Frying up Some Good Eats

What makes a community full of life, culture, laughs, smiles and happiness? Many would say good people, kindness and nice things to do but I would add good eats to that list! Great food and wonderful restaurants truly make a community flourish creating a space for neighbors to enjoy one another, great meals, laughter and time with their loved ones. Lancaster County is known for not only good eats but GREAT eats! The cities and towns that make up our county are full of some of the most tasty spots! Let’s celebrate those restaurants, delis, bakeries, cafes and eateries! Check out some of my go to favorite spots around town! 

Back in 2016 the New York Post highlighted our wonderful Lancaster and how great it is including the food scene being one of the best! 3 years later the New York Times took to their pages to praise our food spots as “a global feast”, you cannot disagree with that! While Lancaster has hundreds of wonderful spots to enjoy a meal I am just going to touch on two of my favorites so be sure to take time next time you are in the area to walk the streets of our wonderful towns and see if you can find some more great spots, truly a diverse array of food and atmospheres there is something for everyone! 

The first spot I would like to highlight is Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie. This spot has two locations, one in downtown Lancaster and the other in Richmond Square. They are open Tuesday thru Sunday 8:00am-3:00pm. Full of so many delicious options there are breakfast crepes, specialty crepes, dessert crepes, wonderful drinks and smoothies! Crepes were started in France back in the 13th century, this is just one of the many ways Lancaster food spots bring different origins to our community through food! With such an array of options this is a fun spot for a quick catch up with friends or trying a few crepes. A fun way to adapt with the pandemic is that their Richmond Square location offers crepe kits for pickup, talk about a fun way to spend your Saturday, learning to make crepes and enjoy them in the comfort of your home! 

The second spot I want to highlight for you all is Flora’s Restaurant. They are open Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays taking reservations and also offering take out. Their menu changes frequently which makes this spot a fun place to go to with a variety of options and new foods to try! Flora’s is a Latin restaurant, with the menu changing daily it gives restaurant goers a large palette of options within Latin food! A few unique aspects about Flora’s, their atmosphere is creative and fun with tables made out of instruments. They also have a podcast where people can submit questions that will then be featured on the podcast. Currently, Flora’s is in the process of manufacturing their sauces for retail! Flora’s also works to highlight local artists as they have a gallery on their website where you can see commissioned pieces as well as at their restaurant. Such a creative and great way to connect with local businesses and help one another! 

And Lancaster County is continuing to shape, grow and change within the food scene with wonderful chefs coming to our space to new regions of food being highlighted at restaurants and places opening! The excitement around the food scene is ever growing and changing! One spot I am excited to try is Collusion Tap Works coming to Lititz soon, it is going to be located in the Lititz Shirt Factory…what a cool piece of history. I am excited to see how it turns out! 

With so many great spots in Lancaster County it is hard to just pick a few favorite spots! It doesn’t matter how long you have been here you are always bound to run into a new food joint you have never tried! A great way to continue your Lancaster food journey is appetizer hoping! A fun activity for you and your friends, all you need is to pick one of our towns or a block in the city. Then one day or evening meet up with your friends and go to a handful of spots you’ve never been enjoying an appetizer or two before moving onto the next restaurant. This is a great way to try multiple places, support our local businesses and enjoy time with your loved ones! As the days get colder another great way to safely try new spots is ordering takeout once a month or a couple times depending on your routine! Enjoy the creativity and art of our wonderful restaurants, you’ll be full of delight! 

 Contact Mary Sue Wolf to look at homes and properties that could bring you to experience the delicious restaurant life of Lancaster County whenever you desire.  You will love it here!
For more information on wonderful homes call Mary Sue at 717-333-9653 or visit her website at WolfandWebb.com

Declutter Help Others

Many people think about Spring being the season of cleaning but why not make it the end of Fall too! Any time of year can be a good time of year to do some decluttering and cleaning within your house. As the pandemic has had many of us at home more than usual you may be noticing that you have A LOT of stuff! Maybe your grown children are back home and you are realizing you have old things from their high school days that haven’t been used in years, or you are starting to get ideas for decorating this holiday season and you are realizing with each bin you sift through there are more an more items you don’t even remember what you used them for, possibly you have been wanting to make the move to a smaller home and can’t take all the stuff with you that you’ve accumulated over the years. 

Whatever your reasoning is it is always a good idea to take some time to declutter within your home. I try to do it a few times a year to make sure we aren’t holding on to things we will never use, or have grown out of. Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks to start the declutter process and be successful:

  • Make it a family affair, set a few dates throughout the weekends that way everyone is able to help out
  • Create new organizational habits, consider folders or shelfs that become designated spots for your needs. You can label the folders-bills, mail, receipts
  • When going through papers, photos, magazines or documents consider having three options shred, file and recycle this way in the moment you aren’t adding it to a pile because you don’t want to deal with a private document or are finding doubles of old photos (with doubles a great thing to do is use it as a card for the person, write their birthday, thank you or even just a thinking of you on the back before mailing it and this is a great way to make a card personalized while saving on greeting cards)
  • Find a playlist you enjoy or tune in to a new artist and play music during your day of  decluttering, this keeps everyone in a good mood
  • Set goals-go through your closet, the garage, basement or house closets. Setting up goals for the declutters can keep you on track when trying to work through what might seem like a daunting task
  • When going through a drawer pull everything out and have a garbage bag nearby, take time to go through medicine cabinets and look at expiration dates of medicine or makeup. When you take everything out of a drawer or cabinet you are more likely to find things that need to be thrown out
  • When going through items many times I stop and question an item unsure if I should keep it or get rid of it- I now ask myself if I was shopping now would I buy this? Or, when was the last time I used this? If you are honest with yourself answering those two questions you know right  away what to do with the item
  • When going through books I have read I enjoy thinking about the story and passing it along to a friend I think would enjoy the book leaving a note for them to pass it to someone they think would like it once they finish the book, this is a great way to share something you enjoyed with someone and thoughtful for the individual’ that is receiving a new read
  • Stay organized, having designated bags, boxes or bins for donation, garbage, and giving to someone or selling. This is a great way to not mistake what might be able to be donated versus what has had it’s fair use and is time to get rid of
  • Be okay with taking time to reminisce, when decluttering you may come across old momentums that make memories flash before you. Take a moment and take in those memories or share a laugh with who it reminds you of
    • Take a lunch break, sometimes decluttering can cause some disagreements. It is always a good idea to take a break when everyone has worked for a few hours to enjoy a nice meal together. This is a great way to decompress before starting up the work again and remember what you are gaining by working through the decluttering-such as space, time, less to clean
  • Lastly, pick locations you can donate your stuff to. Finding local organizations that take appliances, furniture, clothing and other household favorites can be very easy

If you live in Lancaster County consider contacting Off the Street to donate your items. Off the Street is a non-profit that works to end homelessness helping individuals and families transition into housing. This organization takes furniture and other household items. Be sure to check their website for their current donation wish list. When donating to an organization checking their wish list or contacting the organization first is important you do not want to give them items they either do not need or can’t use. This makes more work for the volunteers at these sights. 

If you have gone through your closets and have a lot of clothing in good condition you have a lot of options consider making a bag of hand-me downs for someone you know, look at the consignment shops in the area if you would like to try to sell items, or contact Lancaster Food Hub! Lancaster Food Hub has a clothing bank where community members in need can shop for free! Clothing donations make up all the clothing that is distributed to community members, your donations truly are making a difference! As the pandemic continues it is important to note that more people than ever are looking to organizations like these to find support, if you have the ability to donate gently used items I am sure it is greatly appreciated!

These are both great organizations where you know that neighbors within the community are able to benefit from the materials you donate. Should you declutter your house and realize you have a lot that needs to go to the garbage and is not necessarily salvageable to be donated consider a monetary donation or volunteering your time. Both organizations have monetary donation spots on their websites as well as volunteer inquire forms. It is important to note these are not the only two nonprofits to donate to there are many wonderful organizations within our county working to help others! Organizations are taking precautions with the pandemic to ensure safety of volunteers, community members using their facilities and donations, look up how they are accepting donations, some are doing contactless pick up or contactless drop offs. 

As we make the season of Fall a new season of decluttering our homes or spaces let’s make it the start of the season of giving. Take time to give gently used items to wonderful organizations in Lancaster County who work to help those in need! This is one of the many reasons why Lancaster’s sense of community and neighborly love is ever present in the organizations and people who reside in our County. Be a part of that reason! 

 Contact Mary Sue Wolf to look at homes and properties that could bring you to experience the community of Lancaster and ability to join a space of supporting your neighbors. You will love it here!
For more information on wonderful homes call Mary Sue at 717-333-9653 or visit her website at MarySueWolf.kw.com

Charming & Cool

What are the first words that come to mind when you think of a small town? Is it charming and cool? Well it should be, especially if you are talking about Lititz Pennsylvania, voted the Coolest Small Town in America. It is a borough within Lancaster County of just about 9 miles packed with things to do, places to see, rich history and days of fun! 

Lititz was founded in the 1700’s when Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf arrived from Germany, a bishop within the Moravian Church. During the Revolutionary War Lititz Pennsylvania became a space to provide medical attention and quarter sick or wounded soldiers, it is said that this was an order from George Washington during his time as the General. The soldiers worked with members of the Moravian Church because during that time that is who was still settled in Lititz. With such an interesting history the town of Lititz works to keep sharing this background through their annual Fourth of July celebrations. Talk about keeping history alive! Annually Lititz is known for their wonderful Fourth of July festivities, due to COVID this year was virtual but they were still able to bring pride, excitement and fun to the residents in Lititz. Hosting house decorating contests, baby parades, a national bell ringing with the mayor, Queen of Candles pageant, decorations, music, games and fireworks are just a few examples. This event is always a crowd pleaser and a wonderful way to see community within Lititz. 

While the history is magnificent in itself that is not the only reason Lititz won coolest town in America. In 2013, Lititz was voted the Coolest Small Town in America by Budget Travel readers. While their small town charm and history help them stand out, it is the day to day life that truly made them the easy vote. With wonderful restaurants, shops and events the winner couldn’t have been clearer. Let’s dive into some reasons why! 

Do you enjoy fine dining, quiet evenings, intimacy, music, and fun nights out with friends? That is a mix of atmospheres and venues but don’t worry, downtown Lititz provides all of this and you could find a restaurant to enjoy no matter your mood. Craving something sweet? You must check out Dosie Dough Bakery for a pastry, bread or other homemade baked goods. When you arrive you can’t help but have your mouth water. It smells like heaven! This is also a wonderful place to meet up with friends for a cup of coffee or a quick lunch, the perfect spot for a nice chat or to enjoy a book and some serenity on your own. After something sweet you always need something salty to even it out. Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is the perfect spot to do that. Founded in 1861 as the first commercial pretzel bakery in America, it allows you to take a tour while enjoying a soft pretzel, hard pretzel, or one covered in chocolate! This is a fun way to spend your afternoon learning about the deep history of Lititz while enjoying a salty snack! Fine dining, brewing companies, and pubs as well as a wonderful farmers market are nestled in Lititz. As the months get colder you can continue to support locals by ordering take out from one of the many spots to find out which might be your favorite! 

While the dining could keep you busy during your time in Lititz there are wonderful shops and stores to meet your every need from jewelers to framers, book stores, antique shops and clothing boutiques. Aaron’s Books is a wonderful shop with new and used books to enjoy. The Mustard Seed Boutique has all locally made clothing and home goods – a wonderful way to buy thoughtful gifts for someone you care about. The town of Lititz offers wonderful ways to support local businesses and enjoy an array of cuisines and events that bring the community together. It may give you the itch to want to be a part of the community! 

Lititz Pennsylvania puts on multiple events each month and throughout the year aside from the Fourth of July festivities. A few of my favorites are Lititz Fire & Ice and Lititz Second Fridays. Second Fridays are literally just that, the second Friday of each month from 5:00pm until 9:00pm when you are given time to explore the town. Store owners and local merchants stay open later so you can enjoy the shops, art work, food, drinks and more! There is entertainment up and down the streets as well as inside and outside of shops. Sometimes you will see dancers or hear musicians! This is a great way to support local businesses and maybe get some Christmas shopping done in the beginning of December so be sure to mark your calendar! The Fire & Ice event is an annual free event over the course of 4 days in February. Throughout the four days you can participate in a chili cook-off, view breathtaking ice sculptures, witness ice-carving, view a fire show, enjoy music and a carnival! This is like a long weekend out of a Hallmark film, truly a way to stay in the holiday spirit and enjoy the end of the winter months (this year will be the 16th annual)! To stay up to date on all Lititz events follow Lititz Pennsylvania’s site.  

The small town charm you feel within Lititz is one of a kind. Full of great places to eat, wonderful events within the community and a rich history, Lititz is a place you will definitely want to add to your bucket list! Just over an hour outside of Philadelphia, it could be a day or weekend trip for you! Love your visit so much you want to experience the coolest town every day? Homes are for sale in and around Lititz – consider checking them out! Truly the Coolest Town in America!

 Contact Mary Sue Wolf to look at homes and properties that could bring you to experience the Coolest Town in America every day out your backdoor. You will love it here!
For more information on wonderful homes call Mary Sue at 717-333-9653 or visit her website at WolfandWebb.com

No Work & All Play

Are you starting to plan for your retirement, have you recently retired, or are you in the midst of those great years looking for something new? Deciding to retire or where to move can be daunting especially after years in one home or if you are someone that has moved around a bunch. Finding that perfect forever home for the wonderful years of retirement does not have to be, especially if you can live in a community that brings you everything you can ask for; from a lively downtown to roaring hills and privacy Lancaster County is calling your name! 

Ranked number three of best places to retire by Dave Ramsey, after interviewing people across the country and looking into cost of living David Ramsey created a list of top ten places to retire within the United States. Focusing on quality of life and cost of living there are four things Ramsey says you should focus on when looking for a place to retire and those are tax rates, housing costs, quality of healthcare, and overall happiness of residents. Lancaster excelled in all four! 

Lancaster County provides a true variety of things to do, places to live, and a quality of life where you will enjoy every day. When you retire you are provided so much time to do things you enjoy, the options of how you spend your retirement are endless but Lancaster County has a few things that might interest you. With restaurants, food, shops, local activities, part time jobs and multiple terrains Lancaster County provides ample opportunities to enjoy your retirement years. 

Lancaster County meets all of your dining pallets from restaurants focused on international cuisine to peaceful cafes. One of my favorite things to do is try out the restaurants that use locally grown produce, farm to table is a great way to enjoy the local community while also learning about it! If you are passionate about cooking there are a handful of farmers markets for you for fresh baked goods, local produce and so much more. The farmers markets within Lancaster County provide a sense of serenity with the beautiful array of produce, the perfumed pleasures of baked goods and breathtaking flowers. While there are plenty of markets to pick from one of my favorites is right downtown, Lancaster Central Market, a true piece of history that was established in 1730!

Supporting local businesses is a great way to get ready for the holiday season. Lancaster County has great shops full of wonderful finds from clothing, to home decor, books and antiques you could find the best gifts for all your loved ones while showing them a piece of your new home town. If art is an interest of yours you will not want to miss First Friday. This is one of the best ways to see and buy artwork within the city of Lancaster. The first friday of every month from 5:00pm-9:00pm you can explore true creativity! 

While shopping, art and dining are great ways to spend your time Lancaster County offers so much more! Lancaster is a wonderful space to build community and get to know your neighbors. A great way to do this is by getting involved in the local community through joining programs, groups, or memberships. 

Lancaster Recreation Commission provides ambles of activities for individuals to sign up for and enjoy. This is a great way to meet new people, or those with like interests, get active and involved within the community. From exercise classes, clubs and discussion groups there is something for everyone. Lancaster Recreation Commission provides weekly activities to get individuals involved within the community in a fun and interactive way to continue a life of wellness. Lancaster Rec Senior Center is within this commission located at 525 Fairview Avenue, Lancaster PA. It provides adults a computer center, full size gym, kitchen, dance room and more. This is a great center to become a member if you are interested in building a community where you have a space to meet and try new things.  

Spooky Nook is known for sports tournaments, it is the largest indoor sports complex in North America but it is not just for high school athletes. Spook Nook Sports has programming for adults 50+ with a variety of classes from circuits, spin, pickleball, dance classes and more you will find a way to get active in a fun way! It is open every day from 9:00am-12:00pm for adult activities. 

After a week of exercise you may want to relax or if you have the travel bug a great idea would be getting to know your new home by visiting Lancaster! Lancaster County has multiple regions each providing you a mix of terrain and great weekend getaways! You can enjoy the countryside, small towns or city feels all at your backdoor and a quick drive. Each provides you beautiful views, fun ways to spend your days and a wonderful way to absorb your new home. Truly make it a weekend away by staying in one of the many hotels within Lancaster giving you a night away in the country, camping under the stars or an adventure within one of the top tourist attractions.   

When it comes time to pick a place to retire many individuals consider moving into retirement communities. Three of the best communities that come to mind are:

Willow Valley Community is an award winning 55+ living community offering an array of living options from apartments to one-story villas, two-story town homes and more with the ability to work with their complementary interior design service to truly make this space your forever home. Not only does Willow Valley have a variety of homes to pick from they also have plenty of amenities that you will surely find yourself busy and enjoying your days. From multiple dining locations and services you are definitely able to enjoy meals with your friends, loved ones and for special occasions. Offering a large fitness center as well as many smaller ones across the community you will be able to work out every day in many ways from swimming, walking, to weights you are sure to mix up your routine while having fun! If you are new to the community a great way to meet others is to join in on a club or the travel that Willow Valley offers its residents!

Another great community within Lancaster County for retired residents is the Moravian Manor Community. With two campuses prospect residents have the opportunity to pick a style of home they would like to live in as well as amenities like laundry, patios, car garages, bedrooms, and different floor plans. The Moravian Manor also offers opportunities to get involved within the community to make friends, continue a passion, learn something new, or just have fun! 

The last retirement community is Brethren Village, also a space that offers a variety of living options as well as personal care, memory support or 24-hour nursing care should someone need it. Brethren Village too provides individuals the opportunity to get involved in their community, make friends and live independent lifestyles with wonderful amenities at their back door. With social activities and dining services residents can build their own sense of community while enjoying things they always have at a pace best for them.

All three of these communities truly emulate relaxing while enjoying life and all at different prices there is a fit for everyone’s budget! If a retirement community is not for you, do not be discouraged Lancaster County offers a variety of homes to meet everyone’s needs and wants! 

Whether you are new to retirement or you have been retired for some time Lancaster County provides you the peace of mind of a retirement where your money is well spent, your health is a priority and there are numerous ways to enjoy your time. Look no further than Lancaster County where should you choose you do not need to work and you can always play (or enjoy your days)!

 Contact Mary Sue Wolf to look at homes and properties that emulate your own piece of paradise as you look to take the next step towards retirement. You will love it here!

For more information on wonderful homes like: 5253 Summerfield Drive, Mount Joy PA 17552 call Mary Sue at 717-333-9653 or visit her website at WolfandWebb.com