The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Our Thanksgiving Vacation – First Two Days

Bob and I married in September 1998. Our first Thanksgiving was spent in Virginia with John (Bob’s brother) and Dorothy. During the next eleven years, we would spend five more Thanksgiving holidays with John and Dorothy. Of the remaining six years we spent three Thanksgiving holidays in New Hampshire with Cynthia (Bob’s sister) and Larry, one Thanksgiving Day at my parents’ home, one Thanksgiving holiday in Niagara Falls, Canada, and one Thanksgiving Day at home. Since 1998 each Thanksgiving Day was spent with family, except in 2008. Bob and I ate Thanksgiving Day dinner that year at TGI Friday’s in Niagara Falls, Canada. This year Bob and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in SE Pennsylvania. We ate Thanksgiving Day dinner at the Concordville Inn Restaurant in Concordville, PA. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let me begin at the start of this year’s Thanksgiving vacation.

This year’s Thanksgiving vacation began on Tuesday, November 23. We got an early start to the day. It was not yet 6:30AM when we departed Warren en route our hotel in Concordville, located in SE Pennsylvania approximately 30 miles outside of Philadelphia. Our first stop was in Clearfield at the Dutch Pantry, where we ate a full breakfast. We made only one other stop, for gas, en route our hotel. We arrived at the Best Western Plus Concordville Hotel at approximately 1:00PM. We stayed at this hotel last year, over Memorial Day weekend, when we visited Longwood Gardens for the first time. The hotel is set back from the road with a pond and trees. The hotel is surrounded by busy highways (Routes 322 and 1); however, when on the hotel grounds it feels like you are in the country. Our hotel room was similar to the room we had last year, but larger. The room we had last year was large too, so this room was especially large! The bathroom was large too. It had a shower AND a jacuzzi. The jacuzzi was not expected; it was a nice bonus! Furnishings included a king-size bed, two night stands, a chair with an Ottoman and a side table, love seat with small coffee table, color TV sitting atop a 3-drawer dresser, a desk and chair, microwave, refrigerator and sink. Our room was located on the fourth floor at the front of the hotel.

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This was the view from our hotel room.
PB240037 4x6The hotel lobby was decorated for Christmas.PB240038 4x6

We relaxed in our hotel room until approximately 3:15PM, when we left for dinner. We ate dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. We each ordered Chicken Parma (breaded chicken filets topped with Pomodoro sauce, fresh basil and melted provolone over spaghetti), served with a side salad and rolls. Bob had one beer; I drank ice tea. The staff kept apologizing for the chaotic state in the restaurant. We didn’t notice anything unusual. Apparently some of the waitresses were sent home early, as it wasn’t busy. Soon after they left, it got busy. Our meals were delicious. We felt that the service was excellent. We felt well looked after! We spent rest of the evening, after dinner, relaxing in our hotel room.

On Wednesday, November 24, we enjoyed a complimentary hot breakfast at our hotel. We each ordered a made-to-order omelet, along with bacon or sausage. A host of other breakfast goodies were available as well. After breakfast we drove to Brandywine Park in Wilmington, Delaware. The park is located less than 20 miles from the Best Western Plus Concordville Hotel. We enjoyed a walk along the Brandywine River, while we waited for the Brandywine Zoo to open.

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I like how the sun’s rays show through the branches of the tree, as well as how the sunshine makes the water glisten.

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Brandywine Park waterfall
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One of several bridges that cross the Brandywine River

DB248289 4x6Josephine Fountain

There are many, many Japanese cherry trees on the grounds behind this fountain. I would love to return to Brandywine Park in the Spring!

The zoo opened at 10:00 AM. Brandywine Zoo dates from 1905; it is Delaware’s only zoo. The zoo is small, and admission was only $4.00 each. According to its website, the zoo is home to 150 animals. It is a nice zoo; however, I did not find it conducive to taking photographs. Each animal was housed in a cage. I find it difficult to photograph an animal through bars and exclude the bars in the photograph!

Our Thanksgiving Vacation - First Two Days
(click on image to enlarge)
Top row (l-r): Andean Condor, Swift Fox, Serval
Middle row: Pygmy Goat, Llamas, Rhea
Bottom row: Capybara, Wood Duck, Bobcat

Soon after leaving Brandywine Zoo four helicopters appeared in the sky above us.

Wilmington, DE
CBS-3 Philadelphia Helicopter

At first we didn’t know what was going on. We soon learned that a tractor-trailer had overturned on Interstate 95, spilling its load of gravel on the roadway.Not wanting to be involved in a traffic snarl, we decided to explore more of Brandywine Park.

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The Sugar Bowl, so named because of its lid-shaped domed roof, was originally constructed in 1902. It once stood as the entrance to the Brandywine Zoo. The Sugar Bowl is being reconstructed.

DB248325 4x6Vietnam War Memorial

We are thankful that when we left Wilmington that we had no traffic problems. We ate a late lunch at McKenzie Brew House in Concordville, PA. Bob enjoyed a couple brews, while we dined on McKenzie wedges and a wood oven pepperoni pizza.

PB240033 4x6a McKenzie Wedge
PB240034 4x6Wood Oven Pepperoni Pizza

We returned to our hotel after lunch. We spent rest of day in our hotel, relaxing. We didn’t have to go out for dinner, as we had leftover Chicken Parma from Tuesday’s dinner in the refrigerator.

In my next blog post, I’ll write about how we spent Thanksgiving Day.

11 Responses to “Our Thanksgiving Vacation – First Two Days”

  1. eileeninmd

    Linda, it sounds like you had a couple of action packed days. The Park and zoo are nice. It is a little sad to see the animals behind the bars. Maybe Delaware can not afford a better habitat for the animals.

    Reply
  2. Becky K.

    You managed to find one of the few trees that was still holding onto its leaves. So pretty.I can't wait to see your Longwood photos.

    Reply
  3. Ciss B

    So much to take in!! Like the views from the room you had. I'm surprised that you had a hot complimentary breakfast, most motels we get have that continental breakfast, i.e. cold cereal, toast, sweet rolls, and the like.The zoo looked okay, but like you I hate bars on the cages. Oh, your meal looked great!

    Reply
  4. Scott

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. It was obviously MUCH better weather than we were having here in the West. I enjoyed your photos of your trip so far.

    Reply
  5. George

    Your Thanksgiving vacation got off to a great start. I've been through Wilmington a couple of times on business, but never had the opportunity to explore the area. I would like to have the opportunity to visit Brandywine Park.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Hi Linda – Sounds like you had a fun trip & many fine photo opportunities. Sorry we could not host turkey-day this year. I missed cooking the dinner with all the trimmings, but while enduring the physical therapy after recent surgery, I never could have managed it. Institution food at Larry's mom's facility wasn't great, but she enjoys hosting us when she can, and we enjoyed visiting with her. Cynthia

    Reply
  7. Betsy from Tennessee

    Hi Linda, Your vacation so far sounds fabulous: your neat motel, all of the good food, the zoo, the park, etc….. WOW—can't wait to hear more!!!!! We traveled this year also.Hugs,Betsy

    Reply
  8. Andrea

    Hi Linda, your landscape looks very different now, looks so strange for me who doen't experience trees all bald and looking lifeless. Autumn leaves and bald trees certainly produce different emotion for the un-initiated. But of course, beauty is always in the eye of…

    Reply
  9. Nezzy

    What a wonderful trip ya'll had! You were in a lux hotel room and I was knee deep in dressing! Heeehehe!!!Your pics are just amazing sweetie!God bless and enjoy your day!!! ;o)

    Reply
  10. Trails of a Traveler

    You started before 6:30am?? And don't tell me you rode in Bob's motorcycle, that would have frozen you both.The 3rd and 4th photos in the blog are stunners!The photographs of food was delicious.And just as a personal opinion, don't photograph birds or animals in captivity. Try going to some National Park or Wildlife reserve if you are intending to photograph the wild ones..Ram

    Reply

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