Monday, December 23, 2019

Gettysburg Trail Riding

The Gettysburg battlefields are about an hour away from me. Because of this fact, I haven't walked them in over ten years. I think the last time I visited them was an 8th grade field trip. When you live close to an iconic location the whole I'll go to it in the spring or I'll go visit when tourist season is over becomes a phrase uttered for years.
This changed in November.
The Gettysburg Trail Ride took place over the second weekend in November. It's been occurring since the early 2000s.
This was my first year attending it. My schedule just didn't mesh with the ride in previous years. The festivities began on Friday, but I opted to drive up on Saturday to hang out for the day. 
After breakfast, it was time to start grooming and tacking up. Nova was first before I tacked up Lady. 
Riders came from NY, Maryland, and other parts of PA. 
It was a great mix of riders. 
And then we were off!
We rode trails for about 2-3 hours. 
We rode through the battlefields, and it couldn't have been a prettier day. Nova did a lot of firsts. She crossed a steam with water, crossed over a bridge and dealt with crossing the road with cars.
We took a few breaks.
Which meant photo ops.
I'd love to do this in the spring and be able to go at my own pace to really look at the different monuments.

Group photo. 
I throughly enjoyed this ride! 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Summer Pony

If you're friends with me on Facebook, this horse has been popping up in posts since the summer. She often has the same expression on her face--the chestnut mare side eye.
A lot of times I don't mention the horses I'm riding because circumstances can change as quickly as publishing a blog post.
Anyways, the owners decided she will be a permanent member of their barn, which means she gets a full post!
Her name is Nova and she's a registered 8 year old Paint horse. She's at least 14.3 hands, but it's more fun to call her a pony.
She has an elaborate registered name that calls back to her pedigree, however I can not remember what it is.
Being a green horse, the world is full of monsters and mayhem. A saddle stand? More like wooden Kraken monster. A water hose that sprays?! Brain melting.
For the summer we've gone on trail rides around the property. She's gotten more comfortable going alone and in a group. A turkey even decided to take flight under her nose and her spook was minimal!
Nova has been a lot of fun to ride, and I can't wait to have fun in all of the seasons with her.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

New York Public Library and The Strand

While in New York, Michelle and I had time to wander the city. We decided to walk to the New York Public Library and The Strand.
Along the way we saw the iconic Flatiron Building.
And other cool things
to take pictures of. 

Our first stop was the New York Pubic Library.

First we were greeted by the iconic lions.

The architecture was beautiful.
And the artwork!!!!
So pretty. 
It was cool to see the mix of new and old. 
There was a display for Herman Melville, best known for Moby-Dick. 
I tried to read Moby Dick, but lost interest in it. Still, it was cool to see these pieces of history. 
The coolest thing I saw was a Gutenberg Bible. This was the first one to come to the United States in 1847. 
It's estimated that 180 copies of the Gutenberg Bible were originally created, and there are about 59 full copies still in existence. 
It was spectacular to see one in person. 
The original Reader's Digest.

There were also original pieces by Langston Hughes. 
After we finished with the library, our next stop was the Strand. If you like books and ever find yourself in NYC, The Strand is a place to visit.
The Strand first opened in 1927 and was a part of the Book Row. Another nickname for the Book Row was "Second-Hand Row" because most of the bookstores sold used books. The Book Row was a NYC district and at its peak had 48 bookstores. The Book Row was around from the 1890s to the 1960s. The Strand is the only surviving store. A mix of rent increases, ownership deaths and retirement transformed the area into apartments. The Strand moved in the late 1950s because of the rent increases. 

Today, The Strand carries over 2.5 million books.

They range from used. 

To new.

Rare books.

To common ones. 

I loved all of the different parts of its 3 stories.
There's something for everyone in there. 

After we wandered, it was time for the conference to begin!

Friday, December 20, 2019

In Which I Find My Throne

A week after Breyerfest, I boarded the train in Harrisburg to NYC. I love flying, but traveling by train has become a very close second in terms of my favorite modes of travel. When book events are out of driving range, a train is the ideal replacement. You can check a bunch of luggage and have numerous carry ons for free. I'd love to travel to a model horse show by train one day. Anyyyywayssss.
This was my second trip to NYC for the summer. The first trip was book related and this final trip was too.
This was for the RWA conference, or Romance Writers of America conference. Instead of BookExpo, where I went solely as an industry person, I went to this event as a hybrid--industry person and writer. Every other year RWA conference is located on the East Coast and I didn't want to miss it since it was 3 1/2 hours away. Plus it's my second year of membership and figured this was the perfect way to be more involved.
I stayed at the Marquitt on Time Square. It was amazing.

Before the start of the conference, I wandered around Times Square.
As we signed in I noticed this. Michelle was Bookseller of the Year so I made her take picture with her face.
And then it began.
RWA is about craft, industry people, and books.
There were many many book signings. In these book signings you didn't need to bring a single book with you. The authors had a set amount of books to be given away by their publishers or themselves, if the author was indie.
I went to many signings. Imagine the NPOD, but with books in a smaller space.
I met awesome authors, and told people to come to Pennsylvania to do signings.
I belong to the local chapter of RWA, and many chapter members also attended RWA. When we could we ate dinner together. We ate a lot at this restaurant.

 It was wonderful and the cheesecake was to die for.

Michelle's friend gave us tickets to see Frankie and Johnny. I had no idea about what it was about going in. It wasn't bad, but I feel as if I wasn't the target age.
Then we had a chance to see Wicked.  I read the novel years ago and had been told for forever that the play was amazing. 

Before getting seats, we found police horses.

I found my throne.
Wicked was spectacular. It was visually stunning, the singing was beautiful, and just everything. I loved it more than the book by far. Not that there was anything wrong with the book, but it just worked so well as a play.

When the conference was over, I took a loot photo.

And then it was time to lug everything home. I enjoyed the conference, and hopefully I can make it when it's on the east coast again!