Barbara Eichenlaub

Barbara is a freelance writer living in Fox Chapel. She is an expert shopper for the best in local products and services.

Days of Wine and Music

There are few things more enjoyable during beautiful weather than sitting outside with family or friends, listening to live music while sipping on wine. Fortunately, there is a charming, local, Tuscan-themed venue where one can do just that. Narcisi Winery, on route 910 in Gibsonia, is a family-owned endeavor that began in Italy generations ago. …

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Remembering the Great One

Walking into The Clemente Museum at Engine House No. 25 in Lawrenceville, one word comes to mind: passion. The athletic passion of one of baseball’s greatest players, his passion for helping the less fortunate and making the world better for his and all children, and the passion of the man who created this moving monument …

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Giddy up, let’s go!

Horse-drawn sleigh rides. These icons of old-fashioned winter are lauded in carols and featured in Currier and Ives lithographs. And a great one is available just northeast of Kittanning, in Cowansville. Denise and Flavius Brinsfield grew up with a love of horses. Denise enjoyed an equine way of life, both riding and driving horses. Flavius …

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Chagrin Falls

Sometimes it’s nice to escape to a place with a slower, more relaxed pace—a quaint community that isn’t teeming with chain stores and traffic, where kids ride their bikes into town to have a cone and hang out with friends. There is a town, just this side of Cleveland, that fits the bill—Chagrin Falls, Ohio. …

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North by northwest

Summer has finally arrived, and there is no better time for a weekend (or mid-week) getaway. McKean County is a few hours from Pittsburgh and a great area to explore, play, relax and have fun. Whether your interests are historic, outdoorsy, culinary or sporty, you will find no lack of things to do. For the …

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Bon appétit!

Who wouldn’t love to spend April in Paris? However, if France isn’t in your immediate future, you can still enjoy its delectable treats right here in Pittsburgh. These three patisseries are like children; you love them all, but each has its own special talent. The granddaddy, and the one that has proven that this region …

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A cookware quest

Forget about Black Friday. If you’re interested in top-quality cookware at great prices, you can sleep off that Thanksgiving meal and make the drive to Washington County on Dec. 6–7 for the All-Clad Factory Outlet Sale in Canonsburg. The semiannual sale held the first weekends of December and June started as an on-site “factory seconds” …

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Autumn Weekend

There are all sorts of iconic American highways that appear in song and lore—Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway and the Blue Ridge Parkway, to name a few. But, according to National Geographic, “one of America’s most scenic drives” is right here in Pennsylvania: U.S. Route 6. Its long, local history began with an 1807 …

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The Century Inn

The national road, America’s first federally funded road, was built from 1811 to 1834 at the urging of former President George Washington and then-President Thomas Jefferson. It connected Cumberland, Md., and the Ohio River in Wheeling, W.Va., as a gateway to the West. The road was once a stagecoach route where towns had sprung up …

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Choose your brews

The name alone is overwhelming. Yet intriguing. Go to 357 Freeport St. in New Kensington, and you will find everything from Allagash (Belgian-style stout from Portland, Maine) to Zywiec (from a Polish brewery founded in 1856 in Austria-Hungary and once owned by the Hapsburgs). The House of 1,000 Beers (HO1KB) is owned by Dave and …

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A Wheeling Wonder

There is nothing like a big light display to get you in the mood for the holidays, and the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay in Wheeling, W.Va., will put a smile on the grumpiest Scrooge! From its start in 1985 with five displays and some landscaping lighting, the festival now encompasses over 300 acres …

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Fede Artisan Pasta

Cooling autumn temperatures call for a change in dinner palate from salads and grilled chicken to heartier fare. Pasta is perfect on a crisp fall evening… and perfect pasta is created daily at Fede Artisan Pasta in Banco Business Park in North Huntingdon, Pa. If you dine out in Pittsburgh, chances are you have already …

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Sit, Stay, Play

The “dog days of summer” means exceptionally steamy temperatures for us, but for our canine friends, every day is a “dog day.” Now, however, pet owners can give that phrase new meaning by paying a visit to Misty Pines Dog Park Company in Franklin Park. The son of a veterinarian, owner Jeff Woods made his …

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Take a Turn…

Does the end of gray winter days remind you how it felt to get your bike back out of the garage and cruise the streets with your friends after school? With a visit to Bicycle Heaven, you can rekindle that excitement on a trip down memory lane. After overexposure to paint fumes forced Craig Morrow …

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Shopping in WashPa

With the holidays’ approach, a visit to The Shoppes at Quail Acres in Washington, Pa. will help you get presents, hostess gifts and decorations under control. Half a mile from The Meadows Casino & Racetrack and the Tanger Outlets, The Shoppes are on the grounds of the former Quail Acres estate, featuring the beautifully restored …

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The Jewels of Grove City

Say “grove city,” and most people think outlet shopping or the college. Few are aware that it is also the location of an outstanding jewelry store. Joden World Resources features a staggering array of antique, estate, and modern jewelry, tucked into an unassuming shop on South Broad Street. In the late 1960s, Joe Murawski was …

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Wall of Water

On May 31, 1889, 20 million tons of water broke through the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club’s earthen dam on Lake Conemaugh and destroyed almost everything in its path. Hardest hit was the city of Johnstown, 14 miles downstream. When the waters (and ensuing fires) abated, the toll included 2,209 dead with countless homes …

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Prepping for Summer

Crocuses are peeking through the soil and the snow has melted, meaning just one thing—it’s finally spring! Those who love the outside might have spent the winter poring over seed catalogs and making big plans for their gardens. But for many, reemerging to the outdoors can be challenging. You can use the best landscape architects, …

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A Gilded Age Holiday

In 1882, Henry Clay Frick purchased an Italianate-style mansion on Penn Avenue in Point Breeze. The “Coke King” named it Clayton, commissioning two major renovations for his growing family. Within 10 years, though, Frick and his wife, Adelaide, suffered the loss of two of their four children, 8-year-old Martha and infant Henry Clay Frick, Jr., …

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An Autumn Excursion to Bedford Springs

Nothing screams ”road trip” like a crisp autumn day, and nothing whispers “history” like the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa in Bedford, Pa. Combine them, and you have a fabulous getaway 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. Drawn to its mineral springs and their healing properties, Dr. John Anderson purchased the 2,200-acre property in 1796. Guest …

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All for Fun

If summer in the city has lost its luster, and you are ready to ditch that hot suit or itchy hose for some fresh country air, Butler County has just the ticket—the 155th Big Butler Fair, July 2–10 at the fairgrounds in Prospect. While there are loads of county fairs, fire department carnivals and church …

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A Passion for Baking

Mary-kay Fiore’s life turned out a little differently than she expected. But it sure has a sweet ending. In 2001, the single mother of three found herself downsized out of a corporate job and facing a crossroads. She had baked for years, as a way to pass the nervous hours until 11 p.m., when her …

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