Oh, I love the Laurel Highlands!

I took a short drive out towards Donegal this afternoon to visit with Judy Trabbold, the owner of the Historic Log Cabin  Inn.  Judy has vast knowledge about herbs and edible flowers, and she is a delight.   The Inn is a very old real log cabin, which Judy has painstakingly restored.     This blacksmith’s house is one of the oldest homes in Somerset County –   from the 1700s – and it is super charming inside.  Lucky guests can stay here and walk around the path outside, where you can sit and enjoy the great outdoors.  It would be a treat to stay here in any season.  I wanted to crawl in one of the beds and take a nap.

The dessert table at Connections in Ligonier

After the  Inn and Judy’s jasmine green tea, I took the always glorious drive on Route 711 on to Ligonier.  I wanted to stp at Connections on 109 South Market Street for some lunch.  The last time I was there was talented pastry wizard Sharon Detar’s grand opening a few months ago and things were crazy.  This time, without the big opening day crowd (and my own tour group) I had more time to enjoy myself in the shop.  I was so impressed with the calm colors and stylish table decor along with a great selection of free trade gifts.  But, oh, the food!  I ordered ( sorry to admit that I ate all of this, but I did) curried chicken salad, a mixed veggie salad with tomatoes, beans, onions and asparagus, and a slice of an ethereal white chocolate raspberry tart .  All washed down with freshly brewed raspberry hibiscus tea. Connections also carries Old Linn Run Coffee, one of my favorites. I can’t wait to go back to both of these places. They are really special.

Hard to resist the pepperoni bread at DeLallo's

On the way home, on the lovely (not), traffic light strewn Route 30, I made my requisite stop at  DeLallo’s, where I picked up some piquillo peppers, fresh mozzarella, fresh spinach, stuffed mushrooms and watermelon. Perfect for a lovely summer dinner.

Such a short drive from Pittsburgh and such wonderful local treasures.   We are so fortunate.