The Futuro House

Architecture, Travel

This may look like a UFO, but it actually doesn’t fly at all. This object was made for land, as it was created by Matti Suuronen, a Finnish architect. He was hired by Dr. Jaakko Hidenkari in 1968.

The original idea was to make an easy to transport ski-cabin. It could then be used in remote locations and was suitable for most weather conditions. The approximate size of The Futuro House is 26′ in diameter and about 14′ high.

This particular one is located in Frisco, N.C. However, they can be found around the world. Check out The Futuro House to learn more about this iconic and unique piece of history.

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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.

Haldeman Mansion

Architecture, culture, History, nature, Photography

The Haldeman Mansion is located on Locust Grove road in Bainbridge, PA. It’s in a small rural area, surrounded by nature. The front porch, with overhanging roof, faces the railroad, just beyond that is the beautiful Susquehanna River.

The grounds are rich in Native American History. However, as times changed, so did the property. In 1811 the mansion was completed. It became the birthplace of Professor Samuel Steman Haldeman.

The mansion is something to see. It has three floors and a basement. The grounds also contain a carriage house, summer house, and several ancient trees. When you visit this location it feels as though you’ve taken a step through time.

The Haldeman Mansion Preservation Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring this beauty. They provide open houses, and several annual events, including: the strawberry festival, Victorian tea, tavern dinner, apple fall festival, and more. Learn more by visiting their website or Facebook  page.

Conestoga House and Gardens (Lancaster, PA)

Architecture, Flowers, Gardens, History, Photography, Travel

Are you familiar with “The Great Gatsby?” The Conestoga House and Gardens may remind you of a similar time. You can find yourself mesmerized by its beauty and history. You may even daydream of Gatsby’s grand parties…

The estate was once owned by James Hale Steinman and Louise Tinsley Steinman. In fact, some people still refer to the grounds as the Steinman Mansion. The land encompasses outbuildings, a house, several gardens, and a pool (with an adorable bathhouse). The Conestoga House and Gardens are open to the public during summer months on Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can find specific dates and times on their website.

Take a step back in time and enjoy a slower pace. It’s a perfect pairing with a book, a picnic, or a simple desire to explore. Breathe easy and soak up the history.

The Castle at Skylands Manor and the New Jersey State Botanical Gardens

Architecture, Bees, Flowers, Gardens, Photography

If you think spending the night in a castle is costly, think again… Sure, some castles would cost an arm and a leg to stay in. However, this one is affordable, and it’s located in New Jersey. In fact, they sometimes offer deals on Groupon. That’s how we discovered it…

About two and a half years ago, we were looking for a place to celebrate our 1st anniversary. We had to watch our funds, so we checked out Groupon Getaways and came across The Castle at Skylands Manor, in Ringwood, NJ. It’s a bed and breakfast, set in a castle.

The castle alone sports beautiful architecture. But, the grounds are equally eye catching. They are a part of the New Jersey State Botanical Gardens. According to NJBG’s website,”The NJBG includes 96 acres of specialty gardens surrounded by 1000 acres of woodlands.”

Visiting this place is like stepping right into a storybook. You will find yourself surrounded by magnificence and beauty, an experience you won’t soon forget.

You can easily fill up your time exploring the castle grounds. But, don’t miss out on their breakfast. We were personally impressed with the variety and quality they offered. In fact, we have yet to find better pancakes anywhere else!

We highly recommend this location for those who love nature, photography, exploration, and history. It’s unique, captivating and memorable.

Atlantic City, NJ

Architecture, Beaches, Boardwalks, Photography

Atlantic City isn’t just gambling, beaches and nightlife. There are plenty of other things to see and do. They have unique shops and tourist restaurants, including Hard Rock Cafe, Margaritaville and RainForest Cafe (to name a few). Atlantic City also has some interesting and fun museums like Ripley’s Believe it or not. If you’re particularly interested in oddities, I recommend visiting the near by city of Margate, NJ, where you can see Lucy (a museum and building shaped like an elephant).

In this picture you’ll see a beautiful view of the colorful boardwalk and some of the interesting sights it has to offer.

Bermuda’s Churches

Architecture, Beaches, Bermuda, churches, Photography

Bermuda is undoubtedly known for it’s pink sands. However, it is not just beaches. It’s rich in history and culture, including it’s architecture. Bermuda has about as many churches as it has bars, scattered across the island. Each baring a unique look.

The church above is found in the city of Hamilton. It seems to depict the island well, with it’s pink exterior.

If you enjoy architecture, Bermuda has some beautiful gems. Including the unfinished church in St. George’s.

These are just two examples of the wide array of churches that are found on the island. You can easily get lost in the beauty of the Bermudian architecture.

Bermuda is known for its pink sands for a reason. It’s important to take time to visit their magnificent beaches. However, don’t overlook the rest of the island and all that it has to offer.