Knoebels: free fun in the freaking woods!

Have you heard? Mark and I will be staying in Northeast Pennsylvania for a few years longer, and our plans to move to the Big Apple have been postponed. Mark got an awesome job (Thank God!) and is now getting experience in his field, and doing what he loves. In light of this, I’m trying to stay positive by doing more local stuff, like hanging out in Knoebels. If you didn’t know, Knoebels is America’s largest admission free theme park.

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Knoebels is fantastic for a lot of reasons. For one, it’s not a barren wasteland of twisted metal and trash cans – it’s a theme park set in the woods, with winding creeks, tall trees, and lots of flowers throughout. Even dogs are allowed! But by far the most unique and awesome part about Knoebels is that it’s a free amusement park, where you pay per ride. You can use as many of your tickets as you want in a day, and if you have leftovers, you can bring them back another time!

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Photo from sweetnicks.com

And now let’s talk about food! Stony Gables is the adorable little stone cottage you see below, and in it they make fudge and other chocolate sweets. It’s a regular Hobbit House of candy! Don’t forget cotton candy, fresh roasted nuts, kettle corn, ice cream, funnel cake, and fried goodies all around the park.

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We had lunch at The Alamo where I stuffed my face with Stuffed Flounder (Sorry Ariel!) Then, after eating, we were too full to ride anything so we went to play games in the arcade. The most fun part about the arcade is getting a bunch of tickets and giving them to a random excited little kid! They love it!

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Mark took this great photo me with the pickle outside of the Alamo. The pickle.

I’m sort of a grandma, so the rides that are more my speed are the Carousel and the Haunted House. Mark is all about the roller coasters! I’ll take a spin on the Carousel any day #GrandmaSwag – but I did thoroughly enjoy the new Flying Turns ride, an off-the-track bobsled style ride!

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And of course one of the coolest parts about Knoebels is all the classic rides, and history associated with it. There’s a classic carousel with brass rings, old school wooden coasters, and a skyway. There’s a Carousel Museum, Mining Museum, and lots of other interesting history tidbits you can find out here. If you’re in the area, check it out and let me know what you think!

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Hershey Park, Wilkes-Barre, and the Welles House

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Our friends Charlie and Christa (whom we LARP with) took us to Hershey Park, home of the famous chocolate bars! My favorite site to see was the Carousel. Carousels are awesome – the eerie music, the blinking lights, and the colorful vintage hand painted ponies – so kitsch! We rode the roller coasters… one in particular that made my insides feel like they were tied in knots >.< – and we even met a few adorable candy bars running around the park! I could hug people dressed in ridiculous full body character costumes all day. Seriously. They might have to escort me out of the park.

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Things are looking up for Mark and me! We moved! We spent the weekend moving into our new apartment in Wilkes Barre. Only a few blocks away, but much cheaper and smaller! Both good things!

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It’s got some Shire-esque roads near it, which remind me of a road the Hobbits would travel on. So cute! I love cobblies! Maybe I’ll go try to find Isengard?

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And also some forceful graffiti in our backyard. No.

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Our new apartment is next door to an apparently haunted house – the Welles House, aka Pennsylvania’s own Amityville House. Reports of paranormal activity, ghosts, demonic possessions, and more are everywhere about this house. I get the chills standing next to it! 2 suicides and 4 deaths on its property are enough to make anyone feel a bit spooked. Mark and I hope we can get a peek inside on Halloween!

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Summer camp, Knoebels, and pumpkin fever

CAMP! For those who don’t know, I am organizing an online Summer Camp with the IGGPPC which is a weeklong event of friendship, food, and fantastic webinars and tutorials. You can learn something new and make a friend too!

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IGGPPCamp is many things. It’s a jam packed schedule of webinars, hangouts, blog post tutorials, and challenges. You can learn to create an adorable jointed bear, you can learn to do ballet stretches, you can create friendship bracelets and exchange them with other Iggles, you can partake in a few writing challenges like our Jane Austen letter writing challenge or Ghost Story challenge, you can play games in our online tabletop game tourney or MMORPG Capture The Flag tourney, you can learn to make delicious camp food and s’mores… I could go on, but there’s just way too much. To find more detailed activity descriptions of what’s in store for Camp, check out the details here. In short, it’s going to be a really fun week of learning, doing and bonding!

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Camp runs from August 16-24 – 9 days of fun! And in addition to the fun of camp week, we’ve also paired Iggles into 5 different troops with adorable geeky names, led by 5 dedicated and fun Camp Counselors. Join Buffalo, Mama Jo, Kirby, Belette, and Odie, as they do all sorts of fun camp activities with their troops. You’ll want to go here to read all about each Counselor and their troop.

I remember my Girl Scout Troop and how much fun it was to be in a troop and go camping with those girls! Such memories <3 If you too have fond memories of camp but don't always have time to leave the house, why not join in on the online summer camp fun? IGGPPCamp is for Iggles and Miggles 13+ so join in on the fun and check out dedicated Camp Twitter for updates!

So what else have I been up to? A lot of other things too. In addition to the Geekies which is coming up in just 2 weeks (And we’re almost at our goal, thank you! So please keep donating!) I also went to Knoebels with my mom and grandpa a couple of weeks ago. Knoebels is a super old school theme park in Pennsylvania. I like to call it Redneck Disney. It’s AWESOME – it’s completely free, has a vintage brass ring carousel and carousel museum, a coal miner museum, a really cheesy haunted house, wooden roller coasters – and each ride costs individual tickets to ride. That is how they did it back in the day, folks. You buys tickets for different amounts like 25 cents, 10 cents, 1 dollar – and pay per ride. Plus the food is fantastic! Knoebels is a must see in PA.

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Oh and it’s also kind of turning into Autumn here? I can’t explain, but pumpkin fever is setting in something fierce. I blame Sparkles for giving me the fever.

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Wigs and wands

I have been so completely not here, if you couldn’t tell by my last post date. It’s a mere 2 months to the day until Mark and I get hitched, and I’ve been swamped with creating crafts, celebrations and libations. Let me give you a visual tour of the past few weeks since I have been away.

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One of my goal cosplays for 2014 was Ariel, and I’ve mostly done it! You can’t see the dress, but I did do a photo shoot with the amazing wig. Gotta love mermaid life. Wish I could be, part of your world… I might reprise this role at New York Comic Con this year, but I know my main priority is to do a Bob’s Burger group cosplay with my friends – expect Tina.

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1. For the Geek Girl Pen Pals Club official first birthday, which was March 19 2014, we celebrated our one year anniversary with a geekload of awesome Iggle giveaways! Pictures is the pen pal starter kit prize prize sent to us from Mel’s Eclectic Supplies. Check out the winners here, and congrats to everyone who is an Iggle – we’re all winners in the IGGPPC! 😉 2. Jigga WHAT! The Geek Girl Pen Pals Club is now on Instagram! Color me excited! 3. Here’s a sneak peek at our magical May giveaway! You’d best stay tuned to the IGGPPC Facebook, Twitter, and blog for updates on when this giveaway is going live. Wingardium Leviosa! 4. Our theme for Round 13 has been announced. We’re continuing on with what started out as an April Fool’s joke but apparently is actually a good idea. The #IggleGoGreen this month as we celebrate Earth Day, talk about our planet, the cosmos, and how we can save our mutual address. Let’s go green baby!

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1. A church door on Franklin Street in Wilkes Barre. 2. An awesome shield and house number on River Street in Wilkes Barre. 3. St. Stephens Church on Franklin Street in Wilkes Barre. 4. The Susquehanna River at Sunset, from River Street in Wilkes Barre. 5. The view of an old historic house from the Wilkes cafeteria. 6. The view down onto Campus from the Wilkes cafeteria.

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Adentures in Wilkes-Barre and Mt. Hope (and wedding updates!)

Wilkes-Barre, though it has its crime rates and drug problems, is still a beautiful place. Sometimes I forget to step back and appreciate it.
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I went for a few walks and adventures in my hometown of Wilkes Barre, including a big Ingress rampage with my fellow Enlightened.
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I cut my hair. I think I was inspired by Lydia Deetz.
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Mark and I traveled to the Mt. Hope Winery on the grounds of the PA Renaissance Faire to pick up a bunch of bottles of delicious Honey Mead for our reception. Mark proposed at the Faire, so it only seemed appropriate to have our favorite drink from their winery at the wedding.
After we had the Mead in tow, we went to Littmans Jewelers to get our wedding bands. I found mine (blue diamonds and white gold) but Mark ended up buying his ring (black tungsten) online. I got a deal as my ring was on clearance at 70% off!
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I’ve been working hard on wedding design. This is a snap of some of our table signs, including our drink menu, a poem for the well wishes table (styled as a place to brew potions/perform alchemy), and D20 Ice Breakers game for our guests. Roll a D20 and do what it says… simple!
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We tasted cake… nom. We went to Bakery Delite in Plains and took home 8 delicious samples. The vanilla and strawberry were our favorites!

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