Road Trip: Visiting Hershey for Christmas

If you are ever looking for something to do at the end of the year, Hershey, Pennsylvania is a good destination. We picked a Sunday to visit and this definitely added to our enjoyment. I am told it is best to avoid Fridays and Saturdays as all the attractions are very crowded on these days. Our base for operations was the wonderful Hotel Hershey.

Hotel Hershey

PEZ in the Sun, Myrtle Beach 2013

Visiting Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the late fall can be one of the most relaxing times of the year. This year's trip had a bonus of being a PEZ gathering as well.  When Richie and Mary hold one of these PEZ gatherings, you are almost guaranteed to have a good time. Springmaid Beach Resort was once again the center of all the action. It's a decent hotel at the end of Myrtle Beach which means it's quieter and less crowded. It also has some of the best sunrises anywhere.

Sunrise at Springmaid Beach Resort

Road Trip: Visiting Pedro at South of the Border

If you have ever driven through North Carolina or South Carolina you have probably seen them. "Pedro No Shoot Ze Bool", "Pedro's Fireworks. Does Yours?", "You Never Sausage a Place" are but a few of the billboard sayings on interstate highways all pointing towards South of the Border in Hamer, South Carolina. Today there are around 175 billboards from the Georgia Border to the Virginia Border but at one time there where more than 250 scattered from Daytona Beach, Florida all the way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

South of the Border, South Carolina

Photos from the 10th Annual Jalopyrama Hot Rod Show in Annapolis, Maryland

When a show advertises only 1962 and older American Hot Rods, Customs, and Vintage Race cars will be allowed on the show field you just know this show is going to be special. Jalopyrama was crammed into the Annapolis Maryland National Guard Armory and what this show may of lacked in size it more than made up for in style.

10th Annual Jalopyrama in Annapolis, Maryland

Photos from Craig Naff's Hotrod Body Shop with Ron Covell

It's not often that you get the chance to hang out with one of the world's best hotrod metal shapers, Craig Naff. Add to that the fact that Ron Covell, a fantastic metal fabricator and instructor, would be teaching a class in Craig's shop and you have the potential for a fantastic Saturday. I made the drive over to Craig's shop on the outskirts of Woodstock, VA early in the morning using Ron Covell's Basic Metal Shaping class as an excuse to get out of the house.

Craig Naff's Shop in Woodstock, VA

Steel City PEZ Gathering and a Giant Rubber Ducky

We were road tripping once again to attend the Steel City PEZ Gathering in Pittsburgh, PA. This year's event was held at the Sheraton Station Square in the Haselton banquet room. It was a decent size room that allowed vendors and guests to spread out and not feel crowded.

PEZ at the Steel City PEZ Gathering

Road Trip: Mister Ed's Candy Emporium

Are you looking for a unique candy shop for some munchies? Search no further than Mister Ed's Candy Emporium. Located on the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) in Orrtanna, PA, this candy store / elephant museum has a fine selection of sweets for everyone.

Mister Ed's Candy Emporium

Cruise-Ins, Chili, and Cars - Home Depot Cruise-in Ranson, WV

It was a fantastic night for Country Roads Car Club to hold its second annual Chili Cook-Off. The competitors lined the long tables with their pots of what they hoped would be this year's winning entry. As the entries arrived so did the cars.

Buick at the Home Depot Cruise-In - Ranson, WV

Road Trip: Historic Round Barn and Farm Market

Combining good eats and something interesting to see is always a great recipe for a road trip. The Historic Round Barn, built in 1914, houses a collection of locally grown and made items for sale during the summer and fall. The barn is easy to find off of the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) in Biglerville, PA (eight miles west of Gettysburg, PA).

Historic Round Barn near Gettysburg, PA

Things to Do at the York Fair

The York Fair was America's First Fair and it also holds the title of America's Oldest Fair. The York Fair started way back in 1765 and has been growing ever since. This is the best county fair I have ever attended and the facilities at York are fantastic. The first place you will want to visit is Utz Arena for the livestock displays and the Animal Birthing Center. That's right, I said Animal Birthing Center. While it isn't guaranteed that you will see an animal birth they do film births that happen at the fair and play them on the big screen. But, there are always plenty of other live critters to see.

Goat at the York Fair

Couples Therapy: Building the Eiffel Tower

Many people ask us how we keep our marriage working. The simple answer is we do things together. Sometimes we pick what I like to do and other times we pick what Peg likes to do and sometimes we combine likes to do something totally different. On this craft adventure we combined Peg's love for all things Paris with my crafty nature of building things. Behold, Creatology's Eiffel Tower Wooden Puzzle.

Creatology Wooden Puzzle

Things to Do in Seattle, WA: Ride the Ducks

If you are looking for a fun way to explore Seattle, Washington give Ride the Ducks a try. The Ducks are WWII amphibious landing craft that cruise around the streets of Seattle and then plunge into Lake Union for a tour by water. It truly is a party on wheels.

Ride the Ducks Seattle

The Norwegian Pearl: Towel Animals by Abner Marcadejas

We love towel animals. They are that little extra that makes cruising so special. On our recent trip aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines' (NCL) Norwegian Pearl, our fantastic Stateroom Steward, Abner Marcadejas, would surprise us with a new creature every day. These cute creations always appeared after the evening bed turn-down. First up was a fluffy bunny rabbit.

Rabbit Towel Animal Aboard the Norwegian Pearl

Cruise Ship Excursion Review: Butchart Gardens, Picnic, and Victoria Highlights

The beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada was the destination of our final shore excursion that we chose during our seven day cruise to Alaska on the Norwegian Pearl. The ship arrived in the evening and we were quickly off to the gardens by way of a cushy motor coach. Our guide pointed out some interesting architecture during our drive and even some history about Victoria. When we arrived at the gardens, an impressive picnic basket of delicious foods was presented to us and we had the choice of eating at a table or spreading out on the luscious lawn.

The picnic lawn at The Butchart Gardens

Photos from the Bridge of the Norwegian Pearl

Should you upgrade your room to a suite on your cruise to Alaska? The perks that come along with the upgrade at least on the Norwegian Pearl are well worth the extra price if you can afford it. One of the perks is a tour of the bridge. This is a must do if you are at all interested in mechanical things.

Bridge of the Norwegian Pearl

What is the Norwegian's Signature Chocoholic Buffet?

Do you like chocolate? Well if you are cruising on one of Norwegian Cruise Lines ships that serves the Chocoholic Buffet you should experience this special event. One of the perks of staying in a suite aboard an NCL ship is that you get to get in line before everyone else. And, the line can be quite long! Our concierge from the Norwegian Pearl, Patrick Berido, dropped off our pass during our cruise to Alaska and we were off to this late night event.

Norwegian's Signature Chocoholic Buffet

Photos from the Port of Ketchikan, Alaska

While everyone was shopping in Ketchikan, Alaska, I spent some time just watching the fishing boats running up and down the harbor. On our cruise to Alaska, the Norwegian Pearl was tied up at Berth 3 which gave us a fantastic vantage point in which to watch the comings and goings of all the vessels.

Fishing Boat Sailing out of Ketchikan Harbor

Do Bears Do It in the Woods of Ketchikan, Alaska?

If you are cruising to Alaska, one thing you will undoubtedly want to see are bears. While cruising on the Norwegian Pearl we chose our stop in Ketchikan, Alaska to pick a shore excursion for bear watching. Early August is a fantastic time for bear watching as the bears are gorging themselves on the spawning salmon and they don't pay too much attention to you. "Bear Country & Wildlife Expedition" held in the nearby Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary will provide you with a good opportunity to watch as they feed.

Black Bear in Ketchikan, Alaska

What will you see in Glacier Bay Alaska during a Cruise?

If you are lucky enough to have good weather during a cruise through Glacier Bay National Park, like we had during our tour on the Norwegian Pearl, you will be in for a real treat. Make sure you are up and out when you enter the Sitakaday Narrows so you can greet the National Park Service rangers that board the ship. The rangers act as your tour guides while in the park and point out interesting history and facts about the park. The scenery is simply spectacular and you will want to spend every moment on deck or at your balcony.

Norwegian Pearl in Glacier Bay Alaska

Great Alaska Cruise Excursions - Jewell Gardens and Golden Glasblowing Experience Skagway, Alakska

Are you looking for something a little different to do while on your Alaskan Cruise? Are you going to be stopping in Skagway, Alaska? Well then be sure to sign up for the Golden Glassblowing Experience excursion. Not only do you get to tour the beautiful gardens but you get to make your very own glass ornament or paperweight!

Jewell Gardens - Skagway, Alaska

Photos of Skagway, Alaska aboard the Norwegian Pearl

The second port city on our Norwegian Cruise Line Alaskan adventure was Skagway. I found Skagway to be much more inviting than our previous stop in Juneau. While the main street was still very touristy the shops at least all looked different on the outside. The boardwalk lined streets made for a nice stroll. Our ship, The Norwegian Pearl, docked at one end of town and it was a quick walk to the shopping district.

The Norwegian Pearl docked in Skagway, AK

The Norwegian Pearl in Juneau Alaska - Four Glacier Adventure by Helicopter

It started out like a skit from Abbott and Costello. "Do you know where we are at?" "Yes, Juneau." "Well if I knew where we were I wouldn't be asking. What port is the Norwegian Pearl docked in?" "Juneau." "I don't give a darn!" Acting silly on vacation is what we do best.

The Norwegian Pearl in Juneau, Alaska

NCL Norwegian Pearl Cruise to Alaska - The Haven Courtyard

If you ever have a chance to sail to Alaska, do it! If you can save up a little more to be able to stay in The Haven Courtyard on Norwegian Cruise Lines, do it! For our anniversary Peg and I decided we would take our first cruise to Alaska. NCL sales called us, last minute, and offered us a deal to upgrade to a penthouse in The Haven Courtyard aboard the Norwegian Pearl. We did and it was fantastic! The Bird of Paradise Courtyard Suite Room 14014 (an S5 level penthouse suite) would be our home for the seven day cruise which started in Seattle, Washington.

View from the Haven Courtyard deck in Seattle

A Visit to Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Washington

What a magical place Chihuly Garden and Glass is. This was the highlight of our visit to Seattle, Washington and definitely rates on our "things not to miss" when in the city. The colors of the glass are just so vivid and the way that the pieces are displayed are jaw-dropping beautiful.

Visiting the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington

No visit to Seattle, Washington would be complete without a trip up the iconic Space Needle. The Space Needle is the most recognized landmark in Seattle. It was built in Seattle Center for the 1962 World's Fair. A trip to the top takes only 41 seconds but the lines can take forever. If you don't mind getting up early in the Summer you can take advantage of the Early Up discounts and avoid the crowds.

Seattle Space Needle

Things to do in Seattle - Seattle Aquarium

Who doesn't love a good aquarium? Located on Pier 59 in Seattle, Washington, the Seattle Aquarium isn't just about fish. You actually may find the marine mammals area one of the most entertaining of the entire aquarium. If nothing else you can't deny that the harbor seals are very cute.

Harbor seal at the Seattle Aquarium

Things to Do in Seattle - Argosy Cruises

A great and relaxing way to view the city of Seattle, Washington is by taking a cruise around Elliott Bay on one of the boats of Argosy Cruises' fleet. The Seattle Waterfront Harbor Sightseeing Tour Cruise takes about an hour to loop around the bay. You will get to see the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle, The Great Wheel, and maybe the ferries or massive cruise ships that work the port.

Argosy Cruises - Seattle, Washington

Bubba Goes to Seattle - Pike Place Market

For my first visit to the West coast I ended up in Seattle, Washington. Peg and I took a non-stop flight early in the morning from Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC.  Once on the ground we dropped our bags at the hotel and we were off to explore the city. It didn't take long for us to find the famous Pike Place Market to get some good munchies. Farmers and crafters have been selling at this site since August 17, 1907.

Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington

Photos from Tuner Evolution Car Show

We had a surprisingly good time shooting photos at the Tuner Evolution car show which was held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. This indoor show brought together the areas finest tuners both domestic and import to compete and enjoy each others company.

Tuner Evolution Car Show

Car Crushing Fun at Monster Jam - Hagerstown Speedway

Monster Trucks once again invaded Hagerstown Speedway to compete in Monster Jam. Bubba's Garage was on hand to experience the Pit Party and all of the show action. Because of Friday's rain-out, Saturday was sold out and it was really packed. The lines were long but fans behaved themselves for the most part. Seven trucks were competing. The first we encountered was Gunslinger. Scott Hartsock drives this blown and alcohol Injected 557 CI SVO Ford powered monster which sits on 66" tires.

Gunslinger Monster Truck - Hagerstown Speedway

Photos from the Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals

What group of car people do you think are the most passionate about their brand? Well if you had to judge by the number of car owners that turned out in the rain just to attend the Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals it would have to be Mopar owners! This year I was attending solo as the rest of the crew from Bubba's Garage had other commitments. I almost turned around when I had been driving for more than an hour in a light drizzle on my way to Carlisle, PA. This was my first time attending the Mopar Show and all I can say is, "Wow!" I am glad I didn't.

Road Trip: Kutztown Folk Festival

Looking for something to do during the Summer? The Kutztown Folk Festival makes for a great road trip. The festival, which celebrates the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, usually starts the last weekend in June and runs through the first week of July. It is the longest running folk festival in the US at 64 years. Crafts, food, music, and entertainment can all be found on the Kutztown Fairgrounds during the festival.

Barn Stars at the Kutztown Folk Festival

Photos from the 3rd Annual Ranson Car Show

Where is the best place to have a car show? Well the fine folks of the City of Ranson, WV think that smack-dab in the middle of town is a good spot and I would have to agree with them. They closed of the main road through town for "The 3rd Annual Ranson Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show" and lined it with more than 100 of the areas finest vehicles. Bubba's Garage was there and I actually brought out my 2001 GMC Sonoma mini-truck and stayed for the entire show.

Bubba Harmon's 2001 GMC Sonoma mini-truck - Bubba's Garage

Enjoying Vintage Cars during The Elegance at Hershey

Have you ever attended a high end car show? The Elegance at Hershey is modeled after European Concours d'Elegance but with more of a casual American feel. The show describes itself as "an automotive garden party featuring the world’s finest collector vintage and antique cars." The Elegance is held on the grounds of the Hotel Hershey where the smell of dark chocolate cocoa mulch adds to the experience. The event's goal is to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the AACA Museum.

Calvin High's 1931 Cadillac V-16 Roadster

Checking out the new cars at the AACA Museum

You never know what you might find at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, PA. The vehicles on display are always changing so you get to see new things on almost every trip. Bubba's Garage was in the neighborhood recently so we decided to see what the museum had brought in for the summer. The first car that peaked our interest was a green 1932 Ford Roadster. The "Ricky Nelson Roadster" was seen in the '50s "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" TV show.

1932 Ford Roadster - "Ricky Nelson Roadster"

Friday Night Cruise-In at the Home Depot in Ranson, WV

If the weather is nice on a Friday evening you can bet that the lot will be full for the Friday Night Cruise-In in Ranson, WV. The Ranson Home Depot, where the cruise-in is located, is just up the road a bit from Charles Town, WV on Rt. 9. The hosting club, Country Roads Car Club, does an okay job of playing oldies tunes and keeping the peace. The lot is good sized and there are several restaurants near-by to quiet your growling belly.

Home Depot Cruise-in, Ranson, WV

Photos from Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's 23rd Annual WWII Weekend

Do you get excited to see vintage military aircraft take to the skies? Then you definitely need to make time to check out the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's Annual WWII Weekend. This fantastic WWII reenactment/air show is held each year in early June at the Reading Regional Airport - Spatz Field. You could attend all three days and still miss something!

B-17G Flying Fortress "Yankee Lady" Bomber

Visiting Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia

We took a slight detour on our way home from Cass Scenic Railroad to visit Blackwater Falls State Park in our home state of West Virginia. The falls at the park are created by the Blackwater River which plunges more than five stories at this point to the gorge below. The "black" water is a result of the tannic acid from hemlock and spruce needles leaching into the water. Depending on when you decide to visit, the falls look like a roaring beast or a just pleasant flow. Since we had a wet Spring we were treated to massive amounts of water pouring over the top of the falls. The park is very scenic and definitely worth a detour.

Cass Railfan Weekend Photos

Have you ever attended the Cass Railfan Weekend at the Cass Scenic Railroad? The Mountain State Railroad and Logging Historical Association (MSR&LHA) puts on a great long weekend of special excursions using the steam engines of the Cass Scenic Railroad. The number of tickets are limited and the event often sells out for this railroading event.

Cass Railfan Weekend

Bubba's Garage Gets a Cool New Vintage Looking Sign

Are you looking for something a little different to hang on your shop or garage wall? Then do yourself a favor and check out Dennis Steadman of Old Timey Signs. We met up with Dennis at a car event in Charlotte, NC in the Spring and commissioned him to make us a sign to hang over the door in Bubba's Garage. Soon a hand painted work of art from Dennis' shop in Greer, SC arrived at our door. We couldn't be more pleased at the way it turned out!  Thanks, Dennis!

Cass Railfan Weekend - Photos of the Durbin Rocket

The Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association set up a few photo runbys of the Durbin Rocket on Thursday afternoon during the Cass Railfan Weekend. This was our first time during the long weekend to photograph a steam train. The Durbin Rocket is a Climax engine built for the Moore-Keppel Lumber Company in 1910 and now runs passengers along the Greenbrier River out of Durbin, WV.

Cass Railfan Weekend - Limited Special Diesel Excursion from Cheat Bridge to High Falls

During the Cass Railfan Weekend, in West Virginia, The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad ran a Limited Special Diesel Excursion from Cheat Bridge to High Falls. The Cheat Bridge stop is just that; a stop. There is no real parking and just a shed where we boarded. A few photo runbys and we were off in route to the High Falls.

Visiting the Yellow Barn at Shenandoah Caverns

What color would you paint your barn? Well if you are Earl Hargrove you paint it yellow then you stuff it full of farm themed items from your personal collection. Located across the street from American Celebration on Parade, the Yellow Barn also continues Mr. Hargrove's passion for parades by housing more items from past parades.

What else is there to do at Shenandoah Caverns?

While you are waiting to explore Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia don't forget to check out Main Street of Yesteryear. Located in the same building where the caverns tour starts is a collection of antique department store window displays. Your nostalgic stroll will take you past several animated displays that have been restored to there original condition.

Floating through American Celebration on Parade

I don't know about you but I have always loved a good parade. American Celebration on Parade at Shenandoah Caverns is just a couple of minutes off I-81 at exit 269. Here you will find more than 30 floats from Thanksgiving parades, Presidential Inaugurals, the Rose Parade, and many others. All the floats are from the collection of Earl Hargrove, owner of Shenandoah Caverns and Hargrove, Inc., and are on display in the 40,000 square foot exhibition hall.

The Inn at Mountain Quest

There is a quiet little bed and breakfast in Frost, WV where we setup base camp when exploring the mountains of Pocahontas County. The rooms at The Inn at Mountain Quest are always clean and the hosts are very friendly making your stay here very relaxing. Our trip this year was for a mini vacation while doing the Cass Railfan Weekend in Cass, WV which is about a 25 minute drive from the Inn.

Cruising through the Meem’s Bottom Covered Bridge

It’s always fun to be able to drive through a covered bridge. If you are looking to do that in Virginia there is only one covered bridge that still allows car traffic and it is located just outside Mount Jackson. The Meem’s Bottom Covered Bridge was originally built using a 204’ single span burr arch-truss between 1892-93 and it spans the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Meem's Bottom Bridge

Spring Flowers at Hershey Gardens

After hearing about all my running around lately, my buddy +Craig Pike of MyRideisMe says to me, "Damn Bubba! Hope you have time to smell the roses sometimes!" Well there might not have been any roses blooming but there sure were a bunch of tulips popping up out of the ground when we slowed down just enough to enjoy all the wonderful springtime colors at Hershey Gardens.

Hershey Gardens

AACA Museum Hosts Exotic and Sports Car Show

The 3rd Annual Exotic and Sports Car Show to benefit Castaway Critters was held on the grounds of the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA. For just a $5 donation you could stroll the lawn beside the museum to gawk at all the exotic cars and sports cars that were there. More than 100 vehicles showed up under the cloudless Pennsylvania skies and we took many of their photos to share with you.
AACA Museum - Exotic and Sports Car Show

Hot Rodders Invade Sled Fest – Ducannon, PA

Sled Fest is a play on words. Most people would take it to mean a car show for “lead sleds”. But, it is actually an automotive lifestyle event held in the parking lot of The Old Sled Works in Ducannon, PA. The Old Sled Works is a large antique shop that now inhabits the former home of the Lightning Guider sled factory.