Sunday, April 24, 2016

Philly's Hidden Treasures/Part Two

When planning a trip to Philadelphia and considering a museum, the most popular choices are Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Science, and of course, Philadelphia Museum of Art (Thank you, Rocky, for running up those steps).

The above mentioned are fabulous places to visit, but Philadelphia has several equally awesome venues that travelers should consider adding to their list. If you decide to visit, please check websites or call ahead as hours of operation may vary depending on the time of the year.

Fireman's Hall Museum of Philadelphia

Located in Philadelphia's Olde City, visit and learn the history of Philadelphia's Fire Department, originally a volunteer organization when founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1736. The musuem is proud to display fire-fighting equipment, antique uniforms, and photographs. There are also talks on fire safety. FMI,

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Tucked away on a small street in the Rittenhouse Square area, this museum holds thousands of pieces of rare literature and fine art. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, but am embarrassed to say I didn't visit the Rosenbach until recently to see "Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland." FMI,

Elfreth's Alley Museum

With 32 houses standing, Elfreth's Alley in the Olde City district, is our nation's oldest residential street. Built in the 1700s, most of the original residents were artists and craftsmen. These homes remain private residences with the museum house located midway on the block. A visit to the museum will give you a sampling of the early residents' daily lives. Two of my favorite annual social events are the Alley's "Fete Day" in June, and "Deck the Alley" in December. FMI,

Do you have any hidden treasures in the city where you live? Please share. 

Have a great week, Everyone!

(LOVE statue photo c/o; Fireman's Hall photo c/o; Rosenbach Museum photo c/o; Elfreth's Alley photo c/o

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Philly's Hidden Treasures/Part One

When travelers visit Philadelphia, their itinerary always includes the big stops like Independence Mall, The National Constitution Center, The Betsy Ross House, The Liberty Bell, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Yes, these are the show stoppers and places to see.

But, Philadelphia has many tourists' gems that sometimes are not (and should be) on a sightseer's schedule. I thought I would use this week and next week's blog post to give these awesome sites a "shout-out!"

Reading Terminal Market

Located at 12th & Arch Street (across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center), Reading Terminal Market is the country's oldest farmer's market. A majority of the businesses are family own and range from eat-in and take-out restaurants to merchants selling flowers, bakery items, seafood, books, and produce. Reading Terminal Market conducts tours and hosts special events such as cooking classes, movie night, and book signings. For more information check out their website and calendar,

East Passyunk Avenue

One of the longest standing business routes in the city, East Passyunk Avenue is affectionately referred to as Philly's new "restaurant row" thanks to the slew of new dining spots that have opened in recent years. An oldie -- and goodie -- is Marra's Italian Restaurant. The business, operated for eighty years, is now owned and managed by the founders' grandchildren. Marra's makes a great pizza and a delicious Mediterranean Salad. Also on East Passyunk Avenue is FUEL who serves the best pumpkin cheesecake ever!

Gee, I didn't intend to give food recommendations, but I just couldn't help myself. Along with the restaurants, there are lots of  shops along "the Avenue" from clothing to jewelry to gift boutiques. Check out East Passyunk Avenue's website,

Head House Square 

Located on the 400 block of South Second Street in the city's Historic District. A college professor once told me that the dwelling was originally a fire house back in our founding fathers' time. The houses surrounding the square are from the 18th and 19th century and are a mixture of commercial businesses and private residences. Head House Square is popular during the Spring and Summer for holding a variety of Flea and Farmers Markets. FMI,

Next week, I'll give you the lowdown on museums. But, in the meantime, if I were to visit your city, is there a gem tourist attraction hidden away that you would recommend? Please share.

Have a good week, Everyone!

(xoxo photo c/o; Reading Terminal photo c/o terminal; East Passyunk Avenue photo c/o; Head House Square photo c/o

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Conference Update!

The Spring weather brings conference opportunities, feedback on our work, and networking with our peers. Take a peek at what events may be coming to your area.

2016 Spring Fling Writers Conference; Sponsored by Chicago North RWA; May 20th-21st; Hyatt Schaumburg, Schaumburg, IL; FMI,

Cleveland Rocks Romance Conference; Sponsored by NEORWA; May 21st; Strongsville Holiday Inn, Strongsville, OH; FMI,

2016 Annual RWA National Conference; Sponsored by RWA; July 13th-16th; San Diego Marquis & Marina; San Diego, CA; FMI,

All Write Now! Writer's Conference; Sponsored by Southeast Missouri State University; July 16th; University Center; Cape Girardeau, MO; FMI,

NYC Writer's Digest Annual Conference; Sponsored by Writer's Digest Magazine; August 12th-14th; New York Hilton Midtown, New York, NY; FMI,

Moonlight & Magnolias 2016 Writing Your Life Changing Novel; Sponsored by Georgia Romance Writers; September 29th-October 2nd; Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Peachtree Corners, GA: FMI,

(photo c/o

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Time for Phillies' Baseball!

Baseball, for real -- games that really count -- begins this week. The Philadelphia Phillies start the season tomorrow, April 4th, in Cincinnati against the Reds. The home opener, at Citizen Bank Park, is Monday, April 11th with the San Diego Padres.

If you followed the Phillies during their training camp in Florida, you know this team gave true meaning to their pet name, the "fightin' Phils." For this group of Phillies, the game is not over until the final out! A fan can get pretty comfortable with walk-off wins!!

Here's to my team, wishing all the players good games, good health, and good wins! Go, Phillies!!!

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photos c/o