Tag Archives: bucket list

Bucket List 2011 Update: 50/50

Last year one of my first blog posts was a Lehigh Valley Bucket List 2011, 12 things in the Lehigh Valley that I’ve always wanted to do and was going to try to cross off my bucket list in 2011. How did I do? Well, if you can do any math and you read the title, I did six, duh. My first reaction at the end of the year was “oh crap, I really suck at this” but then realized it was actually pretty darn good considering that without this list I maybe would have done 1 or 2 of them-tops.

So here’s the original list again, with my progress (or excuses) this time around.

  1. America On Wheels Museum – This place looks pretty cool and right now there is a British Invasion exhibit. I actually HAVE to go there this month as I’ve signed up to volunteer to help take down their Christmas decorations (which is laughable because I still haven’t finished taking down the Griswald-esque display at home), but I’d like to visit as just a visitor too.
  2. UPDATE: I eventually took down the Christmas display last year, but most of our Christmas decorations are still up this year, so I kind of chuckled reading back on this one. I did go to America on Wheels to volunteer so yes, this one was completed. I was blown away by the scale of it, its a great space. I also wrote about my impressions here. I never made it back as “just a visitor” although I do want to. I still count this a complete.

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  3. Easton State Theatre – Everything I am interested in seeing is always sold out by the time I hear about it or the cost is not in-line with my level of interest.
  4. UPDATE: This one did not get crossed off but I did do a better job of keeping up with what shows were coming. There were only two that I was somewhat interesting in – the Amazing Kreskin and Chuck Berry – both of whom I have nostalgic memories of from my childhood. My Chuck Berry memory is me playing the “My Ding-a Ling” song off of my mother’s record and giggling like Beavis and/or Butthead incessantly.

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  5. Any number of restaurants in Easton I have yet to get to.
  6. UPDATE: I completed this one barely in the nick of time by incorporating it into Hailey’s birthday weekend extravaganza since we were at the Crayola Factory anyway. I decided on Setta Luna because I heard the food was good and since they had Italian food I figured could get Hailey some simple pasta or pizza.

    The food was quite good, it was not very kid friendly and the service was just eh. I don’t expect every restaurants to cater to kids like Chuck E. Cheese or Red Robin but I made three simple requests, one was denied, one was ignored, one was eventually granted after some work. First, Hailey said she wanted pasta, not pizza, so I asked if I could get a smaller serving. Denied. I was told their pasta dishes “only come in” on size. Um…isn’t it just a pot of pasta? Just scoop less out. So fine, bring me the whole thing we’ll take the leftovers home. I then asked them to barely put any sauce on it. So little sauce that you can barely tell there is sauce on it. It came back smothered in tomato sauce, so much sauce you couldn’t even see the noodles. Hailey freaked out and refused to eat it. So this time I said “Look, all I want is a small (demonstrating with my hands the size) bowl of noodles, no sauce.” She came back and said the Chef wanted to know if I wanted butter or oil. Fair question. I said “I understand this request is strange, but now that she saw all that sauce she will only eat plain noodles, no butter, no oil, no sauce.” They brought them out, Hailey still didn’t eat them, but I must say they were the best plain noodles I ever tried.

    Then Hailey ate an unwrapped, decorative candy cane, that was probably 5 years old, off of the garland passing near our table.

    Even with the so-so service I would still go back for the food. But I’d probably leave Hailey at home.

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  7. Godfrey Daniels – I still can’t believe I haven’t been here. It’s on the Southside and not only do they have great music acts they also have story telling sessions for kids. I have no excuse.
  8. UPDATE: Ugh. Totally dropped the ball. Almost snuck it in New Year’s Eve to take Hailey to a kid concert. Big fail all around.

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  9. Touchstone Theater – Again no excuse. I really want to see the Follies show they do at Christmas. I saw the kid friendly version at Christkindlmarkt in 2009 and it was a lot of fun.
  10. UPDATE: Success! I didn’t pre-order my tickets and went on the night that Mayor Callahan was the community guest and the show was sold out. They said I could wait to see if there was a cancellation and 30 seconds later I had a seat. It was definitely a full house. A very intimate theater, as I expected, I found this show very entertaining as did the rest of the crowd but I’m glad I left my husband at home, he would have hated it. Would love to check out another production this year.

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  11. Gio’s Italian Grill in Macungie – everyone raves about the food here. It’s just a bit off the beaten path for me. But…I graduated from high school with Tony the owner and he is hosting our 20th High School Reunion this June so that should make this an automatic cross off! (I’ve jinxed myself, haven’t I?)
  12. UPDATE: And yes I did jinx myself! Turns out our reunion was hijacked because many wanted a more laid-back environment were we could bring our kids, so we ended up with a pot-luck at a park and had a blast. No regrets, but I would still like to try it sometime.

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  13. Historic Bethlehem Cemetery Tours in October – I actually bought tickets through Groupon for this in 2010 but scheduled my tour during the Halloween parade. #FAIL
  14. UPDATE: Another success! I went to the ghost tour run through Moravian Bookshop and found it very entertaining and informative. My tour guide was none other than George Wacker of Lehigh Valley with Love fame and we were chased by crows and a hippie. Well, not chased by a hippie, but there was a hippie. I brought Hailey along and her complaint: “But Mommy, we didn’t get to see any ghosts!”

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  15. Renninger’s Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza in Kutztown. I forget about this thing every year. And they hold it THREE times a year. This is so right up my alley. Not officially the LV but close enough.
  16. UPDATE: This one didn’t get crossed off the list but it wasn’t without trying. My friend and I made plans twice to go but we had to cancel both times. This will definitely get back on the Bucket List for 2012. The wait was probably good anyway because I have a better idea of what I’m looking for.

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  17. Glass blowing and/or photography classes at the Banana Factory. This has been on my unwritten list every year since they opened that glass blowing studio. Well, now it’s in writing damn it.
  18. UPDATE: Well, I didn’t get this one off the list, but I do know which two classes I want to take (one glass, one photography) so I’m in better shape for 2012.

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  19. Visit a local vineyard – Yes, I’m lame…I haven’t done this yet.
  20. UPDATE: I got this one off my list early in the year and I visited not one, but a whole bunch, of local vineyards all in one day. Read more about it here.

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  21. Martin Guitar Tour – I’m not a guitar player but appreciate the workmanship that goes into these beautiful pieces. Another one that is on my yearly bucket list in my head.
  22. UPDATE: Well, I almost did this one, but almost doesn’t count. Turns out I tried to cross this one off during a big Martin’s Lover Fest the day before Martin on Main and all the tours were full. I did get to go through the museum, which was quite interesting itself. This is a hard one for me to cross off, tours are only when I’m at work and usually if I’m taking a day off its because I have other plans. I’m sure this will be back on the 2012 bucket list though.

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  23. Souper Bowl at Banana Factory – Last year I failed to buy my tickets in advance and it sold out. I’m buying my tickets today!
  24. UPDATE: I got my tickets in time and went to this. You can read about it here. This year it is going to be at the new Artsquest Center at SteelStacks, and no, I didn’t buy my tickets yet.

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You really, really like me…I swear this hasn’t gone to my head #winning #tigerblood

Thank you, thank you very much. In all seriousness I am so thankful for everyone who voted for my blog, although I feel kind of silly since I’ve only written a handful of posts over the short 3 months since I’ve started this thing. And I really do swear that I won’t let this go to my head.

So now that I’m officially an award-winning blogger I feel this great pressure to write more regularly…not to mention the pressure to be more funny…which people seem to enjoy reminding me of. Yet, when I look at the picture of me and my double chin tweeting away while fellow award winning blogger Jaime bursts with excitement as she wins her second award of the night, I am reminded that I need to continue my weightloss journey, which at the moment means I have less time to sit on my ass and write. The major problem? I am more likely to exercise if I get it out of the way in the AM, and that just so happens to be the same time that I do my “best” (using that term loosely) writing.

It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I have like 5 blog posts in my head right now (trust me, this was NOT one of them -hence all the rambling goofiness). But I’m a procrastinator and procrastinators love reasons to put things off. I’ll work on that I promise…tomorrow.

Speaking of procrastinating, that’s what I’m actually doing right now…I still have to write my next column for the Lehigh Brown and White that is due any day now. It will print this Friday. In the meantime, here’s a link to my last column about Becoming Part of the Community it includes some suggestions that not only could help Lehigh students but anyone in the Lehigh Valley feel more connected. If you are interested you can also see my first one here, as well as Part I and Part II of my columns on stereotypes and town-gown relations.

I had a little dilemma about this next column. I already created a “Lehigh Bucket List” a list of must-do’s before graduating from Lehigh but have not actually typed out the column (it’s all there still in my head). Then I saw a Lehigh student tweet out a request for ideas for a Lehigh Bucket List…for her article. I was originally bummed…I’m running out of ideas here. But then realized that I was specifically asked to write my column based on my view as a non-Lehigh student, as the “token-townie” as I call myself. So I’m writing it anyway. She will write from a student’s standpoint, I’ll offer my local insight. My next dilemma was to decide if I should look at the student’s article in order to reduce some redundancy (assuming her’s prints before mine). But then I decided not to because I don’t want it to affect what’s already written in my mind. What are the chances they will really be that similar? I guess we shall see. Who knows, maybe hers was actually for a journalism project and not even for the paper. I really have no idea.

This brings me to a possible topic for another blog post. Why do we sometimes get annoyed when someone “steals” your idea, even if they had no idea you were thinking of doing the same thing? It’s weird isn’t it? I don’t like it and I’m trying to cure myself of it…if that is possible. Maybe it is the disappointment that we really aren’t as original as we would like to think we are?

Ok…a little too deep for the BEST HUMOR COLUMN EVER.

So anyway…an update:

Still doing weight watchers, though I’m way too dependant on those extra weekly points. Only lost 4.2 lbs so far. Yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat. I can tell you that is not muscle in that double chin.

Still doing P90X and feel sooooo much better already. Why the hell did I stop in the first place?

Doing well with the running, keeping up and increasing my pace slowly but surely.

Still deciding on that perfect wrinkle cream.  Thank you all for the suggestions! For now I’m using up my free samples from Sephora that I had laying around. First I tried Miracle in a Jar from Philosophy (actually miracle in a tiny packet) and I didn’t see any miracles. Now I’m finishing up some Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Restoring Cream. The stuff seems to work but is a bit greasy. Probably won’t buy it, but I’ll keep using it until it is gone (it was a “deluxe” sample). Bonus: If you click on the link look at the links on the left of the page…there is a “Dick Page” link. I was like what the hell, but it turns out that’s the unfortunate name of their Artistic Director. Yes, I have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy, ala Beavis and Butthead. But hey, you voted for me.

Bucket List Update – Wine Trail, Long Trout Winery kicks ass!

Back in January I put together a list of things in or around the Lehigh Valley that I’ve always wanted to do but never got around to doing. My goal is to get as many of these crossed off the list as possible in 2011.

I crossed number 10 off of my list this past Valentine’s weekend. I went on the Berks Wine Trail Chocolate and Wine tour and not only visited one local winery but six! Although at one of them, Calvaresi, we  didn’t get a chance to actually taste anything, because everyone was hogging the tasting area and we left, but it was all good.

What a great day! Friends, Wine, Chocolate, and I didn’t have to drive. How could it not have been?

We started off at Pinnacle Ridge, which to me was most like a traditional winery. It’s in an old stone barn and the wines were closest to what I would normally drink at home. I brought home a bottle of Veritas which they describe as “A unique blend of our Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon — only produced in finest vintages. This is filled with aromas of toasty oak, vanilla, & black fruits; aged 16 months in American Oak.”

Next we went to Blair. My favorite part about this place was that you drive through the vineyard to get to the winery. I think this was the only place where I actually noticed the vines, you couldn’t miss them if you tried. Their wines weren’t my taste, but I did pick up a bottle of  Pinot Gris and this freezer bag contraption to make frozen Peach Bellini’s. I can’t wait for summer!

Then we were off to Long Trout Winery. I could have stayed here all day. They have a combination of grape wines and fruit wines, and surprisingly, as more of a dry red person, I kept trying mostly the fruit wines-they were soooo delicious. The place is a hippie haven and the tasting room looks like a cross between someone’s basement bar and a college bar like Shorty’s in Kutztown before they remodeled. The place is covered floor to ceiling in 60’s memorabilia, about 75% of it Beatles. I was in heaven! The people are friendly and it’s a really laid back atmosphere, even when the place was so packed you couldn’t move. The visitors even helped each other find the bottles of wine they were looking for and passed them across the crowd to the requester. They had three chocolate wines for the wine and chocolate pairing, countless berry wines, including a Bell Bottom Blueberry that was rather dry for a berry wine. The wine names are cute and creative (ie. Instant “O”, Forever Strawberry Fields, Yellow Snow) and the bottlenecks are tye dyed. They even have a disc golf field! They are also working on an addition that is more modern that the basement bar room, yet it should still match the vibe with its double doors that form a peace sign when closed and the wooden loft area. Hopefully people like the spaciousness of the new room and that will leave me more elbow room in the hippie bar! I left this place with 7 bottles, and I’m not even a sweet wine person!

Next was Bashore & Stoudt. They specialize in fruit wines as the fruit comes from Stoudt Orchards. This place was pretty crowded and there was a long wait in  line before you could taste anything. I’m not a fan of sweet fruit wines, and they were all very typical sweet fruit wines. I actually had to turn away samples because I was getting queasy from the sweetness. I saw other people enjoying them so if sweet is your thing, give it a try.

Next was Calvaresi, the inside was kind of cool because you could see the stainless tanks. I’m more of an oak wine person so I was not disappointed when we left before tasting anything because the visitors were hogging the wine tasting area.

The final stop was Clover Hill. They had a really nice gift shop and tasting area and a wider range of wine styles, which was welcome after all the sweet wines. They were having a big sale on their wine racks as well, up to 70% off. I believe it is still going on.

The only winery I was compelled to take pictures of was Long Trout. And most of them were of the memorabilia rather than the wine. The John Lennon picture is actually the wall paper…on the entire ceiling! If you want to check out more pictures click on the pictures posted here to go to my Flickr page.

I would absolutely go back to both Long Trout and Pinnacle Ridge. I’d also like to try some of the wineries on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail (Pinnacle and Clover Hill are on both the Lehigh Valley and Berks Wine Trails).

Bucket List Update: Artsquest Souper Bowl

Wow, it’s been a while. Lot’s of little things to update everyone on.

First, I crossed another thing off of my 2011 bucket list: The Souper Bowl at the Banana Factory. This was the second annual event to run on Saturday, the weekend before the Super Bowl. If they continue on their sell out streak the only way to go next year is to pre-order your tickets. The event benefits Artsquest B. Smart after school enrichment program.

The event was very well attended (read: shoulder to shoulder packed) and I left completely stuffed with soup. I didn’t realize how full you can get from tiny cups of soup…granted a lot of tiny cups of soup. Two of my favorites were voted by ticket holders as the best soups: Cathy’s Creative Catering of Catasauqua had an amazing coconut shrimp bisque and Bethlehem’s Blue Sky Cafe‘s chilled blueberry soup. The coconut shrimp bisque was the only soup that made me say “wow!” its unique flavor really hit me on the first sip. The chilled blueberry was the only soup for which I went back for seconds. I somehow missed the Hampton Winds chicken paprikash, which was also voted into the top three. I’m sure it was amazing, there was some buzz about this one on Twitter.

I was so full after about an hour or so that I just had to quit, I didn’t make it through all of the soups. There was only one soup that I really disliked, all of the others were very good, but the two winners I mentioned really stood out and I was hard pressed to come up with a third one to vote for (ticket holders could vote for up to three soups).

It was a nice event but it could have used some entertainment and maybe could have been laid out a little better. For example all of the soup stations lined the walls, which is the expected arrangement, but it would have been more creative to have the soup stations in the middle so that the guests could admire the art on the walls of the two galleries.  As for entertainment, once I was full I left because there really was nothing else to do other than eat soup.

All in all, it is for a great cause, it’s a nice event and I’d do it again.

So that’s 2 out of 12 things checked off the bucket list in January, I have another one planned in February and two more already planned for June. I’m on a roll! I’m finding that actually putting the list in writing and out there for others to see has really helped me make progress. It gets people talking and people who already love something on my list have invited me to experience it with them and someone else who also always wanted to do something on the list has reached out and we made plans to get it done. It’s been great! Feel free to share your bucket list progress in the comments!