Craving Dole Whip

Disney & museum obsessed, homeschooling mom of 3, parenting to focus on experiences, not possessions. Sharing Disney tips, educational adventures and a few reviews. Constantly craving Dole Whip.


Leave a comment

100 Experience Adventures–February Summary

WOW!  What a fascinating adventure all ready!

In just 2 short months, we completed a whopping 30 exciting and educational experiences!

THIRTY!

IMG_20180216_140504.jpg

When I look back on each experience, I am so very grateful my girls have this awesome, once-in-a-lifetime chance to grow and learn and expand their understanding of our world.  And, I have the privilege of sitting in the front row to watch it unfold. 🙂

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20180220154949868.jpg

 

Here is a complete list of the 12 adventures (#19 through #30) we enjoyed during the month of February!  Click on each link to read a summary and honest review, as well as personal and educational tips for each experience!  Let me know if you have any specific questions–always happy to help.  🙂

Experience 19:

The Blue Man Group in Orlando, Florida

Experience 20:

Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida

Experience 21:

The Carlisle Ice Art Fest 

Experience 22:

The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, PA

Experience 23:

Our First Hike on the Appalachian Trail 

Experience 24:

A Tour of the Harley Davidson Factory in York, Pennsylvania 

Experience 25:

The Wilbur Chocolate Store and Museum in Lititz, Pennsylvania

Experience 26:

A Tour of Julius Sturgis Pretzel in Lititz, Pennsylvania

Experience 27:

Recycled Sari Flower Making Artisan Class in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Experience 28:

A Dinner Lit Only By Firelight at The Accomac in York, Pennsylvania 

Experience 29:

A Concert by The Diva Jazz Orchestra

Experience 30:

Film Screening of The Girls in the Band and a Panel Discussion with Diva

 

For a list (with clickable links to all cool places!) of #1 through #18 events from January, click here!

More to come–March has been a super busy and educational month!

IMG_20180214_154507.jpg

 

 

 

 

Advertisements


3 Comments

The Accomac Firelight Night Dinner in York, PA–Experience Adventure 28 of 100

When my daughters and I decided to attempt 100 adventures during our 6 month sabbatical from our home in Texas, one of the rules we put into place specified that each experience must be NEW and different.  Obviously, since we are newbies to the east coast, every restaurant we visit is technically “original”, but I refuse to fill this exciting adventure list with a million mundane restaurants.

–Except, we found this extraordinary one.

For our 28th adventure, we experienced a fantastic Firelight Night dinner at the Accomac in York, Pennsylvania.

IMG_20180223_165500.jpg

IMG_20180223_165350.jpg

IMG_20180223_165354.jpg

IMG_20180223_171938.jpg

With a long, winding history, dating back to the early 1700’s, the Accomac Inn overlooks the beautiful rushing waters of the Susquehanna River.  (It was raining and foggy on the evening we visited, but still gorgeous!)

Read about the history of the Accomac Inn here.

img_20180223_165156.jpg

IMG_20180223_165356.jpg

IMG_20180223_165308.jpg

The massive and commanding stone building sits to one side of the narrow road, nestled into the bottom of a timber-filled hill, facing a large parking lot along the water’s edge.

IMG_20180223_165243.jpg

Offering visitors the opportunity to dine only by candle light, the Accomac hosts “Firelight Nights” on select evenings from November to early March.  Charming and über romantic, the tiny flicker of soft candle light and a roaring fireplace fill the dining room with a peaceful glow and calming warmth.  No light bulbs.  No lamps.  No electricity generating light.  **I tried to take as many pictures as I could before the sun went down and I lost the light streaming in from the windows.

IMG_20180223_165819.jpg

img_20180223_165949.jpg

00000IMG_00000_BURST20180223171703148_COVER.jpg

Meticulously pressed, white table cloths drape the intimate tables and comfortable leather chairs allow guests a chance to relax and unwind in the Queen Ann dining room.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180223171126749_COVER.jpg

Serving all kinds of delicious and artisan food since 1971, owner Doug Campbell and general manager Zach Seitz hired Jordan Crews in 2010, and promoted him to executive chef in early 2016.  Crews, born and raised in Lancaster, visits the Lancaster Central Market weekly, choosing fresh and local ingredients for his award-winning seasonal menu.

(The Lancaster Central Market was our 8th experience and is the country’s oldest farmers market!  Read all about it here!)

Our dimly lit journey began with a pleasant palette cleansing shooter of creamy pea soup and an assortment of breads.  I typically prefer to pass on peas, but this soup was exquisite and an excellent start to our meal.

IMG_20180223_172613.jpg

IMG_20180223_172556.jpg

We ordered several items from each section of the menu as an opportunity to try interesting combinations and sample from each others’ plates.

The mushroom risotto, created with fresh, local mushrooms and served as a warm side dish, features Caputo ricotta en salata, (created locally by the amazing Caputo Brother’s Creamery–our 32nd experience! Review coming soon!)

Topped with watercress and truffle foam, the risotto melts in the mouth–We ordered two bowls!

IMG_20180223_173946.jpg

The potato gnocchi at Accomac reigns as possibly the most divine food I have ever eaten in my entire life.  Full of complex, delicious flavors, the gnocchi appeared surrounded by a very light and savory cream sauce, fresh greens, and earthy mushrooms.  I wanted more (and MORE!) and I hope to return just to eat this dish again.

IMG_20180223_174112.jpg

The full-bodied, umami beef stock showcased in the Accomac’s French onion soup made this menu “starter” my husband’s favorite dish of the evening.  Topped with caramelized, rich Swiss and provolone cheeses, the chef added a dollop of fresh scallions, a delightfully surprising, yet tasty garnish.

img_20180223_173951.jpg

Pierogi, a traditional central European-style dumpling, arrived with a topping of savory sautéed onions on a cushion of creamy sour cream sauce.  I almost loved it as much as the amazing gnocchi and my vegetarian daughter claimed this special, off-menu offering as her favorite.

IMG_20180223_174006.jpg

My meat-eating daughter ordered the Accomac beef tenderloin burger with bacon, melted cheese, horseradish mayonnaise, and topped with a house made Brioche roll.  A slab of fried potato wedges and fresh, crisp vegetables served as accompaniments.  Though my daughter enjoyed the burger, it seems out-of-place on the elegant menu.

img_20180223_180218.jpg

As a main entrée, I appreciate the freedom to order a vegetable-based meal–braised cabbage rolls, filled with a hearty rice and mushroom mixture and smothered with tangy, chunky tomatoes.  A variety of roasted root vegetables surrounded the dish and offered more flavor than the bland cabbage rolls.  I found myself wishing I ordered another serving of the delicious gnocchi!

IMG_20180223_180153.jpg

My husband chose the chicken roulade with garlic polenta, glazed carrots, charred savoy cabbage and a red wine infused pear.  Though he devoured the chicken and creamy polenta, he found the overpowering sweetness of the pear off-putting and not enhancing of the dish.

IMG_20180223_180158.jpg

The under seasoned and tasteless side of roasted Brussel sprouts brought the only real disappointment during our exquisite meal at the Accomac.  I don’t expect perfection, so the Brussel blunder can be overlooked.  (Though, as a sprout lover, I did have high hopes.)  They were very fresh and bright!

IMG_20180223_180205.jpg

At the end of the meal, we found ourselves too pleasantly full to properly enjoy any of the sweet offerings from the menu.  We chose to share one small, but heavenly treat–the sticky toffee pudding.  Topped with a luscious dolce de leche ice cream and drenched with a syrupy toffee sauce, this dessert completed a wonderful and satisfying candle-lit meal at the Accomac.

IMG_20180223_184635.jpg

Overall, our meal was wonderfully prepared and the staff at the Accomac welcomed and served my family in a professional and friendly manner, even though we brought our children to an obviously adult-centered, date-night event.  Eating a satisfying meal by firelight proved to be a joyful, unique and relaxing experience.

IMG_20180223_190508.jpg

The Accomac works with local Pennsylvania farmers and provides a list of menu food sources online, which I appreciate and rarely find.  See the list here. 

IMG_20180223_174003.jpg

Kudos to the Accomac Inn.  Thank you for serving fresh and local, farm-to-table food, which moves our society closer to sustainability and an overall healthier way of life.  My family will return for another wonderful meal before we move back to Texas.  (Please serve the gnocchi!)

The Accomac also serves Caputo Brothers Creamery cheese–which just happened to be our 32nd experience adventure!  Read all about it here!

The Accomac is located at 6330 South River Drive in York, Pennsylvania.

Lunch is served Monday-Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Dinner is served Monday-Saturday from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm. and on Sundays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Sunday brunch is offered from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

***Reservations are recommended.

For more information, call 717-252-1521 or visit www.accomacinn.com

 

Looking for some original and new experiences in the great state of Pennsylvania?

Visit the National Watch and Clock Museum–read all about it here!

Click here and check out the Stroopie Co., a world changing social enterprise found at the Lancaster Sweet Shoppe.

Take a drive to Ten Thousand Villages in Mechanicsburg to buy all kinds of authentic, artisan-made, fair trade crafts and treasures from another global-impacting social enterprise.  Read what you need to know here.

 

Traveling to Illinois?  Put the Firefly Grill on your must-eat, farm-to-table restaurant list!  Click here.

 

 

 

 

 


3 Comments

The Wilbur Chocolate Store in Lititz, PA–Experience Adventure 25 of 100

IMG_20180219_115322.jpg

We took a quick drive to Lititz, Pennsylvania to visit The Wilbur Chocolate Store and Museum for our 25th experience adventure.

IMG_20180219_114838.jpg

IMG_20180219_115421.jpg

The chocolate dynasty began in 1865 when H.O. Wilbur and Samuel Croft produced mostly molasses candies and hard candies.  By 1884, the men separated the company and the cocoa and chocolate divisions became H.O. Wilbur & Sons.

IMG_20180219_114321.jpg

The Wilbur Chocolate Store features a tiny glimpse into the history of the company and the process of making chocolate candies and goodies.

IMG_20180219_114342.jpg

Visitors can watch an informative video and see historical candy making equipment and beautiful, antique tins and packaging.

IMG_20180219_114632.jpg

IMG_20180219_114943.jpg

IMG_20180219_114653.jpg

IMG_20180219_114900.jpg

 

IMG_20180219_114328.jpg

 

IMG_20180219_114333.jpg

IMG_20180219_114924.jpg

IMG_20180219_114708.jpg

The rest of the aromatic space is a dedicated and delicious store filled with all kinds of chocolate treats!

IMG_20180219_114827.jpg

IMG_20180219_114809.jpg

IMG_20180219_114444.jpg

IMG_20180219_114502.jpg

A free sample can be found at the very back.  🙂

IMG_20180219_114416.jpg

My daughters and I were thrilled to discover some Stroopies (from our 7th adventure)!  Read all about that amazing and social conscious company and our life-inspiring visit here!

IMG_20180219_114611.jpg

I purchased a Stroopie and some chocolate-infused hand cream.  🙂

IMG_20180219_114242.jpg

The Wilbur Chocolate Store is located at 45 North Broad Street, Lititz, Pennsylvania, 17543.  For more information, call 717-626-3249 or visit www.wilburbuds.com to make yummy online orders.

Lititz is an adorable, cozy little town, about an hour from Carlisle, PA.

Within walking distance of The Wilbur Chocolate Store, we found a delightful restaurant, The Tomato Pie Café.  The menu offers several delicious vegetarian and gluten-free options and features light, fresh, and beautiful dishes.

We GREATLY enjoyed the spinach and artichoke tomato pie and the not-your sloppy joe, which is vegetarian.  Lots of yummy options include coffees, pastries, breakfast items, sandwiches, daily soups, and tempting desserts.

IMG_20180219_111800.jpg

IMG_20180219_111754.jpg

IMG_20180219_111820.jpg

 

IMG_20180219_111825.jpg

The Tomato Pie Café serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and has two locations:  one in Harrisburg, PA and one in Lititz.

We visited the Lititz location at 23 North Broad Street.  Call 717-627-1762 or visit www.tomatopiecafe.net for more information and to view current menus.

Looking for other fun things to do and explore in Pennsylvania?  Check these out:

The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, PA

The Harley Davidson Factory in York, PA

Beiler’s Doughnuts in Lancaster, PA

Lancaster Central Market, in Lancaster, PA

Burning Bridge Antiques in Lancaster, PA


3 Comments

The Harley-Davidson Steel Toe Tour in York, PA–Experience Adventure 24 of 100

IMG_20180216_140425.jpg

My only real connection to Harley-Davidson began when my husband and I got married in 2003.  At the time, he owned a very cool, 1998 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.  I remember the thrill of riding it only one time–a glorious and exhilarating summer afternoon, on the open roads of Ohio before the commitment to family responsibilities forced us to trade the motorcycle in for an ego-crushing minivan.  I am convinced a small piece of my husband died the day that bike left our possession.

img_20180216_140809.jpg

 

Fast forward fifteen crazy years, my husband is now a student at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and the Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations Factory is in York, just 45 minutes down the road.

For Valentine’s Day, I gave him tickets to the Harley-Davidson Steel Toe Tour–our 24th of 100 adventures.  🙂

IMG_20180216_113658.jpg

IMG_20180216_114650.jpg

IMG_20180216_114451.jpg

Harley-Davidson, a classic, American icon, celebrates 115 years of creating captivating and envy-producing motorcycles this year–2018.  What started as an idea and some simple drawings in a shed in 1903, paved the road for a massive and über successful company, which completely supports the belief in the American dream.

Little did William Harley, Arthur Davidson and Walter Davidson know, but their engineering genius and marketing abilities would lead to the creation of a motorcycle empire that unites humans from all kinds of backgrounds, diverse cultures, and genders with no regard to age, religious beliefs or political affiliations.  In our crazy, divided world, who would have guessed a motorcycle brand would unify and strengthen a varied and often contentious human race?

Enter the phenomenon of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.

IMG_20180216_140504.jpg

 

The company began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and quickly grew due to the popularity of racing competitions in the early 1900’s.  Clubs for bike owners, riders and racers started popping up in rural and populated areas, flourishing after WWI.  The Harley-Davidson company built cycles for the military, creating a life-long relationship between the brand and American soldiers.

IMG_20180216_140558.jpg

 

Today, Harley-Davidson offers tours at three manufacturing plants:  Menomonee Falls in Wisconsin, Kansas City in Missouri and York in Pennsylvania.

IMG_20180216_112848.jpg

IMG_20180216_112858.jpg

At the York, PA location, visitors choose 3 ways to explore the factory:

  1. Free, self-guided tour of the showroom gallery and gift shop
  2. Free, Classic Factory Tour, includes the assembly line and fabrication areas (about 45 minutes)
  3. $38 Steel Toe Tour, includes a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the manufacturing floor, assembly line, fabrication center, employee-only areas of paint and polish, and a close-up view of the roll testing area. (about 2 hours)

My family and I experience the Steel Toe Factory Tour at the Harley-Davidson plant in York, Pennsylvania, but photographs are NOT allowed inside the manufacturing area.  However, pictures are allowed in the showroom gallery, to the right of the York Tour Center welcome desk.

IMG_20180216_140015.jpg

I purchased the tickets to the Steel Toe Tour online, which requires guests to commit to a specific date and time.  When we arrived at the plant, we entered the York Tour Center and checked in with the information desk.  Every person with a paid ticket receives a commemorative pin and a safety vest to wear (and keep!).  Safety goggles and steel-toe protection, worn over your shoes, are provided for free.

IMG_20180216_143525.jpg

IMG_20180301_133203.jpg

IMG_20180216_113349.jpg

IMG_20180216_143554.jpg

IMG_20180216_114351.jpg

Everyone also gets a $5 coupon for the gift shop and a copy of the very attractive (lol) group photo taken after the introductory film.  🙂

img_20180216_171910.jpg

Because the tour is behind-the-scenes and in the middle of a working, manufacturing plant, everyone wears individual audio headsets linked directly to the guide.

IMG_20180216_140750.jpg

The York factory, established in 1973, creates and assembles the Touring, CVO and Trike Harley models.

IMG_20180216_141401.jpg

Captivated by the pure magnitude and intricate attention to detail, the tour exposed us to areas never seen by the public, including the paint and polishing departments.  Our favorite part was the roll test area, a coveted job only awarded to those with senority.

IMG_20180216_140708.jpg

We experienced the fascinating process of manufacturing frames, fenders, fuel tanks and mechanical parts.  The factory floor was clean, well organized and of course, ran like a well-oiled bike (machine).  The professional craftsmen and craftswomen smiled and took a few seconds to demonstrate each of their contributions to the production of the legendary motorcycles.

IMG_20180216_140048.jpg

IMG_20180216_140332.jpg

IMG_20180216_140209.jpg

IMG_20180216_140146.jpg

Walking through the assembly process and viewing the full scope of vehicle operations gave me and my family a brand new appreciation for the powerhouse Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company and the beautiful motorcycles they build.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180216135422893_COVER.jpg

IMG_20180216_140652.jpg

IMG_20180216_140904.jpg

IMG_20180216_141344.jpg

Overall, I would recommend the tour to all motorcycle enthusiasts or people interested in seeing the manufacturing process up-close.  There was an excessive amount of time spent just standing and waiting on the Steel Toe Tour and our guide stood silently for much of it, only sharing a few sentences of explanation here and there.  We all walked away wanting more historical information.

My only other complaint is personal–Harley-Davidson should be utterly embarrassed that they do not offer a military discount on tours.

img_20180216_112824-effects.jpg

The Steel Toe Tour at York Vehicle Operations is located at 1425 Eden Road, York, Pennsylvania, 17402.

The tour is $38 and available Monday-Friday at 9:15 am and 12:00 noon.  Book your date and buy your tickets in advance online.  The experience was sold out on the day we toured the factory.

The York Tour Center is free to visit and open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Tours are also available in Wisconsin and Missouri and the Harley-Davidson Museum is located at 400 West Canal Street, Milwaukee, WI.

For more information, visit www.harley-davidson.com

We supplemented this experience and recommend watching a very interesting and entertaining mini-series (through Amazon Prime) called  Harley And The Davidsons, The Story Behind the Name, from the Discovery Channel.

IMG_20180216_140310.jpg

Interested in other adventures, experiences and tours?

Here is a list of the 18 things we completed during the month of January!