Enjoying Meadowlark Gardens' Winter Walk of Lights

One of the newest holiday light displays in the Northern Virginia area can be found at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. Now in its third year, the Winter Walk of Lights is a spectacular .6 mile walking trail of colorful lighting displays. You may visit the lights from 5:30 pm until closing at 10:00 pm mid-November until early-January.

Winter Walk of Lights, Vienna, Virginia

What is Shot Tower Historic State Park?

Have you ever been driving down I-77 in southern Virginia and saw the sign for Shot Tower Historic State Park and wondered what it was for? Well, we did and decided to take a detour off exit 24 to see what was there. The park is about 2 miles north on Route 52 near Austinville, Virginia. Sitting on this 10 acre state park is a "Shot Tower".  The 75 foot tall tower was built in 1807 by Thomas Jackson. Below the tower is a 75 foot shaft that had an entrance at the river level. Hot lead, from the local lead mine, was poured from a large kettle through sieves to a kettle of water 150 feet below to make perfectly round shotgun shot. It was the first factory to produce shot in America and is 1 of only 3 remaining in the United States.
 The tower was opened to the public by the Leads Mines Ruritan Club in 1968 after extensive renovations. While the access tunnel is no longer open, the Norfolk and Western Railroad Company collapsed the tunnel for safety reasons, the tower is occasionally open on weekends in the summer for tours. The Shot Tower Historical Park is also a good parking area for accessing the nearby New River Trail.

Up, Up and Away at the Carolina BalloonFest

Are you looking to enjoy some of the East Coast's best hot air ballooning? Does the sight of a sky filled with multi-colored balloons make you happy? Then the Carolina BalloonFest in Statesville, North Carolina is an event you will want to attend. This very popular outing is held each year in October. A word to the wise though, get there really early. So many people wanted to attend this year on Saturday that they had to turn people away. If you are lucky enough to be able to spend the entire weekend at the show it is worth the cost to buy the VIP package just for the reserved parking.

Carolina BalloonFest

Photos from the MAM's Biplanes and Triplanes Air Show

Are you looking for a more laid-back sort of an airshow? Then do yourself a favor and check out the Military Aviation Museum's WWI Biplanes and Triplanes Air Show held in Virgina Beach, VA each year. The museum's grass runways make a perfect backdrop for these replica aircraft. Because of the relaxed atmosphere at this air show you can even get up close to examine each airplane. There are no barricades or fences to obscure your view.

Biplanes and Triplanes Air Show

Hot Rods on the Infield - The Rodder's Journal Revival

The Rodder's Journal Vintage Speed and Custom Car Show Revival is a must do annual event held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is open to pre-1966 hot rods, customs, and competition cars. The guys and gals from Bubba's Garage took a road trip to cover their 3rd Annual event.

3rd Anual Rodder's Journal Revival at Pimlico

Attending the Steel City PEZ Gathering

What do you get when you gather a bunch of PEZheads, PEZ vendors, and fantastic event hosts? A real good time! The second annual Steel City PEZ Gathering, a mini PEZ convention, was held at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The sizable empty store location that the gathering was held in gave both vendors and attendees plenty of room to spread out.

Second Annual Steel City PEZ Gathering

Charles Town Car Show Photos

Labor Day weekend started off in grand fashion as Charles Town, WV closed the streets in order to have their 6th Annual Car Show. Every year this show gets bigger and better. The organizers do a fantastic job of getting everyone parked on the downtown streets and it is spread out enough that you don't feel too crowded.

1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible owned by Bob Brown

Couples Therapy: Making Tie-dyed Shirts

Making tie-dyed shirts is an easy and fun project you can do. The results can be spectacular and you can bond with your partner even after the project is done. It is funny how a simple thing such as wearing matching t-shirts while walking around at a car show or the mall can bring you closer together. People will definitely know you are a couple!

Bubba Harmon in a tie-dyed t-shirt

Photos from the Berryville, VA Steam Show

The annual Pageant of Steam, held by the Shenandoah Valley Steam and Gas Engine Association in Berryville, VA during July, is a magical event. Seeing both vintage tractors and steam engines putting around the fairgrounds makes me very emotional. I don't know about you but I feel there simply isn't anything like a restored steam engine belching smoke and steam to get your heart pounding. The occasional toot of a steam whistle is just icing on the cake.

Berryville Steam Show

Video from our Niagara Falls Road Trip

Visit Niagara Falls from the Canadian side if you want the best views of the falls.

Visiting Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - Part 2

If you haven't read part 1 of our trip report you can find it here: Have you been to Niagara Falls?

By this time we were very wet. We took a short (1/4 mile Horseshoe Falls) walk over to the Floral Showhouse to dry out. The conservatory was built in 1945 with the reception center coming in 1980. The entire Showhouse, while small, is stuffed with different wonderful plants. The tropical plant collection is amazing which includes a reported 400 orchids. Tropical bird species flutter throughout the display houses.

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Have you been to Niagara Falls? - Part 1

Niagara Falls is listed as one of "Seven Natural Wonders of North America." At peak flow over Six million cubic feet of water each minute cascades over the three falls that make up Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls (Rainbow Falls), and Bridal Veil Falls (Luna Falls). The highest drop is from the Horseshoe Falls at 173 feet. The American and Bridal Falls are actually a little taller at 182 feet but because of all the talus, or broken rock, the longest continuous drop is more like 70 feet.

Reliving History at WWII Weekend in Reading, PA

If you like history then do yourself a favor and attend the WWII Weekend held each year by the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, PA. Each year hundreds of reenactors gather at the Reading Regional Airport - Spaatz Field in Berks County, Pennsylvania to teach and entertain you about the WWII era.

WWII Weekend - Reading, PA

Photos from the Checkered Flag Jalopy Showdown

You can call it vintage racing or nostalgia racing but we just call it fun. The Jalopy Showdown at the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds in York Springs, PA brings together racers and hot rods for one great Saturday. The show is to raise money for the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing and it truly is hard not to have a good time.

Jalopy Showdown racing

Showing some Tuner Love at Carlisle Performance and Style

Tuners need love and we try to spread it around where we can. The Carlisle Performance & Style show is a great place for a tuner love-fest and this year's turnout did not disappoint. There were plenty of tuners and sport compacts scattered about the show field to gawk at and take notes.

Carlisle Performance and Style

What's at Smucker's in Orrville, Ohio?

The J. M. Smucker Company Store and Cafe is about all things Smucker's. It is basically a showcase of all the different company brands.  There is also a museum that tells the over 115 year history of the company.

Shopping at Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio

Lehman's, in the Heart of  Ohio Amish Country, has been selling non-electric, old fashioned products since Jay Lehman open the doors back in 1955. More than 30,000 square feet of buildings house this part shopping experience part  museum.  Should you go to this store?  Maybe our photos can convince you.

Traveling the Lincoln Highway - Day 6 Marshalltown, IA to Nebraska

We began our 6th and last day on our Lincoln Highway vacation in Marshalltown, Iowa. The Stones Restaurant sign can be seen from the 3rd Street viaduct although our restaurant of choice for breakfast was just a little further up the Lincoln named Taylor's Maid-Rite.

Stones Restaurant sign, Marshalltown, IA

Traveling the Lincoln Highway - Day 5 Rochelle, IL to Tama, IA

We woke to another day of gorgeous weather as we headed for Rochelle, Illinois along the Lincoln Highway. At the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Lincoln Highway we found a restored 1918 Standard Oil Station.

Standard Oil Station in Rochelle, IL

Traveling the Lincoln Highway - Day 4 Merrillville, IN to DeKalb, IL

Our first destination for our fourth day on the Lincoln Highway had us visiting the sweetest stop on the whole trip. The Albanese Candy Factory makes the best gummy candy in the world! Peg loaded up with enough sugar to carry us for the rest of the trip. Always look for the "A" on your gummy bear to know you are getting the best.

Albanese Candy Factory

Inside the National Auto and Truck Museum - Auburn, IN

The National Auto and Truck Museum, or NATMUS, is located in the former factory buildings of the Auburn Automobile Company. These buildings were used as a service center and for prototyping Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles. Now it houses a nice collection of various makes and models of cars and trucks.

National Auto and Truck Museum

Touring the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana

Every so often you come across a museum that really gets your emotions flowing; a car guy's paradise. This was how I felt after visiting the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana. The word "wow" was about all I could say when I stepped into the Art Deco Original Company Showroom on the first floor of the administration building.

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum's Art Deco Showroom

Traveling the Lincoln Highway - Day 3 Crestline, OH to Schererville, IN

Sunday (Easter Sunday) finds us traveling through the rest of Ohio and Indiana on the Lincoln Highway. Since most places are closed on Sunday we figure we would just take in the scenery for the day. We don't have to drive very long before finding Lincoln Highway history in the form of a pair of brick monuments honoring LHA Vice President Austin Bement and LHA Local Consul J. F. McMahon in Crestline, Ohio.

Lincoln Highway brick monument in Crestline, OH

A Tour of Mansfield Reformatory

We took a little detour during our Lincoln Highway road trip to visit The Ohio State Reformatory, better known as the Mansfield Reformatory, in Mansfield, Ohio. Over 155,000 inmates called this place home between 1896 and 1990. Now it is being restored and you can tour the grounds in season.

Mansfield Reformatory

A Visit to the Canton Classic Car Museum

What would a road trip on the Lincoln Highway be without visiting a car museum?  Just a few minutes off of the Lincoln is the Canton Classic Car Museum in Canton, Ohio. The museum is housed in a former 1914 Ford car dealership and displays car memorabilia, vintage cars, and a good dose of cheese.

The Canton Classic Car Museum

Traveling the Lincoln Highway - Day 2 Greensburg, PA to Mansfield, OH

Day two of our Lincoln Highway adventure would have us exploring 3 states and many miles. Our first stop had up in the early hours to walk the streets of Greensburg, PA and enjoy some of the old buildings in the center of the city.

Westmorland County Courthouse

Traveling the Lincoln Highway - Day 1 Chambersburg, PA to Latrobe, PA

We started our Lincoln Highway vacation just outside Chambersburg, PA following Route 30 at Shatzer Fruit Market. Here we encountered our first "Roadside Giant" of the Lincoln Highway, first painted gas pump, and purchased some homemade applesauce. This was a great way to start our long journey.

Lincoln Highway Roadside Giant - 1920 Seldon 1 1/2 Ton Pickup

Spring Cars and Coffee at Summit Point Motorsports Park

Summit Point Motorsport Park swung open its gates and allowed all forms of car nuts to pile onto the field for the Spring Cars and Coffee event. The gathering was hosted by Country Roads Car Club and the excellent coffee was provided by Black Dog Coffee. Summit Point has just recently started having these events and it is a great way to get to see some racing for free.

Summit Point Cars and Coffee

Monkeying around at the NorthEast Rod and Custom Car Show

What do you get when you add awesome cars, trucks, and motorcycles with good people, family fun, and a smidgen of shopping as well all under one roof? You get another good car show known as the NorthEast Rod and Custom Car Show. The show, now in its fourth year, was held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center just outside Philadelphia, PA in Oaks, PA.

Jeff Davis' 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS

Backstage Meet and Greet with Alton Brown

I have always liked Alton Brown ever since his early days with "Good Eats". So when the chance came to see his live show in Baltimore, MD at the Lyric Opera House I quickly purchased tickets. I was happy to discover a nice bonus to purchasing tickets up front for "Alton Brown Live: The Edible Inevitable Tour" was a backstage Meet and Greet with Alton himself.

Peg, Alton Brown, and Bubba

Photos from the 2014 Motorama Events

If you have almost 1 million square feet of indoor space you can hold all sorts of cool indoor race competitions. This is exactly what Motorama Events does each year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA. The complex is divided up into roughly ten areas with each holding their own event. This was the first year that we actually made it to the Go Kart races.

Motorama Events - Go Kart Racing

Photos from Motorama: Rod, Custom, & Tuner Show

It may have been snowing hard outside on Saturday morning at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center but it was nice and dry inside as Motorama began another fantastic show. It looked like there were a few competitor no-shows for the Rod, Custom, & Tuner Show part of the event due to the heavy snow earlier in the week on the East Coast.  The snow also kept many of the spectators away which actually made the morning at the show very enjoyable. There were still plenty of nice rides to look at in Exposition Hall like Joe and Vicki Sheehan's 454 LS6 powered 1969 Chevy Malibu Convertible.

Joe and Vicki Sheehan's 1969 Chevy Malibu Convertible

More Snow for Bubba's Garage

This winter has been pretty rough on all of us here at Bubba's Garage. It started out with crazy cold temperatures then it threw some ice at us. And what was hopefully the ending salvo? Try 20"+ of snow! This isn't normal for these parts. We are lucky if we see 20" of snow in an entire season.

20" of snow

Ice Storm - No Driving Today

Winter just keeps kicking our butt this year. While I might venture out in snow, ice keeps the Ford parked in the driveway. Four-wheel drive has no benefit on ice.

Ice on the Ford truck grill

Why I chose a gas furnace for Bubba's Garage

Should you install a heat pump or a gas furnace in your garage? While a heat pump may be cheaper it really can't handle the large swings in temperatures as you open and close the garage doors. In my opinion modern heat pumps, while much better than the older version, still do better at maintaining temperatures then getting you there. Also when it gets down below freezing the efficiency really drops. We have been very happy with our centralized propane fed gas furnace. If you go this route be sure you keep flammable vapors away from the furnace. Ours is separated from the work side of the shop and the heat ducted into the space. On days like today you will be glad you installed it!

Below Zero Temperature Reading

Exploring the Battery Trail - School House Ridge South, Harpers Ferry, WV

It warmed up just long enough for Peg and I to get out of the house and venture over to Harpers Ferry Battlefield for a walk. We decided to explore School House Ridge South. To the right of the small parking area, off of Millville Road, is what is called Courtney's Battery Trail.

School House Ridge South

Mammoth Site's Buy A Brick Program

Think of it as legal graffiti. A way to tag something that you enjoy. What am I talking about? How about charity "Buy a Brick" programs!  We just received a photo from the good folks at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota of our brick that will be added to the entrance of their new learning center. If you would like to help out and buy your own tax-deductible brick just head on over to their website: www.mammothsite.com

Peg and Bubba support the Mammoth Site "Buy a Brick" program