Posts Tagged ‘fun’
The summer is winding down and the evening temperatures are starting to cool down here in the Hudson Valley. Of course for all of you that follow WonderfulWonders you already know how very important it is to my honey & I to support local businesses, vendors and events. This weekend we did just that by attending the 2nd year for the new “Festa Italiana Peekskill” festival.
What began with general conversation at Ciro’s Restaurant on South Street in Peekskill (in Westchester County NY) has turned into “Festa Italiana Peekskill” thanks to organizer/director Frank Cimino. Apparently after doing some research it was discovered that 20% of Peekskill’s population is made up of Italian/Americans. With that, Mr. Cimino was on a quest, a quest to bring an Italian festival to Peekskill. Last year Mr. Cimino and a group/army of volunteers got together to bring what was a childhood memory of the great smells of good food, good conversation with family & friends to life in Peekskill.
Similar to their neighbors in Verplanck NY, who has proudly hosted the Italian Feast presented by The Society of Our Lady of Mt Carmel for the past 89years, Peekskill now proudly celebrates their “Festa Italiana Peekskill” Festival during the Feast of the Assumption. The “Festa Italiana Peekskill” features genuine native cuisine and bona fide Italian entertainers.
2011 is the 2nd year for the new “Festa Italiana Peekskill” festival and the Paramount Center for the Arts kicked off this year’s celebration with a benefit concert featuring Michael Amante. The benefit concert was for the Assumption Church and School in Peekskill. Michael Amante is one of the few tenors in the United States that is highly regarded and has been in a number of shows.
Friday night the crowd was entertained by Peekskill’s very own Internationally Acclaimed Vocal Artist Mary Mancini and World Renowned Accordion Virtuoso Mario Tacca and Doug Ferony Big Band. After the traditional Italian “salute!” (even though it may have been only water for our performing friends) everyone enjoyed themselves as they were clapping in their seats, singing along & even dancing in the streets!
As with most festivals, along with the entertainment & food is a unique blend of vendors ~ many of which are local offering a unique blend of local flare and in many case homemade items featuring locally grown or manufactured materials.
What I love most about attending these festivals is the opportunity to meet these local businesses/vendors and chat a bit with them. I simply love unique items and to meet the owner of the business and learn how they make the products is truly a pleasure for us. In return for their time & effort, we like to give them a little recognition and showcase a few of the more unique products and we have to save the trivets from Botanical Trivets are not only unique but they are exquisite! And yes, of course I had to have one for myself and I bought one as a gift!
As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!
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What a spectacular day it was this past Saturday as my honey and I started out on one of our famous “day-trips”! We headed to Sugar Loaf Artisans Village located in the picturesque Warwick Valley, Orange County, New York. Directions to Sugar Loaf. Many people refer to Sugar Load village as a “mini Woodstock.”
Oh my gosh, here I go again but, without a doubt Sugar Loaf is now on the list of my “Top Picks” places to visit! Handmade treasures, meeting great local artisans and the beauty of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley Sugar Loaf should be on your to-do list.
You can’t help but fall in love with this quaint village filled with outstanding selection of handmade art, crafts and gifts. There are so many “wonderful” unique shops each offering a broad range of artistic items from oil and acrylic paintings, water color, stained glass, black & white and color photography, pottery, antiques, jewelry and woodworks, candles, soap, sculpture and much much more!
I truly believe this village is one of the most unique shopping villages in the Hudson Valley. This “wonderful” village has the distinguished reputation as a crafts community for over 250 years, Today, Sugar Loaf remains true to its heritage as the year round home of over fifty independent business men and women. Many of these artisans live and work in the original barns and buildings which date back to the 1700’s. There you still find a rich history of artists, writers and creative people that have left a great legacy to build on.
You’ll find everything in Sugar Loaf within easy strolling distance; there are specialty and gift shops, pottery, art and photography studios. Spend the day browsing though the “wonderful” collection of shops, bring a camera or sketch pad and create your own impressions, Sugar Loaf’s beautiful surroundings will release your creative energies! When your stomach starts to stir, stop at one of the fine restaurants for a rejuvenating meal, quick snack or a refreshing drink.
As hard as we tried, we couldn’t visit all the great shops and galleries in one day. Darn, guess we’ll have to plan another trip LOL! We couldn’t visit them all because we were thrilled to spend time meeting & chatting with the owners/artisans of the shops we were able to visit! So here are a few of my favorites:
Next stop, Rosner’s Traditional Soap Makers, I’ve been anxiously waiting to visit this shop to get their Soapstone (also known as steatite or soaprock) soap dishes! Again, thanks to links on my friend Rena’s site is where I first learned about these soapstone soap dishesand couldn’t wait to get one for myself! While I didn’t purchase any soap on this trip (I’ll save that for our next visit), I clearly understand why Rosner Soap was voted Best Soap in The Hudson Valley 2006, by Hudson Valley Magazine. Can’t wait to go back!
Onward to Kelly Jane Accessories, adorable accessories and more! Unique handmade handbags & coordinating accessories fill this shop! Everyone loves to have a bag or accessory that is a conversation piece and that is what you will find in this great shop! Kelly does all her own sewing and each piece is created to be a fashioned to be a statement of originality! I know, I know, yes, I purchased a great little blue bead stretch bracelet! I just can’t help myself when I’m surrounded by so many “wonderful,” people and things! Go ahead, visit the website of Kelly Jane Accessories shop and see for your self.
Up next was Bostree, okay so I wanted one of everything! This shop/gallery has a large varied selection of unique functional and decorative American craft created by numerous local and national craftspeople as well as by its owners, Theresa and Ray Boswell. I fell in love with the many unique mirrors! And so, true to form, I purchased one and added one to my “wish list” for our next visit! If you like these mirrors they can be customized to a particular color if you wish. The picture here titled “wish list” I’m having done in a green – so go ahead and visit the website of Bostree shop, you’ll be glad you did as you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
Then on to The Exposures Gallery, here you will see the most amazing photos of the Hudson Valley and many other exciting places Nick has photographed along his travels. He recently released a beautiful coffee table book entitled “The Great Valley” containing over 140 color photographs spanning 25 years in the region. As we looked through the book we were in awe of the beauty of Nick’s photos of our great Hudson Valley. This book is wonderful and now on my Christmas Wish List! Without a doubt The Exposures Gallery is a place to visit – visit their website.
So these are just a few of the many shops that await you in Sugar Loaf. There are a variety of restaurants too! If you haven’t already visited then you must consider planning a day trip to Sugar Loaf, you’ll be happy you did! Feel free to leave a comment on your visits to Sugar Loaf!
As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!
Happy Memorial Day everyone! To all our military brothers and sisters that have served, are currently serving or have lost their lives for us, I say to you THANK YOU!
Turned out to be a great weekend! We decided to spend Saturday out ‘n about on one of our famous “day-trips” in New Jersey (my honey’s home state).
We started off at the Bergen Amateur Radio Association’s Spring Hamfest. A Hamfest is the “lingo” for ham radio flea market. Who knew that there was a flea market for ham radio stuff – not me until I was introduced to the world of ham radio from my honey who has his Extra Class Amateur Radio License.
Then we traveled across the state stopping along the way to browse (okay and make a few purchases LOL!) at a few garden shops! We stopped off at the Stone Mill Garden Center located on 769 Ridgewood Road, Washington Twp, NJ only to find they had the most beautiful bluebells calling my name (hee hee) and right along side the bluebells were a few other perennials that of course I couldn’t resist. Of course they all needed to be added to my garden so in the car they went! Along with a great new garden flag proudly featuring our great America Flag!
Next stop was the Olde Lafayette Village is located in the heart Sussex County at the intersection of State Routes 15 and 94 in Lafayette, New Jersey. I truly love these villages – there is something to be said for enjoying a beautiful spring or summer afternoon strolling along pathways, while stopping off and visiting various shops and meeting new friends! A few places I loved here included:
- JUDY & UNA LEE’S PRIM PANTRY etc. and just as their slogan reads, this adorable little shop has a little of this and a little of that-I loved it! Here I found this adorable little blue bird pot sitter which I immediately put on one of my window boxes!
- CAREY LANE ACCENTS was great! Here I found the most beautiful flower lights that had my name on but, I contained myself here and didn’t actually get this, this time, now I have a reason to go back!
- VILLAGE ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES was a treasure! Here I purchased a beautiful table runner with lace trimmed edges surrounding a pattern of pinks & mauve roses!
- NIHAO FASHION BOUTIQUE was fun! I love to find those special things that are unique and different – well here I found an adorable pink popcorn shirt and very special Victorian lady necklace holder!
- Everything Homemade Pastry Shop & Cafe and yes, our outings wouldn’t be complete without a little dessert, even if it comes as an afternoon snack while strolling through the shops of Olde Lafayette Village.
As you know, we most enjoy the new friends we meet as we travel in and around the Hudson Valley and Tri-State area. We are pleased to have had the chance to meet Don Thoenig, a.k.a. Don The Kazoo Man! Don was a delight to chat with and most entertaining! If you haven’t yet visited this quaint little shopping village we say consider visiting on June 19 when you will be able to meet and be entertained by Don!
Then, the surprise of the day was when we decided to get a bite to eat at The Chatterbox Drive-In, a family owned fifties and sixties style “drive-in” restaurant in Augusta, NJ. From Memorial Day through Labor Day they provide “Car-hop” service where you simply pull in and you will be served in your car by one of our waitresses! This will bring you back to the “good ol’ days,” even if you weren’t a part of them! But, back to the surprise, we pulled in only to find the Sussex, NJ Wanders Car Club was holding their Cruise Night! WOW, there must have been 200 or more amazing cars here! Check out some of the great cars!
We had another great day out ‘n about! As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!
Today we took one of our famous “day-trip” and went to the Dutchess County (NY) Fair in Rhinebeck – the sun was finally shinning and we had an absolutely great day!
We enjoyed an afternoon of fun, sun, shopping (of course), great food and entertainment! Today we watched the Championship Bull Riding event. This action packed show features top riders pitted with top bulls. Bull riding is a popular rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a large bull and attempting to stay mounted for at least 8 seconds while the animal attempts to buck off the rider. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. It is a risky sport and has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports. (http://www.dutchessfair.com/grandstand-performances.php)
I have to tell you of the most wonderful all natural bath and body products from Scentastics! I purchase the soap practically every time I see Pam and Ken at one of the Hudson Valley fairs! Today I couldn’t resist the Cool Breeze Shea Butter & Goat’s Milk soap – completely transforms me to a 5 star resort & spa – I would encourage you to give their products a try today!
Now I admit I am not an huge fan of cooking. But even I couldn’t resist the delicious flavored creamed honey from Remsburger Maple Farm and Apiary! I purchased the Blueberry Honey and the Cranberry Honey; heck even I can spread on toast! No, honestly these wonderful honeys can be used as glazes also so believe it or not, I’m planning on use the Blueberry Honey tomorrow night on a pork tenderloin (I’ll let you know the results next blog!).
I am also a huge dog lover I have a Pekingese and while I love her with all my heart, I know she is not as talented as these amazing dogs from Dock Dogs. This is very real sport with competitions and all!
I will leave you with one of the most spectacular sunsets – this is sunset over the majestic Hudson River (that I love so much!) in Hyde Park, NY. As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today:)!
We spent the weekend in Newport, RI and loved it! Mapquest said 3 1/2 hours – thanks to Friday evening traffic on I-95 coupled with rain showers we didn’t arrive until closer to ten o’clock but we were then ready to enjoy our time away.
First on our list was a helicopter ride over RI by Bird’s Eye View.
Then the famous 10 mile drive along Ocean Drive – exploring the rocky shores, crashing waves and beautiful views.
Dining at Pier 49 was spectacular, a great band, wonderful sunset and delious food! We loved it.
The mansions are amazing…Newport was the home to many of the rich and famous–the mansions or “cottages” as they were known are breath taking from both the air and ground.
The only downside to this trip is that it was too short, I would highly recommend a visit to Newport.
We are nearing the end of July with another rainy/stormy day…in fact, scattered storms for the next 5 days bringing us into August. So with June being one of the wetest June’s, July being a mixture of rain and actual “summer” I am already starting to look forward to August with hope!
I am hopeful that there will be nice weekends so we can get back to a few of our special “day-trips” (those of you that follow my blog know how much my honey and I love our “day-trips”).
Here are a few things we may consider for our August day-trips:
August 2 is Tomato Day at in Rhinebeck Farmers Market in (of course) Rhinebeck NY – did you know that? And staying true to my blog title, I am “wondering” what is tomato day? The farmers market in on 59th East Market Street in Rhinebeck and is held every Sunday from May through November 10AM-2PM – local produce, music, meeting new friends – sounds like fun!
(image from Rhinebeck Farmers Market blog).
(image thanks to Thom Johnson for the still photography)
August 22nd try the Hudson Valley Reggae Fest from 12 noon to 8:00pm at Croton Point Park. Early bird tickets cost $25 otherwise price will be $40 at the gate. The event is a day-long family-oriented event featuring well-known local and international Reggae, Hip Hop, Jazz, Latin and World Music entertainment along with a variety of food, craft vendors and more.
If you are a cyclists then this is for you, August 11-16 the 5th Annual Great Hudson Valley Pedal – enjoy 6 days / 200 miles of cycling through the beautiful Hudson Valley (sorry I personally do not cycle but if I did this sounds like fun!).
photo from HudsonValleyRibFest.org
We went on Sunday afternoon thinking we would be safe from storms (according to online weather site). Then, after driving nearly 2hrs and only about 15 minutes away fromSolberg Airport the skies opened with penny size hail, rain and heavy winds. Then, thankfully the sun peaked out and we were able to enjoy the balloons!
How many times have you been driving down the road and see a balloon fly overhead? Well seeing nearly 30 balloons being inflated and lift into the sky at once is amazing!
Then I have to tell you how mesmerised I was with Runakuna – traditional music from Latin America – this man was amazing! Of course I couldn’t resist purchasing the CD – take a listen I think you will enjoy it too!
The Hudson House River Inn located at 2 Main Street on the serene waterfront approximately 100 feet from the beautiful Hudson River in the quaint village of Cold Spring, NY in Putnam County. Cold Spring is well know for being a quaint antique shopping village.
Dinner was absolutely amazing and delicious. I enjoyed fillet of sole stuffed with crab-meat and summer vegitables! Of course we started with a spectacular appetizer for two which included homemade Maryland crabcakes, shrimp cocktail, fresh mozzarella and beefsteak tomato w/basil, baby arugula drizzeled w/extra virgin olive oil – what can I say but Oh My Gosh! Between the garlic bread and brushuta, then the appetizeer I was already impressed!
Then off to a unique concert in Mesier Park in Wappingers Falls, NY featuring the Riverbank Banjo Band. Totally an unexpected pleasure to learn from our new friend “Mary” down in Cold Spring-thanks Mary for letting us know about this concert and it was great sitting next to you and enjoy the sounds of this very unique band.
I’m looking forward to exploring more summer concert series in the Hudson Valley this summer – what about you? Share with us the events you’ve attend or those that may be upcoming! Until next time, happy concerting!
I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Andrea Bocelli perform at Madison Square in NYC this past week!
We started the evening with dinner at Hill Country BBQ at 30 West 26th Street. Best BBQ in NY – NY Magazine’s 2008 Best of NY.
For some reason my inside pictures didn’t really turn out too well but hopefully you can see what a different, unique and amazing place!
After a delious BBQ dinner it was off to Madison Square Garden to see Andrea Bocelli.
Here is just a tiny sampling of how wonderful the evening was.
If you ever get the chance to see Andrea Bocelli I would highly suggest it–he is an amazing performer!
Okay so it is completely different than my past blogs but I can not esist this! Who can resist ICE CREAM?
Who knew, Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Cream, for the past four years, has recognized American neighborhoods with their Edy’s Slow Churned “Neighborhood Salute” and this year they continue the great tradition by throwing 1,500 block parties in neighborhoods across the country.
To celebrate, Edys is giving away 1,500 ice cream block parties! To enter to win, you simply need to tell Edy’s why YOUR neighborhood deserves an Edy’s Slow Churned Neighborhood SaluteSM ice cream block party and you could be one of 1,500 winners to scoop up enough FREE Edy’s Slow Churned® light ice cream to feed up to 100 guests, plus a FREE party-in-a-box. May 29, 2009 is the last day to enter.
In addition to that, Edy’s is also launching a brand-new flavor to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Rocky Road! With their “A Taste of Recovery” promotion they are scooping ice cream and lifting spirits.
At Edy’s®, we have a history of lifting spirits. In 1929, we introduced a new flavor of ice cream to bring a smile to people during the dark days of the Great Depression. That flavor was Rocky Road. Now, 80 years later, we’re at it again. To brighten the summer, Edy’s® is introducing a brand new Slow Churned® Light Ice Cream Limited Edition flavor, and we need your help!
We’re looking for one energetic American to help us spread a little cheer by unveiling our new flavor! If you want to spend a day dishing up ice cream and dishing out smiles, fill out an application. You could be the winner of Edy’s® Slow Churned “A Taste of Recovery™” Promotion – and scoop up a cool $100,000 to help make a positive change in your life!
So like I said, while this is not my typical blos, I hope you enjoy–enter before May 29 and Good Luck!