Harrisburg Sports

baseballIt was pretty cool when Cal Ripken Jr., (of Hall of Fame, fame) stopped by in Harrisburg.  While he was more into the Studies when he came by (to the disappointment of my boys who were hoping for a focus on sports), his “Iron Man” reputation came in leaps and bounds before him.

He made a really important visit I thought when he stopped by at the STEM Center (Melrose Elementary School – shame my kids have all graduated from there now) and admired the $10,000+ worth of math, science and technology equipment our Harrisburg kids get to use regularly.

Which of course was to be expected as it is his very own charity – the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation established to honor in his father – which supports all of that there.

Even though he’s actually not played professional baseball for 15 years he’s still a legend here and my kids were glad he came to visit (even though they didn’t actually meet up with him).  Once a legend, always a legend I guess!

Harrisburg Landmark

A Harrisburg landmark is being resurrected by retired US Navy veteran Brian Dennis Douglas.  He felt the need to bring a Shanois Street tree “back to life because it was dying.”

So, a few months ago, together with his wife Grace, Brian bought the hotel.  At one time this 19th century building was home to the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania.  The Douglas’ were distressed by the fact that most people know little about the rich history of the building which is in an obscure spot off South Cameron Street near where the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is located.

The Douglas’ plan to reopen and rebrand the hotel as the 901 Lounge and Restaurant which will serve as a multi-purpose venue offering lunch, dinner and entertainment. Before they do this though they need a liquor license transfer.

Earlier this month they hosted an open house for the public where they asked for ideas on food, drink and entertainment options to be offered at the lounge when it opens.  They are looking to target the over-35 crowd and “will provide whatever the customer wants.”

The hotel closed in 2006 following the death of its owner, Dushan ‘Sonny’ Mudrinich Jr. and renovations are now being undertaken.

AmTrak Train

What fun this was to show the boys; the Amtrack Train that was filmed a few months ago on the Keytstone Corridor Before PTC by Super TrainsAmtrack! Wow we live in a great place!

Harrisburg and Trains

This video shows a variety of trains, Norfolk Southern coal, intermodal and merchandise trains, some Amtrak and more. As Pennsylvania’s state capitol and a railfan featuring rails radiating all around. Harrisburg and the Buffalo Line are connected to D&H Sunbury and Freight Lines to and from New England.

Budweiser in Harrisburg

budweiserEarlier this month, the Budweiser Clydesdales came to Harrisburg and caused quite a commotion.  But it was a lot of fun as well and so great for the summer when I am always looking for something fun and different to do.  Especially since it was outdoors and it’s never easy getting the kids away from their screens.

We got out the house at 11 am and didn’t have to wait at all long for 8 draft horses to parade through the city, pulling a super cool vintage wagon toward the Capitol complex along North Second Street.  I told my boys about the history horses have with Budweiser (that dates back to the 1930s) and have even had a place in US presidential inaugurations!

I was a bit upset we missed the parade at Penn National Race Course, but was happy we at least got to be part of their first parade.  I just hope that they are on the same schedule next year so we can get some more fun in.

Harrisburg in History

harrisburgActually in pictures.  Thanks to PennLive.   Harrisburg is being featured in a series of old photos dating back to the 20th century.  It will use its own archives as well as photos from the Historical Society of Dauphin County.  The photos will not follow any set agenda; but rather just be whatever the journal happens to have in its hard copy files and digital collections, some with detailed information, others not.  They will be published according to date, and started with photos from 1900-1919, then 1920-1929, etc.

So now we can all learn a little bit about what made the capital city of Pennsylvania as great as it is!

Youth Step Championship

kids-runningWoo-hoo!  My kids just competed in the 7th annual Youth Step USA National Championship.  What a great way it was, to spend Memorial Weekend.  Although the kids at first felt weird at going to their school (the event was held at Harrisburg High School), it was such a fun event that really encouraged the kids and made them feel good about themselves.  As Brock Harris, CEO of Youth Step USA said: “It’s a great feeling when you can do something for young people and when you see them in this light really showcasing their talents and enthusiasm it’s a beautiful thing.”


Are We Going Back to the Mesozoic Era?

dinosaurThat being (in case you didn’t know), the time of the dinosaurs.  In Harrisburg it seems we might be going back in time 65 million years ago as dinosaurs visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.

The new exhibition – called ‘Discover the Dinosaurs’ – lets visitors come face to face with T-Rex, the Stegosaurus, the Velociraptor and other dinosaurs from that time.  This is a dream come true for my kids at least and I’m sure a bunch of other children.

It’s especially great that the exhibition is in Harrisburg, PA since traditionally Pennsylvania has been a somewhat aggravating state for those who love dinosaurs.  Even though the area has been home to the likes of ceratopsians, raptors and tyrannosaurs’ during Mesozoic times, there are minimal footprints that remain and absolutely no fossils.

Perhaps therefore this new exhibition will shed some light on one of my kids’ favorite hobbies…second only to Lego!

LEGO Fest in Harrisburg!

legoI knew that as soon as my kids would hear about the LEGO KidsFest they’d be more than excited. But I’m not sure they knew how excited I was!  I know that most people assume that Lego is meant to be for kids, but it’s actually not entirely true.

Indeed, just earlier this month Jeff Chabot wrote an article in Gadget Review entitled ’10 of the Biggest, Most Challenging Awesome Lego Sets You Can Kill a Weekend Building,’ detailing some of the top Lego sets for adults! Likewise last year, a video was made depicting the ‘Top 10 Legos for Adults.’ So Lego for adults is not such an anomaly.

So truthfully, the fact that the traveling LEGO extravaganza is finally coming to Harrisburg is indeed a thrill for the whole family.  I sure won’t be missing it!

Go Harrisburg!

fire-truckWell, I always knew my home was a great place to live. And now it’s pretty much been proven. According to one of the most recent reports from the US News and World, Harrisburg ranked at number 25 out of top 100 metro areas to lay your hat.

And why is that exactly? According to the report, Harrisburg’s cost of living is below the national average (great for divorcees like me paying alimony), one of the most affordable housing markets (see above), and “more of a small-town atmosphere than many of the East Coast’s larger cities” (definitely appreciated when I first moved into the area and didn’t know a soul). But truthfully, divorced, single, married or widowed, Harrisburg is great for everyone. And I’m going to tell you a little bit more about that in a moment.

What do we have? Well known is Hershey Park, but there is also the Gettysburg National Military Park and Amish country. And then, Travel Writer Malerie Yolen-Cohen pointed to a bunch of other cool places. These include:   Pennsylvania State Capitol, National Civil War Museum (where you can watch Roosevelt address elderly Civil War veterans at the 7th Anniversary of the War in 1938), Fort Hunter Mansion (getting an education on Victorian artifacts and rituals), Pennsylvania National Fire Museum (to meet Bert and Charlie – made up horses to depict the real ones that pulled the fire wagon), Midtown Scholar Bookstore (one of the largest bookstores nationwide), parachute at the US Army Heritage and Education Center, and so much more.

So personally I think we have it all!