The Haines Shoe House

Architecture, History

Living not too far from York, PA, I remember hearing about the shoe house. However, for the longest time it reminded me of the nursery rhyme “Mother Goose.” “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…” But unbeknownst to me, it had nothing to do with Mother Goose. Instead it was about another interesting, but real life character.

Mahlon Haines, born in 1875, referred to himself as “The Shoe Wizard.” He was an opportunist and businessman. Haines was riding from Ohio (his home state) to Washington, D.C., when his bicycle broke down in York, PA. He used this “opportunity” to start a business for himself. He sold an engagement ring (from a broken off engagement) and made enough money to start selling shoes… (Long story short)

During Haines’ success he decided to create the ultimate marketing gimmick. He handed a workboot to an architect and the shoe house was built in 1948. Like many “roadside oddities” it was created to draw motorists in from the road (Lincoln Highway East).

He lived in the shoe house for a short time, and then moved across the street. Afterwards, he would rent the shoe house out to couples. There’s a living area in the front of the boot, a kitchen in the heel, two bedrooms, a maid/butler’s quarters and a bathroom. It’s cute and cozy.

Years later, it has become an ice cream shop and bakery. You can take a tour for $5 a person and enjoy some delicious treats. It’s a fun and unique attraction, with the perfect amount of history in the air.

Want to know more? Learn about Marlon Haines and/or visit The Haines Shoe House.


Avalon, NJ (Take 2)

Beach, Ocean, Seashore, Travel

Last weekend we visited Avalon, NJ. It’s one of our more frequently traveled locations.

Every mother’s day weekend, the community hosts a yard sale event. Although, I made some time to check out the sales, it wasn’t the only thing on the agenda. Among other things, we also made arrangements to visit the Hank Sauce Restaurant in Sea Isle City. I recently wrote an article about their hot sauce, which will be featured in the Best Recipes summer magazine. We stopped in to meet one of the owners and catch a bite for lunch. The food was delicious. I order the Gouda burger and my husband enjoyed the roadhouse burger. Both were amazing, in fact I’d like to make special note that their pulled pork was phenomenal (a top the roadhouse burger).

Because the weekend was spent busy doing other things, we barely had time to visit the beach. But what is a trip to the Jersey shore, without seeing the ocean? The last day we were there, we finally took a walk on the beach (by the jetty). There were plenty of fisherman out and even a few swimmers. Summer was definitely in the air.

Although we stayed busy over the weekend, this short visit to the ocean provided just what we needed. It was a brief escape from the buzz of technology and every day life. Something we all need from time to time…

Wildwoods, NJ (Part 2)

Beaches, Entertinament, food, Ocean, Travel

In last week’s post I mentioned that my husband and I went to Wildwoods, NJ to see my sister compete in colorguard championships. When she wasn’t competing we found ways to “kill time.” Two of the days we decided to check out the boardwalk, which isn’t lacking…

There are plenty of restaurants and eateries. I personally recommend Stewart’s. They have great rootbeer and good food. We also enjoyed their rooftop seating. However, food is not the only thing in generous supply. There are plenty of amusement rides, arcades, shops, and more… In fact, we took a step back in time, when we visited a vintage arcade.  It had a large assortment of pinball machines and old favorites. It will either give you the creeps or remind you of the good ole’ times. We decided to try and play the TMNT game. However, the game didn’t work properly, after an arcade assistant returned our money, we returned to 2015. Personally, I think we’ll stick to modern arcades from now on.

Among the other things to do, there’s mini golf and an aquarium. We stopped by the aquarium, since there was a lady standing outside with a snake wrapped around her. Although, we didn’t go inside, I did get to touch the snake. She also handed me an advertisement that listed some of the things they offer, including a shark touch tank.

There is plenty to do in Wildwoods, NJ. However, we didn’t get to explore much in the area, other than the boardwalk. But, it seems entirely possible to fill your weekend with things to do right there. Particularly if you like food, arcades, and amusement rides.

Have you been to the area? What were your favorite things?

Wildwoods, NJ (Part 1)

Beaches, Budget Travel, Ocean, Travel

This past weekend was an adventure, to say the least. My “baby” sister is a senior in high school and a part of colorguard. This year they went to championships in Wildwoods, NJ. My husband and I made plans to see her perform on Friday at the Prelims. Unfortunately, I didn’t put enough forethought into the weekend and only booked one night. I had luckily found a great deal via Groupon for that night. We arrived Friday in Absecon, NJ (outside of Atlantic City).

Jessica (my sister) performed that evening. They put on an amazing show. This meant they were moving on to semi-finals on Saturday, with a chance of passing on to finals on Sunday. We were excited for her, but had a decision to make. Do we stay another night or say “good luck” and head home. We hadn’t really planned for this, my mistake since I hadn’t thought it through. So after much deliberation we decided we needed to find somewhere to stay for the night. Our budget is currently tight, since we’re saving for a back deck (which is another story all together).

If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few tips… Look on Groupon for getaway deals. I’ve also heard Living Social is another good option. However, if it’s last minute check out the app Hotel Tonight.

We found a deal on Hotel Tonight for just 60 dollars! Deals are posted within 24 hours, it’s a way for hotels to fill their rooms… But quite honestly, it’s also smart to check the hotel website. Because, we actually found a cheaper deal on the hotel’s page (since I have AAA). I found a room for an unimaginable price, it even had a king size bed, fridge, microwave, and free breakfast. The only bad thing was it was about 45 minutes from the convention center (where she performed). Sometimes it pays to stay out of the city…

She performed the next day and it was totally worth it. It was her best performance and the awards were definitely something to see. Even though things were a little last minute, it all worked out. The beaches were beautiful and the boardwalk was full of things to do. Plus we found some good eateries and other fun stops.

To find out more about Wildwoods, NJ, tune into the blog next week. I will have more pictures and details about the location in “part 2”. Thanks for following!