I have mentioned in other posts that Tara met a new friend this week at her first 4-H meeting. Katie and Tara seemed to hit it off quickly, exchanged email and phone numbers without being prompted and have spent time getting to know each other this past week via technology! They spent some time at Katie's house on Friday, and it really is amazing how much they have in common! This makes this mom very happy! I hope their friendship will continue to grow!
This weekend was the Annual Upper Gwynedd Carnival. Tara loves carnivals and rides, so I knew this was a must do (it was right down the road from us). We invited Katie to go along with us, and I think the girls had a great time!
I bought them both all you can ride wristbands so we did not have to worry about tickets, and they quickly found the first ride. Extrem - not easy to photograph - it moved FAST, and there was always something else moving in my way!
I think this was a little more "thrilling" than either expected. Next up (or down) the Fun Slide (this wound up being the favorite for both of the day!)
I loved watching their expressions as they came down each time (I think they did the 4x)
Next up Pharoh's Fury - Tara rode this one alone. She had been saying since we saw them setting up mid-week that she wanted to ride this!
She is a thrill seeker (she does have her limits though!)
Neither wanted to ride THIS.
Time for a little Sand Art - I love the BRIGHT colors.
They both decided to do bears.
Can't go to a carnvial without a game
Neither wanted to ride these -
Chillin' on the carousel
All of the fair food looked and smelled so good.. but we did not indulge!
Dizzy Dino's were less than thrilling!
Tara rode this once by herself, Katie was reluctant, by the end thought they both rode... multiple times!
Way up high!
The Mango Men played Buffett like music. I would have loved to sit and listen!
The bears rested in the tree!
On the way out.. some superheros!
Later in the evening, much to our surprise because it was raining, Tara and I watched the fireworks... they were an hour early, so I did not have time to find the perfect spot outside of the carnival grounds, it was raining, and I was shooting through a hole in a chain link fence!
Even though the skies were dreary during the day, a good time was had by all!
Tara and I had an errand to run today in the Plymouth Meeting area, when we were through with our business, as I do many times, I decided we would got for a drive. I am generally familiar with the area of Plymouth Meeting/Conshohocken/Gulph Mills and King of Prussia, but I would never be able to give some one directions.
As we were driving, I realized we were headed into Conshohocken. This was the place that when I was growing up, my grandmother owned a business on Hector St. I always loved going there to visit with my mom during the summer or school holidays. I still remember my grandmother sitting in her office, she was a business woman when it was not the norm. She always wore very smart suits and drove big Buicks!
Before turning onto Fayette Street, I noticed this beautiful red door of a church.
Then another large church that always meant we were almost there!
The area where the office used to be has changed a great deal, and I was not able to find Hector St., although I knew where it used to be!
We continued across the bridge and I decided to go check out the Balligomingo Inn on Balligomingo Rd. This little bar/club was an old hang out, that at one time had awesome jazz on the weekends. I remember the jars of pickled eggs behind the bar. Isn't it funny the things we remember. Sadly, like so many things I remember from "back in the day", it too is boarded up! This road is narrow and windy, with little shoulder, so I did not stop to take any photos. It is however a beautifully wooded area through which the river runs!
We continued our journey, and I decided to take Tara to visit some family members she had never met.
This memorial garden is the final resting place of my maternal grandfather & grandmother, my father and my brother.
Fortunately I was able to locate them without having to go to the office. There is a tree that I always remember from my brother's funeral. While it has grown over the years there is something still familiar.
I don't believe anyone has visited recently, as there was a little grass growing over the edges. My family have never been frequent visitors. I worked in the area several times during my career, and would stop by occasionally.
My mother will tell you she does not need to go there to miss and remember her loved ones. I will have to go back again soon with clippers and something to clean the plaques a bit.
I don't remember my Pop Buehler. I was not quite three when he passed at that age of 64. He was a WWI vet.
I have written about my brother Robin in the past. He was killed in the Viet Nam "conflict" at the very young age of 19. I had just turned 11.
My Nana Buehler was an amazing woman. Once my grandfather passed, she ran the business he has started, until what I guess was Alzheimer's took her from us long before her body failed. I don't think they used that term back in the 70s when she first started getting lost coming home from the office she had driven to for years, when she would forget to turn a burner off in the kitchen. I was very close to my Nana, I have such found memories of spending the night at her house on many an occasion.
23 years ago, way too soon, we lost my dad. I was just 27. My father and I had a very unique relationship. I am the "baby" and I spent a great deal of time with him. I loved going on weekend errands to the hardware store, the barber, to his office, etc. I wish he were still with us to see the two granddaughters and five great grandsons born after he passed. He was a WWII vet.
I love that people use the memorial park to bike, walk and run! The geese love it there as well. All though it is the final resting place of so many, it still has quite a bit of life!
On the way home we passed some other locations that brought back memories. The bar in which I met my ex husband (Tara's father), which too has since closed, First Presbyterian Church in Norristown, and my late Great Aunt Bertha's house.
To end the day, I stopped at Pudge's and got us cheese steaks for dinner. There are none better!!
I asked Tara if she was bored with my trip down (and around) memory lane. She said no, but a little confused!
I have not done a restaurant review here before, but since there are a few folks local to the area that visit this blog, I thought along with some pictures I took last Friday night, I would give a little information about the restaurant as well.
Saigon@Main Vietnamese Cuisine is located at 844 W Main Street in Lansdale. It is in a relatively new shopping area at the corner of Valley Forge and Main where the Turbo building used to stand. This is all new since I was last home in 2005. If you click on the link, you can see the website and the menu.
We joined my sister and her friend Bobbie for dinner last week. I was not sure what to expect, I know Chinese, and some Japanese and sushi, but had never actually been to a Vietnamese restaurant. Since my sister liked the food, I figured there must be something there that would be good, she is a little less experimental with foods than I tend to be. Tara was not excited about going, but with her book in hand, she agreed to be cordial!
We arrived around 5pm, and were seated right away. We were the only ones there at that time. While we were eating there were a couple additional tables that were occupied. It was early on a beautiful Friday evening, and also Labor Day weekend. I would not judge the restaurant by the lack of a crowd under those circumstances.
The menu is pretty extensive, and to me a little overwhelming, so many new and different things. Each had the Vietnamese name, as well as the name in English and a description. Many things had fresh basil or fresh lemongrass, two herbs that I love! Some of the dishes were served over rice vermicelli, others over broken rice. (Not really sure what that is!)
Tara settled on Pho Ga (chicken soup) $7.95. When it arrived I said the bowl was big enough to bath in! The waiter chuckled. It also came with a side plate of bean sprouts, fresh basil, Vietnamese chili peppers and lime.
Mom ordered Bun Cha Gio (Spring Rolls Vermicelli) $7.95, again the bowl was quite large, lots of noodles, but a generous amount of spring rolls as well.
I orderd Bun Saigon(Saigon Vermicelli) $10.95 - it had crispy slices of spring rolls, grilled chicken, grilled pork and grilled meatballs (I think ground pork, not beef, reminded me of steamed dumpling stuffing). All of the meat was perfectly cooked, tender and flavorful.
With both of these dishes you are served a bowl of nuoc mam (vinegar chili sauce) to pour over the noodles. It had a wonderful flavor. The entire dish was full of delightful fresh flavors.
(I FORGOT to take a picture of mine. It was the last dish to come out, and I was distracted by trying to cool off Tara's chicken soup!) It was comparable in size to Mom's dish, and looked similar, just with additional meats.
I also tried Tra Thai - Thai Iced Tea - it was very strong, rich and sweet and I could not finish it. Tai tea with half & half, sweet syrup and ice. I should have known better and stuck with water which I normally drink with Asian food!
My sister had Ga Tau Xi (Sweet & Sour Chicken) $11.95, typical looking served with Jasmine Rice
and I think Bobbie had Ga Xa Ot - Chicken Lemon Grass (spicy) $10.95.
Mom, Tara and I brought some of our meals home. Tara was so so about the soup. She thought it needed salt. (She got a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut next door where my brother in law Larry works!) I finished the soup up for lunch a couple days later and I enjoyed the flavors. I added a bit of soy sauce. Both Mom and I were happy with our meals.
I thought the prices were very reasonable. I will most likely eat here again sometime, maybe for lunch with my sister or mom. I'm not so sure it is some place that Tara would want to go again!
(Matty and James reminded me I forgot a rating! I had one, but didn't like it and then forgot to retype!)
I give it 3 out of 4 chopsticks, mainly because the menu was so overwhelming to me. Had I known what was offered, I might have been sure I really got the dish I wanted.
After a scenic drive through the park, and spotting very many deer, we headed to the Memorial Arch. It is a stunning landmark. The United States Memorial Arch, located at the intersection of Outerline Drive and Gulph Road, was erected to commemorate the arrival of General George Washington and his Continental Army into Valley Forge. For more history on this site, visit IntenseGuy's post from May! I was so far behind in getting these posted, I didn't go into any additional details!
Originally the plans were for two arches, each at a price of $50K. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives, but not the Senate. Later a bill for one arch at a price of $100K was passed in 1910. (makes no sense to me!) Funds were appropriated in 1911, construction began in 1914 and dedication ceremonies were conducted on June 19, 1917
From one side, the American flag is framed nicely by the arch
Tara is dwarfed by the arch, and has a flag pole growing out of her head.
Perhaps my favorite photograph of the day is this one of the back side of the Gen'l Anthony Wayne (Mad Anthony) Statues. I love the lighting and shadows.
Tara and I took advantage of the beautiful day that was the 1st day of September and headed to Valley Forge National Park. Our first stop was the Washington Memorial Chapel.
This is an active Episcopal Church which in NOT part of the park, nor does it receive any public funding.
The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1903, and the chapel built as a tribute to George Washington and the American Patriots of the Revolution.
The tower was built entirely by funds raised over a period of more than a decade by members of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The statue depicts George Washington.
There are many memorials of note throughout the Patriots Tower and the chapel itself, which would make this post laboriously long, so I will pick my favorites. George Washington, I share his birth date, 2/22!
These are 3 small windows that make up a larger one. The window was a memorial to a woman whose last name was Clay, but I don't remember anything else!
This is the George Washington Window in the back of the chapel itself. It has 36 scenes depicting his life.
Over the alter is the Martha Washington window, representing service through sacrifice. The scenes on this window are biblical in nature.