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Friday, March 07, 2008

There's no place like home, there's no place...

Ahh, back "home" for 10 days. Alas, home isn't home anymore. I haven't lived in PA for 20+ years, so "going home" really isn't. It was good to see my family, but ten days without my boys (the tall, human one and the two four-footed ones) felt like a long time.
In addition to the fun-filled activities detailed in the last entry, there was a trip to the Kraemer Textile Mill in Nazareth, PA. Unfortunately, I wasn't there on tour day (Wednesdays, I am told), but I did learn some very interesting things about their products and some of the dyers they supply. I bought bunches and bunches of undyed yarn to experiment with and I also loaded up on some of the silk and sterling yarn that I have been using to make the Tuscany shawl.
The shop at Kraemer carries mostly their yarns, the products of a few of the dyers they supply to, and some random dribs and drabs. Aside from the sterling yarn, I wasn't familiar with their lines, but there are a few that are now on my radar. (There is a wool/acrylic blend that could be really good for babies and kids. Not being a huge acrylic fan, I wouldn't necessarily use it for myself, but it truly wasn't bad.)

I resisted the urge to go hunting for Martin Guitars and the Andrettis (also located in Nazareth), and headed off to the Allentown Farmers' Market. Ever since they built 78, which goes from Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton right up to NYC, there has been an influx of new people to the area. The market is now an interesting melting pot of locals and transplants, with the parking lot filled with old pick-up trucks and ancient Ford wagons, shiny, new Mercedes and SUVs. Quite an interesting conglomeration.

After loading up the car with the ingredients for my grandmother's birthday dinner, I headed back to the highway via a street full of beautiful houses that were built during Allentown's heyday, back when the execs from Bethlehem Steel and Mack Trucks made their homes there. They are gorgeous properties, almost quaint by today's McMansion standards. Many of the transplants live in new construction developments of huge houses that sit on land that used to be farms and open land. When I was a kid, Allentown was a bustling little city, with a fancy department store and restaurants that are long gone. From what I can tell, downtown hasn't seemed to benefit a great deal from the influx of money and people, although there is a new minor league baseball team in town, the Iron Pigs. (Just 'cause I know you're wondering, the Billy Joel song is not really about Allentown. He just used the name.)

The rest of the trip included a quick trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show, visits with friends and family, Grandma's birthday dinner, and a spa day with Grandma, my mom, my aunt, and me. She kept saying it was a "once in a lifetime" experience. Very sweet.

1 comment:

carey said...

WOW-it sounds like a fabulous trip...and I'm so jealous of your beautiful Obama t-shirt!