Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Road to Memory Lane

So, it is Saturday afternoon, and my husband and I are out for a drive. Our destination: Memory Lane. Oh, not really Memory Lane, as in an address--but Memory Lane of our relationship. This summer marks 43 years that we have been together. We met about this time of the year 43 years ago. More about that in the next post.

Now, we are driving toward Mt. Gretna. Not far off the PA Turnpike, this destination instantly transports us back to the place we had our second official date.

We are going to the Jigger Shop. This trip is a once a year event. The Jigger Shop is a local treasure, having operated for more than 100 years. We don't go more than once a year (ok, maybe some years twice) for reasons which will become clear.

Mt. Gretna was originally intended to be a place for the PA National Guard to hold summer exercises, but it became so much a favored vacation site, that the Guard relocated. A local creek was dammed, and the resulting lake still provides a place for summer swimming. Cabins sprouted up, and in 1899 a camp meeting was established there, built on the Chautauqua model.

Mt. Gretna oozes charm. And the crowning destination is the Jigger Shop--rustic in appearance, it is a draw all summer long.

While there are tables indoors, and under the awning, the preferred place to sit is under the trees. Tables have red plastic table cloths, and the seating deck has been built around mature trees. Sunlight filters through, providing all the decor one could wish for.

The cuisine (the reason for limiting our trips) is not cardiac approved: bar-b-q pork sandwiches, fries, root beer and birch beer (with complimentary refills), rootbeer floats, and JIGGERS--butterscotch or chocolate. What's in a jigger? Well, ice-cream, butterscotch or chocolate syrup, lots of goopy whipped marshmallow topping, and the secret ingredient-- jigger nuts. Got me--I have NO idea how they make them.

Listen--you can just hear the soft sound of ANTICIPATION!

Decor--by Mother Nature.

When we finish eating, we stroll over to the next-door whimsey shop. In past years, this place has been crammed with charming knick-knacks. I was most disappointed to see this year that cheap trinkets have replaced the whimsey. Maybe trinkets sell faster!

A last look-around. All over Mt. Gretna are lovely plants. I have NO idea what this flowering bush is.

Are any of you taking trips down memory lane this summer?

Do tell.


JeanMac said...

What a lovely story - and the food!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great trip. Thanks for taking us along. I don't plan any memory lane trips this summer. However, I have no doubt I'll be driving along and realize that I'm on memory lane anyway. Happens all the time.

Anvilcloud said...

Lucky you to have a real Memory Lane. It looks like a great place.

Beverly said...

How neat is that! The food sounds marvelous. Yes, I can see why you go once a year only.

When David was here, I was trying to decide what to make for supper. Then I had the thought that we hadn't had anythng from the Shake Pit yet, a local hamburger place that has just the yummiest burgers and shakes so thick they require a spoon. It didn't take long to decide what to have, but like you say, you can't do it too often.

mon@rch said...

this place almost reminds me of a place that I use to visit when I graduated from highschool! Thanks for the great memories and that you took the time to visit this fun place!

Eve said...

What a wonderful trip you had. The food sounds great, you can't get better than eating ousdoors and shopping,,hey....that is just downright fun. I've heard that the one who has the most junk when they die, wins,,LOL...I can't resist shopping. We don't take too many trips, we live on the beautiful MS Gulf Coast and just can't think of anywhere else we want to be. : )

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What a charming place.

I enjoyed your reference of Chautaugua. I have been there many times. For years, I had a lady friend in Jamestown, New York, Every time I visited we ended up driving to Chautaugua at the other end of the lake.

RuthieJ said...

What a fun trip Donna. I must admit I kind of whimpered when I got to the picture of the tray of food....not on my approved list either, but oh so good! I love eating outside in the summertime and it's funny to think of how many of our trips down memory lane also involve food.

troutbirder said...

Memory lane is one of my favotite place to visit. You described your well.

Thanks for sharing.