Chanticleer Garden: Farewell to Fall Season

Chanticleer Garden: Farewell to Fall Season

Within 30 minutes of Philadelphia, Chanticleer Garden is one of the great oasis’s in the region. Once the Rosengarten estate, today its a colorful and contemporary garden within an historic setting.

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We visited there in late October and I was amazed by the abundance of flowers blooming so late in the fall season. Especially since Chanticleer Garden closed just a week later — until next spring.

My sister-in-law, had arranged the outing for six of us, which included two of my husband’s brothers and their wives. She and her husband had discovered Chanticleer Garden earlier this year with friends and were anxious to share it with us.

We stayed in the city at our son D’s place. After first dropping off our Scottie dog, Whiskey, Mr. Buzz and I headed to NYC .There was lots of packing (and unpacking) to help his older brother with a big move from the Upper East Side to Hoboken, NJ. See his old penthouse and the housewarming gift I made for the new condo in, Modern Style, Fall Floral & Twig Wreath.

After returning to Philadelphia, hubby and I house-sat, while our younger son went into his office. Because a contractor was making repairs from water damage on the main floor of the row house, we (and both energetic dogs) had to spend the better part of three days upstairs on the third floor. It was a physically and mentally exhausting week!

Finally spending a weekend relaxing and visiting with family was a welcome change of pace. Come with me on a stroll through Chanticleer Garden for a little Zen and farewell to fall. Think of it as my way of wishing you a most Happy Thanksgiving!

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Walk on the Wild Side at Zoo Lantern Festival

Walk on the Wild Side at Zoo Lantern Festival

Returning to our magical evening at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium for its first ever, Asian Lantern Festival.

In part 1, Zoo Asian Lantern Festival Illuminates Wildlife, we paused in the African Savanna after seeing lion, tiger, zebra and elephant creations.

The sun had set and it was dusk, with the sky showing off its own beautiful light show of color.

But, that was only about halfway through the zoo’s winding pathways and 44 different lantern displays of animals, flowers, decorative archways, and tunnels. Some of the best were yet to come!

I particularly enjoyed those associated with the aquarium’s inhabitants, including schools of fish, jellyfish, penguins, seals and a colossal octopus.

Lantern displays became even more striking as darkness fell, with dramatic lighting, animated movements and color changes.

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Zoo Asian Lantern Festival Illuminates Wildlife

Zoo Asian Lantern Festival Illuminates Wildlife

Recently, hubby and I enjoyed an enchanting experience at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The Asian Lantern Festival illuminates the zoo with the glow of wildlife-themed, handcrafted figures.

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As dusk settles in, the lanterns begin to glow. Visitors stroll the winding pathways throughout the zoo, pausing to admire the beautiful lights. Intended for all ages, the festival also features live performances and entertainment. Music, dancing, and food represent elements of Asian heritage.

In all, 44 different lantern displays are spread across the zoo’s grounds. While the majority are animal themed — pandas, elephants and giraffes — there are also flower lanterns, decorative archways, tunnels and even a colossal butterfly tree. Some, like a flock of flamingos, are bigger than life. Many also change colors, or are animated with subtle movements. Most impressive, is the massive, 100-foot long and brightly colored Chinese dragon.

The Asian Lantern Festival is a family-friendly nighttime event that requires a separate ticket, in lieu of the zoo’s daytime admission. And, as Mr. Buzz and I discovered, it also makes for a romantic, date-night under the stars. Come stroll along with us.

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Return of Traditional Summer Activities & Family Visits

Return of Traditional Summer Activities & Family Visits

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Hello all! Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit. But, we’ve been busy enjoying back-to-sorta-normal summer activities with family and friends. Rather than living a more virtual existence on the computer or watching TV, I’ve been out and about. How about you?

Following ten days in Philadelphia, we drove back across the state with my mom and Whiskey — the puppy, not the alcohol lol! She spent nearly three weeks here with us enjoying summer activities, including trips to the zoo and aviary.

A couple of weeks later, we had the best July 4th in years! Both our adult sons were here for an extended visit. It was a big dose of happiness and fun!

There was a Pirates baseball game, riding roller coasters at Kennywood, dining out at favorite restaurants in different parts of the city, and playing amusing games together. On July 4th we all pitched in to create a wonderful meal on the porch, followed by fabulous community fireworks.

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Bird Bonding at the National Aviary

Bird Bonding at the National Aviary

Mr. Buzz and I have been trying to enjoy a local excursion once or twice a week this summer. Recently, we spent a wonderful afternoon at the National Aviary.

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Pittsburgh is extremely fortunate to have both a world-class zoo and aviary. They are completely separate and located in different parts of the city. When the boys were small, we went often. Birthday parties were held there. Many times, visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins joined us.

While vacationing this past June in Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, we were awed by the diversity and beauty of nature and wildlife. In particular, was the experience of seeing so many rare and endangered birds; including the Andean Condor, Galapagos Penguin, and Blue-Footed Booby.

I get goosebumps and choked-up when I think about what an incredibly moving experience it was to see exotic birds up close, in their natural habitat.

Upon returning home, we realized it had been years since we’d visited the National Aviary — located right in Pittsburgh. Come see why so many birds of a feather flock here!

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Spring Flower Show, Brunch Ward Off Winter’s Chill

Spring Flower Show, Brunch Ward Off Winter’s Chill

It was depressingly cold outside, when I saw the feature in Sunday’s newspaper on the start of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens spring flower show.

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Hubby was game, and suggested we go out to eat too. So after dragging ourselves to the gym, we came home, showered and headed downtown for a lovely brunch and afternoon among flowers.

As a holiday present to ourselves, we recently joined Phipps as members. As I discussed in Christmas Card from Old Quebec City, Mr. Buzz and I decided to give each other experiences rather than things this year.

Our first visit as members was just prior to New Years, taking you with us in the post, Magical Phipps Winter Flower & Light Show. In retrospect, it was a lot colder, actually frigid then.

Come with us on an impromptu, lovely way to ward off the winter blues.  (more…)

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