Monthly Archives: November 2014

Living in Berkeley Springs

Berkeley Springs comes out of nowhere. You’re driving through the Eastern Panhandle and bam, there it is—colorful storefronts, historic buildings, a state park with a charming gazebo and a wealth of history—all in a quaint and walkable downtown. Eclectic stores line the streets offering local art, new age products, and antiques while spas and health shops dot each block.

“Having nice shops in the heart of downtown is so important,” says Jeanne Mozier, vice president of Travel Berkeley Springs. “About one-third of the people who come here literally say the same thing: ‘I’ve driven through your town so many times and promised myself that this time I was going to stop.’ It’s really important for all of the things on Main Street to look inviting.” (more…)

Three places to fall for West Virginia

For much of the year, West Virginia lives up to its “almost heaven” moniker, serving up its beauty on meandering country roads, through rocky rivers and over high mountain peaks. But it’s never closer to heaven than in the fall, when its sugar maples prepare to shed their leaves and the view is all amber and gold peaks as far as the eye can see. (more…)

Sweep the theater floor

So, Oscar night came and went. Or as I like to refer to it: The Awards Ceremony for Films I Haven’t Seen.

Don’t get me wrong. Like most red-blooded Americans, I love going to the movies. I love the two-hour escape they provide from the everyday. I love the giant tubs of popcorn, replete with the faux-butter topping. I even love the endless stream of previews that make the most lame of pictures seem like another must-see.

But here’s what I don’t love: the price of admission.

At some point in my life, going to the movies simply became a luxury I could no longer afford. Actually, I know the exact point: when I moved from South Florida back to my native New York in 2010 and was suddenly confronted with the reality of tickets that can run nearly $15. Add in those $7 tubs of popcorn (and those $5 cups of soda) and the total cost for my family of four to see a flick is now in triple-digit territory. With various discounts, I can see a play (albeit an Off-Off-Broadway play) or even a major-league baseball game for less. (more…)

Personal Journey: A need for natural beauty and healing waters

After the unexpected death of a close family member, an uncomplicated, therapeutic vacation was in order. Knowing my husband was a fan of hot springs for their healing qualities, I proposed several locations: California, Colorado, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Berkeley Springs, W.Va. The last was selected because of its easy three-hour drive west down the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-81. Our must-haves included: natural beauty, the waters, and a significant divergence from our daily lifestyle. A consultation of my “late-in-life bucket list” happily revealed that Monticello was within easy driving distance. (more…)