More vacation pix

Sorry it took me so long to post the rest of the photos from our vacation. I’ve been harvesting honey, consolidating broodchambers, rendering beeswax, cleaning the house, and steaming the carpets all week and haven’t had a hand free to blog. Mea culpa.

Here are a few shots from Allentown itself. (And you thought I wasn’t looking at anything that wasn’t standing near the third-base line at Coca-Cola Park. Shows what you know.)

You know on any road trip, proper road food takes a high, high priority, so we took some advice from the Noise Nation guys and headed to Yocco’s for a chili dog. Tulsa is proud of its Coneys, but Yocco’s … wow. It didn’t quite dethrone Albuquerque’s Dog House for the coveted Best Chili Dog Emily Has Eaten on a Road Trip title, but it’s definitely the best I’ve had anywhere east of Albuquerque. Bonus: It’s a gritty little joint in a gritty little neighborhood, with local guys coming in to buy 40-ounce beers out of the cooler in the dining area while you eat. Awesome.

Love that map with pins in it to show where Yocco dogs have gone over the years.
They don't look like much, but those chili dogs were fantastic.

Allentown is also home to a spectacular farmers’ market. I won’t go so far as to say it’s better than the Soulard Farmers’ Market in St. Louis, but it’s probably as good. Behold:

While we were in the area, we slipped over to Easton in hopes of seeing the Crayola factory. They don’t give tours any more, though; instead, they’ve set up a “discovery center” or something like that in the middle of town. It would probably be a fun place to take kids, but based on the description we got from a girl working there, I think we would have paid $10 a head to color with 4-year-olds. I can color with Jamie for free, so we skipped the tour. I did, however, get a sign of the excellent sculpture on the front of the building:

Here was maybe the best discovery of the trip:

As I was taking this picture, a resident of this mission — which is about a block from a jail — stopped to tell me about the building and the sign. I asked him whether the neon still worked. He said it certainly did and that it stays on all night, so of course we had to come back after the ballgame:

The guy told me a story about the sign above. The mission is about a block from the jail, and the guy said he used to be an inmate over there and would see this sign from the window of his cell every night. He said he never dreamed he might end up having to live at the mission when he got out, but the sign inspired him and gave him hope. “It’s amazing how something as simple as a neon sign can change lives,” he said.

Next post: Photos from the coolest diner I’ve ever seen.