Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Getaway Part 2

Sunday was another gorgeous autumn day. We headed south, following the Susquehanna for a while. It was a beautiful drive! We passed Harrisburg. I've never actually been in the state capitol, just driven by. Here it is in the distance:
Our destination was Gettysburg. A while ago, I watched a House Hunters episode set in Gettysburg (the couple ended up buying a house overlooking the battlefield). It looked like such a beautiful place and we like 'learning' on our vacations - not a lot, mind you, but we do enjoy history.
We for a little confused in town at the traffic circle and following the signs to the park, but after a quick trip to the Visitor's Center, we were on our way. We got to the park and found the Museum/Visitor Center around 1:45 pm and we definitely wanted to do the driving tour (but not with one of the tour bus groups), so we skipped the museum and instead purchased a 2 CD guided audio tour. Following the Auto Tour signs/arrows seemed simple enough.
I loved the National Military Park. It's autumn and the leaves have changed enough that there were beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red mixed in with the green, which made the driving tour gorgeous. Here are some 'pretty view' photos:
The audio tour is very informative and we definitely got a lot more out of the auto tour with the CD. There are so many statues, monuments, plaques, cannons - it seemed as if anyone living at any time between July 1-3, 1863 within 30 miles of Gettysburg had some kind of remembrance in their honor. There was so much information to absorb. By the end of the tour (which we spent 4.5 hours doing), we felt a bit overloaded with information. Here are some monument/statue/plaque photos:

We would have liked to visit the museum, but it's a large museum and as I said, we were overloaded with information, so we decided that a return trip at some point in time is in order. Preferably in autumn. I felt kind of sad, enjoying the beauty & peacefulness of the park when it once was a place of violent fighting with an astounding 51,000 casualties. The battle devastated Gettysburg.

We stayed at the Wyndham. It was very patriotic. I couldn't resist a few photos of the hotel's patriotism. Here's the hallway carpet:
The hallway wallpaper, blue with gold stars:
Our room: navy carpet with gold stars, red and white striped bed skirt, red couch, red walls:
We were pretty wiped out after spending nearly all day in the car. We started driving towards a restaurant for dinner, discovered it wasn't accessible, and picked a place on the next block. We were tired & hungry and it was almost 7 pm so we didn't feel like putting much effort into picking somewhere for dinner. It pretty much came down to, hey, here's a restaurant. And look, available street parking in front.
J's at the Village. We skipped the outdoor seating in favor of being inside. After me being so cold the night before at Knoebel's, we didn't want me to get so chilled again, and it did seem to get quite chilly as soon as the sun disappeared.

J's is casual. Family dining. It made me think of my grandparents and our long ago family restaurant dinners at Tonidale, Fatti Gatti's (in Cuddy, PA, near Bridgeville, but it burned down), Wright's. Lots of paper lace doilies. Some warm bread and whipped butter:
We had almost forgotten that restaurants serve(d) bread & butter. It's been quite some time since we dined at a place that did.

SP wanted the Fried Pickles:
I tried a few and they were yummy, especially when dipped in the ranch dressing.

I tried Baked Tomato Gratin Soup:
"Slow Cooked Tomatoes, Spices and Cream with Baked Mozzarella and Provolone Cheese." Look at that yummy cheese coat! Underneath the cheese, tomato soup:
Tasty. Hot. And lots of melted cheese. Yum!

SP chose Crab & Pear Salad for his entree:
"Seasonal Pears. Lump Crab Meat. Toasted Almonds. Spring Mix. White Balsamic Vinaigrette." He said it was tasty.

I chose Macaroni & Cheese with a salad:
I can't find the description on their menu, but I remember there were 3-4 cheeses plus bacon. There were bread crumbs on top. It was tasty, and very hot. The side salad was tasty, too:
Mixed greens, shredded carrots, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and a white balsamic dressing. I ate all the salad because I hadn't had much veggie on the trip and I was feeling blah.

It was a good, not great, meal. Nothing bad, just not outstanding, or especially memorable. We both thought our meals were priced a bit high for what they were - the portions seemed small given the price. Then again, it is a tourist town, so perhaps prices are higher because of that. We overheard a server telling a patron with a gluten allergy that the risotto wasn't really risotto (arborio rice) but was actually couscous, so he wouldn't be able to order it. It's great that she knew that and told him, but how can a place call a couscous dish risotto? There's nothing on the menu that says 'our version of risotto' or 'a risotto like dish.' Our server was very friendly and we had no complaints. We again experienced service that seemed a little slower than we're used to (like at Selin's Grove Brewing) but again, since we were on vacation, it didn't bother us. Or maybe life is just slower paced in Central PA?
J's at the Village on Urbanspoon
There's lots of Ghost/Haunted Walking Tours in Gettysburg, We didn't go on any, but one of them departs from near J's. When we left the restaurant, we discovered these cute ghosts had been drawn on the sidewalk:
Booooo.....

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