We went to Lancaster the second to last week of September this past year, for my father’s birthday. Our trip was done on a budget, so originally we had opted to stay at the Lancaster Family Resort (it was only a 2 night trip!) After the nightmare of an experience that we had upon just checking into that hellhole, we had all decided that we would rough it there for one night and then try to find another option for our 2nd night in Lancaster.
My mother made a quick phone call to Denise (My mother and father have stayed at the Limestone before, so she had the contact information and the already established relationship with the more than hospitable owners) and she was MORE than accommodating! A couple rooms had just opened up, so we were booked there for night 2 of our stay in Lancaster!
After spending a great day shopping in Downtown Lancaster, we went to check in at the Limestone. We arrived at this quaint little cobblestone colonial which made me feel like I had stepped into a quaint little Hallmark Movie. The grounds are well kept, with beautiful foliage, a trickling pond, festive fall scarecrows, and jack-o’-lantern decorations to get us in the mood for fall.
Upon entering the historical establishment, it was like traveling back in time. The building was established in the 1700s so it was fun to imagine the history that has taken place behind these walls throughout the years. The lobby of the B&B was very cozy and had a cabin type feel with some very accommodating amenities. There were comfy country couches, boardgames, books, and a little table where you could pour yourself some tea and enjoy a slice of homemade country pie courtesy of Denise.
Denise’s husband Rick welcomed us to their abode and was extremely informative, giving us the rundown of events happening in the area as well as a little background info behind many of the interesting guests who were also staying there! One girl was a watch designer from Israel, another was a psychologist specializing and making breakthroughs in the Amish community… it was very interesting to learn about the many different people who pass through their doors; Rick and Denise welcome people from all walks of life, and it shows in their great hospitality!
Rick led us up 2 floors of an enchanting creaky old wooden staircase to our comfy little rooms on the attic level. We really lucked out because the 4 of us had the whole level to ourselves for the one night we were there. We had 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms all to ourselves, that had great natural lighting from the skylights. Our rooms included our wifi password, some complimentary candies, and super comfortable country style beds. The decor was very old country and very homey, it makes you feel right at home!
My boyfriend and I had the middle room with a window, which also enabled us to see a clear view of the beautiful full moon that night! (We went to Lancaster specifically for the Full Harvest/Bloon Moon Festival, which they do at the Wolf Sanctuary a couple towns over from Strasburg where the Inn was located). Falling asleep to the glow of the full moon was a perfect ending to our magical night.
The next morning Denise cooked breakfast for everyone around 9 am and serves it up in her formal country dining room, designed to enable the different guests to meet and mingle with one another. Her homemade dishes are amazingly creative and have a country flavor, blending the sweet and the savory. It is really a treat for the palette! She made us these little peach tarts which were a nice little sweet treat, followed by a savory black bean waffle and eggs with a chicken and mustard gravy. Coffee and Tea were also available.
You can tell that Denise really loves to spoil her guests, and loves talking and learning about each and every one of them. She is so accommodating and hospitable and it really feels like going to visit a distant relative. Everyone is family to Rick and Denise!
I would stay here again in a heartbeat, and the price was definitely worth the accommodation!
This past month I had the pleasure of visiting the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Wolf Sanctuary in celebration of my father’s birthday. It was something he really wanted to do as he has always been drawn to the mystery behind the demeanor or such fascinating creatures. We had jumped at the chance to experience this with him, because not only was it a chance to see some of these magical beasts in the closest thing to ther natural habitat (the animals are fenced off from visitors, but are given room to roam freely in their woodland surroundings), this was also a chance to experience the magic during the best time you possibly can, and that was during the September Harvest Full Moon. The full moon this past September was also a Blood Moon!
A Blood Moon is a total lunar eclipse in which the Earth eclipses a full, and the direct sunlight is blocked, but the sun’s rays still light up the moon. However, this light has travelled through the Earth’s atmosphere first, which causes the totally eclipsed Moon to sometimes look a red or brownish hue. The next Blood Moon is said to not come back around until January 2018! So this fact alone, made this even all the more special!
There were about 40 wolves in the sanctuary, total. Some cages had 3-4 wolves, then there was one cage in particular which housed a “lone” wolf. He was deaf and blind and could not be put in the cage with others as it posed a threat to the other wolves. Throughout the night, we would hear his soft howl against the glow of the moonlight. The coolest thing I learned was that all of the people and guides working the informational posts had their very own special relationship with each wolf, and were all there as volunteers, because they truly have a passion for working with these animals. That spoke
volumes to me.
The only thing that I thought was a bit unfortunate, was that it was a bit overcrowded and it was hard to make way up to the front of each pen to see the wolves a bit better. The crowds gathered around the tour guides and it was also hard to hear the things they were saying about the wolves from a distance. Also, there is one section of pens that is up on a hill and the incline might be difficult for some to walk up.
One of the coolest things that I thought the sanctuary had to offer was a huge bonfire in the main area of the camp. The fire had to have stood about 8-10 feet high which anyone was allowed to roast marshmallows or hotdogs in. There was also an authentic native american tribal drumming ceremony commencing throughout the whole night. There were descendants of tribes such as the Blackfoot and Cherokee, dressed in their full garb, drumming, chanting, and dancing circles around the fire. They engaged the audience to join in with them, stomping the ground with their ankle bells and spiritual
intention. Everyone joined hands, circled the fire together and every now and then would howl at the moon!
This night truly made me feel like I was one with the pack. It brought me back to my own sense of instinct, encouraging me to release my own humanly inhibitions and revert back to the wild animal I once was. This truly was a magickal night to remember AAAAWOOOOOOHHHH!!!
READ MY REVIEW ON TRIPADVISOR!INTERESTED IN PLANNING A TRIP TO THIS WOLF SANCTUARY?
THIS EDITORIAL PIECE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE SPRING 2016 "MOVEMENT" ISSUE OF ABRAZINE. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS ISSUE IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE!
This past October I took a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania with my parents for my father’s birthday. My parents have been frequenting this quaint little section of PA for the past 5 years or so and they made it a point to bring me along this time. Among our travels, we decided to spend a whole day exploring Downtown, Lancaster which is filled with little vintage shops, boutiques, and art galleries. I remember one of the very first shops that we walked past, right after we had parked our car. It was a cute little art gallery called “The Christiane David Gallery”, and in the window was a watercolor painting of a girl with fiery red hair, playing a purplish colored violin.
Throughout the painting, there were passionate streaks of yellows, blues, oranges, purples, and greens, and it was apparent through the expression on the girl’s face that she was enveloped in this music that she was creating. As I stood there entranced in this work of art, I felt that I was just as moved in experiencing a painting this beautiful, as this girl in the painting was, in making her music.
Just as I was admiring this beautiful work of art, I noticed a lovely woman trimming some of the vibrant red flowers out in front of the gallery. She asked if I would like to come inside of the gallery and browse more works of art. I asked her if she worked there, and she proudly exclaimed that it was her gallery, and she was the artist who had painted this piece that I have found myself so drawn to. She was indeed Miss Christiane David! I excitedly accepted her invite into her gallery!
As she brought me into her magickal little space, my family trailed in behind me, exploring the stark white walls splashed with her colorful paintings. I wandered around the space with a wide-eyed sense of wonder and curiosity, like that of a child finding it’s way through a toy store.
The first room I noticed, and fell in love with right away after we walked through the entrance, was a little foyer with a black and white checkered floor, and a spiral staircase adorned in twiggy foliage, faux owls and twinkling lights. The decor wrapped around the staircase’s ornate banister which ascended up into heavenly bright sunlight. I wondered if I followed the spiral trail up the stairs, would i then disappear into a whimsical time warp-reversed rabbit hole and land in a realm of fantasy lost in space and time? I didn’t dare attempt this voyage, but it was quite tempting.
I continued through the main floor; was enchanting to walk the creaky wood floors and observe each brush stroke that decorated her quaint little creative abode. Her son-in-law who ran the floor and her sales had directed me to the prints that she had available, and right away I started looking for the violin girl with the fiery red hair. I looked through stacks and stacks of colorful prints of paintings that had become her life’s work. Finally I happened upon the one that had entranced me in the storefront window.
IT WAS THE LAST ONE!
You know that feeling when you know something is just meant to be yours? The print was $60.00 and although money was tight, I didn’t know if I would ever see this painting again. It had moved me too much to not have permanently in my life. I said to her, “I’ll take it!”, and motioned to the register to cash out on my splurge item. We had gotten to talking, and she started to tell me a little bit about the painting that I had picked out. She would invite musicians to come play in her gallery and paint them as she played. She would also attend the Lancaster Symphony charity and fundraising events and paint the orchestra as they were playing as well. She talked to us for awhile about how she was inspired by capturing the musicians and their movement, in her visual works of art. She is so moved by their music, she lets her brush be guided by their sound, and matches the strokes to everything she hears, translating it all, visually onto canvas.
We then chatted about my musical endeavors and she invited me back sometime to play in her gallery so maybe one day she will paint me! I would be so honored! After I purchased my print, we were so wrapped up in conversation that she was excited to show us her basement that they just started to renovate for classes, and extra studio space. She took us down the stairs and showed us all the things that she was imagining to bring this space to life! It was exciting for me to see someone so successful in a field that most deem “impractical” as a means to make a living. Most only give attention to the term “starving artist”, but she is in fact a “thriving artist” and the living that she has been able to make for herself through her art is extremely inspiring and moving to me!
After we toured her basement, she took us out onto a little veranda off the back of her studio that was adorned in green foliage and bright pink and orange tropical flowers. She had a mischievous little cat that wandered around the terrace as she chatted more with us about her upbringing in Belgium, her studies of art and architecture in Brussels, and her travels through Europe and Italy. Her whole demeanor and life was something out of a quaint little novel that I wish I could pack up and take home with me. I would read it on days when I was feeling less than inspired.
Picking the brain of someone as accomplished in the arts as Christiane was a nice and unexpected experience for me on this trip, and I hope to one day take her up on her offer to go back and be painted by her wonderful “stroke” of genius. I also hope to one day be as accomplished of an artist as she.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTIANE DAVID AND HER MAGICKAL GALLERY AT HER WEBSITE:
PICK AN ADVENTURE!