Friday, May 31, 2013

Top 10 Summer Mix

Get Ready for the Songs of Summer

What I did was list 10 Songs I think will be overplayed on the radio this summer.  Not that I don't like most of these songs but here are my picks. What would you choose?

The Heat Is On Glenn Fry

Summer Breeze Seals and Croft

Sailing Chris Cross

Wipeout The Surfaris

Heat Wave Martha and the Vandellas

Summer in the City The Lovin Spoonful

Surfer Girl Beach Boys (actually any and all Beach Boys Songs)

The Boys Are Back Thin Lizzy

 Margaritaville Jimmy Buffet

Under the Boardwalk The Drifters

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Top 10 Upcoming June Events

June 1st Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival, Elmer, New Jersey.

June 2nd Nether Providence Historical Society presents "The Battle of Gettysburg" speaker Georg Albany, local Civil War buff and Gettysburg College alum at the Helen Kate Furness Library at 2PM. and

June 2nd Haverford Heritage Festival 11:00-4:00 Along Karakung Drive near Nitre Hall.

June 2nd - 9th Restaurant Week in Cape May, New Jersey.

June 8th Tinicum Township Historical Society Flea Market and Antique Car Show at Governor Printz Park, Essington, PA. Park opens at 9AM, June 15th rain date. 

June 10th Local Medicine During the Civil War presented by Middletown Historical Society, speaker Nancy Webster, Independent Scholar. Lecture begins at 7:30pm at Lima Estates in Media. Free and Open to the Public 610-316-5620

June 16th The Fairmount Ensemble Summer Concerts by Candle Light at the Laurel Hill Mansion begin.

June 17th Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Golf Classic at Seaview Golf Resort, Absecon, N. J.

June 20th Best of Chefs WHYY event.

June 21-23 Firefly Festival, Dover Delaware.

Please check website for possible date or time changes and ticket availability.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Top 10 Things to See and Do on the Way To Cape May

This Memorial Day Weekend Was a Little Chilly. 
What was Going On In Cape May Despite the Weather?

1. Is that beach traffic? Nope these folks were headed to the Cape May County Zoo. I have never been but I have heard it is a good one.  The traffic apparently agrees.

2. Cape May County Courthouse.  I have seen signs for this building so many times yet I never saw it.  It is a cool looking building. Do you know it's history? The Old Cape May County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

3. The First United Methodist Church with beautiful stained glass window was one of the most popular places on Sunday morning.

4. Advisory Commission on the status of Women.  I liked that sign.  Every one knows about the status right?  If Mommy ain't happy nobody is happy.  This building is located across from the Old Court House and Church.

5.  I did use the crosswalk on this very busy street.  What do you think about the courtesy law in Jersey, where traffic must stop for pedestrians.  I like it but not everyone is aware of it so you still need to cross with caution.

6. I was wondering about this guy.  Was he fleeing from the influx of the onslaught of summer traffic or prepping for Christmas in July?

7. Was it crowded in town?  Oh yeah, a parking space could not be had.  These folks must have biked in or walked. Shopping was another popular pass time.

 8. Food is always part of the equation.  This hot dog stand had a line forming around the corner and no one seemed to be complaining.  They must be really good hot dogs.  I did get a glimpse of the guy serving them up, he had a really cool hot dog hat on.  I wouldn't be surprised if this place makes it on a Foodies show.  It is popular!

9. Historic Cold Spring Village you have driven past the sign.  Aren't you curious? Cold Spring Grange Hall is now a restaurant and on the National Register of Historic Places. The Octagonal Poultry House is a historic octagonal farm building. These are only two of the buildings you can see and tour.  They have demonstrations, reenactments and crafts for children during the season. I really liked the General Store also but it was closed.

 Grange Hall

 Octagonal Poultry House

General Store

10. Cape May is also famous for its Victorian homes and this one is magnificent.  This house is part of the Emlen Physick Estate designed by architect Frank Furness.  Tours are available and stop in to the tea room located in the historic carriage house.

What you go to Cape May for the beach?

Take a look around, as the song goes, there is just as much fun

On the Way to Cape May.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top 10 Lighthouses

This list in no way reflects my favorite lighthouse, merely because I have never met a lighthouse I didn't like. I am just sharing a few treasures I have come across.

1. Looking to your right heading north and facing east as you cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel you can see the new Cape Henry Lighthouse (1870) with the old one (1792) standing behind it. My apologies, it was a little hazy that day but if I ever get closer, I promise to add a better picture. I do recommend if you are the driver to use the pull off recreational area. Passengers you have an excellent vantage point. The old lighthouse stands close to the "First Landing" of the Jamestown settlers.  This Old Cape Henry lighthouse was authorized by George Washington and was one of the first acts of the newly formed federal government and it is still standing.

2. The Cape Charles Lighthouse closer to the northern side of Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge Tunnel aka Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is a little more tricky to catch an up close view and the bridge affords to be one of the best places to see it.  I tried from the Eastern Shore NWR and Fisherman Island is not open to the public except on special occasions. The first lighthouse at this location cost $7,398.82. 

3. The Bodie Lighthouse located on the Outter Banks of north Carolina was built in 1872.  According to the, the tower is 170 feet tall. It is currently open to the public to climb for a fee.  No I did not climb, I didn't need to but they did a beautiful job on the renovations. It is an active lighthouse.

4. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the TALLEST lighthouse in America and she has a remarkable story all her own.  I call her a lady because, she is strong and sturdy and can I repeat myself remarkable. The current lighthouse is the third lighthouse in this vicinity.  I say vicinity because parts of lighthouse 1 and 2 are located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean due to the too close proximity of the crashing surf, beach erosion and the test of time.  The current lighthouse was determinedly built in the very same location in 1870. In 1999, it was "moved" inland.  You can climb this baby but don't neglect viewing the movie at the visitor's center on how this huge structure was moved to its new location and take the walk down to the beach and view the outline of where it was moved from and look back in awe.  There are times when "men" can do remarkable things.

5. Currituck Beach Light was constructed in 1873 and was first lit in 1875.  The tower is 162 feet.  The lighthouse is operational and owned and managed by the Outer Banks Conservationist, Inc.  You can climb it!

6. Roanoke River Lighthouse is located in Plymouth North Carolina. The current lighthouse is a replica.  Also located at this site just a short walk distance along the banks of the James River is a replica of the CSS Albermarle.  I am adding that as a bonus.  It was a hidden treasure to come across.

7. Turtle Rock Light was built in 1887. It is located at the far end of  Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania.  The lighthouse is operated by the The Sedgeley Club  and shares its space with a chapter of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Boathouse Row is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

8. The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse is in Pompano Beach, Florida.    The lighthouse itself has an interesting story.  It was the last lighthouse in Florida to be built inland, it is 136 feet, and it was built for the 1904 St. Louis Expo.

9. The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859. It is a little over 157 feet tall.  The lighthouse has two walls the outside is cone shaped and the inside walls that support the stairs are cylinder. The building was supervised by a West Point graduate U.S. Army engineer William F. Raynolds.

10. Okay I mistyped, Barnegat Lighthouse, "Old Barney" is my favorite. It is the first lighthouse I ever saw and the first that I have ever climb. It is located on Long Beach Island in New Jersey.  I am in my heart, a Jersey girl. I make sure I visit it every time I am on LBI. The plans for the original lighthouse in this area began in 1834 and that location is now underwater. The current lighthouse designed by General George Meade of the Battle of Gettysburg fame stands 171 feet above sea level, according to the U.S. Coast Guard website and offers a beautiful view from the top. The black and white photograph was a gift from my favorite photographer, my daughter Lauren. She took it while we were on the island last October, approximately 3 weeks before Hurricane Sandy struck the island. The Barnegat area fared better then surrounding towns and the lighthouse suffered no damage.

United States Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant General George Meade built several lighthouses along the Atlantic coast in New Jersey and Florida before his last minute assignment at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Check out the General Meade Society webpage for an article written by Elinor De Wire which lists the lighthouses credited to General Meade.

Most functional lighthouses are maintained by the United States Coast Guard and that website lists many facts and figures.

Other interesting websites for information sources are and

We have treasures all over the United States.
All you have to do is go looking.  
Many of these sights are free to take a look.
You only pay if you want to take the climb.
Highly recommended and worth the price.

I have been coming across a few life saving stations as well.  When I get 10, you will see that list!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Top 10 Memorial Day Origin and Memorials

Memorial Day originally known as Decoration Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. Today it represents all American soldiers killed

Remnants of war remain all around us.  Many of us nonchalantly pass these statues every day.  Stop and take a look at these statues and remember. United We Stand.

1. This statue is located outside Philadelphia City Hall.  The date engraved on the back of the statue is July 1, 1853. Who is this soldier and what does that date signify?  John F. Reynolds killed in the Battle of Gettysburg July, 1, 1853.

2. The Artillery Corps Washington Grays Monument located in front of the Union League on Broad Street in Philadelphia.

3. The 1st Regiment Infantry National Guard of Philadelphia also known as the Spirit of  '61, stands alongside the Washington Gray Monument outside the Union League of Philadelphia.  This statue was created by Henry Kirke Bush Brown who also produced the equestrian statue of General George Meade, General J. F. Reynolds, Major General John Sedgwick (the highest Union casualty of the civil war, killed in Spotsylvania) and the bust of Lincoln in the center of the Lincoln Address Memorial all located in Gettysburg.

4. The Meade Memorial is located at 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D C.

5. Confederate Soldier atop the Pasquotank County Confederate Monument in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  It was dedicated on May 10, 1911, Memorial Day.

6. Pyramid Memorial Monument at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia observe the fixture on the top of the monument.  He is real and stood on duty above that structure the entire time we remained in the area. As if he was standing guard protecting his men.  It was a sight to see.

7. Smith Memorial Arch is an American Civil War Memorial Arch located in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, PA.  Several artists are responsible for the sculptures but the statue of General George Meade standing on top of the column to the right was done by Daniel Chester French, the same artist that created the Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.

8. Boulder Civil War Statue located outside the Boulder County Courthouse, Boulder, Colorado

8, Confederate Soldiers Monument outside the Pitt County Courthouse in Greenville, North Carolina.

9. This statue stands at the center of Soldiers Circle in Chester Rural Cemetery in Chester, PA.

10.  This soldier stands at the county seat of Delaware County at the Media Courthouse in Media, Pennsylvania.

Do you know which state suffered the greatest number of casualties at Gettysburg?

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania has the largest collection of statues, memorials and monuments dedicated to the soldiers and one civilian killed during the three day Battle of Gettysburg. This year marks the 150th Anniversary and many historical societies have been offering experienced speakers on the topic, The Nether Providence Historical Society will present local civil war historian and Gettysburg College alum, George Albany at the Helen Kate Furness Library on Sunday, June 2nd at 2 PM as he discusses The Battle of Gettysburg.  The program is free and open to the public.

Thank you to all the men and women that serve and have served in our military,
 humbly we walk in your shadow.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Top 10 Things That Scream Summer

1. Memorial Day Weekend

2. Is your air on yet?

3. Peanuts, popcorn, ballgame

4. Higher Gas Prices!

5. Swim Clubs are open for business.

6. The grass is greener or brown or growing. It all depends on your mode of attack.

7. Iced tea and lemonade over ice and if twenty one or older, a cold one, just to take off the edge.

8. Sunburn, lather up or be sorry.  You're mother is correct! Put your coat on.

9. Longer days, the sun stays out longer and you can catch some of the most beautiful sunsets without freezing.

10. Perfect weather for star gazing and mosquitoes, do the prep.

Happy Summer!  Even though it is not official until June 21st, Memorial Day Weekend is the ribbon cutting. Do something summer.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Top 10 Songs that Hurt

1. It Hurts To Be In Love Gene Pitney

2. Hurts So Good

3. Hurts So Bad Little Anthony and the Imperials

4. Everybody Hurts R. E. M.

5. Hurt Christina Aguilera

6. What Hurts the Most Rascal Flatts

7. Love Hurts Everly Brothers

8. You Always Hurt the One You Love Mills Brothers

9. Last Time You're Gonna Hurt Me Tom Petty

10. Do  You Really Want To Hurt Me Culture Club

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Top 10 Reasons To Cross That Bridge When You Come To It

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel opened for traffic on April 15, 1964 after 42 months of construction. Yes, if you do the math it will be 50 next year. The bridge tunnel crossing operates solely from tolls.  Initial funding came from bonds purchased from private investors. No tax dollars were used or are used today for the upkeep. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District is a subdivision of  the Commonwealth of Virginia governed by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission.

The official name of the bridge is Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge Tunnel. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission named the crossing in his honor August 11, 1987.

The bridge received the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement in 1965 from the American Society of Civil Engineers. It was also "Designated" One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World in 1965.  It is no longer one of the "Seven Wonders" but I still put it in my Top 10.

The over water extension of U.S.13 consists of trestles, tunnels, man made islands, bridges, causeway and approach roads and is 17.6 miles shore to shore.

There are four man made islands and the one I am most familiar with is the Seagull.  The islands are 5.25 acres and 30 feet above the water.  How do you get from one island to the next?  Tunnel vision.

 Two one mile long Tunnels that allow for the shipping channels to coexist with travel across the waterway.

There is an almost certain guarantee to see ships as they pass through the channel or as these large size sea faring freight vessels seem to be doing, taking a break by docking and just taking in the view between travels.  There were six of these babies lined up the day I was passing through.

Both tunnels are the trench type and are 24 feet horizontal and 13 feet 6 inches vertical.  All of the construction details are available at

Taking this route can save 95 miles in driving equal to 1 1/2 hours in time and offers an alternate route around the D.C. beltway for travelers between the Delaware Valley and Virginia.  Where do I sign up!? No signing up but there is a $12 toll for passenger cars. light trucks and RV's see the toll schedule for other rates.  They do take EZPass and save those receipts.  If you are returning within 24 hours it will only cost $5.

It is also known to be a tourist attraction just to marvel at its magnificence, do a little birdwatching, it has a fishing pier, and signage pointing out all the activity that happens daily in this body of water as well as its past. All this information can be found if you stop at Sea Gull Island.

A parallel south bound bridge was opened in 1999 enabling 4 lanes of traffic, two in each direction. Future plans include increasing the tunnel capacity.  Somewhere I have pictures of the bridge construction and will add it when I come across them.

Take the scenic route you never know what spectacular views await you. Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay, it is gorgeous.

There is a DVD available for purchase An Engineering Marvel in the Making, here's the link. I love seeing how things are done but also have the yearning for seeing is believing.  If you have never taken this roadway, I highly recommend it.  It is marvelous and make sure you stop in the middle and take it all in.  There is a lot to see.