‘Harrisburg’ Category


Bird-In-Hand Is Better

13 food plateLinda Burton posting from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania traveling from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Trenton, New Jersey – Buttery new potatoes with skins. Sweet-corn casserole. Bright-green peas. Kraut and sausage. Chicken pie. Shepherd’s pie. Ham and scalloped potatoes. I was walking the center aisle of a Pennsylvania Dutch smorgasbord, dipping a smidge of everything onto my plate. Ham balls? There was no more room, well, maybe one. The salad bar was to my left, the dessert bar to my right; I bypassed both, stopping at the bread bar for fresh-baked rolls. Then to my booth by the window, through a silver-haired crowd in a room filled 13 horse purplewith happy talk. Tour buses waited in the parking lot; seniors were traveling today. The weather is still tolerably good; family traffic has slowed with kids in school; now’s the time to wander the hills and open farm lands that make up the happiest place I’ve ever seen. I was happy, that’s for sure; fresh vegetables on my plate, locally grown and simply cooked. Across the road, two horses grazed behind a white fence; one wore a purple blanket, I wondered why. An Amish buggy, horse-pulled at a rapid clip, went by on the highway, ah, that’s it. The purple-blanket horse just finished a buggy trip and was in cool-down mode. Should I go back 13 buggythrough the smorgasbord for a second round? Some shoo-fly pie? It was tempting, but no; the drive ahead to Trenton would be intense; dessert would make me sleepy, and soft. I flipped through my Lancaster County guidebook, and sighed. Too many potatoes? No, too many things I’d miss today. Is this a come-back place? Is this a place I’d recommend for the senior crowd, and for every family with kids? I give it an “A,” for absolutely. » read more


Looking For Socks

09 cover 001Linda Burton posting from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – “This is the handsomest building I ever saw,” is a quote they brag about in Harrisburg. That’s what President Theodore Roosevelt said on October 4, 1906, when he attended the dedication of the Pennsylvania state capitol. Now, I’ve seen a lot of capitol buildings (this is the 47th one on the Journey) and I try to be very careful not to compare one to another, focusing instead on the unique and beautiful qualities of each. But I found myself looking around for my socks today, because (figuratively speaking) my first glimpse inside this capitol’s rotunda knocked them off. Architect Joseph Huston (1866-1940) envisioned the capitol as a “palace of art” and he did not miss the mark. It is described as a “priceless architectural and artistic treasure” and its 600 rooms burst with so much color, and so many messages, that “sensory overload” must be a way of life for those who work inside. And 09 house b 001everybody does – the executive, judicial, and legislative branches are housed in the capitol; it is the workshop of Pennsylvania state government. It’s a huge complex of Renaissance marble and gold; the outside (five stories high) is Vermont granite, the roof is green glazed terra cotta tile; inside you’ll see Italian, French, English, Greek, Roman and Victorian influences. Yet somehow, Huston pulled it all together while telling the story of Pennsylvania, making it an all-American edifice. Because first and foremost, the capitol is a public building, belonging to the citizens of the Commonwealth. The marble staircase was set to showcase a wedding today; the guest chairs waited in place. I asked about the rotunda, but my guide pointed to the floor; “Let’s start with the Moravian tiles,” she said. » read more


The Corn Is Dead

05 dead cornLinda Burton posting from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Remember the Iowa cornfields early this summer? “Knee-high by the 4th of July” was the saying; lush green as far as the eye could see. That time is past now; it’s November, and the only cornfield I spotted on today’s drive in Pennsylvania stretched across the valley as pure gold; rustling cornstalks waiting to be mulched, in that final farming phase of the season. I didn’t see many crop fields on the New England part of the Journey; the focus there is foliage, and oh yes, maple syrup and apple trees. I welcomed the open space of the 05 hex sign 4cornfields as I approached Harrisburg and passed into Pennsylvania Dutch country, where I spotted a few barns sporting Hex signs. These cheerful folk-art designs generally feature birds, or flowers, or hearts. I bought a small Hex sign when we passed through the area in the 60’s, back when my kids were small; it has hung in every house I’ve lived in since. Maybe I’ll get another one while I’m here; a sign to remember the Journey by. Signs. I’m scanning through today’s photos now; other than the cornfield, there 05 hex barn redreally are no pretty landscape scenes; most are pictures of signs I saw today. Signs! It was a long, wearying drive; daylight to dark from Hartford, Connecticut to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; complete with four major traffic jams. In order to avoid the congestion of New York City I stayed north on I-84 to the western edge of Connecticut, and on across New York state. I didn’t get a picture of the funniest sign I saw (and probably the newest) – “It Can Wait. Text Stop Ahead.” Sure enough, there are “Text Stops” along the freeways now. Signs. “Construction Ahead” was the most prolific, of course. May I show you more? » read more