own style of beer. Each brewery has its own secrets. And, of course, every person has their taste preferences. As a result of all of those things, each of the beer festivals in Munich have its own specialty.

It’s also worth noting that Munich beer festivals are family-friendly. Sure, things get a bit…rowdy, shall we say…later in the evening. But daytime hours are usually full of families. It’s not just about the beer. Take my word as someone who doesn’t drink beer.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published February 22, 2021. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Festive German Christmas Decorations & Sweets

Travel, Food

Germany's full of many holiday traditions. From handmade German Christmas decorations to delectable sweets, here are ideas for celebrating the season.

When it comes to the holidays, Germany is full of many wonderful traditions. They range from delectable sweets to festive and charming decorations. I have pulled together ten of the best German Christmas decorations and some of my favorite German holiday sweets to help you to create a festive atmosphere in your own home. While the intent is to bring joy to your home, many of these items make great gifts, too! Hopefully, this guide will help you spread some German Christmas cheer.

If you’re looking strictly for gifts, be sure to check out my German gift guide as well as my gift ideas for German language learners.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 24, 2020. Last updated April 2, 2021.