CacheCrazy.Com: July 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Summer Sojourn- Do You Fondue?

It's no big secret that I love food.  Hot food.  Cold food.  Sweet food.  Spicy food.  I don't discriminate.  Of course, I have my favorites, and that which I just won't eat, but for the most part I'll eat anything.  One thing I'd never tried, though, is fondue.  I'd heard plenty of good things about the art of cooking your own food in hot liquid.  My week in Myrtle Beach presented me with the opportunity to check it out for myself.

My wife and I decided to make the night after our wedding a night out for just the two of us.  We wanted to go for a nice relaxing, romantic.  Her sister mentioned the area had a restaurant called The Melting Pot.  It's a nationwide chain of fondue restaurants.  We scoped the restaurant out on the internet.  The reviews were mostly glowing.  Although it sounded a bit pricey, but we were willing to open our wallets in the interests of doing something different, and trying something new.

We had reservations for Tuesday evening, and were seated at a cozy booth in the back of the restaurant.  Our waiter went over with us what was in store for the evening.  This was not going to be a "pick your meal from the menu, eat, then you're outta here" type dinners.  He reviewed our meal similar to how a boxing analyst would review the fight card.  We were filled with anticipation before the first plate of food even came out!



The first course of the evening was the cheese fondue.  The lager-infused cheese fondue was very tasty.  We were offered a plate of items for dipping, such as a variety of breads, vegetables such as carrots and celery, and apples.  Much to my amazement, cheese and apples go very well together!

Salads were next on the agenda.  We both enjoyed a large Caesar salad.  Even my wife, who traditionally is not a fan of the Caesar salad, found it to be delicious.  I think it had to be the croutons.  They were sweet, and I couldn't get enough of them!  It was around this time where Holly ordered her Ying Yang Martini.  This adult beverage was a work of art.  From what I understand, it tasted as good as it looked!




It was now time for the entree plate.  To my surprise, Holly selected the Caribbean mojo flavor to add to our fondue pot.  Our waiter fired up the fondue, and added some vegetables into the mix.  He also brings out the plate with several meat selections- fillet Mignon, pork tenderloin, chicken, shrimp and mahi mahi.  As if that wasn't appetizing enough, a plate of dipping sauces was also brought to the table.  Anything from sweet & sour sauce, to Gorgonzola cheese, curry, Dijon mustard and cocktail sauce.  There was a sauce fitting for each type of meat.  We leisurely cooked our food, trying each of the sauces along the way.  As we found or likes and dislikes of the meal, we bartered with each other and successfully ate everything on the plate, and in the pot.



The first three courses alone offered a memorable dining experience, but we weren't done yet.  It was time for dessert.  We selected a chocolate and marshmallow fondue base from the extensive list of options.  A short time later our waiter returned with a new pot, and a healthy amount of chocolate.  Our dipping options included strawberries (which we subbed out for brownies), marshmallows coated in chocolate and rice krispies, graham crackers, and cheesecake.  Words cannot possibly describe the dessert.  It was hands-down the best dessert I've ever had.  the chocolate was unlike anything I've ever tasted, but to eat it warm, and drizzled on other tasty treats is something that must be experienced!



The fondue experience isn't for everyone.  Some don't have the patience for a two hour dining experience. We saw children at the restaurant when we were there, but both agreed we couldn't see bringing our own children.  It would have been a disaster.  But, for us newlyweds, it was an evening to remember.  It wasn't just dinner, it was a dining event!



Thursday, July 26, 2012

GET ME OUT OF HERE!


Big Al back then


WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!


Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, sit back, no better yet GET ME OUT OF HERE.


Okay, don't laugh at the picture. Remember, I am a Security Specialist, and a Geocacher, and I know all of the best places to hide the bodies.


It was a cold and wintery shift as I patrolled along the outside of the Weapons Storage Area (WSA) at Griffiss Air Force Base near Rome, NY. The snow was around 3 feet deep in some areas and it was very cold out. 

My partner and I, both Security Specialists, were working the 3:00 to 11:00 PM shift and our job was to patrol this outer area in case anyone tried entering the base illegally. Since there was not much happening we decided to do a little off-roading. I was the driver and we were riding in an old CJ7 jeep. We drove back deep into the woods and we were enjoying the slow up and down movement of the jeep as we traversed a few of the hills. We even drove past an area that was used back in the early 60’s as an ammo dump for old munitions.  

Then it happened! The jeep lunged forward and made a loud clunk and then it sank down. I tried giving it gas, but it just sounded as if I was revving the engine. We got out and noticed that we were in a big rut. We were going nowhere. No matter how hard we tried we could not get anywhere. The rut had a real grasp on us. I called my supervisor and said “get me out of here”.


Now fast forward to July 20, 2012. I was sitting in my home realizing that we as a family were in a Geocaching Rut. We were getting nowhere. No matter how hard we tried, we could not get out and cache. So we decided that as a family we needed to get out of the rut and hit some caches. So our plan was to go to a picnic on Saturday that would be held at the Harford Fair Grounds. Hmm, there’s even a cache located there. I used a PAF (phone a friend) and said “get us out of here” and then invited him along on our adventure .

This picnic was put on by Cabot Oil and Gas and it’s FREE. They are a company who are in the area drilling in the Marcellus Shale. This was their 3rd annual Free Community Picnic. By the way, did I say that it was FREE? All we had to do was show up. Boy was it fun. We learned a lot about the gas and oil industry; we received lots of free stuff like hats, shirts, Geodes, key chains, Frisbees, whistles, can openers, and mug holders. There were a number of free drawings we all entered trying to win the illustrious TV. 

                  43 Inch TV
There were even games and play houses for the kids so they could have fun. 

                   Dragon Play House

We also got to see some of the equipment they use for drilling.



                          Big Drill Bit
          
                  Drill Bit in a box     

                  Diamond Drill Bit in a box

And then there was the food. Oh my! We had our choice of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, chips, cookies, drinks, and of course funnel cakes. 


Everything was delicious. I even saw some guys going back for seconds. (But really all we went back for were chips.) Then we walked around some more checking out all of the vendor booths, which they just had to give us more stuff.

As we walked by a booth I noticed that they had some sort of concoction in a slow cooker. It appeared they were putting it on a hot dog bun and giving it out. I asked what it was and the ladies there said, with a southern Louisiana accent, “it’s a crawfish sandwich”. 



Now I must say it’s been a long time since I have had crawdads or crayfish as some people call them. I told the ladies I would like to try one. I usually don’t eat much sea food except for fish, but I was willing to try it once again. Besides, it is a crayfish.  Then they told me the words that sealed the deal; “it’s also spicy”. Now I REALLY wanted to try it. They piled this stuff on my hot dog bun and handed it to me. I thanked them and walked over to my wife and daughter who were sitting on the bleachers. For some reason they told me they were not interested in trying it. The ladies also asked my friend if he wanted some and he told them “yes, but give me less than you gave the other guy”. Let me tell you that this sandwich was a winner with me. It was spicy, but not too hot. And the crayfish were mighty tasty. As we left I stopped back down and asked who the chef was. They pointed to a man standing back a few feet so I walked over and told him how good it was. He hoped it was not too hot for us and I almost laughed.  I then told him my friend and I are known as Chili-heads, and nothing is too hot for us. He said he had toned it down for the public, but he usually adds lots more heat to it. We thanked him again and headed off.

We checked out the natural gas cars and they were really cool. Here are some pictures of them.




This car uses two types of fuel and goes about 800 miles before they have to fill up again. There is one tank in the trunk and then the regular tank. Also, the natural gas is a lot cheaper to buy; it’s around $1.50 or so if I heard the guy correctly.  I think these are the up and coming cars we’ll be driving soon.

Well we had seen it all, and eaten our fill of food, so we decided it was time for us to finish getting out of our rut. We headed back toward our car and then over to a cache in the parking area. This cache is GC14EYN and it is on the property of the Harford Fair Grounds parking area. It did not take us to long to find it, and it was not a skirt cache, nor a cache and dash. It was a real cache.



We checked out the swag and then signed the log. We even let our friend sign the log since we are teaching him how to cache. He keeps telling me he has not been bitten by the caching bug yet, but I think he’ll make a fine cacher once he converts. Then my friend Steve found out what happens to people who don't put the cache back where it belongs.

          They get swallowed by the trees and then petrified

From there we drove to a local cemetery and found Harford Cemetery. This was a nice little cemetery and it is where Gelusha Grow is buried.



Then it was off to An Easy Find (#1) to find another cache. We were almost out of the rut by now.

We drove to a beautiful Viaduct, but had to log that one as a DNF. Yes I said we logged it as a DNF.



Onward ho as we traveled to yet another cache. This was Squier's Cemetery. It’s another nice cemetery cache. Even though some of these caches were small ones they were fun because we’d never been there before and we were getting out of a rut as a family.

                Notice the faces in the tree? There are two of them.


                   This is a Bear Tree

Then it was off for one last cache before heading home. We found Hip Hop Bottom in Hop Bottom, Pa and signed the log. This was a nice park where we decided to do a little playing around. We were having way too much fun there as you can tell by the pictures.





All in all it was a good day and we GOT OUT OF OUR RUT. Sometimes you just need to phone and friend and get out there and cache to get out of your rut. So, what’s holding you back? GET OUT OF THE RUT!!!

Here are just a few more pictures.







Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Some Homemade Swag Courtesy of Herk


You may remember our friend Herk Zameroski who told us about the St. Leo’s Geocaching and Fishing Derby held back in May.  Herk is from my stomping grounds of Elk County, PA and is a hider of fun geocaches using unique containers.  He came up with yet another clever idea and is kindly sharing it with all of our Cache Crazy friends.

Enjoy…!

“THIS IS A WINDOW CAR HANGER I MADE.  CUT IT OUT, FOLD IT IN HALF, AND LAMINATE IT.  YOU CUT THE ‘V’ AT THE TOP; DO NOT CUT DOWN THE CENTER.  I USE A DRY ERASE MARKER TO FILL IN OR CHECK OFF THE LIST.  IF YOU DON'T HAVE A LAMINATOR, THEY ARE RELATIVELY CHEAP AT PLACES LIKE LAKESIDE OR WALMART (or places like Staples and OfficeMax will do the laminating for you…).  I LIKE TO MAKE THESE AND ADD THEM TO NEW CACHES.  YOU CAN MAKE TWO USING ONE 8-1/2”x11” LAMINATING SHEET.  I GET SIX DRY ERASE MARKERS FOR $2 AT DOLLAR GENERAL.”


Thanks, Herk!

What do our readers think?

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Geocaching Vacation with Team DAWGTRAX

Hey guys look, it's our friend Sonny from Life Outside My Door with another geocaching blog post to share! Welcome!

During the Memorial Day weekend, we spent part of our vacation in the beautiful North Georgia mountains visiting our wonderful state parks.  And while the point of our trip was rest, relaxation, and Geocaching, we rarely rested or relaxed, but we spent lots of time searching for that ever so elusive cache box.  In fact, we visited nine State Parks in three days and were able to complete the first level of our Georgia State Geochallenge by finding our 15th cache at Victoria Bryant State Park.




Starting on Saturday morning, we were up by 7:00 am each day (Sat-Mon), and were still on the trails as late as 5:00 some days.  Needless to say, after a shower and a hot meal in the evenings, it didn't take long to fall fast asleep for a good night's rest.




As is the case with most of our Geocache adventures, we were blessed with a spectacular view of the beauty within our state, and much of it left me shaking my head in awe.










I'll be posting more about our recent trip soon, but in the meantime, if you haven't done so recently, you really do need to get out and experience the life outside of your door.

How did you spend your Memorial Day Weekend?



See this post on Sonny's blog at Life Outside My Door

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NEPA Blogs: PA Live! Blog of the Week: CacheCrazy.com

We interrupt your regularly scheduled WHY NOT WEDNESDAY blog series for this very important announcement!
NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.


Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is CacheCrazy.com (http://www.cachecrazy.com/).

Geocaching is an enormously popular but relatively new sport. To put it simply, it's like a huge game of hide-and-seek using GPS (Global Positioning System) locators. "Caches" are hidden objects, usually in weatherproof containers, whose locations are given with GPS coordinates of latitude and longitude. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast! To make things more fun, the coordinates are sometimes encrypted in games, riddles, or math problems. And sometimes the coordinates only get you in the ballpark, and additional clues need to be followed to locate the cache.

So what's the point? It's not so much the finding, but the seeking. Geocaching is a way of getting others to explore exciting locations, challenge their skills at hiking, climbing, and problem-solving, and view vistas that they might not otherwise have seen.

For years I suspected that there must have been a blog in Northeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to this sport, but I didn't actually discover it until a few months ago - and then learned it had been active since 2010! CacheCrazy.com is a site dedicated to geocaching. It was created by a blogger from NEPA who goes by the name of "Bloodhounded," but now has regular contributions from a group of bloggers who share his love of geocaching. It's full of stories of geocaching adventures, hints and tips,  and upcoming geocaching events.

If you're not involved in geocaching, odds are you know someone who is.  If you're at all interested in this fun and exciting sport, give CacheCrazy.com a visit and learn more about it! You'll be glad you did!

A big THANK YOU to Harold from NEPA Blogs for selecting us to be the featured blog and he did awesome with representing our sport as well. 
Great job!



WHY NOT WEDNESDAY ~ The Other Side Of Geocaching According To Hedge ~ Long Description



WARNING! This cache is LAME! 

Why didn’t I think of this before? How could I be so dumb? Here I was lugging heavy ammo cans full of stuff way up into the hills when I could have just dropped a film canister into the grass by the turnpike less than 5 minutes from home! If you have enjoyed any of my other hides then you will not like this one at all. It is exactly nothing like any of my other caches. Please do not go looking for it! I, personally, wouldn’t want to go hunting for this cache on a bet but then there is no accounting for taste, is there? 

This cache is hidden just like its inspiration on the other side of the pike. A certain amount of stealth will be required to bag this cache since you will be in the direct view of the MacDonald’s employees working the drive thru window. Be on the lookout for the police who frequent this area because they could take exception to strange behavior around the dumpsters. They may try to arrest you for vagrancy if they think you are poking around in the trash for something to eat. Have the cache page at the ready and politely explain that you are looking for a piece of trash stuffed inside a small plastic container. They may accept this explanation or have you committed but either way you’ll have a great story to tell!

I hid this cache really well so that it would be very difficult to find because some people really enjoy the challenge of looking for a needle in a haystack. If you enjoy a challenge like this and cannot resist a cache conveniently located by a superhighway then this is the cache for you! Cache is small, so remember to bring something to write with.

Additional Hints (Encrypt)
If you haven't got a clue then you aren't going to get the hint either.



SEE THIS POST AT HEDGE'S BLOG HEDGE's RAMBLINZ

Monday, July 16, 2012

Aliens Have Landed In Denmark

This is such a great idea and clever fun! Dave released 8 Drones in 5 countries on 3 continents. It's a race to get back to him in North Carolina, USA and we are going to tack the progress with a link to the "Status Page" to see how things are coming along. Join us in this crazy adventure and thanks to Dave for sharing his fun with us. So, the aliens have landed, which one will get home first? I can't wait to see! Here is Dave's kick off post, enjoy! 


As regular readers of my blog will know, on July 5th, 2012 I mailed out 8 geocaching travel bugs around the world to start an epic race to see which one will be returned to my town first (if you don't remember, you can catch up here.  Go ahead... we'll wait for you...)

Many of these travel bugs have already arrived at their destinations, and several of the cachers have taken pics and wrote awesome log entries for the TBs. This project is turning out to be way more fun than I ever expected it to be, and it is due to the awesome spirit of the cachers that have been helping me release these bugs.

You can keep up with the race on this status page.

 Zilveruno, a cacher in Denmark, received one of these bugs a few days ago.  Before he sent it on its way by placing it into a local cache, he took it to work.  He is a train driver, so the travel bug (Drone #6), got quite the awesome sight seeing adventure - not bad for his first time out of his space ship.






















See this post on Dave's blog, Only Googlebot Reads This Blog

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Southern Sojourn- A Synopsis

I'm not quite sure where to go with this post.  It's my first time writing since I returned from my Myrtle Beach, SC vacation over the weekend.  I've got lots to share with everyone, and to cram it all into one post would be an injustice to the many events which transpired last week.  In my head, I've got posts queued up for months.  To give you just an inkling of what's on my mind, here's a quick synopsis of vacation:


Went to my first luau.




Celebrated my baby girl's first birthday/Fourth of July, and saw some spectacular fireworks on the ocean. 



Managed to make both the trip down, and back (12+ hours each way) and not one child needed to be scolded.




Ate some KILLER fondue!



Checked out an aquarium and managed to snag hundreds of cool pictures. 



Drank a new brew.



Picked up a few geocaches.  (Heck, this is a geocaching blog.  Had to fulfill the obligation.)



And, oh yeah...








I got married!





Over the next few weeks I'm going to share some of these memorable times with you.  Stay tuned!

-smithie






LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...