It actually was a very private show in a private farmhouse up a remote half-mile-long driveway .
There was quite a variety of items with a heavy emphasis on sheep-related articles: sheepskins, skeins of dyed wool, felted pillows, knitted items, etc.
We felt one of the deals of show was a dish of decorated Pysanky eggs of which we purchased 4. Pysanky eggs are decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist method. These have chains so they can be used as ornaments.
The shepherd whose farm housed the craft show is also a blacksmith. We had a nice choice of wrought-iron hooks one of which we purchased to replace the mermaid hook in our conservatory bathroom. We bought a few more things but I can’t put them on the blog yet.
This time of year TJ’s has all sorts of great gifts. One of my favorite to give is a box of Baci, kisses in Italian.
I always get my boss’ wife a couple loaves of panettone. One of our cooks at work asked me how to serve panettone which I thought was strange because she is Italian. Apparently in Italy they pour milk or cream over a wedge. I suggested cutting the loaf in slices, toasting it and serving it with butter. It was a hit!
Recently I have purchased 20 roses for $10. Enough to spread around.
Do you have a convenient Trader Joe’s? What’s your favorite TJ product?
I’ve decided to enhance my Christmas theme by adding more polar bears. Last year my research led me to report that a group of polar bears is called a celebration. This year I find that an aurora is the preferred moniker.
I am inspired by the tree in the picture above so I did a quick Google search and found stuffed polar bear at AliExpress.com. (Ali Express sells in small quantities what Alibaba sells in bulk units. I had been wanting to give this service a try.)
They came packaged in one bag and were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
It takes longer to get the items than buying from something based in the US but the price was reasonable enough that I could buy 10. The cost was $3.28 each times 10 plus $1.46 shipping so $34.26 for 10 adorable 7.8-inch polar bears.
While we’re waiting to decorate for Christmas our bear Casper is keeping an eye on the little ones. I might have to make little scarves for them.
First, each household/credit card is only allowed to purchase no more than 4 tickets every six months. And tickets are sold out months in advance so if you have a specific time you’d like to visit make reservations early. (We bought ours in the middle of July when the first available date was the end of October.) I suggest that August in the Crown of Liberty might be extremely hot.
Driving in from South of the Statue we caught the ferry from Liberty State Park in New Jersey which is much less crowded than catching it from the Battery in New York City. Don’t mix up parking at the Science Center with parking at Liberty Park. It’s NOT the same.
After parking it’s a good walk to pick up Crown tickets at “will call”. Each person whose name is on the receipt must be present with a photo ID. Each person will be given a ticket and a wristband which is cut from the wrist at the beginning of the assent into the body of the Statue of Liberty.
Another walk down a cobblestone path leads to the first security screening before catching the ferry. Much like airport security pockets must be emptied, jackets removed, belts removed, and steel-toed boots put through an x-ray scanner. Save time by carrying on your person only your tickets, money, ID, credit card, cell phone/camera. Purses and backpacks are a real hindrance especially later.
The ferry carries over 500 people but is boarded quickly and often. First stop is Ellis Island which we did not visit but does come as part of the cost of the ticket which actually pays for the ferry ride as there is no admission cost to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty.
Upon arrival at Liberty Island walk toward the American flag then turn right for the entrance to the Statue. There is another security screening here. Same procedure as before. The process is quick. However all purses, bags, strollers, backpacks, etc. MUST be stashed in a locker. There was a slow line to get to the lockers which are $2 for 2 hours. We bypassed this holdup because we had no extra baggage.
We took an elevator to the to the top of the pedestal (the foot of the statue). From there we walked 162 very tight steps to the crown. On the way up there are small platforms which allow stepping off the stairs momentarily to catch a breath and inspect the inside of the Statue’s structure. In the Crown area we three (and two Park Rangers) took photos of the scenery and were assisted with photos by the rangers who also answered questions and generally gave us interesting information.
Coming down the steps was uneventful but still a walk in a very restricted space. After that we zoomed through the museum which is in the pedestal and only available to people with pedestal or crown tickets.
We ate at the café and bought a few postcards at the gift shop. The postcard selection was not very good but we had brought stamps with us and wanted to post them from the island.
Then we boarded the ferry for our return trip to the car. If you have any questions about our trip I’m happy to answer them.