Yummygal’s Fun Fact Friday

Yummygal’s Fun Fact Friday

My Subscribers may have already received this due to a computer glitch. Apologies.

Most folks enjoy seeing manta rays out on the water. They are the equal in personality to dogs in the aquatic world. People like them because they are friendly and playful. However, most folks don’t know that by touching them (which is very common especially with tourists) that you are making them more susceptible to disease.


(The doggies of the sea world, the Manta Ray. Photo credit Photobucket.)

The Manta have a very delicate outer protective membrane on their skin. It aids in the protection against diseases and lesions of these beautiful big-brained fish creatures. By touching them even delicately, we make them more susceptible. Most folks don’t know this “fin”fact. Which is why I am putting it out there, Please be respectful of these guys if you are out on the water.

You can look, but please don’t touch. They are beautiful creatures.

The Charles Lindbergh of Mexico~ Emilio Carranza Memorial

Emilio Carranza Memorial Site

Wharton State Forest
Tabernacle, NJ.

Yummygal’s Top Places To See In The Philadelphia Area Before You Die.

The Emilio Carranza Site resides on the edge of the Pine Barrens. An incredible man crashed here in his plane. There’s also a great myth about the wreckage. And of course a little “Jersey” twist to his story.


Road in front of the Carranza Memorial in Wharton State Forest

Emilio Carranza was considered the Charles Lindbergh of Mexico. Captain Emilio at one point held the record in the world for the longest non-stop flight. Traveling from San Diego to Mexico City.
He was also only 22 years old when he beat Charles Lindbergh’s record.


Memorial site marker

His family was very well-to-do with distant relations to the President of Mexico. His uncle was the General of Mexico and father was an accountant with the consulate.


Emilio Carranza site in the Pineys

Carranza quicky earned the right to join an aviation school. He was a smart boy who enjoyed hanging out around a local airport. He graduated with honors. He eventually joined the Mexican Revolution. Carranza quickly became Captain in the Air Force. He beefed up some of the old dilapidated planes and customized them to become stronger and faster. This is when Carranza began his world record flights.


Up Close

He became so popular that he befriended Lindbergh. Lindbergh even sponsored Carranza for one of his show-stopping flights.

While on one of his adventurous journeys, he was stuck in NYC due to severe weather. He received a telegram from his father to immediately return home. The stubborn Carranza left. However, he never made it to his destination. He crashed in the Pine Barrens.


Plaque at the Carranza site


Dedication to Carranza

His body was found behind a general store.


The area around the Emilio Carrenza memorial

The myth is that around the crash site, hoof prints (Jersey Devil?) were found all around the area. Some have even said it looked as if a body was dragged from the site. This is the urban legend of the Jersey Devil involved in Carranza’s death. The fact is he was either injured and was able to get to the General Store or someone or something got him there.


The Main Man

The monument was donated by the children of Mexico. They saved their pennies to create this obelisk-looking statue. Each side representing a symbol of Carranza and his love of aviation.


Every year, Mexican diplomats and the local rotary club come together to commemorate this brave man.


Carrenza was married a few months before this flight and his wife became pregnant. She gave birth to a son, Emilio, JR. However, very sad. His son died at the age of 6 due to appendicitis.

It’s a very unique site to see here in South Jersey to commemorate this man.

Please check out this incredible link from a fellow South Jersey native. He has unearthed an incredible treasure with pictures on the construction of the Carranza Memorial.


My son’s first visit to the Carranza site

Another NJ Grammar Lesson… “Crick” VS. “Creek.”

I laugh when South Jerseyans say we do not have an accent. In fact, we very much do! We often don’t realize it because we think we live in the center of the universe, haha.

Lets say for example “Crick.” How many times have we truly used this word? This is a slang we all grew up saying. Since most folks reside near such “Cricks.”


A New Jersey crick

If you venture outside of the Delaware Valley and try saying, “Crick.” Again, they’ll look at you as if you are from out of space. Now, combine “Crick” with “Wooder” (aka Water to the rest of the country). Then you are in for a real treat, haha.

There actually is no such grammatical word for “Crick.” It is Creek, but we just don’t say it around here the “correct way” because our way is “Crick!”

Now, go check out the pretty wooder that’s at the crick!

Another grammatical lesson, brought to you by The Yummygal.

Your Tropical Paradise Awaits~ Here in New Jersey

Another “Blue Hole” (there’s quite a few in our state)
Winslow Township, NJ

Yummygal’s Top Places To See In The Philadelphia Area Before You Die.


Yummygal enjoying the scenery

Imagine. You’re on vacation. Caribbean-colored waters beckon you. The breeze is flowing in your hair. You have your sunglasses on. You are listening to some great tunes. Sitting in front of you is crystal clear turquoise water.


This is not in the Caribbean

Now, imagine you are in New Jersey.


Another Blue Hole in NJ my friends

This was one of the blue holes I was searching for the day I got stuck in the Pineys. I was looking for this lake. I was also looking for the smaller version of what use to be an old spring. in where the Jersey devil originated. However, I never made it to either.


One of the MANY Blue Holes in NJ

As I have said before, I study maps. I knew this was in the vicinity of where I got stuck. I was just on the wrong side of the road. My friend was going to meet us here. However, she also did research and went to another location. She knew she was in the vicinity of this wonder. Her and her boyfriend drove up and down the street searching diligently. Until they saw folks coming out of a road. They politely asked them where they came from. Then the secret was revealed. She got luckier than me, darn it!


Serenity in NJ. Yummygal’s Mama is on the left

This place is referred to as a “Blue Hole Lake” by the locals. It is owned by the Fish and Wildlife Management. It is not on any maps (listed by name).


Do you see the fish?

You will drive on a dirt road to get here. Please use caution and drive a 4×4 if possible.


Expansive Beach

Please clean up after yourselves! I saw trash left here. This is not the place you want to leave your litter. What comes in, you should take out. Please dispose of your trash accordingly. On my last visit I saw many of beer cans. Drinking is strictly prohibited.


NJ Beauty

I am saying this as a warning as to leaving your trash. It may no longer be open to enjoy, if this continues. The government will shut this beauty down to all outsiders as they so often do.

No one will be permitted to escape to this oasis.


Perfect in Jersey Paradise

New Jerseyans. Please take pride in your natural wonders and beauty. One of the lakes I previously wrote about has shut down access to its main entrance. Due to folks littering and swimming on the property.

Also, please sit back and relax and look out onto the picturesque water.


Piney Love

This will NEVER compare to my St. John. It is something close by that I can enjoy though. Only 25 minutes for me.


Just fabulous

I am not giving up the location. You will have to read the side note below this page for my reason. You are left to your own devices to find it.


Where is this place?

Now get to work and good luck!


What a beauty here in Jersey, eh?

A bit surprised? Don’t be. There are many here in South Jersey due to sand mining over the last century. Which has created the color of the water. Most are NOT SAFE to swim in. Nor are permitted to swim in.


A perfect summer day

Side Note: I do not trespass or break the law. This has stated to be a WMA, however, I have read some conflicting stories. I will not post the location due to the conflicting arguments. There were no signs as to private property or no trespassing.

You are NOT PERMITTED TO SWIM HERE. There are signs all over the place. If you are caught you are asking for severe fines and penalties.

Due to the lack of information available and conflicting reports onto who owns the property. I cannot give this location away. Various sources say it is owned by the Fish and Wildlife Management and even signs on the property state this. However, there are a few lakes in the area that are privately owned. I am only doing it as a precautionary effort. I indeed believe I was on public land. However, I’d rather be safe than sorry. I leave you to your own devices and to research google earth on this place. This is not off of Jackson Rd. that is closed and not open to the public. Just want to make that clear.

Some Small, But Great News!


Today, I was contacted by a local news website. They said they’d love for me to come onboard and blog for them and I can also promote my blog on their site. It’s a pretty popular local news source here in South Jersey and am very honored to be a part of “The Patch Team!”. I will be posting stories from time to time on their site as well. They are currently featuring my Soupy Island story. You can check them out and the story via this link The West Deptford Patch. FYI, I am not leaving you my friends!

Yummygal IS and WILL ALWAYS be my baby. Thank you all for enjoying my journey. There’s a heck-of-a-lot more to come that’s for sure!

The Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, Is Quite A Thrill.

The Garden State Discovery Museum

2040 Springdale Rd.
Cherry Hill, NJ

Yummygal’s Top Places To See in the Philadelphia Area before you die.


Entrance of The Garden State Discovery Museum with view of the butterfly garden

I came here to check this museum out on a hot blistering 100 degree day. This place is really no secret to the area, but I’d like to share my experience. It’s a hands-on interactive museum for the kids, but there are pluses and minuses to this place and I’ll explain why.


Inside the Lobby featuring Ikea cafeteria and ceiling tiles made by children

It’s a recent addition to the area premiering to the South Jersey scene with just under a decade or so ago. I find this place to be VERY expensive for such a small museum. It cost for 2 adults and my son $35. The reason I am complaining on the price is because most of the exhibits are “sponsored” by local businesses.


Small floor piano reminiscent of the movie, “Big.”

For example Subaru, Ikea, the Silver Diner, Cooper Hospital, the Cherry Hill Mall, etc. These sponsors paid for predominately these exhibits with not much cost to the museum. The exhibits are all about the sponsors. It is kind of odd.


Fish displayed in an old TV in the toddler area of The Garden State Discovery Museum

The exhibit quarters are quite cramped with kids running all over the place. They show small animals in the exhibits. Which I found quite sad, the exhibits are quite small for these creatures.


Poor cramped Australian lizard. He wants out!

It is a great rainy day or cold weather sort of place to visit. They offer workshops, a butterfly garden, a toddler play area, dinosaur and castle exhibits.

Flyers Hockey Arena


The Light Bright Display

Now, I’m ALWAYS trying to save you my friends some money. The best time to come is after 5:00pm. It is dead and only 5 bucks! That’s what I’m talking about. I feel as it is worth this price for admission.


Rock wall with no safety harnesses or staff to monitor the kids. “At your risk” possible law suit in the future

I would suggest this place if you are bored and want to get out of the house and don’t want to trek over to Philadelphia. Besides that coming here quite often will kill your budget.


Silver Diner sponsored exhibit

It’s still worth to come and check it out at least once. Come after 5 PM!! You’ll save a lot more money!

Jumbie Bay, St. John Haunted? More Like Haunted By Beauty.

Jumbie Bay Beach, St. John USVI

Honestly, I hate to even write this post. This is by far my favorite no hiking that far beach to go to.

It is extremely private. It is because there is very limited parking.

I also like the location. It is adjacent to Trunk Bay. You see the beauty of the bay and the entire span of Trunk Bay without the admission price. Bada Bing, baby….. That is what Yummygal is talking about.

The reasoning on possibly the name of Jumbie Beach. Is that there are a few Jumbie trees (silk cotton trees) in the small little hike to get to the stunning beach.


The sign to the infamous Jumbie beach

Now, legend has it spirits are in these trees and extreme bad luck will occur if you chop it down.

Also, many pirates would bury their treasure around the trees back in the day because they knew people would be scared to go near a Jumbie Tree.

The myths also state, that a beautiful woman will be found amongst these trees… you will bed her… then the next day die. A wonderful way to go, MATEY.


Small hiking path to Jumbie Beach

The Virgin Island folks have used the leaves of the Jumbie tree for medicinal purposes over the last few centuries. Primarily they use it for a tea to help with fatigue. It’s a very treasured tree.

However, what I treasure most is the beach and there is nothing spooky about it.


Your first look at Jumbie

You’ll come out of that small path and a little bridge and this will be the first thing you see.

Notice Trunk Cay in the picture above. Which is famous for the underwater snorkel trail.


Another shot my friends


And another

It is so very private. Laid back and serene… My type of beach. A great snorkel spot over at the rocks here.


Rocks on the right of the beach

The beach is pretty large, not big like Trunk Bay, but you can see it across from you.

Also, you have full permission to point and laugh at the folks you see across the way at Trunk Bay.

They paid for admission and you didn’t have to.


Hello there Trunk Bay beach! You paid an admission.. I didn’t!

This is just perfect in paradise, isn’t it?


Hi turquoise water, it was nice to meet you


Yummygal at Jumbie Beach, St. John

Definitely stop here on your trip to St. John.


Yummygal’s and “Jane’s” Private Beach

You won’t regret it. Trust me. Some people say it’s haunted. Honestly, it’s haunted by beauty. Hahaha


No caption necessary

Grab your drinks, a picnic lunch, throw them all in a cooler and head out here for the day.


She’s a keeper

Enjoy this beach. You can thank me later.


Remember, to tease these guys from across the way, they paid for this view. You didn’t

A New Jersey Clarification In Grammar. Our Thing With The Word, “WATER.”

Everywhere I go whether it is at a restaurant, convenient store, or someone’s home. We South Jerseyans and Eastern Pennsylvanians have this thing with the word, “WATER.”

Here is some South Jersey, “Wooder”


Yes, this is correct. We can’t.

We say and I’ll try to do it the best I can, “Wooder.”

I know that it is said correctly and pronounced, “What-errrr.” However, almost every contact I have with folks in The Delaware Valley pronounce it as the above.

I have been with friends outside the area. We have sat down for dinner. They have asked for “Wooder” to drink and the waiter/waitress is like, “huh?”

I usually have to chime in and say.. no they mean “What-errr” and then everything is fine.

It’s kind of funny. I’m not sure where it originated from, but every time someone says it when I am out and about, it truly makes me cringe.

Yummygal’s Fun Fact Friday

Well here it is… another Fun Fact Friday my friends.

Did you know that a bald eagle nest can reach lengths of 6 feet in diameter? It also averages about 3 feet tall.

The killer fact my friends is this….


Old eagle’s nest at the Cedar Run Refuge

The nest usually weighs approximately 2-3 TONS. Yes, TONS.

Now that’s one heavy nest!!

I actually learned this fun fact at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford, NJ. (Previous Posting)

Have a great weekend, everyone!! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Lemon Hill Mansion. What The Oval Office In The White House, Wishes It Could Be.

Lemon Hill Mansion


Fairmount Park
Philadelphia, PA.
Hours Wednesday-Sunday 10AM-4PM
Admission $5
Seniors $3

Yummygal’s Top Things to See In The Philadelphia Area Before You Die.


Sign off of Lemon Hill Drive

Have you ever wondered what it is like to feel like a prince or princess? To step back in time to the beginning of our country? See a place so magical that it pulls on your heart-strings?

The back of Lemon Hill Mansion. It faces the downtown area of Philadelphia

Lemon Hill Mansion is all of the above. It is the epitome of class of an era very sacred to the city of Philadelphia. The birthplace of our great nation.


The front of Lemon Hill Mansion

I had the privilege to meet with the director of Lemon Hill mansion. Mrs. Joyce Jones. Quincy (her son), is the wonderful gentleman that saved my family when we were stuck in the pinelands. He told me that I have got to see this place and write about it. I am so grateful to have met Mrs. Jones and Quincy. Also, for having the honor of touring this beloved mansion.


The stairs made of Valley Forge marble leading up to the entrance

Lemon Hill Mansion received its name from a median lemon that was grown in the greenhouse on the property. The median lemon is in the citron family. It is very fragrant and sweet. It is not as sour as a lemon. It was considered a delicacy at the time because it came from the middle east region and was transported back to the states. Citrus was a status symbol of the very rich. Most folks at that time never had the pleasure of enjoying this particular fruit.


The entryway looking onto the oval room

The land of Lemon Hill was originally owned by William Penn. It was then passed onto his descendants. In 1770, a man named Robert Morris purchased Lemon Hill. The area was then called, “The Hills.” Morris built a greenhouse, hot houses, gardener’s quarters, vaults, and root cellars on the property.


Artist Rendition of Henry Pratt

If anyone is familiar with Philadelphia history, Robert Morris was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served as senator of Pennsylvania from 1789-1795. Morris was a financier by trade and also the largest land owner in America, accumulating over 6,000,000 acres. This may sound impressive, however he was “rich in land, but poor in cash.” His bad financial investments led him to a debtors prison. Morris was hoping after the war that immigrants would purchase his land and make himself more rich. However, this did not occur.

He was bankrupt by 1798.

It is when Henry Pratt stepped in and purchased this land at a sheriff sale in 1799. It cost around $14,000. In today’s dollars, roughly the equivalent of $200,000. Pratt was a very wealthy merchant. This land located in the Fairmount park area, was considered ” the country” at that time. Development only went up to around today’s Arch Street. Westward of Arch Street was predominately forest and undeveloped land.


Map of Philadelphia in the 1800s on the wall at Lemon Hill

After purchasing 43 acres of this real estate, Pratt quickly went to work with the construction of Lemon Hill mansion. It took only 1 year to complete this summer retreat masterpiece. It was a marvel at the time. It is a federal style construction. It contains three oval rooms. Each stacked on top of one another from the first to third floors.


The infamous Oval room on the main floor

The oval rooms are truly unique. The White House cannot come close in comparison to this structure. The windows, walls, doors and fireplaces all curve in an “oval pattern.” It is an architectural wonder and true masterpiece. The White House wishes they could have curved doors like these (they have straight doors.) It is the best example of federal style architecture in the United States.


Notice the curved window and door in this picture a marvel at the time

The gardens and greenhouse were absolutely phenomenal and were considered the world’s most beautiful playground in its day. Pratt opened his land up for an admission price so that folks could enjoy the true splendor of the grounds. They were referred to as the “pleasure gardens” at the time.


Notable artwork by Thomas Sully. Also, notice the curvature of the fireplace

The house was designed in a clever and unique way. The house was purposely situated to face the Schuykill River to allow the cool summer air to circulate throughout the home. This ingenious design made Lemon Hill an ideal summer retreat.


Period dining room set

Not one detail was left unturned. Closets were installed in nearly every room (which was unheard of at this period.) The floors were painted almost a black color (the darker the paint, the more expensive). The windows from floor to ceiling were massive (another great expense.)


Henry Pratt’s actual sideboard made right here in Philadelphia

Money was no object in the making of this estate and it clearly shows.


The famous Carrera marble fireplace

Shortly after Henry Pratt’s death, the estate was sold to the city of Philadelphia. The land resides in the infamous Fairmount Park. Pratt’s estate was one of the first properties purchased by the city. Fairmount Park was created around Lemon Hill. It was the flagship for the engineering of the largest city park in the United States. Philadelphia wanted to preserve their water supply and keep the Schuykill River from getting polluted.


The large windows of the beautiful architecture

Over the years, Lemon Hill has served as a German beer garden, a restaurant, and home to the curator of the Art Museum of Philadelphia.


Sitting area on top floor

The director of Lemon Hill, Mrs. Joyce Jones, has been with the mansion for many years. She has had the pleasure in living in this beautiful mansion. Her husband was a police officer and the city needed security for the home. She was able to raise a beautiful family on the premises. Since she already lived on the property, Jones began volunteering for the tours of the mansion. The rest is history. She is now Lemon Hill’s director. No one could be a better candidate to run this place as well as Mrs. Jones. Ever. She knows every nook and cranny. If you are fortunate to tour with this graceful lady, you are in for a real treat.


Staffordshire china. Notice Lemon Hill’s greenhouse to the top left and the ship in the Schuykill river


Another shot at of precious china. A bit of a glare. However, Lemon Hill is depicted in this scene as well as the infamous greenhouse

Her favorite areas of the home are the oval rooms and the expansive porches. The porches have an amazing view of city hall, the art museum, and skyline of Philly. Lemon Hill is honestly the best seat in all of Philadelphia. Katherine Hepburn has even had the opportunity to tour Lemon Hill and is Jones’ most memorable guest.


Small portion of the many verandas on the property

Currently, the mansion gives private and group tours Wednesday through Sunday from 10am-4pm.

Lemon Hill also offers tours to school children. Lemon Hill will even pay for a school bus to take the children to the property for the day (up to $200 for a bus) and for only those residing in the state of Pennsylvania. New Jersey schools are permitted as well (they just can’t pay for the bus).


The view from one of the many verandas

Children will get to tour the entire property. They will set up tables on one of the expansive verandas for lunch. The kids also get to play on the mansion grounds.


Another veranda view

Lemon Hill is also an extremely well-sought after wedding venue. Usually, vows are taken in the front of the mansion on the gorgeous Valley Forge marble stairway. Tents are usually put up on the immaculate grounds. Jones’ says that every bride that has been married here has felt like a genuine princess. Guests can’t get over the location. If your wedding is held here, it is usually the talk of the town.



Robert Morris’ desk, signer of the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence. Pratt’s actual office chair made out of a horse’s tail and made into cloth

Volunteers are always needed. Since it is a home that is over 200 years old, they are always looking for people to help out and to support the upkeep and preservation of the estate. Please contact the Lemon Hill office if interested in giving some of your time. It would be greatly appreciated.


One of only a handful of Apollo statues ever made. The same statute is even located at the Vatican

I want to thank Mrs. Jones for allowing me to feel like a princess for the day. She is a woman of class and distinction. You will truly walk away with a genuine learning experience. It will be a part of your soul for the rest of your life, as it has for Mrs. Jones and her wonderful family. After all, she raised a family here. Quincy, her son, even assisted in tours at the age of 7 and her daughter was married here. It’s now part of their family history.


Original spout. Notice the year 1800 marked on here. The year of its completion

There are many other treasures located on the estate around every corner. I didn’t even scratch the surface as i do not want to give it all away.

It is a gem located in the city of Philadelphia.


Top floor view

It’s a must to see in your lifetime.