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  • Frances Schwabenland

What Does A T-shirt and An Impossible Goal have In Common?

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

It all began this past Monday with a gift from a dear friend I had not seen in over a year... a maroon t-shirt with the words, "Say Yes To Adventure!" Knowing my unquenchable thirst for travel, I thought it was a "perfect"gift.

At the top of my list of "Wanderings Around the World" is to go to Amsterdam and tiptoe through the tulips with multiple cameras! Covid has made that goal impossible at the moment.

When I reflect upon the word adventure, my imagination usually takes me to far flung places around the world but the wisdom sung in the broadway show, "Auntie Mame" broadens my scope:

Open a new window.

Open a new door.

Travel a new highway that's never been traveled before.

Near or far, opening to new experiences on a daily basis is what becomes the touchstone of adventure. Say "YES" to adventure!

So it began. I was up for several never before experiences, sporting me new shirt!

I have been working on a photographic piece in Manayunk, a neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia with a very small town feel. It was named a national historic town in 1983. The residents chose the name from the Lenape Indian word for the Schuylkill River “manaiung” which literally translates to “place to drink” in English. Little did they know how apt it would be. Factories have been converted to chic lofts, restaurants offer multi-cultural cuisine and artists exist in a symbiotic relationship with the area, drawing in inspiration and giving back unique beauty.

I set out to travel a new highway and walked across the Manayunk Bridge Trail which stretches across the iconic Manayunk bridge connecting Manayunk to Bala Cynwyd and allows one to view the entire "city on the hills" from above. Not far away is a new restaurant that opened up with another iconic view of historic salvaging woven into new design and vision, The Landing Kitchen. This will definitely be a "hot spot" to just stop for a cup of coffee or have something a bit more substantial like the ricotta and blood orange marmalade on hearty toast. Visiting and supporting local haunts is the covid era adventure.


I drove 45 minutes to my dream of Amsterdam! Dalton Farms in NJ was what came up on my google search as I was pursuing my goal of seeing fields and fields of vibrant tulips. It was a "pinch me now" moment! I had no idea that this heavenly spot was right in my backyard! Say "YES" to adventure! This family run farm has planted over 252,000 tulips! The clouds and rain brought out the rich colors of the flowers and the space to explore with so many people waiting for another day when the clouds parted! I can't even begin to explain how happy I felt being in the dirt surrounded by thousands of flowers. What an experience of the senses! Covid brought about so much reigning in and this was such an expansive and opening to life again! Go for the new adventures near and far. Just say, "YES"!

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