Posted by: Josey | February 27, 2009

An Excuse to Visit Pennsylvania (As If I Need One)

I’ve lived in Illinois, California and New York. I’ve spent a lot of time in Jeff’s wildly underrated home state of New Jersey. I realize states are vast and diverse, but based on my experience exploring several corners of our country, my favorite state so far is Pennsylvania.

On a clear day where I grew up, the landscape was so flat you could see the Sears Tower 30 miles away from the highway entrance nearest to my house. For vacations, we visited my grandparents on the east coast of Florida—equally as flush. So imagine my delight when i arrived at central Pennsylvania’s Woodward Gymnastics Camp at age sixteen to find mist-covered hills that rolled into the infinite distance. They took my breath away. I extended my stay at camp an extra week.

You’ve also heard me talk over and over and over again about my favorite B&B: The Inn at Westwynd Farm in Hummelstown. If it weren’t three and a half hours away from where I live, deep in Pennsylvania Amish country, Jeff and I would have been married there. Instead, we essentially designed our wedding setting after it, by finding the farm in our area that closest resembled it, in its warm, pastoral aesthetic and in its spirit. (Though I must admit, I would have loved to hear the words “by the power vested in me by the state of Pennsylvania…”)

One of the many reasons I love living in New York City is its close proximity to the Pennsylvania border for easy, but unusual daytrips and non-commital camping. Jeff and I also make a point of visiting the spectacular Delaware Water Gap area for an annual afternoon of tubing: leisurely floating down the river while admiring the majestic cliffs that tower over it. When I stopped by the Pocono Mountains Visitors’ Bureau table at the NY Times Travel Show, I told the publicist there how much I love it. And, based on what she told me, we’ll certainly be making more than one trip to the area this year: We’ll be attending the Delaware Water Gap Food & Wine Festival, which takes place from October 1st to 4th.

…As if I need an excuse to visit Pennsylvania.


What’s your favorite state? Why? Have you lived in more than one state? Where? In what state do you live now? What makes it special?


  1. Josey – You are such a great writer…
    Interested in doing a double date for that Delaware Water Gap Food & Wine Festival? I used to canoe down the Delaware River when I was in camp. It was so scary but so exhilirating.

  2. Hi Josey. It’s great to see that you are are excited about eating and drinking along the Delaware River too. I wanted to let you know that the big Delaware River Food and Wine Festival for this October has been postponed until next fall, instead we’ll be doing a bunch of similarly special boutique events spread out throughout the year.

    Have you seen the upcoming Morel Hunt we’re doing the Sunday after mother’s day with chef and wine pairings? We’d love to have you out for one of our signature events in the meantime!

    Sorry to break the sad news.


    Alisa Tongg Weiler
    Founder, Delaware River Food and Wine

    PS. I love love love the bicycle picture in the bamboo forest on the home page, reminds me of when my husband and I lived in Taipei for a while.

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