VACA – The Old Fashioned Way
I grew up pretty far from what anyone would ever call a “city.”
I have friends that I’ve met in college who are still dumbfounded at the idea that I have to drive ten miles to the nearest store, or that I haven’t been to some restaurant chain, even amazed that I had held a chicken, much less seen one.
It’s an understatement to say it’s a different lifestyle from living in a city, but there are many things you can appreciate. Nature is everywhere here and there’s something to be said for just being around greenery and in the fresh air. While the environment alone is not going to be a miracle cure for everything, it’s no secret that Vitamin D comes from sunlight and clean air can provide a surprisingly, beneficial boost to your immune system, as well as mental health and overall mood. Oftentimes, people feel like they need a vacation just to take advantage of that boost.
In the days, months, and years ahead, vacations are going to change. The draw of the outdoors and smaller town may be the answer. Summer has traditionally focused on new visits to new places, cities, beaches and the ever-present lure of Disney World. In the face of the pandemic, which has gripped the world, and the current necessity of social distancing, the trips to crowded places are going to change. Families still want to enjoy their summer days, but may wish to be more cautious until it is safer. Maybe someplace more off the beaten path.
Here in Honesdale, and the surrounding area, there are dozens of family owned businesses, some of which have been in business for decades; Art’s For Him, Elegante’s, VanGorder’s Furniture Store, Two Guys From Italy, to name a few. One of the biggest draws, especially during the summer months, has been the small resorts that call northeast Pennsylvania home.
Back in 1951, my own great-grandparents opened Lukan’s Farm Resort, and in nearby Beach Lake, the Thumann family opened Central House Resort, both expanding the use of “boarding houses” that have been a fixture in the area for years. I ended up working at Central House every summer and fall in the 6 years between 8th grade and my freshman year of college.
Central House Family Resort has been an annual retreat for many families over the years. And I’ve gotten to see a lot of it unfold over my years working there, from the Brooklyn Bowlers, to the annual baseball game that the Botten, Antonelli, McGuire and Lyons families have had every year for generations. And while it has modernized, in many ways it is still the same as it always was in the best ways. Meals are freshly cooked and served family style. Parents are outside playing family games with each other like kickball, horseshoes and bocci ball and an occasional nighttime game of manhunt. You get woken up each morning to by a bell being rung indicating 1 half hour till breakfast.
Some families have been coming for literally generations, and people who are now adults would sometimes comment on how once they had been ringing a bell before meals and now here they were watching their own children walk the same sidewalks.
For many, heading to a small resort, sitting lakeside or poolside, meals prepared by the owner can only be described as the perfect vacation. For those looking to leave the property, the location and environment of Wayne County more than provides some experiences in the green outdoors. The Delaware takes up the eastern edge. Prompton State Park and Lake Wallenpaupack are nearby in a county of over 700 square miles. There is something for everyone!
Many families over the years have found a great new tradition in northeastern PA. Central House Resort has become that annual escape, vacationing the “old-fashioned” way. While the world may be changing, there are still ways to create new family memories that can last for years to come