A Weekend In Gettysburg

Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah

Remember when I went to Gettysburg last summer? I almost forgot, until my friend Nancy asked me for suggestions! What I do remember is that Gettysburg is an easy drive from Philadelphia, and the perfect weekend escape from city life. It’s also an incredibly dog-friendly area, which is a major bonus when you’re traveling with 120+ lb of dogs. (Highly recommend.)

Where To Stay

Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah

I suggest checking out local Airbnb options (here is my referral code). Gettysburg is an interesting mix of tourist areas and rural country hills. You can definitely find a chain hotel to stay at, if that’s your travel style. Airbnbs offer you some more space, and as someone who has always lived in the suburbs or city, more of a cultural experience. What I’m saying is, YOU CAN STAY ON A FARM. Which is exactly what Melissa and I did.Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah

Our Airbnb was a dream. There were chickens, horses, farm dogs and goats. One of the highlights was bottle feeding two baby goats. We brought our own snacks and wine, and drank on the porch and looked at the stars. This is such a city girl cliche, but OMG there are so many stars. The next morning, we drank our coffee and tea on the porch and took in all of the sounds of ~nature~. Definitely a more relaxing soundtrack than city buses.

What To Do

Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah
Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah
Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah
I couldn’t go to Gettysburg and not visit the battlefields. (Fun fact: I was an American studies major.) Gettysburg National Park is overwhelming in scope. There are a lot of audio tour options and bus tour options, but since we were traveling with Zamboni and Arya, we chose to walk. We mostly walked around Devil’s Den and Little Round Top. (Dogs are allowed on the grounds, but not indoors or inside the cemeteries.) You could spend a whole day walking around Gettysburg National Park and not see everything. Everything is very spread out, and, tragically, it puts history in perspective.

For a more traditional hike, our Airbnb host recommended Pine Grove Furnace State Park, close by in Gardners, PA. We ran out of time for this, but it looked awesome.

What To Eat & Drink

Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah
Melissa and I were pleasantly surprised to learn that Adams County is home to several winerys and cideries (it’s actually nicknamed Apple County)! We wrapped up our day at Hauser Estate Winery, which has beautiful views. In addition to their own wines, they also make Jack’s Hard Cider! My favorite drink was a crisp cider sangria, which was perfect for summer. We also had fried apple dumplings to snack on! Hauser Estate also has dog-friendly outdoor seating, although the pups were too wiped out to join us.

Other wineries and cideries in the area:

Adams County Winery
25 Chambersburg St
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Reid’s Orchard & Winery
2135 Buchanan Valley Rd.  
Orrtanna, PA 17353

Reid’s actually has a tasting room in downtown Gettysburg too (400 Baltimore St.). Before we left Gettysburg, we visited downtown and ate lunch. Also, be aware that much of the town is actually closed on Sundays! We had lunch at One Lincoln, where we sat out on the patio with the dogs overlooking Lincoln Square and drank some Big Hill Cider. We didn’t visit any museums, but the Gettysburg Railroad Station is a very cool building.
Gettysburg Guide - Shades of Sarah

I enjoyed my time in Gettysburg, and I would definitely go back in the future to visit more wineries and try a ghost tour. A trip to Gettysburg is also shockingly affordable compared to a big weekend in the city. You can read Melissa’s recap here.

~ Sarah

2017 Philadelphia Flower Show: Holland

PHS Flower Show 2017 HollandIt doesn’t feel like spring in Philadelphia, but I know it’s around the corner because the Philadelphia Flower Show is back. Between the cold weather and the Holland theme, my mom didn’t have to twist my arm too much to get me to go this year. I mean, there were over 30,000 tulips in the entrance alone. Many of the exhibits also incorporated other Dutch elements like windmills, bicycles, wooden shoes and art. There was also an emphasis on Dutch sustainability, which was pretty cool. At the end of the day though, I was there for the plants and the flowers.

PHS Flower Show 2017 Holland
PHS Flower Show 2017 Holland
PHS Flower Show 2017 Holland
PHS Flower Show 2017 Holland
PHS Flower Show 2017 Holland
PHS Flower Show 2017 Holland
PHS Flower Show 2017 Holland
PHS Flower Show 2017 HollandIt was stunning, and I can’t wait to see what the PHS comes up with for next year for their “Wonders of Water” theme.

~ Sarah

P.S. My friend Priyanka actually went to the show the same day as I did — you can read her recap here!

Women’s March, Philadelphia

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

2017 is going to be different. It has to be different because what Americans are seeing from the executive branch is unprecedented — in a dangerous, slippery slope way.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

So last Saturday, millions and I marched. The why I march is simple: women’s rights are human rights. Equality cannot exist without freedom of choice: to be with who you love, to do what you love. I will not stand for an administration that stands against equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, for non-Christians. And I’m certainly not okay with a person who has admitted and bragged about sexual assault as our Commander-in-chief.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

I’m not a marcher. In college, I didn’t participate in any on-campus demonstrations because I was on the newspaper staff, so this was new territory for me. I didn’t even bring a sign with me, partly because I couldn’t think of anything to write, but mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. (There were some great ones though.) There were so many different viewpoints expressed, and that was beautiful. Even people on the same side can have differences in priorities and passions and experiences, and that’s okay.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017
Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured with what is right in America.”

President Bill Clinton said that in his first inaugural address, and it rings very true today. I’m grateful to be an American because it affords me the right to say what I want and protest what I want. Protests have always been part of American history, but social media is a game changer for organizers. (It’s a double-edged sword, of course, since fake news — propaganda — spreads easier than ever.) In terms of the protests that have been springing up since November, and this last week in our cities and our airports — I have never seen anything like it before.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

So what now? March. Write. Donate. Volunteer. If you don’t know where or how to get started, ask. There are a lot of resources available! I found a great local organization through Volunteer Match, and I’m excited to get more involved. You can filter by location, causes you’re passionate about, etc. I definitely recommend it as a starting point.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

There’s a lot of work to do. Let’s get to it, and let us not forget to take care of ourselves and each other.

~ Sarah