About the Author

A Pleasant Pennsylvania Picnic

Back in November I partook on a trip with my mother and brother. After a few exchanges of ideas, we decided to take a trip to Pennsylvania. The early morning came as I grumbled out of bed; moaning for the coffee that would wake me up. As the drive began and went on, there were no coffee shops to be found. However, there were some pleasant stops on the way down that curbed my sour mood. Taking the longer route and avoiding Connecticut/New York City, we found ourselves up on Hogback Mountain in Vermont. There we were greeted by a warm fire and a quaint country store. Here we found a soda that even a non-soda drinker like my brother enjoyed. Ironically, it was called Totally Gross Sodas and this particular flavor was called Alien Snot. This somewhat quenched my need for caffeine as we looked over the sight of the valley on top of the mountain. But the journey had to continue. About halfway down, our stomachs made the familiar sound of rumbling as we made our way to an apparently popular restaurant. People were lining up at the door for this delicious food that was indeed worth the wait. Satisfied we went back into the car and found our way to our next stop; a candy, fudge, cone, and ice cream shop. There we were told that everything was made from scratch, including their cones. It was hard to pry ourselves away from all these sweet treats and colorful decorations, but the end destination was calling for us. After what seemed like ages, we finally arrived at the hotel. My, what a sight it was to behold. We decided to stay in a themed hotel this time; a steamboat that glowed on its man-made pool that reflected its old fashion gleam. Inside one seemed to step back in time with classic red carpets, black and white photos, polished timber, and nautical themes that brought out the charm of this hotel. After settling into our comfy room, my mother and I decided to visit Huckleberry’s Tavern found inside the boat. Such a relaxed atmosphere greeted us as we enjoyed our talk with the bartender. He suggested their signature drink that had a pleasant blueberry taste and looked great. We soon ended the fun as we made our way back up to the room so I could change into a bathing suite. My brother and I soon finished the day by taking a dip in the Jacuzzi; something we would do every night for the rest of the vacation.

Solemn ground was what we stepped on as we entered Gettysburg the next day. One could feel the rumble of cannon fire, the primordial screams of fighting men, and the feeling of loss and devastation caused by the battle. A grande collection of artifacts were housed inside the museum; ranging from large cannons to the smallest of pins from both sides. As an added treat, we were able to see the cyclorama painting with sound effects and narration along with a bus tour further explaining how the fighting progressed. Interestingly enough, there was a hill that the Union controlled that allowed them to see the whole battlefield. Along with this key point and a communication problem within the Confederate forces, it lead to the victory for the Union. This truly reminds one of the importance of communication, maybe even in the smaller everyday interactions. With the day done, we decided to stop at a local buffet suggested by the staff. Surprising to the three of us, it was fresh made food that was a delight to eat. My belly full, I quickly retreated to the care when a creeping feeling hit my spine; probably from being on a battlefield where many lost their lives.

The next day came as we went to a restaurant called Loxley’s we had scoped out before coming down. Its outside was set up like a tree house that got the group psyched, but it was off season for that part of the restaurant. We were disappointed at first, until we were lead to their pub. It felt like we walked straight into medieval times where we could have run into Robin Hood, Little Jon, and Friar Tuck. The food had a great flavor and paired well with their Lady of Loxley drink; a sweet mango drink that makes one forget that it is alcohol. Even after a few, I somehow won darts against my mother and brother. This gaming streak continued as we made our way to the Laserdome; an arcade and laser lag place that looked interesting. My mom proved to be the pinball queen while my brother and I were racing legends. The three of us soon found our way inside the laser tag arena, facing each other. We were constantly battling for the high ground for the longest time until our mother disappeared. She only reemerged a few times to ambush us; a sneaky tactic to say the least. Many more games were played before my mother and I faced off in air hockey. It was an even match for a while; that was until the Joker’s maniacal laugh rumbled from the machine. All of a sudden, a barrage of mini pucks erupted and covered the field. My mother was quicker than I as she scored way too many points for me to catch up. Merry were we as we headed back to the hotel to rest for the coming day.

Our taste buds began to water as we pulled up into the parking lot of the Hershey’s factory. The fresh smell of chocolate welcomed us inside from the cold like a warm hug. First on our little journey was to take the tour. With singing cows and all, we were shown how the chocolate process was done on comfy moving carts. Rumbling erupted from our stomachs as our eyes laid ravenously upon the goodies found in the store. Released unto the unsuspecting public, we began grabbing souvenirs, treats, and Christmas gifts. Such interesting treats consumed on that day included mint Kit Kats, pumpkin Kit Kats, cinnamon Kit Kats, hot chocolate Hershey Kisses, peppermint stick Hershey Kisses, delicious cupcakes, and the best treats of all; a shake run of some favorite flavors that included strawberry Twizzler, mint Kit Kats, and s’mores. After checking out with our several carts full of items, we made our way to the zoo associated with the company called ZooAmerica. Animals found across North America were housed inside its borders. It was so cool to see all these different types of animals, but some stood out above the rest. The first was the very proud road runner who liked to show off. He sat pretty for photo after photo in the open enclosure found inside one of the buildings. At one point, he flew and perched on a railing that was close enough that we could have touched him. After taking a few photos for the paparazzi loving bird, we headed out the building and found a playful creature in the water. The otter flipped, swam, and scurried about as we were mesmerized by his movements. Eventually, we pried ourselves away to find a curious sight. A bobcat had emerged from their hiding spot and was stalking a fellow visitor to the zoo. She was so ready to pounce, if not for the fence that blocked its way. Such a humorous sight and a reminder that some of these animals were still predators. Our next fellow was a big brown bear that sat right next to me on the other side of the glass. I would like to think that him and I shared a moment together as we looked into each others eyes for a while; then again he could have just thought of me as lunch. Speaking of which, there was a moment where I though the bear was going to snack on a black vulture. The zoo has been struggling to keep them away from the animals and one decided to nip him. They did not get a pleasant response when he swatted back with a roar. With reluctance, I left the bear as we saw the rest of the zoo with its excitable wolves, majestic bald eagles, creepy barn owls, and other great creatures to meet, Again, the animals known as our stomachs reminded us we needed food. Asking one of the locals, we were directed to a wondrous place to eat; observing along the way that the light post tops were shaped like Hershey Kisses. Day soon turned to night as we made our way to something he had heard was occurring from the Hershey’s store. A Holiday Stroll of fantastic lights greeted us as we drove through field, road, and forest. Synchronized to music, it was dazzling and relaxing seeing old holiday favorites and fairy tales brought to life in light. What a great way to end the day.

Antique shopping has always been something my family enjoyed partaking in when we found them.  Lucky for us, a huge emporium was located not too far from our hotel. Our shopping bugs infested our being as we went on shopping sprees for ourselves and others. (I think part of our logical minds were eaten away at the time but we had fun.) Personally, I bough myself some books and a pocket watch. Food was plentiful as we made our way a restaurant known as Good and Plenty. To those unfamiliar to the restaurant, it sits one down with strangers at a long table to enjoy a buffet meal together. Food was brought to the table like having a dinner at home, especially since the selection this time around was a Thanksgiving meal. We were sat with some interesting people who I believe were from New York. Kind exchanges were given as we made our way to watch a show at the Sight and Sound Theatres. Their show this time I did not enjoy nor did I click with, but my mother and brother seemed to enjoy it.

Our final full day of vacation came as we hopped from farmer’s market to farmer’ s market; enjoying fantastic tastes and smells that came from the stands. Fresh apple cider and home made sour cream and onion pretzels almost made me buy out their stocks. The last event of the vacation lay ahead as we went to Hershey Park. Mom was overly excited as she rushed ahead of us. Unfortunately, we found out that half the rides were closed due to the cold. This made sense and we ventured inside not knowing the benefit for coming at this time. They had lit up the park with so many lights that it looked like a rainbow version of the starry sky. A magic train ride in the sea of lights, a light show performed to music in a beautiful valley above the the river, and as much hot chocolate that one could drink. The few rides we went on were unique, so I will not give any spoilers. I will tell you that riding the the front was more terrifying than being in the back on most of the rides. Of course we ended up revealing we were from New Hampshire as we were the only ones that drank the King Size Shakes found only in the park. I enjoyed my Pumpkin Spice treat while getting weird looks from the majority of others. There was little time left before the park closed; so my brother and I went on the tallest ride as it slowly spun and rose us above the park. We was the city and park lit up in lights as we sat comfortably  in our seats.

The way back home was less eventful, though I did try to have them stop in NYC for pizza. That was immediately shot down even though I was the one driving; instead vying to stop at a fancy place in Massachusetts. It was a great trip, but I missed my love and was glad to be back home. I definitely suggest putting Pennsylvania on one’s list of places to visit for good food and relaxing times.

About the Author

Depression

A mental illness well known, but not fully understood. Ironic, considering how many times it is misdiagnosed. Now, as a writer, the only way I know how to explain such a concept is creatively.

Imagine yourself in a sink hole, unable to escape. At first, you try to claw your way out towards the light; only to realize the effort is in vain. The evidence lies in your bleeding fingers and claw marks in the sand. Slowly, the darkness swallows your whole being; giving yourself over to its embrace. Hours pass as your need for food, drink, socializing.. anything fades away. All you will do is stare blankly into the abyss, questioning why you should even exist. There is no finding a way out. If you are lucky, a friend will throw a line down to raise you out of the hole. Whether you accept that offer is a different story. They will have to fight for you to find the hope to crawl to them; pull you back from the abyss. Otherwise you are at the mercy of the Earth, if you have the right herbs. These may just snap you out of it or the wrong amount will make things worse.

Be mindful of your fellow humans if you see such suffering, you could be the line that helps them out of the hole.

Rookie Reviews

Puritan Backroom

Location: 245 Hooksett Rd, Manchester, NH 03104

Rating:   😀    😀    😀   🙂    :I

Atmosphere:   😀      Cleanliness:   😀       Food:    😀

Prices:     🙂                Service:      :I

Probably one of the most famous restaurants from New Hampshire, the Puritan Backroom has always been a place to stop and eat in Manchester. I remember as a kid getting that electric thrill when my family would arrive at the doors. Usually, there would be a massive crowd inside, but the smart ones know to reserve before coming. (Hint, hint). There is a classier air in this joint as the tasty foods’ scent lays lightly in the air. The interior decor is both comfy and nice to look at as you sit at your table; being surprisingly private for such a crowded place. Unfortunately, the service is kind of a toss up. Sometimes I have servers who are full of energy and ready to help with what ever is needed. Others are struggling to get through their shift without screaming. I guess it is the stress of having a very busy shift.

The food is out of this world with flavor. Whether you choose to treat yourself with prime rib or partake in their signature chicken tenders, one knows they will be getting great food and a lot of it. Although the prices may seem overpriced at first, it is only because you do not see the portion they are about to spring on you. My favorite meal to get their is their coconut chicken tenders with their house made duck sauce; something I cannot even finish in one sitting and will bring home for a second meal. That is saying something since I have been known to eat whole pizzas without hesitation. I will warn you that this place has gotten a bad string of reports due to a norovirus that was contracted after an event that the restaurant catered. Please do not let this deter you. I have no doubt in my mind it was not the Backroom’s fault for this outbreak. To my recollection, I have never seen a place more clean in my many visits to food establishments. If you are stopping in Manchester, NH, I implore you to make a stop at this grande restaurant; you certainly won’t regret it.

About the Author

Cats

Everyone’s favorite furry creatures are going to be inhabiting my dwelling place. I feel the disturbance in the force from all the dog lovers who read this, but it is just my opinion. Excitement fills my being as my house has been transformed to fit their needs. My future mother-in-law spoiled them as we have many toys, a climbing tree, bed, an enclosed litter box, and enough supplies to provide more than adequate care of them. I am looking forward to seeing them hop and jump around like crazy creatures, but also to enjoy the calm times when they purr from the gentlest of touches.

My last cat I had an incredibly strong bond with to the point where she would defend me from harm by even the likes of dogs several times her size. Her name was Sam, the mighty huntress and fierce defender. When I went on walks in the woods, she would be close behind following me on the trails; meowing when she thought we ventured too far. Her protectiveness did not even stop there. My future wife’s first introduction to this creature was the cat laying on top of our joined hands. After awhile though Sam warmed up to her and would seek her out for cuddles. It was saddening when she passed; the only comforting thought being she was reunited with her kittens again.

But enough with the depressing point of life. I am excited to make new memories with these two new additions to my family. They are sure to bring much joy and excitement to my life. Hopefully, they do not destroy my house too much.

About the Author

Third Time’s the NY Charm

As the the title gives away, I recently went on my third trip to New York City to celebrate my anniversary with my beloved. This time around we hit a few bumps in the road getting to our hotel, but we eventually figured our way to our destination. We decided to stay once again at Hotel Pennsylvania, but this time around we got a much better room. A smaller size that fit our needs, a better TV, comfy bed, and warm to come back to at the end of the day. Rumbling erupted from our stomachs as we traversed the streets of New York City. Dallas BBQ seemed like a good choice as we entered the building. Instantly, our noses agreed with our choice as we took the escalator to the second floor. Great artwork surrounded us as we made our way to the table. So many tasty things to try, it was hard to decide what to chose. Eventually, I got a rack of ribs, crunchy wings, fries, and a frozen, alcoholic pineapple crush drink. Scoffing does not even accurately describe how fast I ate my food. It was delicious in every aspect, a little too much so when it came to the drink having to remind myself that it was alcoholic. In my rambunctious hunger, my love was nice enough to give me a bite of her pulled pork sandwich. Delicious as well and made me want to try more, but I did not want to be rolled out the building.

After seeing how well the army of police and ambulances responded to a situation outside, we made our way for a quick stop at Midtown Comics. Lots of items in store, but nothing that really caught my eye as we continued on our way to our main destination. As my love and I do every time we go to NYC, we booked tickets to a Broadway musical; this time they were for Aladdin. What a awesome show. Spectacular dancing, splendid music, terrific visual effects, and that Genie just stole the show. Friend Like Me was my favorite song of the whole production and that actor just brought on a whole different take on Genie that had me intrigued from the beginning. My apologies to the cast and crew for not giving a standing ovation at your performance; I was afraid of falling over the railing with my stiff knees. Having enjoyed the show, we made our way to a Qdoba near our hotel where we picked up our food from a stressed worker who appreciated our understanding of working in a fast paced job. The gentlemen was nice enough to give us coupons with a genuine smile on his face. We retreated to our lair to devour our food; mine being Stromboli that I absolutely loved. Partly because I did not have to make it from scratch like if I was at home, but the flavor itself was pretty great. Unfortunately this trip was a short one as we made our way to work the next day. NYC is such a large place with so many more places to visit and experience. I look forward to the next time we explore the city to find more hidden wonders.

Rookie Reviews

Nonie’s Restaurant

Location: 28 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH, 03458

Rating:    :I     🙂     🙂      🙂       🙂

Atmosphere:    :I              Cleanliness:    🙂        Food:                🙂

Prices:              🙂               Service:            🙂

This local breakfast favorite is usually found with a good sized crowd of locals inside. From what I say, there is no indication to seat oneself, but it is a well known custom by the locals. Due to their busyness, the staff sometimes forgets to let their patrons know this fact. The space itself has a modest and hometown diner feel; thus there really is no privacy to your conversation in the open air set up. However, with the small area they have to work in, the set up works moderately well. The servers were very friendly and quick on refills. Asking if there were any other needs to be fulfilled, the staff proved attentive even with a crowd. Everything on their menu is fairly priced to the quantity of food that is received. Speaking of which, their food was delicious; made with care and full of good home flavor that is rare to find in our world today. Expect to walk out with a warm and full felling belly. Make sure every time you visit to try one of their many different flavored coffees to tantalize your taste buds.

About the Author

Gratitude

This may seem a bit sappy of a post, but it is what is on my mind to talk about tonight. Gratitude. Whether that be for simple acts of kindness shown to yourself by a stranger or the support of a love one; make sure to thank them. That one thank you could turn that person’s whole day around, and top it off by telling them how much its means to have them in your life; heck you might have just saved their life. So many of us feel as though we are taken for granted or we forget what our loved ones mean to us. All we have on our mind is to keep marching towards our goals. Sometimes we need to slow down and recognize who helped us along the way.

Yet we need to show gratitude and kindness to complete strangers as well. That cashier who rings you out every day? I guarantee you that treating them like a human being and saying thank you brightens their gloomy day. That nurse who is rushing around to all her patients and takes her time to answer your questions? Thank them. The server that has tirelessly gotten your refills without you asking, picked up your kids mess, or even suggested what to get or avoid? Thank them. There are countless examples of people we take for granted every day that we should be thanking. Maybe this world of despair might even brighten just a little more if we acted a little kinder to one another.

Gratitude takes on another form as well in the material way. The device you are looking at this post with, please do not forget what it costs. We have a habit now a days to get the newest thing and abuse our possessions without care. But you know what? Someone else could just as easily need the money you spend on device after device just to eat. Now, don’t think I am trying to guilt everyone on the less fortunate, that is not the point. The point is we need to be happy with just the things we have in our lives. You may be dreaming of being a millionaire, but realize what you have in front of you. A loving family? True love? A roof over your head? Food in the frig? Friends to hang out with? Cause in this short life that is really all you need.

*Quick Note*

I am going to be adding a new side to my sight to show case my writing. It will be called “Reviews” where I positively critique games, businesses, movies, books, etc. In this way, I can still do something I enjoy while giving you a taste of my art.