Small Town America visits the Holidays

oldfashioned Christmas reRemember back to the days of your youth?  Holidays were a time that we simply loved.  What made it so endearing? I think it was the memories we created, the warm and fuzzy feeling deep inside.  Are we taking time to recreate those memories, and make new ones for our children and grandchildren?  Living in a small town, I think my family is lucky to have the opportunity to slow down and have the experience of old fashioned holiday spirit.

Our town, Honesdale,  has a wonderful weekend they like to call “Honesdale for the Holidays”.   Stores are decked out in their holiday spirit and many stores and businesses will host “Open Houses” with seasonal warmth for their shoppers and visitors.  Christmas music rings from the town pavilion making the shopping merry as vendors dot the sidewalks with their wares.  The high school choir and Victorian strollers walk main street for all to enjoy.  ticketsresAll the while the Stourbridge Line train will be blowing its whistle inviting young and old to hop on the train and take a ride with Santa and some elves, trains and Christmas it doesn’t get any better.  As the sun sets and the decorations light up the streets the sidewalks crowd as the little ones get ready for Santa to come to town.  What a festive spirit as the parade marches by, ending with the “big guy” himself.  The people follow the parade into Honesdale’s Central Park and activities continue.  Led by Rudolph and Frosty songs are sung and the star on Irving Cliff brightens the horizon for another holiday season.  Children visit with Santa and everyone enjoys hot chocolate and a wonderful small town America.  For more information: http://www.visithonesdalepa.com/honesdale-event/1526/

We, at the James Manning House, love to keep this Holiday Americana feeling going, and that’s why we invite everyone to a Holiday Open House.  This spirit spills out into our little village of Bethany in another event we call “Christmas in the Village”.  This year we are celebrating, Saturday, December 2, from 2-4 PM.  At the inn we will have the Honesdale High School Chamber Choir delighting us with Christmas songs and carols.  13cookiesOur friend and author of three books, Will Wyckoff, will be here signing books and chatting with visitors.  The house will shine in all its holiday splendor and we delight in showing visitors all around and share with holiday cheer.  Of course, the kitchen has been busy for days ahead of this event and a huge platter of homemade cookies will be available for tasting.  Bethany Public Library joins in the fun with an appearance of Mrs. Claus who helps children write letters to Santa.  They enjoy stories and hot chocolate, too.  Bethany Methodist Church will also be hosting visitors in the holiday spirit.  Bethany Village invites everyone to stop by for their tree lighting and a Tricky Tray raffle. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1499957440086260/

We hope that you can take some time and visit us to enjoy the little things that make us appreciate the wonders of the season.  But most of all start some of your own traditions and sweet memories will be yours.Antiquecollage

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New Gallery in Town

artgallerySmall towns could stagnate.  However, we feel lucky to live in a small town that continues to change and grow and promote the arts.  Last year a wonderful addition brightened our town: The Great Wall of Honesdale.  A very large blank wall was covered with art from local artists making a wait at a traffic light now an intriguing and wonderful sight.  The arts of music and theater have grown including open mic nights as well as artists from around the country at the Cooperage.  It was exciting to see this new announcement from our Wayne County Creative Arts Council.

Grand Opening - Art-a-Pelago Gallery
Saturday February 11, 2017    6 – 9pm

Join us to celebrate a new art gallery
Meet and talk with Artists Ioannis Glykokokalos and David Soete
PAROS at D.J. Harvey Agency   815 Main St.  Honesdale
Photography by David Soete
THASOS at Black & Brass Coffee   520 Main St. Honesdale
Paintings by Ioannis Glykokokalos

Curated by David Harvey, the mission of Art-a-Pelago is to work in synergy with three local businesses.  Art-a-Pelago is a gallery in three parts where the businesses provide access to the arts, and the art enhances the businesses.   The third location, LESVOS at Loose Leaf Pages  627 Main St. Honesdale is scheduled to open in April.  Exhibits at all three locations will change seasonally.  The gallery locations are open during the regular hours of each business and during Second Saturdays in Honesdale.

We are hoping that you will plan a trip to “Eat, Shop, Play and Stay in Honesdale, PA” real soon!
 

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Experience the Northern Poconos

I often wonder how to answer the question when asked, “Can you see the mountains from your B&B?”  Is this person expecting to look out every window and see snow -capped peaks like in the Rockies?  Perhaps they feel like they will be surrounded by craggy rocks poconodeer to climb and all the other land is a flat plane with houses looking into other house windows?  How do you explain that the Pocono Mountains are an experience?

First the Pocono Mountains are modest in elevation, the point highest is just under 2,700 feet.  But there are highs and valleys, and hills and dips.   Now it is the summer season, as one drives the roads, you are surrounded by green.   The trees are green, and there are many, many trees, abundant, tall, branching and filling the view.  The grasses and plants that stretch into the woods are green and dotted with wonderful colorful wildflowers.  In the Northern Pocono region the roads wind up and down the hills and houses are amply spaced on several acres of ground.  Farms, with fields of green hay are mixed into the landscape and where people have chosen to live now or long ago, trees have been removed leaving beautiful views of mountain ridges in the distance, dark blue, continuous along the horizon.Northernpoconos

The mountains have many streams, and creeks that flow over rocks and tumble along through the trees making small rapids and waterfalls.  Eventually these streams wind their way to the small rivers that fill the Delaware River on the Eastern edge of the Poconos.    They make DyberryCreekUpperPoconoswonderful places to take a picnic lunch or a fishing rod.  The landscape of the Northern Poconos is dotted with small ponds and pristine lakes, wonderful places to “throw in a line”.  The water provides sources for wildlife, the greens for food, and the trees for shelter.  Deer, squirrels, groundhogs,poconolake raccoons, opossums, chipmunks all find the wooded rolling and sloping terrain dotted                                                with human population to be a                                                  comfortable home.

The Northern Poconos have small towns with quaint stores and friendly restaurants.  People say “hi” on the streets and cars stop to let pedestrians cross.  Honesdale, the county seat of Wayne County, has special events on their Main Street with local craft vendors throughout the year.honesdalemainstreet  Here’s America as it was, where there is free entertainment in the park, country fairs, and pride in their history.  You can even help the townsfolk welcome Santa for the season with a parade and singing in the park. Hawley, another small Americana town located in Pike County also hosts several special events and has an indoor local marketplace of specialty items and local goods.

Visiting the Northern Poconos is not the tourist trap kind of place.   Take a train ride through the country side and notice more of this relaxing pace of life in the mountains.  Take a beautiful drive along our wooded roads, snap a picture of a deer, or capture the view over the clearing.  It’s an experience.  Wake up relaxed, take a walk in the woods, sit by a stream and listen to the birds.  Unwind, Rejuvenate!

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Make it a Group Away!

group awaySpring is coming, and this year we agree.  The temperatures have been mild and the little bits of snow we’ve had are almost invisible.  Gardens are starting to spring to life with early bulbs pushing through the surface.  What a wonderful time of the year to plan a get away!  Really, it’s a time to plan a group away.  Girl friends can have a blast just being together, shopping, eating out (not cooking for the family) and what better way to enjoy this respite but to stay a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast?  How about a yoga group?  Maybe quilters, book clubs, or card players?  Men, you are not excluded, plan a fishing trip for trout in the stocked Dyberry Creek, or the Delaware or Equinunk Rivers.  Maybe a plan a group for a competitive disc golf match at Prompton State Park.  Couples, what fun can your group have staying together, taking up the whole Bed and Breakfast?  You might take in a concert or check out the Irving Cliff Brewing, a great new microbrew in the neighborhood.  The James Manning House is your perfect spot to enjoy comfortable rooms, relaxing together, great fellowship and wonderful breakfasts.  When your group takes over the house, we’ll work to accommodate all of your needs and make it a memorable experience.group relax

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Most Important – A Girlfriend Getaway!

three-girlfriendsWomen.  We really hold so much together, ourselves, our families, our households, our jobs, our volunteer groups, etc. etc.  Our lives are frantic, hectic, frustrating, loving, joyful, worrisome and downright exhausting!  Time to get away!

Taking a vacation with the family is very nice, it can be relaxing, but most of the time we’re busy making memories with our loved ones and want that trip to be grand, and special. We can’t let our guard down and need to keep it together while worrying that everything will be just right and everyone will stay safe.  Taking a trip with girlfriends is a whole different event.

Enjoying a getaway with girlfriends includes talking, and eating, thinking about our own needs, and talking. Did I mention talking?  Girlfriends share so much of themselves when they get away.  Girlfriends together share thoughts about the family and hash out ideas about the kids, the pets, the husbands, and how they dealt with a coworker.  Girlfriends can giggle about a dress with green and pink polka dots when shopping, or notice that they like a pillow fabric, and girlfriends can discuss why they don’t like the same shoes.  It’s all about sharing ideas, understanding and compassion for one another.  Girlfriends on getaways don’t compete, they listen.

Girlfriends away will shop, and give honest opinions of necklines, and hemlines, and give ideas of coordinating accessories.   Girlfriends will treasure hunt, they’ll look in the gift shop, and in the second hand shop.  They’ll understand the need for checking every rack or shelf for just the right treasure.  Girlfriends never say they’ll “wait outside on the bench”, so the others will feel they can only look for five minutes.

Girlfriends like to eat.  They will try the French restaurant or tapas bar, a quiche & tea buffet.  They’ll take their time to chat over a glass of wine.  It’s not the food, it’s the experience, the conversation and most of all the social bonding while eating.

Once girlfriends are back at home, after a thousand topics were discussed, their minds are clear. Relaxed, de-stressed a woman can see the solution to that problem of how to answer a teen why they can’t attend the party, or how to get more storage in the laundry room, which color drapes go in the newly painted living room, etc. Start a new tradition.  Girlfriends need to get away, plan your getaway today!

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