Discovering Lost River

As a child I went on numerous camping trips with my family. Not to mention the weeks spent in a teepee on a Native American Reservation in north Wisconsin. I believe that these trips have opened my eyes to the benefits that being in nature can have on the unexposed. If your time spent away from the fast-paced life that some crave is overdue, I suggest making your way to a town that is literally off the map – at least Verizon Wireless’s map – and go to Lost River, West Virginia.

The Weekend Traveler

The Mighty Youghiogheny at Ohiopyle The scene as we drove to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on Friday was almost too perfect to be true. The mountains, the clear blue sky, and the open road was the perfect beginning to what I was anticipating to be an adrenaline-pumping trip down the Youghiogheny. I was on my way to go whitewater rafting for the first time.

The Weekend Traveler

Our Sister City to the North An advantage that every Baltimorean has is that we are practically neighbors to a city in which this nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights was written and signed – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philly is significantly bigger than Baltimore and has a lot to offer anyone who takes a day-trip or a long weekend visit.

A Visit to the Amazon

Manaus, Brazil – We are in the capital of Amazonia, the state that is in the heart of the Amazon, 1,000 miles upstream from the mouth of the river, and a state as big as Texas. Herons, piranhas, anacondas? Sure. It’s also the home of 1.8 million people and boasts an opera house, opened in 1896. It was built by (and for) the Rubber Barons who were the social elite of the time. The opera house is as splendid as the Rubber Barons could make it – it is made of Scotch and English steel, with marble from Italy, a […]

Valentine’s Day in the Panhandle

So are we all aware of the fact that we celebrate romantic love on a day of the year upon which St. Valentinius died for attempting to convert the emperor Claudius to a Christian life, circa 270 C.E.? His sentence was to be beaten to death and then to be beheaded. Apparently, though, the guy could charm. After being arrested for being a Christian in Rome, a judge who was to sentence him was smitten when Valentinius healed the judge’s daughter of her blindness. The judge released the future saint and martyr, who went on to marry young men and […]

Martinsburg: Biggest Little Town in the Panhandle

By now, you are well-acquainted with my overview of all of the little quirky towns of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. Perhaps, I have even “put off” those of you more attuned to a middle-American interest in chain restaurants, large LGBTQ bars, malls, and “such” (as we say, hereabouts). Well, my friends, the Eastern Panhandle has an offering for you, too! Warning, though: it is well-seasoned with the regional penchant for oddness. From Baltimore, head due west on I-70, south on I-81, and within 15 minutes of turning onto 81, you will reach the first exits for streets in Martinsburg, W.V.

Berkeley Springs: New Age Mecca

When I first moved to West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle and began to explore the small towns within an hour of my home, I didn’t know what to expect. If you’ve been reading my offerings, you’re aware that each of these towns has its own character. From Charles Town’s seedy historic atmosphere to the national-park smoothness of Harpers Ferry’s history to Shepherdstown’s college student / music-’n’-craft ambiance, I ‘ve shared my impressions with you. But the real gem remains to be revealed.

Spring Awakening

Spring is here! And if you’re like me, you want to celebrate with a fresh and spring-like dinner party! We recently hosted an Easter brunch for 8 and once the invitations were out, I… as one does… immediately began to think about my tablescape. I wanted something that would celebrate the season and the fresh feeling of spring. So, after contemplating my theme, I began putting everything together starting with a colorful basket of fresh pansies. Purchased at my local grocery store, it was a convenient and dramatic anchor to my table. To display my centerpiece, I placed the basket […]

Baltimore Missing From Gayest Cities in America

Each year, The Advocate publishes a list of the top 15 gayest cities.  In the article “Gayest Cities in America” Baltimore failed to make the cut.  Although the method at which The Advocate uses is not scientific, they factor in their rating system the number of profiles for that city, listed officiates for gay weddings within a 50 mile radius, elected openly gay officials, Tegan and Sara performances over the past five years, lesbian bars, gay and gay-friendly religious congregation, entries in with “gay” in the business name, and population within the city limits.