Adventures

Gettysburg: Oct. 15-Oct. 17, 2016

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Petunia, Ling Ling and I headed out to Gettysburg, PA for the weekend to explore the area, the history and the ghosts. This was Petunia’s first real vacation and her first stay in a hotel. Well it goes without saying that she LOVED it!

The Appalachian Brewing Company

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Here’s Ling Ling enjoying MY chocolate stout. Both the food and the beer were delicious. I highly recommend the visit. It will be yummy in your tummy.

Gettysburg National Cemetery

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The Gettysburg National Cemetery is a very touching, respectful, peaceful place. You can read the Gettysburg Address and view the Lincoln Monument or just enjoy the trees. Seriously, they did a superb landscaping job (I didn’t even know cypress trees grew to be mammoth size this far north) and the circular layout of the cemetery is unique. It reminds me of a meditation labyrinth.
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The New York monument was absolutely stunning and full of interesting symbolism.
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This is the haunted fence that separates the National Cemetery from the Evergreen Cemetery. If I understand correctly, this fence was originally at the White House. A man was murdered on the fence before it was moved. Now you can feel a cold spot in the exact location he was killed. Spooky.
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The Park Service gives free guided tours and interpretation programs of the cemetery and battlefields. I seriously regret not taking them up on that. Next time!
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Although she’s never been here, Ling Ling still feels it’s necessary to give me a turbo tour of the place.

The Dobbin House and Tavern

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The Dobbin House is the oldest house in Gettysburg. It was built in 1776. Now it’s a bed & breakfast, tavern, restaurant, ballroom and gift shop. Plus, it’s said to be haunted. There are free tours of the house, given by the owner, and it’s by far the best tour you will get in Gettysburg. Also, if you have the chance, check out the tavern. It’s everything you want it to be and more.

Cemetery Hill

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This view is so amazing, it doesn’t even look real.
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Here’s an interesting Gettysburg monument fact: If the horse has all four feet on the ground than the rider made it through the war unscathed. If the horse has one foot off the ground than the person was wounded in battle. If the horse has two feet off the ground than the person died in battle. That’s not the case for other cemeteries and memorials outside of Gettysburg but it hold true here.

Evergreen Cemeteryabm_1477239490

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Elizabeth Thorn, the caretaker of the Evergreen Cemetery,  buried over 90 soldiers in the July heat while being six months pregnant. Now that is an amazing woman! Just as an aside, she gave birth to a daughter which she named Rose Thorn.
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Jennie Wade was the only civilian to die during the battle of Gettysburg. She was baking bread for the soldiers in her sister’s house and a bullet travelled through two wooden doors and struck her in the chest. That is seriously bad luck right there. You can tour her house and it’s said to be haunted by the ghost of her father.

Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporiumabm_1477238141

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This is where every elephant knick-knack goes to die.
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Mr Ed’s is a lot of fun, especially if you love elephants or have a massive sweet tooth.

The Historic Round Barn & Farm Market

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The Round Barn is where I filled up on an end-of-days amount of canned goods and even bought Petunia dog beer. Yup, they sell dog beer and she loves it.

The Battlefields

The Battle of Gettysburg took place from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863. This battle claimed the highest number of casualties in the American Civil War as was considered the turning point. Approximately 51,000 soldiers died in those three days.
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There are markers and monuments to the fallen as far as the eye can see.
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We upstate New Yorkers played a hand in Gettysburg too. In fact, we saw monuments as far west as Wisconsin but there may be even more that we didn’t see.

The Historic & Haunted Sachs Covered Bridge

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Oh ghosties…where are you? I didn’t see anything but it was lovely just the same.

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Adventures

Haunted History in Cooperstown

This is very late in the making but I thought I’d share it. Last October, I went on an overnight stay to Cooperstown, New York with my mother and we had an incredible time. It’s amazing how refreshed you can feel after getting away for just a night. I love Cooperstown, especially in the fall because the setting is just idyllic and there’s a lot more to enjoy than just the Baseball Hall of Fame.

We began our day with a few slices of pizza, drove around for a little bit to enjoy the Halloween decorations, checked in to our hotel, took a little nappy and then hit the epic Ommegang Brewery….

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There it is! The mecca for beer enthusiasts: Ommegang Brewery! Where beer goes to die (because it’s heaven).
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I cannot recommend enough making tasting reservations ahead of time. Sadly, I didn’t get to whet my whistle because all of the tours were booked for the day. However, I did get to do some holiday shopping for my friends, family and lets be honest, mostly myself, in their gift shop so I can’t really complain.
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There’s my escort for this festive occasion, Ling Ling.

Then it was off to our ghost tour of Hyde Hall

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Hyde Hall, located in Glimmerglass State Park, is a National Historic Landmark and State Historic Site. They open it up for ghost tours in October and has been investigated on Syfy’s Ghost Adventures.

As soon as that tour was over, we had to hurry across town to the late-night ghost tour of the Farmer’s Museum. Sadly, I didn’t get any photos of the museum tour because it was pitch black, mostly outdoors and very rainy. Our tour guide took one of the worst tumbles I’d ever seen. I truly thought she had broken something but she was a trooper. I think she ended up more embarrassed than hurt. A part of the tour was sitting in on a performance of Poe’s Tell Tale Heart, which was astoundingly good. It was a one man show and he was extremely talented. I’d very much like to revisit the Farmer’s Museum in the daytime because the buildings had such history and their gift shop was pretty awesome. I even saw a book there by a girl that I went to college with. I never knew that she became an author so that tickled me.

Overall, both ghost tours were a lot of fun and I’d highly suggest them for history buffs and paranormal enthusiasts alike. Unfortunately, I didn’t run into any spirits that day although I had a strange inkling in Hyde Hall about people being pushed down this specific staircase and a minute later the tour guide told me that many people have been pushed down those stairs and that animals refuse to approach them. Humm… interesting. The Farmer’s Museum offered a séance at the end of the night but we didn’t join in because I’m not comfortable with such procedures but it’s an option for those adventurous souls.

The next day was spent slinking around the Otesaga Resort Hotel. To say that I’m kind of obsessed with this place is an understatement. Have you even been somewhere for the first time but you recognize it deep in your bones? That’s how I feel about this place. I found out about it because it was featured in an episode of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters (I honestly never get to watch the show but I happened to catch this episode) and I instantly recognized it. A few months later I dragged my boyfriend there to check the place out and have wanted to return ever since.

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You don’t have to book a room to enjoy the amenities of the Otesaga. There’s a couple bars and restaurants inside, a beautiful porch overlooking the lake and yes, there’s even golf.

After walking around Cooperstown, we packed up and headed home but first we had to make a stop at the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard to fill our bellies with tasty food samples and get a whole ton of homemade canned goods. It honestly looked like I was stocking up for the end of days when I left that place. It’s been almost a year since this trip and I still have some goodies left. Fly Creek was worth the trip in and of itself.

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It was a rainy weekend but still fun. Here’s Ling Ling again, posing at Fly Creek.

Last but not least, Howe Caverns was our the way home so that had to be experienced. It had been way too long since I’d been there…probably twenty years, at least. It’s always amazing to take a stroll underground and view all of the formations. I wish I could sleep down there. It feels like being back in the womb again but not gross. Ha! I guess there are caverns out west that they turned into a hotel. I need to experience this.


So that was last October. This October is Gettysburg! Yup, my ghostly dream is coming true. I will keep you posted.