After a long night of late driving on Thursday, March 18, we had arrived early Friday morning to our hotel, a lovely Holiday Inn Express in Haskell (Wayne), New Jersey.  The pleasant extras like the towel arrangement shown here and the beautiful view of the small lake right outside which greeted us in the morning made this hotel an instant favorite.

A hotel extra special touch

An "extra-special" touch at the Haskell Holiday Inn Express

A View from the Hotel

A beautiful view out the window of Upper Twin Lake greets us in the morning

Upper Twin Lake behind the hotel

A beautiful morning on Upper Twin Lake, just behind the hotel (click image for larger view)

We rode New Jersey Transit’s Montclair-Boonton Line in to Penn Station, New York City. Our first stop was to be the American Museum of Natural History (featured in the movie Night at the Museum), so we transferred from Penn Station onto the New York City subway, navigating the trains right to the 81st Street Station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line. These trips kept us “underground” from the New Jersey entrance of the North River Tunnels on the Northeast Corridor under the Hudson River to Penn Station to Columbus Circle until finally emerging from the subway at street level right outside the museum at 81st Street.

NYC Subway Musicians

A New York City Subway scene featuring musicians and a flower vendor

An annual trip to the Reading-Lancaster area for Thanksgiving usually includes the yearly shopping excursion to the Rockvale Square and Tanger Outlet centers. However, this year, an extra treat before shopping included several suggestions of stops in the area by the three travelers, Eric, Elisabeth, and Elisabeth’s sister Chris. (Click on any picture to see or download the full-size version.)

10:55 AM EST

The first stop is the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Pet Store” on Centerville Rd, called “That Fish Place / That Pet Place“. A giant shark greets all visitors to this amazing destination that could be described as “a zoo with cash registers.”

The Shark in Front of That Pet Place

And the big excitement for your three travelers? Touching a live sting ray in the interactive pool.

The Touch Tank at That Fish Place

11:10 AM EST

We left the fish/pet store and headed east toward the Strasburg / New Holland / Blue Ball area.

New Holland Meats Sign12:00 PM EST

We have been driving toward New Holland with the help of a Magellan 4040 GPS unit, but we are a little unsure about the exact location of our next stop: The New Holland Meat Packers and Beef Jerky outlet.

12:30 PM EST

We have passed Sheetz store #231 two or three times, and we still have not found the Beef Jerky outlet. Chris made the suggestion to take a Sheetz break, regroup, and possibly ask for assistance to the New Holland Meats location.

12:45 PM EST

We have finally arrived! Apparently all publications of the outlet’s address have West Main Street (even in the GPS), but it is on East Main Street.

Chris poses with the Beef Jerky Outlet sign (below).

Chris at the Beef Jerky Outlet

Finally, we get to go in and get some jerky!

Entering the Jerky Outlet

The following pictures provide some illustration of the “remoteness” of the location. (First: entrance drive into New Holland Meats behind some houses; Second: view from back behind the parking lot; Third: another view out back)

Front Drive to Beef Jerky Store

Out Back at the Beef Jerky Outlet

Out Back at the Beef Jerky Outlet Store

12:57 PM EST

We are leaving New Holland Meats to go find Jakey!

1:25 PM EST

After less than 30 minutes, we have found our next destination. This was much easier than finding New Holland meats (but Chris and Elisabeth will tell you that the trip to New Holland was very much worth it for some good beef jerky!)

Jakey\'s Amish Barbecue

Now after all of the running around Lancaster County, Chris decided to order the “Sampler Platter” at Jakey’s Amish Barbeque. Jakey doesn’t skimp on the meat. There is about 3/4 pound of meat on that plate.

Chris with Jakey\'s Sampler Platter

After eating all she could and sharing some with Eric and Elisabeth, Chris still has a good bit of meat to take home in a to-go container.

Leftovers at Jakey\'s Amish Barbeque

And to commemorate our trip and the very delicious (not to mention filling) food at Jakey’s, Chris posed for a few photos.

Jakey\'s Truck

Close-Up on Chris with Jakey\'s Truck

Chris with a Jakey\'s Sign

2:20 PM

Next door to Jakey’s is “The Outhouse“, which provided some very entertaining pictures (below).

Outhouse Sign on Side

The Outhouse \

Restrooms Sign

Free Ride Sign

2:40 PM

Right in front of Jakey’s is the “Most-Photographed Building in Amish Country” (of which the pictures below help to continue that legacy). The “Dutch Haven” is famous for its Shoo-Fly pie, which Chris will be taking back to New York City. You can’t visit South-Eastern PA and Dutch Country without taking home a delicious Shoo-Fly pie.

Chris at the Dutch Haven

Dutch Haven Windmill

Some more interesting signs and merchandise within the Dutch Haven store prompted more photographs.

Don\'t Just Stand There

An Exit Sign?

The Exit sign above is somewhat dubious. Could anyone really get out of that door?

We also visited the Choo Choo Barn in Strasburg, PA, and the Railroad Museum of PA (also in Strasburg). There was some shopping at the outlets to finish out the day, but visiting Jakey and friends sure made the day a lot more interesting and adventurous. More pictures of the train attractions will be published in a follow-up post. From Lancaster County, that’s all for now.

Eric traveled to the 2008 Together for the Gospel conference in April of 2008. For a full account of the trip with photos, please visit our companion weblog, Reformed, Again!.

Lake Seneca

We have been enjoying a third anniversary trip in beautiful ‘upstate’ New York.  Here are some highlights from the trip, organized by date in reverse-chronological order.

Skaneateles 02

The creek leading from Skaneateles Lake flowing by the creamery.

Skaneateles 03

The Sherwood Inn along US Route 20 in Skaneateles – it is one of the oldest operating inns in the state of New York. The inn is also the managing property of the Village Inn, where we were staying.

Skaneateles 04

The gazebo along the north shore of Skaneateles Lake.

Skaneateles 05

A view of the Village Inn (in yellow), showing the terrace outside of our room on the third floor.

Skaneateles 06

The Village Inn from the front side on Jordan and Fennell Streets.

The Terrace Room in the Village Inn was one of those really nice places that we discovered on our first trip to Skaneateles in 2004, on our honeymoon.

Terrace Room 01

The stairs leading up to the second-floor common room.

Terrace Room 02

The second floor common room.

Terrace Room 03

The door leading to the terrace room is the one that is open on the left.

Terrace Room 04

Looking down the stairs from the room on the third floor to the second-floor door.

Terrace Room 05

Looking into the Terrace Room from the top of the steps. (Where did those Ty Pluffies come from?)

Terrace Room 06

The doorway out onto the terrace.

Terrace Room 07

The terrace.

Terrace Room 08

Another view of Skaneateles Lake from the terrace.

Terrace Room 09

Looking out onto Fennell Street from the terrace (away from the lake).

Terrace Room 10

The gas fireplace in the Terrace Room.

Carousel 01

At the Carousel Center Mall, we found this rather amusing kiosk selling tea – a ‘teaosk’.

Carousel 02

From the food court, there is a nice view of Lake Onondaga.

Carousel 03

The namesake of Carousel Center is this 1909 Philadelphia Toboggan carousel, known as Carousel No. 18 (it was the 18th carousel ever made by the company).

Carousel 04

Carousel No. 18 from the front, with the glass windows overlooking the lake in the background.

Carousel 05

A not-so-successful attempt to capture the carousel from the outside at night (center of picture, second floor, inside the glass section).

Watkins Glen 01

The gorge trail is closed due to ‘wintery’ conditions…

Watkins Glen 02

I guess they were not kidding – that is snow on the rocks (on April 29, 2007).

Watkins Glen 03

Here is another patch of snow.

Watkins Glen 04

This is a view of the turbulent waters below, from the closest point accessible above the restricted gorge trail.

Watkins Glen 05

This is another view of Townsend Creek running through the gorge.

Lake Seneca 01

The view of Seneca Lake driving down from Watkins Glen State Park Upper Entrance.

Lake Seneca 02

A striking purple sail boat on Seneca Lake.

Lake Seneca 03

The view outside of the Seneca Harbor Station Restaurant in Watkins Glen on Seneca Lake.

Lake Seneca 04

Believe it or not, just outside of Watkins Glen, there is a place called Chalet Leon.

Lake Seneca 05

Hector Falls is one of the cascades falling into Seneca Lake.

Sodus Point 01

The old lighthouse at Sodus Point, a New York State historical site.

Sodus Point 02

The view out onto Lake Ontario at the lighthouse.

Sodus Point 03

The view out to the new lighthouse on the Sodus Point breakwater.

Sodus Point 04

The westward view onto Lake Ontario.

Sodus Point 05

The new lighthouse from on the breakwater.

Sodus Point 06

Houses along the shore of Sodus Bay.

Skaneateles 01

After the day trip to Sodus Bay, we arrived in Skaneateles for our two-nights stay at the Village Inn. This is a view of Skaneateles Lake from the terrace outside the room.

Museum Walk-Up

The tour of the Corning Museum of Glass starts with a beautiful walk-up pathway.

Glass Above Food Court

Standing above the food court on nothing but glass.

The Glass Quote

This clever quote by Mark Twain reads: “It is a little thing, glass is – until it is absent – then it becomes a big thing.”

Here are some photos of Elisabeth’s flower-making experience at the Corning Museum of Glass, April 28, 2007.  Click a thumbnail to see a larger view.

Flower-Making 01 Flower-Making 02 Flower-Making 03 Flower-Making 04
Flower-Making 05 Flower-Making 06 Flower-Making 07 Glass Making Building ‘The Studio’
The Studio