Home > Uncategorized > Visit a coffee house, a treehouse and Mum Mountain

Visit a coffee house, a treehouse and Mum Mountain

While I have diligently stuck to my commitment to do something different every week, I haven’t continuously blogged about it. Here are three things I’ve done since my last blog.

1. Visited a coffee house: When my daughter told me that a good friend of hers was performing at Steel City Coffee House in Phoenixville, I knew I wanted to go. As it turned out, my son went to a football game that evening, so my husband and I had a free night anyway. We made the decision to go at the last minute. This turned out to be  a unique and enjoyable experience. For one thing, I got to connect with some friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I also had the opportunity to experience first hand the talent of Jillian Miller, who has been friends with my daughter since elementary school, and who not only plays the piano beautifully and has an amazing singing voice, but also writes her own very compelling songs.  The next band was terrific as well, although we could only stay for part of that performance.  The atmosphere at Steel City is relaxed and a little bit funky. The space is small, but all in all an intimate and interesting setting for listening to live music. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to such a small venue, and I was reminded of how music really comes alive in such a space. In addition, the food was delicious (check out their menu) and the staff was friendly. My husband and I agreed we both hope to go back soon. I just hope he doesn’t try to get me to participate in open mic night!

2. Climbed a Treehouse: Earlier in the year I visited Longwood Gardens for the first time in years. That was a cold winter day, so I explored only the indoor exhibits. Recently, thanks to a Groupon, I returned with my husband and son to check out the grounds I hadn’t seen the first time. I discovered a lot of interesting garden and fountain areas, but my favorite places were the three treehouses. Longwood refers to them Nature’s Castles and lists them on their website under family fun.  And while these undoubtedly have great kid-appeal, they are fascinating to adults, as well. Although none were built onto tree branches, the way you normally envision treehouse, each was spectacular, raised high off the ground on stilts and surrounded by trees. Each treehouse has a different theme. The first, Canopy Cathedral, was inspired by a Norwegian Church.  The second we visited was my favorite. Called Lookout Loft, it included copper soundhorns for listening to nature. My son and I used them to whisper to one another across the platform, which was fun. The final treehouse was called the Birdhouse. My husband and son were too tired to climb up its many steps, but I ventured up and found a view well worthy of a treetop birdhouse. What always fascinates me about Longwood Gardens is how someone took a tract of land that maybe wasn’t even extraordinary to begin with, then built gardens and fountains and greenhouses and treehouses, so that piece of land became a place to explore nature.

3. Experienced Mum Mountain: For years I’ve read about Ott’s Greenhouse in Schwenksville, PA. Recently, my parents were up visiting and I was looking for something to do in the vicinity of my son’s soccer game, and I came across a listing for Ott’s Mum Mountain. I thought my parents would enjoy this, so we went. We were not disappointed. I wasn’t quite sure how to get there, but as it turns out, there was no missing this place. It was located right off Route 29, and the mountain of colorful mums is very visible from the road.  The hillside is covered on both sides with mums, offering a dazzling array of color.  You can walk underneath it through an impressive stone-walled tunnel built, or climb to the top along a staircase.  Equally fascinating is the large greenhouse, shaped, I thought, somewhat like an oversized circus tent balloon.  Inside was a waterfall, coi pond and hundreds of exotic plants.  Like Longwood, it amazed me how a space can be tranformed into an adventure through plants!

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I love 2 of your destinations and haven’t been to the third yet (steel city) but want to go there. We went the first year of the treehouses and absolutely fell in love with them. As for Ott’s, I adore both the mums and the funky greenhouse. I recently walked the perkiomen trail and couldn’t wait to see it along the way 🙂

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