Monday, November 9, 2015

Christmas Time Is (Almost) Here!

While you stay with us at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast, don't miss some of our best local shows! With the holidays fast approaching, get in the Christmas spirit with American Music Theater's Annual Christmas Show, Deck the Halls. Playing Tuesday-Sunday through December 30, Deck the Halls features all your favorite Christmas music. And, with dancing, singing, and AMT's own orchestra, you won't want to miss this local holiday favorite.

But, American Music Theater isn't the only Christmas show in town. While you're here, check out Sight & Sound's Miracle of Christmas(Tuesday-Saturday, through January 2). Miracle of Christmas tells the story of the very first Christmas. Watch this beautiful story come to life onstage!

And, if you've got the whole family in tow, look for The Fulton Theater's Family Series production of A Christmas Carol  (playing from November 28 through December 26). See an all-new take on Charles Dickens' classic holiday tale.

Book your seats today for any– or all three!– of these spectacular
shows. And, Merry Christmas from Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Crafters love staying at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast in Lititz PA

Crafters love staying at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast in Lititz PA

Here at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast, we have many guests who are avid crafters, hobbyists and collectors, and there are certainly many places in this part of Lancaster County, PA where they would be very happy!

A couple of friends and I recently revisited the Flower and Home Marketplace to check out their store, since it had recently been sold and undergone a huge face lift.   Let’s just say, if you are into Crafts of all kinds, Home Accents and Seasonal Floral designs, you will be in heaven.  This is 90,000 Sq. Ft of shopping, folks!

When we stepped through the door, we entered a magical space that was a cross between, a beautiful Christmas tree forest and a vibrant Fall wonderland.  The staff was decorating some of the most beautiful and colorful Christmas trees, while customers were shopping the sale prices on autumnal leaf garlands and faux pumpkins and gourds.

After taking in all of the floral section, which was huge, we moved into the candle section. Here we found every imaginable shape, size and color of candle, and all the decorations that go with them. Beautiful glass jars and candle holders, as well as all colors of metal and wooden candle accessories. It would be easy to find everything you needed to decorate a fabulous Fall or Christmas or Winter Wonderland   fireplace mantle, with all the amazing décor items available.  

I also loved that there were many beautiful vignettes displayed to inspire you as you walked around the store.

We then wandered to the back of the store through a doorway that opened up to a huge craft section!  This store caters to all  kinds of crafters. There are supplies available for scrapbooking and paper crafting, yarn for knitting and crocheting, beads and tools for jewelry making and many other crafts.

In yet another section, are soft goods such as throw pillows and curtains as well as lamps and many wall hangings and framed pictures.  So much to see, so little time!  We had a limited amount of time to look around, but if you are planning to really see all the store has to offer, it is good to know that there is a lovely lunch counter right there in the store.  This is great when you haven’t quite finished looking at everything, but desperately need some food and drink to keep you going.  There are tables and chairs which were occupied by a few husbands, sipping coffee while waiting to meet their wives at the register.

All in all, this is a perfect place to check out while staying at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast in Lititz PA, and it would be a great reason to plan a girl’s getaway for shopping and crafting fun in beautiful Lancaster PA!

Check out their website for more info:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Read Local!

If you're looking for a brand new book to read on your getaway, here at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast, pick up your next favorite title at Aaron's Books. Aaron's Books is an independently owned bookstore in the heart of downtown Lititz. I had the opportunity to correspond over email with Todd Dickinson, the owner of the bookstore. I loved hearing what he had to say about his own favorite books, running a bookstore, and the importance of a place like Aaron's Books in Lititz. (And he was gracious enough to let us use a few of his pictures of the bookstore!)

1. How long have you had Aaron's Books? 

My wife Sam Droke-Dickinson and I opened Aaron's Books in July 2005, so we just celebrated our tenth anniversary. The store is named for our son Aaron, and he is now 12 years old.

(Todd, Aaron, and Sam cut the cake for the tenth anniversary of the bookstore)

2. What drew you to the book business? Have you always enjoyed reading? (Do you have a favorite book?) 

Sam and I have always loved to read, and we've passed that along to Aaron. Of course, we sometimes talk about how little time we actually have to read while we're running a bookstore, but we do find the time. I have many favorite books, but there are a few I return to whenever I can, including The Hobbit, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Watership Down.

3. What do you love about running Aaron's Books?

My favorite thing about running Aaron's Books is visiting with readers. I love finding the next perfect book for someone, and I am always learning about books that I want to read. And helping a young reader find that special book that makes them smile is a pretty great reward.

4. What do you like about being here in Lititz? What do you think makes it such a special small town?

Lititz is truly special in many ways. It is a town with a rich history that visitors can feel from the moment they arrive, but it's alive, growing, and changing, instead of being a museum. It has a variety of experiences for people of all ages and interests. With chocolate, pretzels, great places to eat, fun shops, ducks in the park, and books, what else could you want?

5. What is the place, or importance, of an independent bookstore like Aaron's Books in a town like Lititz? 

An independent bookstore enriches the community it is in. It becomes a gathering spot, a place for people to meet, learn, and share ideas. There's a great quote in Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods: “What I say is, a town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore it knows it's not fooling a soul.” We know how lucky we are to be in Lititz. The community has embraced us, and we believe we've strengthened the community in return.

(A great shot, courtesy of Todd, features the vintage store sign.)

Be sure to check out Aaron's Books, right here in Lititz, and "Like" their Facebook page  to stay up to date on book release parties, new arrivals, and fun in-store events!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

All New Fun at Sight & Sound!

If you're looking for an exceptional experience right here in Lancaster, look no further than Sight & Sound Theaters, located right off of Route 30 in Ronks. Sight & Sound is a theater company that creates truly magical, show-stopping productions of classic Bible stories. Past shows have included Daniel, Ruth, Noah, and the Creation story. This year's show, Joseph, (playing Tuesday-Saturday through October 16) takes the audience through the trials and triumphs of Joseph– from his harrowing home with eleven angry brothers, to Egypt, as he is guided by God from a life of poverty to the right hand of the greatest power in the land!
         And, don't miss Sight & Sound's 2016 show, Samson, the story of one of the most infamous judges in the Old Testament. With electrifying music, spectacular special effects, and live animals, Sight & Sound lets you experience old stories in a brand new way. Get tickets for Joseph, plan to see Samson, and follow the Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast blog to find your next Lancaster County experience! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lapp Up the Best Ice Cream in Amish Country

The best ice cream in Lancaster County hides in a family farm in New Holland. Half an hour away from Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast, Lapp Valley Farm is a dairy farm-turned ice cream shop. Lapp Valley sells fresh milk, cream, and ice cream made from their own Jersey cows. Enjoy fresh strawberry ice cream in a homemade waffle cone on the back porch, or go visit the very cows that made it. Brave the corn fields and find the best ice cream in town. You won't regret it. 


                                 photography by Jenna Strawbridge

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Faire Family Fun

Every year we look forward to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. The Faire invites you to go back in time with Renaissance-themed food and entertainment. Dress up and spend the day with jesters, jousters, and jugglers every weekend from August 1- October 25. Located at the stunning Mount Hope Estate, the Faire has acre after acre of fun. And after a long day of local time-traveling, come back and relax around the fire, at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast. Get your tickets for the Renaissance Faire here. God save the King!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Technicolor Tourism in Lancaster County

There is a lot to see here in Lancaster County. You could sightsee every weekend of the year and still miss out on some of the area’s best kept secrets. But, one of our most unmissable attractions is the Fulton Theater in Lancaster City. The Fulton has put on some of Broadway’s biggest musicals: Les MiserablesA Chorus Line, and West Side Story among others. And this summer, the Fulton presents one of the biggest shows they’ve ever done, The Wizard of Oz. Watch Dorothy and Toto (played by Nigel, Broadway’s very own dog actor!) as they discover they’re not in Kansas anymore. This wild, Technicolor ride has everything from flying monkeys to acrobatic munchkins– including your very own pair of green glasses for the Emerald City! Watch beloved songs and scenes come alive on our very own Lancaster stage. Just a twenty minute drive from Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast in Lititz, downtown Lancaster City boasts street after street of great restaurants and unique shops. If you’re coming for a matinee show, stop at the pop-up park a block before the theater on Prince Street for cold brew coffee from Passenger Coffee and a scoop of homemade ice cream from Penny’s Ice Cream Truck. Or after an evening performance, stop in at John J Jeffries restaurant for fresh, local hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. There’s so much to see when you stay with us, here at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast. Get your seat for The Wizard of Oz (playing through July 19th), and stay tuned for more show-stopping local fun.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

From Golf to Gardens: Summer at Swiss Woods


Can you believe it’s already the middle of June? We spent a long winter relaxing by the fire and watching foot after foot of snow fall. But now, it’s summer at Swiss Woods. One of the first big events in the area is the Women’s Open, over at the Lancaster Country Club. The tournament is happening from July 6-12, and all the action is just twenty minutes away from our Lititz location. Beat the heat after a long day on the green with a glass of wine on our shaded garden patio. Or, relax with a cup of tea in the spacious suite upstairs. And, make sure you sample some of our fresh baked goods made with local ingredients, and herbs like mint and lemon verbena from the garden. Don’t miss out on any of the summer fun– outdoors or in. Find more information about the Women’s Open here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Greenhouses abound around Lititz PA!

April and now May signal planting time at our Lititz Bed and Breakfast. I love tomatoes and I especially love the heirloom varieties. My sister starts seeds from her Howard German tomatoes, a huge meaty plum shaped tomato,  and shares them with me but I love variety, so a visit to my favorite heirloom greenhouse is in order. I found Sunnyside up on Rt 322 west of Ephrata, last year and they have a whole greenhouse filled with every kind of heirloom tomato you could ever want and also an impressive selection of peppers... hot peppers.   Ghost peppers, Giant Jalopeno, Habernero.. and so many more. A book with pictures helps you decide just what you want.
I came back to Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast with Chocolate Cherokee ( a purple grape tomato), a yellow pear,  and some jalapenos. A few hollyhock plants begged to come home as well. All are now planted along with several kinds of Basil, parsley, and a variety of herbs.
I love spring. I love planting.
There is more to do than there are hours in the day but nothing beats watching food grow and being able to use home grown produce in our breakfasts.
During your next visit why not visit one of the many greenhouses and take a few plants home?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A great place for a special dinner in Lancaster PA


Don’t you love it when you discover a hidden gem that has been in plain sight all the time?  That’s what happened the other night when I joined two girlfriends for a long overdue girl’s night out for supper.  Having lived in Lancaster PA  for a long time, I have known about this restaurant for many years, and I pass by it whenever I go downtown Lancaster.  I always admire how beautifully  the exterior is kept and seasonally decorated, and as I drive by, I make a mental note to try and remember to have a meal there next time we are wracking our brains for a “good place to eat”.  Can anyone relate?  Well, everything came together last week, and we ended up at the beautiful Belvedere Inn at 402 N Queen St in Lancaster PA. 

From the moment we walked in the door, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming.  The décor is what can be called “fancy” but not in an intimidating way.  Our server was very knowledgeable and rattled off the extensive specials list, with remarkable accuracy.  We were all stunned by the variety of the extensive menu and when our food came, the presentation was just beautiful.   We each ordered something different and in true “girls night out” style we each sampled everything!   Every dish was just spectacular!  From my choice of 4 hour braised short rib “comfort food”, to my friends Pan fried salmon over a succotash of corn, sweet potato, celeriac and lima beans, to the Bison Osso  Bucco special,  we each devoured every morsel.   And then after declaring that we just could not eat another bite, we ordered dessert!   Triple Chocolate Pot de Crème, need I say more! 

On our way out to the easily accessed parking garage on Queen Street, we vowed to come back with our spouses and spread the word to friends, and our guests at ,  that the Belvedere Inn is well worth a visit.  Whether celebrating that special occasion while you visit Lancaster PA Dutch country or just spending a lovely night out with friends, it will not disappoint.
Check out the website where you can also view their menu.

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