Posts tagged pennsylvania

In fall you do fall-things, or so I've been told. As daylight dwindles it's important to enjoy all those falling leaves and scenic views you hear people talk of. In our (Ryan & myself) case that involves weekend drives out of the city where there are actually trees and views to devour. On a recent trip we visited Foothill Castle, a rather stately home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. A home so happily situated you would have thought the hills and woods had grown up around it and not the other way around.

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Bult in the early 20th Century by Henry Mercer, Foothill Castle is a tribute to his life-long obsession with European castles, and his work in tile making (click the arrows above to see more photos of the grounds). Built from poured concrete, Mercer attacked the design on his own, without thought to floor-plan or traditional construction. Builders were tasked with making sense of his cryptic drawings and the result is a labyrinth of a home with 44 rooms and 200+ windows.

A majority of the furniture is built-in and generously covered in Mercer's tile collection. Sadly, they don't let you take photos inside, but to give you a taste- His collection is a mix of ancient tiles from the Middle East and Asia, Dutch tiles from several centuries, and his own handmade tiles from the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works. Every inch of the house is decorated in a different motif, with rooms named and situated to allow maximum light. 

Entirely intact, a tour through the house is like stepping back in time. Around every corner and false staircase you expect to meet Mercer's ghost! Oddly, the eccentric contents only serve to make the castle more warm and inviting to its guests. If you're ever in the area, be sure to stop in for a visit! What autumn things have you checked off your list this year? - b.

glen onoko falls, jim thorpe pennsylvania | image via: bekuh b.

Every once in awhile, but increasingly so lately, Ryan and I like to escape the concrete jungle with our pup and head into the woods. This past weekend we decided to revisit a favorite Pennsylvania trail, Glen Onoko Falls. Located near the almost-too-perfect town of Jim Thorpe, it's a great day trip outside Philadelphia. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there (toll-free), but the picturesque mountain views and tree-lined roads make the trek 100% worth it. Here's photo proof:

glen onoko falls, pennsylvania | image via: bekuh b.
ryan browning at glen onoko falls | image via: bekuh b.
ryan browning at glen onoko falls | image via: bekuh b.
woods of glen once falls | image via: bekuh b.

The Glen Onoko Run Trail is a pretty strenuous hike up to the top, but the 10+ cascades are the perfect excuse to stop and take in the view, or splash around in the icy water a bit. There seems to be several different trail options, something we experienced first hand this time around. We couldn't figure out how to get down the mountain, and ended up going down the way we came up! Not necessarily the best hike for the novice hiker, or for older dogs, it is a great workout and beautiful way to spend a late summer day. Afterwards I recommend heading into Jim Thorpe and finding something to eat- you'll be desperate for a snack. - b.