As anyone who lives on the east coast is well aware, Hurricane Irene paid a visit this weekend, bringing all the hype (especially after the earth tremor the east coast was surprised by earlier this week), flooding and downed trees a storm of that size could muster. As I read countless Facebook posts from frightened people (some of them rightfully so, depending on their locales), I made a decision to treat this weekend like a summer snow day. While yes, our area was to expect power outages, flooding and downed trees, it was sure to be nowhere near as severe as the coastal areas. I was bummed to have had to cancel our camping trip for the weekend, but determined not to let a storm ruin all my fun.
My Saturday morning consisted of running the errands I knew I would not want to venture out for once the storm began (and yes, I did make the obligatory trip to purchase some D batteries for the Mag Lite, just in case). My errands mainly centered around rainy day necessities—Good food and wine.
Clouds were gathering as I pulled in to Keepsake Farm in Northampton on Saturday morning. There will definitely be a full post about this place one day.
My Keepsake Farm goodies: raw milk (which was being bottled as I was in the store), raw garlic herb jack, raw smoked gouda, just made ricotta. You'll definitely be seeing these ingredients in some upcoming recipes.
I also took an early storm walk to downtown Bethlehem to visit Franklin Hill Vineyard‘s shop and pick up a couple of bottles to ride out the storm with. I didn’t bring my camera on the walk for fear of soaking it in the rain, but I picked up a bottle of Vidal Blanc and a Simply Red, both of which definitely helped add some cheer to a couple of cloudy days.
Despite the rain falling outside, it certainly didn't seem like a hurricane yet, so when my husband came home from work and asked if I'd like to visit Top Diner, my absolute favorite LV diner, I had to agree. We treated ourselves to some comfort food: a burger and gravy cheese fries with coffee for him, a meatloaf sandwich and soup for me, all for under $11.
We returned home and waited for the excitement to begin, watching movies and doing lots of cooking (recipes to come!).
Waiting for the storm also left us some time to get into mischief, much to Irie's dismay.
Irie did some acrobatics to try and remove the rooster hat. She ultimately succeeded.
The heavy rain and wind didn’t start until around the time we hit the hay, but Sunday brought lots of cleanup work for my husband at the properties he manages plus time to wander with the hoards of others taking pictures of the swollen waterways and splintered trees:
The Bethlehem Historic Industrial Quarter, at the bottom of the hill behind the Hotel Bethlehem.
Looking towards the tannery from outside the tunnel near Moravian College's south campus, water reached the stairway. The little yellow dot to the left of the tree is the top of a fire hydrant.
The Lehigh River had not yet reached flood stage, but it definitely was swollen & fast! It is expected to reach rise above flood stage 8/29.
Looking east down the Lehigh River towards Bethlehem Steel.
We wanted to get a view of the Lehigh River from above on the Fahy Bridge, but it was pretty clear that pedestrians were not allowed today. Police were patrolling the area to enforce the signs and barricades.
This big limb came down a half a block from our apartment and was perilously leaning on the powerlines. In fact, it still is leaning there tonight ... I think the tree services are a bit overloaded today!
A couple of blocks from our apartment, near Liberty High School, this smaller tree seems to have blown into splinters.