A Pennsylvania Native Spends His First Day in Pittsburgh After 36 Years

When I meet someone who’s not from my home state, I tell them “I’m from Pennsylvania.” The east coast people tend to ask how close to “Philly” I am, while everyone else asks if I live near Pittsburgh. Until recently, my answer was that I’d never been there, as it’s on the other end of the state. I’ve always been curious, so for the first weekend of the New Year, I finally explored Pittsburgh.

When I meet someone who’s not from my home state, I tell them “I’m from Pennsylvania.” The east coast people tend to ask how close to “Philly” I am, while everyone else asks if I live near Pittsburgh. Until recently, my answer was that I’d never been there, as it’s on the other end of the state. I grew up in Luzerne County (eastern Pennsylvania) and can drive from there to the George Washington Bridge and back before I can get to Pittsburgh. I’ve always been curious, so for the first weekend of the New Year, I finally explored Pittsburgh. Lonely Planet served as a guide for what I would do there and there were enough sights and activities to easily fill a day.

I started off at the Duquesne Incline with the idea that I would ride one incline in the light and the other in the dark. The Duquesne is not operated by Port Authority and rides must be paid for in cash. When you get to the top, there are some exhibits as well as an observation deck with excellent views.

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My next destination was the Heinz History Center, which is on the southwestern border of the strip district. With seven floors (five open to visitors), you can easily spend a day there. Admission for an adult is $16. AAA will get you $1 off, but student admission is only $6.50.

The Clash of Empires: The British, French & Indian War 1754-1763, From Slavery to Freedom, Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation and We Can Do It: WWII were my personal favorites. I went through the museum in two hours, but you can easily turn that into three or four, depending on how fast you read and how varied your interests are.

From the museum, I walked to Penn Ave and through the strip district. There’s plenty of shopping there and different restaurants as well. Pittsburgh Popcorn Co is located on the corner of 21st Street and Spring Way. They have new flavors every week and offer samples. I bought a bag of cinnamon toast, which nobody else that was in front of me seemed interested in. Oh well, their loss, because it was delicious!

For lunch, I went to Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria, near the Gateway subway stop and then visited Fort Pitt Museum. Although the Heinz History Center is much more extensive, the area around Fort Pitt is great for walking and photo ops. At Fort Pitt, you can learn about the natives of Pittsburgh as well as how the 2nd largest city in Pennsylvania got its name. It was not named after Brad!

Pittsburgh skyline from Fort Pitt

I don’t believe that a visit to any city is complete without using some form or public transportation. I finally used the underground in Philadelphia last summer and since Fort Pitt is near the Gateway station, I boarded the train there and took it across the Monongahela River to the Station Square stop. The stops between Gateway and First Avenue are part of a Free Zone, but I had to pay since I was crossing the river to Station Square. Like the Los Angeles Metro, you buy a card, add value and “tap” when you enter the train. Before arriving at the First Avenue station, the train ascends above ground, so you get to see the river as it crosses.

From Station Square, it’s a short walk to the Monongahela Incline. It was dark by this time and the ride ($2.50 one-way, but only $1 extra if you make the return trip within three hours) only took a minute or two, just like the Duquesne. There’s an observation deck outside the upper station, where I took some excellent photos of the city at night.

After collecting my car, I headed to I Tea Café (Taiwanese) for dinner. They have one of my recent favorites (salt and pepper chicken) with different flavor options. I chose seaweed and also got French fries (something I don’t associate with Taiwan) of the same flavor as well as bubble tea. Everything was excellent and I had room for dessert, so I ordered glass jelly and homemade coconut toast. They are separate on the menu but go very well together. Try it!

Most decent sized cities have at least a bakery or two that sells French macarons. I found Gaby et Jules on Yelp and stopped there to get a box of six. They have the standard flavors as well as ones I’d either rarely or never seen before. I got nutella and salted caramel, which most places sell, but also tried Bailey’s Irish Cream and white chocolate basil.

Heinz Field

After spending my first full day in Pennsylvania’s second city, I can understand why it’s been voted the most livable city in America multiple times. It has professional sports teams, world class museums, a great food scene, more than ten colleges and universities yet does not feel overwhelming. Furthermore, my favorite bands usually stopped in Pittsburgh when they went on tour! Like most major cities, parking is a issue in the center, but unlike other cities with subways, you can ride theirs for free in the most congested areas. Pittsburgh has some great architecture along their ample waterfront, but it’s the inclines that really allow the visitor to fully appreciate it.

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Driving in D.C., walking around Georgetown

When visiting a city with a good public transportation system, I tend to leave my car at home. I’ve been traveling this way since 2008.

When visiting a city with a good public transportation system, I tend to leave my car at home. I’ve been traveling this way since 2008. Between 2008 and 2010, I learned the Subway in New York, the “T” in Boston and the Metro in DC. Since then, when I have to drive in those areas, I don’t look forward to it.

This past Friday, I did something I had not done in years: drive in the District of Columbia. In fact, the last time (that’s a Rolling Stones song) I did, it was to visit the Frederick Douglass house, which is located in Anacostia and has a parking lot.

It took a very special occasion to get me to drive there: a family reunion of sorts. I was taking my 83 year old Grandmother to visit her younger sister in neighboring Montgomery County, Maryland. Her one request was that she wanted to see the Holocaust museum. Although she was barely a teenager when the Second World War ended, she has more memory of the events around the time than I ever will.

Neither her nor her sister are capable of using the Metro. The walking is too much for them. The only option was for me to drive them. Like I told my Aunt (who I often stay with when visiting the DC area), “I’m not looking forward to it, but I’ll do it.”

The drive from Northampton County, Pennsylvania to Montgomery County, Maryland took more than three hours. It was barely 5:00 in the evening when we got settled in. I let them enjoy their reunion, while I went for a ride.

crossing the Monocacy River
crossing the Monocacy River

Since my Aunt lives in the very rural western corner of Montgomery county (near Virginia and the Potomac River), I decided to take a ride to Gaithersburg in central Montgomery County. I didn’t have a particular destination, but I ended up at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier in the Kentlands. Any time I see an interesting looking chocolate shop, I tend to stop. As soon as I saw their selection, I knew I had to get a box.

Although I can’t remember how the conversation started, I ended up talking to their brand ambassador, who was sitting at a table, working on her Apple laptop computer. I mentioned that I had a blog and I knew the term “brand ambassador” from Lisa Ray, who is Insight Vacations “brand ambassador.”

I mentioned that I’m a travel blogger and suggested she follow my blog. That conversation lasted a few minutes, then she asked about the (dragonfruit) necklace around my neck. I didn’t buy it to get attention, but dozens of people have asked me where I got it from. I don’t like wearing gold or silver, but I like having something around my neck. My cousin pointed out Glitterlimes to me last year and I ended up buying a couple necklaces around the holidays. I kept the dragonfruit necklace for myself and giving the lime one as a gift.

There was only one other non-employee in the place at the time. She overheard our conversation and bought three necklaces while we were talking. She turned out to be a publicist and looked at my Instagram and Twitter accounts as well as my blog. Since I’m not yet a full-time blogger, there was plenty to learn from her. She ended up taking my picture and showing me how to get the maximum amount of exposure on Instagram and Twitter.

at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier in Gaithersburg MD
at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier in Gaithersburg MD

I ended up not buying any chocolates until they were ready to close. By the time I returned to my Aunt’s house, I’d been gone for around five hours and everyone was sleeping.

The next morning, I was up, finished with my p90x3 workout and showered before anyone else. After my breakfast (shakeology), I did some paperwork I had brought with me until we got on the road.

The drive (that’s an REM song) took a little less than an hour. As soon as we got into the city limits, I got that feeling I get when I’m arriving in a place I love. There’s the excitement of seeing a city you’ve never seen and then that love of the familiar. DC is my 3rd favorite city (tied with even more historic Boston), but I would not be exploring it the way I like to.

I dropped them off at the Holocaust Museum and went to find parking. It took around five minutes but I found free 3 hour street parking on Jefferson Drive across from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service building and made the (fast) five minute walk to the museum.

Since I had been to the Holocaust Museum in 2008 (the last time I drove in the heart of DC), I was the one who went through the fastest. I was done in less than two hours. Normally I’m the one who takes the most time to the point where I annoy anyone who is with me. This time was the opposite.

Washington Monument
Washington Monument

On my way back to the car, I took a picture of the Washington Monument. After I picked my Grandmother and her sister up at the museum, we went to 2 Amys Pizzeria which was my (sort of) choice for lunch. The publicist that I had met the previous night, told me that we had to try 2 Amys. I ordered the Margherita like I typically do and shared rice balls with the table.

Margherita Pizza at 2 Amys
Margherita Pizza at 2 Amys

On the way to the museum, my Grandmother had mentioned that she had never been to Georgetown and my Aunt reminded her that it’s the most desirable neighborhood in the District of Columbia. Although my Grandmother was acting as if she didn’t really care if she saw it, she seemed pleased when I told her I would stop there.

C & O Canal in Georgetown
C & O Canal in Georgetown

We found a (not free) parking lot across from a Morton’s Steakhouse. They went for a drink, while I went for a walk on M Street. I got nostalgic almost immediately, like I tend to do in places where I have good memories. I’d visited there a few times last year, while staying at my Aunt’s house. The main stop I wanted to make was Olivia Macaron. When I arrived there, I was pleased to see that they had “fruity pebbles” flavored macarons. I bought a box of 7 and went to meet back up with my family.

Fruity Pebbles at Olivia Macaron
Fruity Pebbles at Olivia Macaron

The next morning, we drove back to Pennsylvania. I had been looking for Taiwanese “salt & pepper” or “popcorn” chicken in Georgetown the previous night, but could not find any. Thanks to Yelp, I found a place (Jumbo Jumbo Cafe) in Germantown that was not out of our way. After a stop at Lotte (which my Aunt took me to last summer), we went for bubble tea and chicken. We each ordered the same thing, but I ended up eating half of her chicken. Since I rarely eat fried foods, my stomach was a bit upset and that ended up being my only meal of the day. I certainly wanted some, but maybe not that much! I was raised to never throw food away.

Taiwanese Chicken & Coconut Milk Tea with bubble tapioca
Taiwanese Chicken & Coconut Milk Tea with bubble tapioca at Jumbo Jumbo Cafe in Germantown, MD

After crossing into Pennsylvania, we stopped in Gettysburg, which my Grandmother had never really seen. I had not been to since the last time I drove in the center of DC in 2008. She was acting the same way she was about Georgetown. Like it would be nice, but it was not important that we stopped. Like the Elf song, I chose to “do the same thing” as I did in Georgetown. Since it was the middle of the afternoon already, we drove through town and I got out to take some pictures. I never drove through downtown Gettysburg like we did. The last time I was there I took a bus tour from the visitor center with a friend.

Gettysburg Address 11-7-2015

Driving through Gettysburg reminded me of Carlisle a bit. We only spent about an hour. Even a casual civil war buff can spend a few days in Gettysburg without getting bored, but that was not an option on this trip. However, I picked up a lot of brochures for things I had not done when I spent an afternoon in Gettysburg in 2008. Gettysburg blog post coming soon!

My 1st afternoon in Park Slope

As part of an unexpected 4-day weekend, I spent this past Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn’s Park Slope. I had a handful of places I wanted to visit to make the nearly 30 minute trip from Washington Square Park worthwhile.

Like usual, I parked at the Newport PATH station in Jersey City and took the train to Christopher Street. After my usual sweets stops along Bleecker Street (Royce, Bisous Ciao & Popbar), I played U2’s The Joshua Tree on my new iPhone 6S and boarded the D train to the Atlantic Av-Pacific St. From there, I intended to transfer to the 2-3 line, but there was a delay. Instead, I boarded the Q train and took it one stop to 7 Av.

This area was new to me. I exited the station at Flatbush Ave. and walked 1 block south to Franny’s. Before I visited any museums, I needed to eat. I’d been reading about Franny’s for a while, and finally tried it. I had the margherita and writing this one day later, only thoughts of Luzzo’s and L & B Spumoni Gardens excite me more. It was around 2:00 in the afternoon (a late lunch for me). I got the Panna Cotta for dessert and was very glad that I did.

Margherita Pizza at Franny's
Margherita Pizza at Franny’s

I saved room for a slice at DiFara. I was conveniently along the Q line (the only one that stops at Avenue J on weekends) and there was no construction this past weekend. I called ahead since they had only recently reopened after being closed for a week, but I got no answer. Other times I wanted to visit, there was construction on the Q line, which affected the Avenue J stop.

I decided it wasn’t meant to be and walked to 8th Avenue and then headed south towards Union Street. I hadn’t been to Macaron Parlour in a while, and they have a new temporary location in Park Slope. It’s small and you can easily walk past it. I did! I ordered a box of 6 to add to the 6 I bought earlier at Bisous Ciao and got an excellent shot of the wall.

Macaron Parlour in Brooklyn
Macaron Parlour in Brooklyn

My next destination was Old Stone House. I read about it online, but was surprised when I arrived. It’s very small and located inside of Washington Park. Having resided in Pennsylvania my whole life, I’m more familiar with revolutionary war sites in my home state and neighboring New Jersey. Brooklyn’s role in the revolutionary war was even less clear to me than that of Manhattan.

Old Stone House in Brookyn
Old Stone House in Brookyn

There is a suggested donation, which I gave. I don’t see how anyone can spend more than 30 minutes in there. There’s just one small room with exhibits. Just as interesting as being inside of the museum is looking at it from the outside, as it’s in the middle of a public park and surrounded by a playground and a skatepark.

side shot of Old Stone House
side shot of Old Stone House

Before going to the Museum of Morbid Anatomy, I had to go to L’Albero dei Gelati, which I passed on 5th Avenue on the way to Old Stone House. I’d never heard of this place. Over the past couple years, I visited some ice cream shops that I read about in Time Out New York and the results were always good. This place was at least as good as any of the places I read about in Time Out and similar magazines. The largest cup they had held four scoops. With their amazing selection, I needed all four. I could have chosen more, but there were four flavors (abbreviated descriptions) that stood out from the rest: ricotta with cinnamon, olive oil, lemon with lemongrass and orange. Since I prefer to eat the heavier flavors 1st, I had them put the gelatos (cinnamon & olive oil) on top and the sorbettos (lemon & orange) on the bottom. The cup was pretty large, but I had room (since I never went to DiFara) and finished it well before arriving at my next stop.

The Museum of Morbid Anatomy is near the relatively new Whole Foods Market Brooklyn, which I’d been to a few times before (when I drove in). It’s a black building, which makes it stand out from everything else in the area. With a student ID you can get in for $6. The exhibits are upstairs. Although the figures on display may be disturbing to some, I would not include myself in that list. Like the Old Stone House, it would be difficult to spend more than 30 minutes there (unless you get a snack downstairs and/or take advantage of their reading room upstairs). The exhibits are in one small room and there is someone to explain them and answer questions.

Museum of Morbid Anatomy in Brooklyn

From the Museum of Morbid Anatomy, it’s a short walk to the 4 Av F-G station (or the 9 St D-N-R) station. I boarded the F train with York St (last stop before Manhattan) as my destination. I made it as far as the next stop (Smith 9 Sts) and decided to get out to take some pictures. The sun was beginning to set and I sensed an excellent photo op. From the Manhattan and Queens bound platform you look down at Gowanus Canal and lower Manhattan is off in the distance. The buildings along the canal are gritty and industrial looking but the further out you look, you start to see the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan.

shot from Smith 9 St station in Brooklyn
Gowanus Canal

Less than 10 minutes after exiting the train, I caught the next one and exited at York Street. Since this past summer, I’d been wanting to visit Bldg 92 in Brooklyn Navy Yard. Although it looks close on a map, it was at least a 15 minute walk along York Street to Flushing Ave. When you start to see the Navy Yard, you are only around “halfway there” (that’s a Soundgarden song). By the time I got to the entrance around 5:15 (that’s a Who song) it was dark outside.

mural outside Brooklkyn Navy Yard

Like Old Stone House, Bldg 92 is free. Unlike the area around Old Stone House, there’s not much else to see around Bldg 92. For dining or sightseeing, you have to go back towards the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge underpasses. One to Two hours is an ideal amount of time to spend at Bldg 92 (unless you show up 45 minutes before they close, like I did).

Building 92 Museum at Brooklyn Naval Yard
Building 92 Museum at Brooklyn Naval Yard

Like Old Stone House, Bldg 92 covers the Revolutionary War, but the difference is that at Bldg 92, that’s just the beginning. Bldg 92 covers all the way up to the 21st century. The story is rather interesting from a civics perspective, but I have no interest in the technical aspects of shipbuilding. As a result, I skipped some of the exhibits. There are three floors and I spent the longest amount of time on the first floor. I stayed right up until they closed at 6.

After my 3rd museum visit of the day, I was tired and was hoping to find a cab to drive me back to the 23rd Street PATH station. This really says something, because I only remember using NYC cabs twice in my entire life. No such luck! The cabs I saw did not notice me and the streets you take to get between York St station and Brooklyn Navy Yard and pretty desolate (by NYC standards). I walked all the way back to York St station without getting a cab.

Before catching the PATH train, I had to make one more macaron stop (La Maison du Macaron). Everything I saw in Brooklyn was new to me, which says a lot since I’ve been there dozens of times both on foot and behind the wheel of my Prius.

Exploring the city that gave the world Little League Baseball

It was a great day exploring the city that gave us Little League Baseball and in the last half of the 19th century claimed more millionaires per-capita than any other American city.

In the last half of the 19th century, Williamsport, Pennsylvania claimed more millionaires than any other American city. With a population of just under 30,000, there is no city of similar size within an hour drive. There’s one small airport, which only offers commercial flights to one city (Philadelphia). The Susquehanna River divides Williamsport and South Williamsport. Although most of the tourist attractions are located in the city of Williamsport, the most famous institution associated with the area is located in South Williamsport.

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Just south of South Williamsport on Route 15 (north)
Just south of South Williamsport on Route 15 (north)

Many people will be approaching Williamsport from Interstate 80. Since I live east of Williamsport, I take I-80 to either I-180 West or Route 15 North whenever I visit. My first stop on my most recent visit was the World of Little League Museum. This is an ideal place to start for anyone coming from the south.

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Every year, greater Williamsport gets flooded with baseball fans attending the annual Little League World Series. Williamsport claims to be the birthplace of Little League Baseball. The museum has ample parking right on Route 15 North. General admission is $5, but there is no charge to view the grounds behind the museum.

Howard J. Lamade Stadium
Howard J. Lamade Stadium

I started by driving around the grounds behind the museum, which include the 40,000-seat Howard J. Lamade Stadium as well as Little League Volunteer Stadium. Every year, Lamade Stadium hosts the Little League World Series. If you visit any other time, it’s hard to imagine the madness that surrounds the event every year as more people attend than live in the city of Williamsport.

scoreboard at Lamade Stadium
scoreboard at Lamade Stadium

After touring the grounds and taking some pictures, I visited the World of Little League Museum. Your tour will start with a brief orientation video. Once inside the actual museum, highlights include a timeline about Little League and the World Series as well as uniforms spanning the past 75 years. I spent around 30 minutes looking around before crossing the river and heading into Williamsport.

crossing the Susquehanna River
crossing the Susquehanna River

For lunch, I headed to Pine Square and ate at The Stonehouse Wood Fired Pizza & Pasteria. I had a classic margarita pizza as well as the grilled calamari. On the next block of Pine Street is Le Chocolat, which has excellent truffles. Owned by Bernie and Bonnie Katz for more than 20 years, I consider this to be a must-visit place for chocolate lovers visiting Williamsport.

margarita pizza at the Stonehouse
margarita pizza at the Stonehouse
grilled calamari at the Stonehouse
grilled calamari at the Stonehouse
inspirational banner on Pine Street
inspirational banner on Pine Street
old City Hall
old City Hall

After getting a box of chocolates to take home, I drove west on 4th Street. I first stopped to take pictures of the murals across from the historic Genetti Hotel, then drove through Millionaire’s Row (4th Street), then on to the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum. Inside, there’s a slide show on the history of transportation in Lycoming County (Pennsylvania’s largest) as well as information on the area’s role in the underground railroad. Out back there’s a Pullman Parlor rail car, which the museum claims to be one of only two remaining in the United States. Visitors can go inside.

Genetti Hotel

murals across from the historic Genetti Hotel
murals across from the historic Genetti Hotel
Millionaires Row
Millionaires Row

Just steps away is the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society. This was my next destination. The Taber museum has exhibits on Lycoming County’s Native Americans, lumber industry and contribution to the armed forces. There are also period rooms which take the visitor back to the times of British colonialism and up to the present. Downstairs, there’s a toy train exhibition, which contains over 300 toy trains as well as two working layouts. The other basement room is dedicated to farming crafts and industry.

Taber Museum
outside of the Taber Museum
art at the Taber Museum
art at the Taber Museum

Many visitors to Williamsport take a Hiawatha Riverboat Cruise. They run May to October and cost $8.50. Although it’s by far the most “touristy” thing I ever did in Williamsport, I’m glad I experienced it. I found Susquehanna State Park (where the boat docks) to be more exciting as it provided for some excellent photo ops. The cruise itself is narrated and I’m pretty sure I was one of three people under 60 years old on the boat.

entrance to Susquehanna State Park
entrance to Susquehanna State Park

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bridge crossing the Susquehanna River
bridge crossing the Susquehanna River

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Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat
shot from the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat
shot from the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat

After visiting three museums, I decided to visit the “birthplace of Little League Baseball,” which is located across from historic Bowman Field (now Susquehanna Bank Park). Besides looking at plaques and watching some people play baseball, there’s not much else to do at the site, besides take some pictures and say “I was there.” Bowman Field is home to the Williamsport Crosscutters, which are one of the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league teams. It’s also the second oldest minor league ballpark in the United States.

historic Bowman Field (now Susquehanna Bank Park)
historic Bowman Field (now Susquehanna Bank Park)
plaque honoring Carl E Stotz
plaque honoring Carl E Stotz
Carl E Stotz Field (
Carl E Stotz Field (“birthplace of Little League Baseball”)

birthplace of Little League

After a full day of sightseeing, I was hungry for my favorite type of Asian food. From the park, I drove downtown to the only Thai restaurant in Williamsport. Joy Thai is located at 17 West 4th Street. For such a small city, parking can be a real challenge in the downtown area. There is street parking as well as municipal lots, both of which fill up fast. I know how big Pad Thai dishes can be, so I resisted the temptation to try appetizers and ordered the Seafood Pad Thai.

inspirational banner on Court Street
inspirational banner on Court Street
Seafood Pad Thai at Joy Thai
Seafood Pad Thai at Joy Thai

After dinner, I was in the mood to do some walking, so I headed to Pine Square and got some ice cream at Sprinkled Sweet. From there, as the sun set, I headed east to Market Street and walked across the Carl E. Stotz Memorial Little League Bridge (Route 15) bridge to South Williamsport and then back to my car near old City Hall. It was a great day exploring the city that gave us the organization which kept me occupied from age 9 to 12.

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walking from Williamsport to South Williamsport
walking from Williamsport to South Williamsport
sun setting over the Susquehanna River
sun setting over the Susquehanna River

My 1st full day in Easton, PA, a walk to NJ and back to PA

This past weekend, I spent my first full day in Easton, PA. Although, I’d driven through Easton hundreds of times over the past 19 years, I never spent a full day exploring on foot.

This past weekend, I spent my first full day in Easton, PA. Although, I’d driven through Easton hundreds of times over the past 19 years, I never spent a full day exploring on foot. Known to many as the birthplace of former boxing heavyweight champion, Larry Holmes and home of the Crayola Factory, Easton lies on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. The Lehigh River meets the Delaware River just south of the Northampton Street Bridge, which connects Easton with Phillipsburg, New Jersey at no charge to motorists.

Northampton Street Bridge
Northampton Street Bridge

Since I was coming from neighboring Bethlehem, I started by visiting the National Canal Museum inside of Hugh Moore Park. A $12 ticket gets you a 45-minute mule-driven canal boat ride as well as admission to the museum. I started with the boat ride, which went at an amazingly slow speed of 2 miles per hour. During the ride, you get a history lesson and some nice photo ops.

Hugh Moore Park
Hugh Moore Park
Josiah White Canal Boat
Josiah White Canal Boat
Lehigh Canal Lock House 8
Lehigh Canal Lock House 8
Lehigh River waterfall
Lehigh River waterfall

The museum is housed inside of a 14,000 square foot, two-story brick building. I spent less than 30 minutes inside and found the boat ride to be more interesting. Inside the museum, there are exhibits on the history of the canal, which are good for children as well as adults.

Canal Museum
Canal Museum
leaving Hugh Moore Park
leaving Hugh Moore Park

From there, I drove to the Sigal Museum, near Centre Square. I parked behind the museum and stopped at Bank Street Creamery, where I had some raspberry sorbet. In the alleyway (Bank Street), I had a couple of nice photo ops before entering the museum.

bicycle parking on Bank Street
bicycle parking on Bank Street

The Sigal Museum is one of four museums operated by the Northampton County Historical & Geological Society. They were offering free admission and I spent more than 30 minutes exploring. Their exhibits on the Lenape people were the most interesting. Downstairs there was an exhibit about Just Born Quality Confections (Peeps, Mike & Ike, Hot Tamales, etc.), which is located in neighboring Bethlehem.

murals on Bank Street
murals on Bank Street

From the museum, I walked through Centre Square, then followed Northampton Street to Riverside Park. There were excellent photo ops all along the way. I walked northbound through Riverside Park to the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge. Earlier this year, I walked from New Jersey to New York and back to New Jersey (via the George Washington Bridge). This time I walked from PA to NJ and back to PA, using a different bridge each time.

Centre Square
Centre Square
Northampton Street Bridge
Northampton Street Bridge
Lehigh River
Lehigh River
Lehigh River
Lehigh River

Once I crossed the bridge into Phillipsburg, it was very unexciting and a tedious process to get to the Northampton Street Bridge, which would take me back into Easton. The 560 foot Northampton Street Bridge (known to locals as the “free bridge”) is shorter than the (1,020 foot) Easton-Phillipsburg Bridge and much more aesthetically pleasing.

Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge
Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge

After a long day of walking, I stopped at El Chasqui Peruvian & Colombian Restaurant. This is a nice family-owned place, which will likely be your only meal of the day. The food is excellent (Peruvian is my favorite American food) and filling. I cannot imagine eating this food every day, but the one or two times I eat Peruvian food every month, I really enjoy it. This was no exception. I ordered the Parihuela (Peruvian Seafood Soup) along with Ceviche Peruano and ended up taking some of each home.

after crossing the Northampton Street Bridge
after crossing the Northampton Street Bridge
State Center for the Arts
State Center for the Arts

When I got home, I booked my next trip to a foreign country……………………..