Beautiful Hiking @Harpers Ferry

Hiking the Appalachian Trail, oh so glorious.ย 

The only photo not shown is the large snake we ran into on the rocks on the side of the path.


My wife screamed:


“S-n-a-k-e!”


And we were running for the hills in this direction and that.


We had no idea where she was pointing to.


It was pretty hilarious.ย 

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beautiful Labor Day Weekend

Ok, here’s my video today from The Shenandoah River along the Appalachian Trail at Harpers Ferry.ย 


Only I make one little mistake…see if you can pick up on itย (everyone can make an oops once in a while–you just got to have a good laugh.)


Also, did you know there are 3 trillion trees in the world?


Sad though that number is almost half from the beginning of civilization and these days we are losing about 15 billion trees a year–that’s crazy!


Anyway, I still love nature and G-d’s beautiful creation and I give thanks to my maker. ๐Ÿ˜‰


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Fair Trade Principles Are Cool

Fair Trade Principles Are Cool

So I was up in Harpers Ferry and discovered this cool boutique store called Tenfold.

The store carries a collection of creative “fair trade,” eco-friendly products from around the world.

They had a cool variety of clothing and accessories–that was different and special.

We all found something there to come back with and had to choose what we liked best.

I ended up getting a couple of handmade ties from a company called Global Mamas in Ghana and the girls got some skirts (and necklaces) made by Unique Batik in Thailand.

I liked the quality and design of the merchandise.

But more than that, I was truly impressed by the principles these companies adhere to under fair trade:

– Alleviate poverty and social injustice
– Support open, fair, and respectful relationships between producers and customers
– Develop producers’ skills, and foster access to markets, application of best practices, and independence,
– Promote economic justice by improving living standards, health, education, and the distribution of power
– Pay promptly and fairly
– Support safe working conditions
– Protect children’s rights
– Cultivate sustainable practices
– Respect cultural diversity

Note: Fair trade is not to be confused with free trade–the later being where government does not interfere with imports or exports by applying tariffs, subsidies, or quotas.

Truly, if we give people a chance to be productive under fair trade working conditions, they can make the world a little better one product at a time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Miracle Of The Red Sea

The Miracle Of The Red Sea

After being sick the last week with the flu and still on antibiotics, I ventured out today and took the girls hiking in Harpers Ferry.

It was just a little cold–um, maybe a lot cold–but we slogged through the trails anyway and had a great time.

The water falling off the cliffs was still freezing on the rocks underneath and it made for some nice pictures.

One interesting photo that I’ve attached was of the water that had a veneer of red over the top–first it looked like maybe it was a tarp, but up close, we saw it was just like a carpet of red algae over the water–it was pretty spectacular.

I couldn’t help thinking how perfect this is for Passover that begins on Monday evening, because it brought alive the image to me of G-d delivering the Israelites from servitude and splitting the real Red Sea for them to cross through to freedom.

While we didn’t attempt to cross this red water, it was an amazing natural sight to behold (thank you G-d). ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Best Ice Cream CONES


There is an ice cream shop in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia called of all things — SCOOPS.

Aside from the yum ice cream, they have a nice variety of toppings from Oreo to Caramel and lots of others in between (as you can see).

What I really liked too is the different cones–aside from your regular, low-fat, and sugar cone, they have the waffle cones–which are always de-licious.

But pictured here are also some very special cones–a pretzel cone and an M&M cone–they also have a chocolate chip one (sorry, no picture of that one).

Mouth watering yet?ย  Try it, you’ll like it!ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okay, my wife is telling me this blog post is strange–signing off for today…Andy

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)