I wanted to write a bit about Pennsylvania as part of the travel portion of this show (blog). I’ll mainly cover the southeastern part of the state since that is where I grew up and really the only part of the state I care about. It’s also the prettiest and host to the best town around—the city of brotherly love—Philly.

Pennsylvania is home to peoples that descended from the Scots Irish, Germans, and Dutch (for the most part). Nowadays we just call everyone hard working, loyal, down-to-earth good people. That is except when their sport’s team is losing in which case you should just quickly leave the stadium. The Amish live in nearby Lancaster County and I’m not sure if they are Eagles fans or not.

Chester County is where I grew up and it borders Delaware County. The town I grew up in is called Chadds Ford (surrounded by Kennett Square, Unionville, and West Chester). The best part about Chadds Ford is a local eating establishment called Hanks Place. It’s a small diner where local artist, Andrew Wyeth, used to hang out. I actually saw him in there once. We got excited one year when it looked like Hank was expanding. It turned out he just added a covered walkway to the front door so you wouldn’t get wet while waiting for a table.

The countryside is beautiful and full of back roads that would make any teenager’s parent think twice about handing over the keys—although for some reason mine didn’t have a problem with it. We were surrounded by farms—the dairy and horse variety. There were also a lot of mushroom houses. Yup, Kennett Square is the mushroom capital of the world folks.

Along with the winding roads and one lane bridges, you had to get used to the smells. On my way home last weekend I knew I was getting close when that ol’ familiar smell—what was it again…oh yeah, manure—hit me. In high school when the wind was blowing west, the dairy farm down road made running sprints during lacrosse practice a challenge.

And I can’t do a post about Pennsylvania without mentioning the animals. Deer, fox, dogs, you name it will jump out at you. Although it’s happening a lot here in Virginia as well. My neighbor told me yesterday a deer almost ran her over as she was walking—yes walking—back from the metro station.

Don’t let the smells or animals scare you. There are lots of great things to do in the area and here are a few.

  • Longwood Gardens—these famous botanical gardens are a must-see. Beautiful flowers, plants, and trees (especially with the lights at Christmas) dot the landscape.
  • Brandywine Battle Field—this is an historical battlefield where the British kicked our butts before the boys headed on over to Valley Forge. We may have lost the battle, but…
  • Brandywine River Museum—see the wonderful works of art from painters such as Andrew Wyeth.
  • Chadds Ford Winery—I can’t vouch for the wine but hey, we used to have a ski area in Chadds Ford so who knows what these crazy Pennsylvanians are capable of?
  • QVC Studio tour—tell my friend Mike I sent you.

Here are some photos I took near my parent’s house.