The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving 2010 Vacation’

Our Thanksgiving Vacation – Thanksgiving Day Dinner

In my past six blog posts I’ve written about how we spent our Thanksgiving holiday. On Wednesday we visited Brandywine Park and zoo in Wilmington, DE. On Thanksgiving Day we visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, where we enjoyed the sights of “A Longwood Christmas”. We ate Thanksgiving Day dinner at the Concordville Inn Restaurant in Concordville, PA.

Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be a nice affair. We had our concerns at first. We had dinner reservations for 6:00 PM. We only had to walk across the parking lot from our hotel to the Concordville Inn Restaurant. We approached the restaurant at the closest access. Entering the restaurant, we were told politely that this particular entrance was not for the Thanksgiving dinner buffet. We were directed to a side door.

We arrived about 10 minutes early for our reservation. There was a long line. I ascertained that the people in front of us had 6:00 PM dinner reservations as well. After a few minutes we learned that the line that we were in was the paying line. We had to pay for our dinner, including an 18% gratuity, BEFORE being seated! We waited in the paying line for about 15-20 minutes. While in line we noticed two parties were seated immediately, ahead of others that had been there first. We learned later that there was a party in the “staging area” that had 5:00 PM dinner reservations and had not yet been seated!

When we reached the cashier, there was no record of our reservation. I had made our dinner reservation on line via the restaurant’s website. Apparently, there were two meals being served that day at the restaurant — an a-la-carte dinner and the Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet. I was only aware of the Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet when I made our dinner reservations. When I explained to the cashier that I had made our dinner reservation on line, she informed us that we were supposed to use the other entrance. We explained that we attempted to enter via that entrance but were directed to this entrance. The cashier then placed us on the 6:00 PM reservation list. We paid for our meals and entered the staging area, where we waited for an available table.

While in the staging area we noticed parties who had come in after us were being seated ahead of us. At the same time that we noticed that larger parties were being seated ahead of us, another couple made the same observation. We quickly decided to join forces and create a party of four. We informed the cashier of our decision. Immediately, a table became available. The couple that we joined forces with was Irene and Paul, who lived nearby. The food was bountiful and delicious. I am happy that we shared the evening with Irene and Paul. We didn’t exchange email addresses. That’s sad because it would have been nice to keep in touch with them.

Our Thanksgiving Vacation – Part 5 of “A Longwood Christmas”

On Thanksgiving Day we visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A special event, “A Longwood Christmas”, opened that day. On Tuesday I shared photographs that I took while strolling through the East Conservatory Complex. On Wednesday I shared photographs that were taken in the Main Conservatory. On Thursday I shared photographs that were taken in the West Conservatory Complex’s Orchid House, Mediterranean Garden and Palm House. Yesterday I shared photographs of Children’s Holiday Trees that were located in the West Conservatory Complex. Today’s blog post wraps up “A Longwood Christmas”, with additional photographs that were taken while in the West Conservatory Complex.

West Conservatory Complex –
Estate Fruit House

West Conservatory Complex –
Fern Passage

West Conservatory Complex –
Cascade Garden

West Conservatory Complex –
Rose House Christmas Tree

West Conservatory Complex –
Tropical Terrace Christmas Tree

West Conservatory Complex –
Silver Garden

I hope that you have enjoyed coming along with Bob and me on our stroll through Longwood Gardens’ Conservatory. We visited the Conservatory for approximately 3 hours. Had it not been a cold and wet day, we would have enjoyed a walk on the grounds of Longwood Gardens. We might have been tempted, too, to return to see the display of Christmas lights at night. A blogging friend visited Longwood Gardens a few days after we did. She was there in the evening, and you can see the beauty of the Christmas lights at night by visiting her blog — Just Nature Photos from Eileen. Also, if you are interested in visiting Longwood Gardens yourself, please visit their website for information on planning your visit. “A Longwood Christmas” will be happening through January 9, 2011. Any time, though, is a great time to visit Longwood Gardens!

Our Thanksgiving Vacation – Part 4 of “A Longwood Christmas”

On Thanksgiving Day we visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A special event, “A Longwood Christmas”, opened that day. On Tuesday I shared photographs that I took while strolling through the East Conservatory Complex. On Wednesday I shared photographs that were taken in the Main Conservatory. On Thursday I shared photographs that were taken in the West Conservatory Complex’s Orchid House, Mediterranean Garden and Palm House. In today’s blog post I will share photographs of Children’s Holiday Trees that were in the West Conservatory Complex.

I loved all the hand-made ornaments that were hung on the Children’s Holiday Trees! Perhaps looking at these Christmas trees will give you some ideas for your own Christmas Tree.

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

West Conservatory Complex –
Children’s Holiday Trees

I’ll wrap up my blog posts on “A Longwood Christmas” in my next blog post.

Our Thanksgiving Vacation – Part 3 of “A Longwood Christmas”

On Thanksgiving Day we visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A special event, “A Longwood Christmas”, opened that day. On Tuesday I shared photographs that I took while strolling through the East Conservatory Complex. Yesterday, I shared photographs that were taken in the Main Conservatory. In today’s blog post I will share photographs from the West Conservatory Complex’s Orchid House, Mediterranean Garden and Palm House.

West Conservatory Complex –
Orchid House

West Conservatory Complex –
Orchid House

West Conservatory Complex –
Orchid House

West Conservatory Complex –
Orchid House
I almost missed this orchid wreath.
It hung high on a wall.
Isn’t it beautiful!

The orchids were beautiful and wonderfully scented.

 

 

West Conservatory Complex –
Mediterranean Garden

West Conservatory Complex –
Mediterranean Garden

West Conservatory Complex –
Mediterranean Garden

 

West Conservatory Complex –
Palm House

In my next blog post I will share additional photographs from Longwood Garden’s West Conservatory Complex.

Our Thanksgiving Vacation – Part 2 of “A Longwood Christmas”

On Thanksgiving Day we visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A special event, “A Longwood Christmas”, opened that day. In yesterday’s blog post I shared photographs that I took while strolling through the East Conservatory Complex. The photographs in today’s blog post were taken in the Main Conservatory.

Main Conservatory –
The Orangery

Main Conservatory –
The Orangery

Main Conservatory –
The Orangery

Main Conservatory –
The Orangery

Main Conservatory –
The Orangery

Main Conservatory –
The Orangery

Main Conservatory –
The Orangery

 

Main Conservatory –
Exhibition Hall

Main Conservatory –
Exhibition Hall

In my next blog post I will share photographs from Longwood Garden’s West Conservatory Complex.

Our Thanksgiving Vacation – “A Longwood Christmas” (Part 1)

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday in SE Pennsylvania. The day before Thanksgiving we visited Brandywine Park and zoo in Wilmington, Delaware. You may read about that day’s adventures by clicking here.

On Thanksgiving Day we visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A special event, “A Longwood Christmas”, opened that day. In this blog post and the several to follow, I will share photographs from Longwood Gardens. Today’s photographs were taken in the East Conservatory Complex.

East Conservatory Complex

East Conservatory Complex

East Conservatory Complex

East Conservatory Complex

East Conservatory Complex

 

East Conservatory Complex –
Indoor Children’s Garden

East Conservatory Complex –
Indoor Children’s Garden

East Conservatory Complex –
Indoor Children’s Garden

East Conservatory Complex –
Indoor Children’s Garden

East Conservatory Complex –
Indoor Children’s Garden

East Conservatory Complex –
Indoor Children’s Garden

In my next blog post I will share photographs from Longwood Garden’s Main Conservatory.

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.

This was the view from our hotel room.

The hotel lobby was decorated for Christmas.

The hotel lobby was decorated for Christmas.

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.

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

Brandywine Park waterfall

One of several bridges that cross the Brandywine River

Josephine 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.

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.

The Sugar Bowl

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.

Vietnam 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.

a McKenzie Wedge

Wood 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.

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