This Christmas day, I’m wishing you the true joy and peace that Jesus’s birth initiated so many centuries ago. It’s time to celebrate the greatest gift of all!
This past weekend my husband and I ran away to the little town of Bedford, Pennsylvania for a few days. Our destination was the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa for a bit of seriously overdue rest and relaxation. We happened to be ahead of schedule and looking for something to do until check-in when we drove right into the middle of the Fall Foliage Festival, a street fair held in the middle of the historic downtown area. Instead of grumbling about the traffic jam caused by the party, we decided to park the car and join the fun.
With white tents filled with arts and cratfts lining the streets, dried corn husks decorating every light post, live music playing from the small bandstand in the square, and the smell of freshly pressed apple cider lingering in the air, this little town obviously knew how to celebrate the arrival of autumn.
Some of our favorite finds included: artisanal soaps, balms, and candles made from honey, mustard made with banana peppers, reprinted vintage black and white photographs, pottery with saturated matte turquoise glazes, and local maple syrup. And the food – my, my, my! Dipped-while-you-wait gooey caramel apples, funnel cakes dusted with powdered sugar, fruit cobblers and apple dumplings served warm with melting vanilla ice cream. Big piles of homemade potato chips called crock fries. Fresh fudge and candied nuts. And, of course, deep fried everything.
We indulged in perogies with fried onions from Pittsburgh, a pumpkin whoopie pie the size of a compact disc, pecan tartlets, and fresh kettle corn. (For the record, we only ate the perogies at the festival – I’m munching on the sweet/salty goodness of the kettle corn as I type.) Apple cider was on our short list, too, but when we finally got around to standing in line at the tent, they were already sold out.
[ Freshly pressed apple cider ]
[ Giant whoopie pies called Gobs ]
[ A tiny antiques shop with a beautiful collection of early 20th century pottery ]
The town of Bedford has been nestled in the Allegheny mountains of western Pennsylvania for a long time. Bedford County was established in 1771 and the county seat boasts the oldest county courthouse still in use in the state. The old commercial buildings and homes in the historic district create quite the charming vibe. With its antique stores, specialty shops, and unique museums (think the National Museum of the American Coverlet and Old Bedford Village), Bedford would be a temptation even without a Fall Foliage Festival.
[ We ate our perogies on the steps of this Post Office building ]
[ The Bedford County Courthouse ]
[ An art museum ]
If you’d like to visit this little piece of America, Bedford is located 102 miles east of Pittsburgh and 102 miles west of Harrisburg just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the Bedford exit.
What have you done to celebrate the arrival of Fall?