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2019 Pennsylvania Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Options

5.19.2019

Spring and Summer Fun in Erie


If you have not noticed, Erie, Presque Isle State Park, and Waldameer and Water World Amusement Park are some of our favorite places to relax. The close proximity and wide variety of things to do in the Erie Region naturally leads us to gravitate to it for adventure. Between all of the sightseeing at Presque Isle State Park, including seeing wildlife on scenic drives, bike rides, boats, kayaks, and hikes, to the state's beautiful navigational lighthouses, in addition to relaxing, swimming, flying kites, fishing from, and more on the park's pristine beaches, there is so much to do at the state park. In addition to riding on rides and the world class Ravine Flyer II roller coaster at Waldameer and Water World Amusement Park and getting a burger, hot dog, and some fantastic ice cream and Sara's Restaurant, this place is just made for spring and summer fun. Everything you could possibly ask for from a vacation at the beach is available in Erie, all without breaking the bank. We go a few times each season to Erie and highly recommend that you do so as well.
The wetlands are coming back to life, with greenery reappearing and wildlife springing to action.

The goslings and ganders (female and male baby geese) can be seen all over the place.
Lots of boats and fishermen were out on Presque Isle Bay
The water levels are currently at record highs for the area. Lake Erie is about 3 feet deeper than average. This is immediately evident around the marsh areas and the breakwaters on the lake. A local politician was talking about a plan to submerge the breakwaters, but it looks like the changing regional climate has already done that. While lake levels ebb and flow, they have consistently gotten higher, leading the water to submerge, or nearly submerge areas up to walkways. This marsh had multiple fish trapped in the shallow water, trying to get back into the main waterway. Erie is the eighth fastest warming city in the country and the environmentally sensitive area of Presque Isle State Park is showing this in dramatic fashion. 

Sunning turtles!

And the Flagship Niagara! This reproduction of the famous ship that Commodore Perry used to defeat the British in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812 was out on a cruise on this windy day. Its journey took it from Erie Harbor and out on Lake Erie around Presque Isle. It was visible for most of the time we were at the state park, making for quite a dramatic sight.
The crew.
Another sure sign of spring, Lifeguard Stands getting placed in anticipation of the beaches opening for swimming during Memorial Day Weekend.
The beaches are so relaxing.
Another view of the Flagship Niagara.
The two of us.
Some kites in the sky on the kite portion of the beach.

Beautiful Presque Isle Lighthouse.
Some wildflowers in bloom on the treeline before the beach.

Now we head over to Waldameer. Their new Chaos looping ride is absolutely wild! It starts off looking like a tame swing ride...
And then it gets higher and higher...
And loops, with tremendous hang time in the process.
It expands the park further into the grove area, which I am sure will host even more rides in the future.
The trees are beautifully flowering at the park right now.
A view of the midway, and the world class Ravine Flyer II wooden roller coaster.
Some of the park's classic rides.
The park's classic Comet roller coaster received some more of the meticulous care that the park gives to its rides with a rebuilding of a portion of one of the coaster's turnarounds.
Here is the Carousel Grove, which hosted the Beer Coaster event of the Lake Erie Ale Trail. This fantastic event showcased the regions excellent breweries, with sampling of many different brews and some fantastic Smith's Hot Dogs. This annual event is absolutely great.
 A view of Waldameer's main midway.
And the two of us on the front seat of Ravine Flyer II. It truly is an absolutely excellent ride.
The Beer Coaster event began at 4:00 and was great. The region has so many great breweries to offer, including the BrewErie at Union Station, Erie Brewing Company, Arundel, Mazza's 5&20, and more.


 The spread of deliciously loaded Smith's Hot Dogs.
 Mushroom and Swiss Hot Dog! Yum!
 The whole crew.

 And what day in Erie is complete without some ice cream from Sara's Restaurant?

And we close with a sunset view from the beaches of Presque Isle. We had a wonderful time as always!

5.12.2019

Gibson's Covered Bridge/Harmony Hill Covered Bridge, Chester County

Gibson's Covered Bridge/Harmony Hill Covered Bridge, located southeast of Downingtown in Chester County, is beautiful. It is located in a beautiful rural area and it crosses the scenic East Branch Bradywine Creek, just off of US 322. Its portals are absolutely beautiful and it dates back to 1872. It utilizes Burr Truss construction and is the last remaining covered bridge across any branch of the Brandywine Creek. 
It is 78 feet long and 14 feet wide. The construction of the covered bridges of Chester County was handled by the county itself. It built 85 different covered bridges, with 15 of these still remaining. Because the construction was handled by the county, many public records are extant, including competitive bidding by potential bridge builders, and more. We know that this bridge cost 2600 dollars to build in 1872. It was built by Edward Hall and Thomas Schull.
The bridge is located in the middle of a beautiful park area that surrounds this section of the creek. A complex of beautifully preserved natural areas fill this section of the Brandywine Valley. This complex includes the M. John Johnson Nature Center, Harmony Hill Nature Area, the Brandywine Meadows Preserve, and the East Branch Brandywine Trail. Other park areas go up and down the creek. The community has taken great care to preserve this area of the creek. It is an excellent place to sit and relax, do a little hiking, fish, and just take in nature. Other communities should take note of the natural and historical resources that they have and preserve them as places of renewal, like Chester County has done with this area. If you are in the area, you should definitely check this out. 
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