Hey there! I am Colleen, and I am from Bethlehem, PA (in the Lehigh Valley region of the state, between Philadelphia and NYC). I grew up here, live here now, and probably will for the long haul.
A few years ago, my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I traveled to Portland, OR, and I fell in love with region. Upon our return, I found myself constantly thinking about moving west. I found every reason to look down on my home town, complaining about the lack of excellent cuisine, the lack of things to do, the lack of natural beauty … You name it, I compared it to Portland and found fault with it. My husband had just found his calling in employment and was lined up for a lifetime position, so I resigned myself to staying in “this boring town.” I told myself I would seek out the fun, interesting things I knew must be hiding in the area, but I was lackluster in my effort and kept seeing things through the “home town” filter.
For our honeymoon, we visited San Francisco and my yearning for the west coast grew even stronger. The food was amazing (even simple things like pizza), the people were open and accepting, the culture was rich, the environment was beautiful … When we returned to the Lehigh Valley, two things occurred between the plane landing and us returning home that started us on a journey that is changing our lives:
- As we taxied to the gate, the steward on the plane announced that the trip was our honeymoon. Everyone clapped and congratulated us, and then one gentleman incredulously asked, “You chose the Lehigh Valley for your honeymoon?! Whatcha gonna do here, see the freakin’ Iron Pigs?” We chuckled and explained that we live in this town and would not have chosen it for our honeymoon. Shortly after that exchange, I realized that it was not the right way to live, bad-mouthing the town we planned to settle in …
- On the drive back from the airport, we stopped at Sheetz for a bite to eat. We were starving, too tired to cook or go somewhere to sit down, and we liked Sheetz (or so we thought). Both of us got hamburgers and fries, and we anxiously sat down to eat them when we got home. We each took a big bite of burger and, in unison, looked at each other with expressions of disgust. There was no flavor! Compared to the food in SF, we could not reconcile our taste buds with this mess of meaty texture and grease.
Thus, we vowed to begin eating good food and finding awesome things to do in the Lehigh Valley. It was my home town and will be where we raise a family—We needed to learn to love this place! Over the past (almost) two years since our honeymoon, I’ve dedicated myself to finding what there is to love about this place, and I hope to share some of that here! Food is a big part of our lives, so you’ll see recipes made from local ingredients, awesome places that may be off-the-beaten path, stories about awesome people in the LV, and more.
Enjoy and never stop learning to love!
P.S. Other things you might like to know: I am 25 and I work as a graphic designer. My husband is an awesome, quiet, hard working dude. We have a plump cat named Irie and an enormous albino rabbit named Rabbicchio. My favorite food is pierogies.