Easton’s Heritage Day 2019

My daughter and the Weiner-mobile

I normally don’t enjoy street fairs and community celebrations unless they have a theme that interests me. Carnivals and municipal anniversaries don’t do it for me.

I love the history of Easton’s Heritage Day, especially since I am a history nerd.

When the “founding fathers” signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, it took several days for the messenger to arrive in Easton. He got to town on a Sunday and read the Declaration of Independence on the town circle. Now, for 200 plus years, the town officials plan a community fair downtown and re-enactors read the Declaration of Independence on the circle on the first Sunday after July 4.

My daughter works downtown for Book and Puppet Company, a fun bookstore and let’s just say she helps with “character visits.”

Like when Paddington Bear visited today:

Naughty Paddington

I had also heard that the Grave Cellar at Saint John’s Lutheran Church would be open, so that was enough to entice me out of my anti-Street fair attitude.

Parking at meters would be free for the day or $5 (cash only) at the garage. I found a spot very close to the book store.

And my daughter mocked me for asking the police officer if there was a geographic boundary on the free parking. My use of geographic apparently highlights my nerdness.

The Grave Cellar and Parsons-Taylor House

When St. John’s Church expanded quite some years ago, they moved the graveyard to another local cemetery but some of the graves still exist under the church. Not as creepy as the Paris Catacombs but pretty unusual.

From there we went to the tiny Parsons-Taylor house. George Taylor, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, lived and died there.

My daughter looked in great detail at the craftsmanship of the house and furniture.

And the grazing begins…

We started exploring nearby shops, and we felt a little hungry but didn’t want to eat until we’d seen all the offerings so we shared a slice of buffalo chicken pizza from a new restaurant in town. Then we shared a lavender lemonade from Green Marketplace.

Lavender lemonade

Then we looked at classic cars and city construction equipment and I got a hard hat.

We also saw how the wind twine into sisal braided rope.

Then we meandered down another street and watched some of the kiddie activities and I found the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. I was very excited.

Donating Blood

And then I saw a sign that a local church was hosting a blood drive. So I registered. The last time I tried to donate blood was 25 years ago, and can you believe they had my address on file from that time period? I didn’t give then because my blood pressure was too high.

I haven’t given since then because tattoos, piercings, anemia and travels to exotic third world countries.

But I’m O-negative when it comes to blood type so I should give. And I did. For the first time.

Then we went to my daughter’s “office” and Paddington Bear came to visit.

Shopping and more food

After work, an artist drew her and she bought a vintage Monarch train case at Salvage Goods.

We also explored the dollar store on the circle. That might have been the only disappointment of the day.

And the teen had some bacon nachos from Porter’s Pub and I had one chicken and one steak taco from the restaurant at 645 Northampton Street that has really good food.

Our last stop was Easton Public Market again for a watermelon lime slush from Modern Crumb.

France is broken

The past 28 or so hours in Paris have been… unusual. I am sitting in a dark hallway, because the lights in the hotel are on a timer and only stay on in the hall for about a minute. We’re having a problem with electricity. We’re not sure how it happened, but either my new travel adapter blew a fuse and caused a surge that burnt out M’s phone charger OR something in the hotel wiring keeps causing a fuse to blow in our room. The only electronic items we have our his iPhone 4, my borrowed iPhone 5c (left the six at home), an old French cell phone and my two year old MacBook Air.

I am sitting in the hall because I have blown a fuse for the second time and we’re trying to determine what works, what doesn’t and what caused the problem. We’re also too embarrassed to alert the front desk (just in case we did it). So I am on the floor in the hall. Funny part is, that being in the hall in the dark isn’t even the end of the story. I tried to move into a lit area of the hall and realized if I move even a fraction of an inch, everything falls out of the wall and I lose connection. And it’s not easy to get everything plugged in again.

I won’t mention the name of the hotel, because it is a decent place and I don’t want you to think it’s their fault. I don’t know whose fault it is. The toilet doesn’t flush very well. The coffee was fairly terrible but hey, it was reasonably priced in Paris and has wifi. M had some intestinal difficulties so all in all I think France is turning out more Third World than Djibouti last year.

So, we went to the catacombs last night. After 17+ hours in transit. I had a fancy blog entry planned but then I blew that fuse. Instead we used the power remaining in my laptop to charge our phones. And I was exhausted.

But the catacombs were amazing. I didn’t realize that the bones were so artfully and carefully arranged, nor that they were piled and labeled by the cemetery of origin. Saint Nicholas de Champs was one of the first heaps.

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We walked about two miles looking at bones. For dinner we visited our favorite shawarma place and had ourselves in bed by nine. I had a delightful night’s sleep, even despite my daughter accidentally texting me at 3 a.m. Paris time thinking she was texting her father. After all, we did switch phones.

Breakfast here at the hotel. Followed by a trip to some pharmacies looking for a medical device for migraines that is supposed to be available here in France, then a stop at an internet café while we waited for the mall at Les Halles to open. At Les Halles, we ended up taking the train from one side of the station to the mall because with construction we could not find the right door.

I wanted to go to FNAC for French military history books. Bought a memoir of one French soldier’s experience in Afghanistan. We finally made it to the sewers, which were a bit of a disappointment because M remembered them being more. But he was young the last time he visited. (I might be thankful they were a disappointment. I don’t share M’s passion for poop.) From there we went to the museum of the French Health Services (Service de Santé des Armées). That was so fun. Hopefully more on some of these individual events later.

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Then we visited some Muslim bookstores. And it made me want to increase my hijab accessories. And visiting the more multicultural sections of Paris makes me want an African dress.

The church above is Saint Denis. We went out there and the area had a very diverse feel and reminded me a lot of Marseille. There were many women covered. Churros for sale in front of the post office. We searched the area and found M his dream man purse but he’s too cheap and uncertain to buy it. Eventually, we decided to go for coffee and I found a cheap coffee house. It was 2.50 euros for a coffee cream. The server was a woman of color, the men beside us drank espresso and spoke arabic. The discarded wrappers from sugar packets littered the floor. Some men exited the tram outside and the server automatically placed their coffee on the counter. The whole area had the atmosphere of a street fair.

We walked a total of 11.25 miles so far today and we have dinner yet to go…