Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Let’s Be Honest…..

O.k., so not all things on this trip are rosy! Most of the time, things are great and go according to plan, but, not always. We get lost, our neighbors walk around in their underwear in plain sight, the park manager is a registered sex offender, our campsite is not level, the weather is not 75 degrees and sunny, and the museum is a bust.

There are two campsites in this picture.  Neither of which were level enough for us to use.
Betsy did some fancy driving and avoided hitting two electrical boxes, two sewer hookups, 
cable boxes, and a picnic table.  Finally, we were level.
While in Pennsylvania, we had rain for over a week so inside activities were a must. Low and behold the little town of Easton looked like a promising place for us to entertain ourselves for an afternoon. Easton was home to Crayola, the birthplace of Crayons, and the National Canal Museum. We grabbed the camera and headed to town. A beautiful drive (albeit in the rain) led us to a charming little downtown. The square downtown center was the frame for a beautiful "Soldiers and Sailors Monument" honoring Easton's veterans. The Crayola Experience was downtown and the Canal Museum was next door. How convenient.

The Crayola Experience.
We walked inside and told the girl at the ticket counter we would like two tickets for the combination Crayola and Canal Museum. She looked puzzled and asked if we were with a school group. After we said no, she began to explain that this was not the Crayola factory. Instead, it was an activity center. Yes, there were some vintage boxes of crayons, a few exhibits, and a 15-minute demonstration on how Crayons and markers are made, but this was not the actual factory. Before we saw the complete mayhem and rush of kids running full-speed brandishing crayons, she offered us a dollar discount and took my credit card. To her defense, she tried to warn us. We did not heed the warning and paid the price (not just with the credit card). She handed us a map, three tokens (for free crayons and markers) and flashed us a worried look as she said, “have fun!”

If you are looking for a place for your kids to run free with markers, draw on walls, bounce from room to room, climb on things, and scream at the top of their lungs….go to the Crayola Experience. This place really confirmed my decision not to have kids. The few exhibits that explained the history of Crayola were interesting and the nice thing was that nobody else was looking at them. The 15-minute crayon making demonstration was informative and now we have a better understanding of how colored wax turns into a crayon. We felt sorry for the young man who was trying to explain the crayon making process while kids were sword fighting with crayons, crying, and coloring body parts with markers.
There are over 1,200 crayons in the tray he is holding.

The Crayola name was coined by the founders wife.  It comes from "craie" the French word
for "chalk" and "ola," for "oily."
We are not sure why the canal museum got the designation for being the national museum of its kind! The museum is more of a kid’s interactive playground than a serious museum. There is a large canal boat for them to climb in, ropes for them to pull, a tiller for steering, and small scale canal complete with water, boats, and locks.
Exhibits inside the National
Canal Museum.

A "canal horse" that was used to pull boats along
the canals.  The "do not climb on horse" sign
was largely ignored.

The only hope for salvaging this day was lunch. Luckily, there was a nearby restaurant that had 20 beers on tap. Pearly Bakers Ale House was our salvation. A delicious lunch accompanied by cold beer was the medicine that we needed to erase the last two hours. While sipping our local libation, we discovered a winery that was only a five minute diversion on our way home. We stopped in at the Franklin Hill Winery for a free tasting. After sipping our choice of six samples, we bought three bottles, and headed for home. The weather broke and blue sky popped out from the clouds just long enough for me to try my luck fishing in the Delaware River that bordered the campground. No, I did not bring home dinner from the river but at least there was wine.

The "Soldiers and Sailors Monument" in downtown Easton.
Franklin Hill Winery.
The "tasting room"  looked much better.
Vineyards of Franklin Hill.
The fish is only 2 inches longer than the lure.
Definitely not a "keeper."
View of the Delaware River from the campground.
Otter enjoying the cold river water.
Pearly Baker's Ale House.
Beautiful sight inside Pearly Baker's.

1 comment:

  1. Hi - this is Cat - but I'm posting as anonymous so I can actually get this comment up. Loved reading the recent posts from Mystic. the crayon store and Old Orchard Beach. That pier looks familiar... my dad was born and raised in Portland, Maine and we used to visit his family about every 5 years. I think I have been there (is it south of Portland?)... looks very familiar... didn't that place have a tea cup ride? Looks like you are continuing to have fun. I had the ACRES/LSU grant conference call today. I would rather have been eating lobster out on that pier....
    Take care - and please keep posting... I enjoy living vicariously through your blog.


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