Category Archives: Explore

How To Turn Boiling Water Into Snow

The temperatures in Western Pennsylvania last night and today have been below zero! It’s been so long since it’s been this cold that I can’t even remember it, but I do remember people claiming that when it is extremely cold outside you can turn boiling water into snow in mid-air. So I had to put it to the test!

If you try it out share your videos with me on  Facebook and Twitter!

XOXO – Abbey

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Perseid Meteor Shower Check List

If you had plans tonight, cancel them. Instead, drive out to the middle of nowhere to catch the greatest show in the universe, the Perseid meteor shower. It’s supposed to be the best meteor shower in 2 years because of  the new moon and clear skies tonight. There is no denying I am a complete space nerd and I’m totally obsessed with shooting stars. They are just so cool! Last year for the Perseids, it ended up being pretty clowdy in western PA, so I didn’t get to see as many as I hoped. But this year they are predicting that with the right conditions you should be able to see 60 shooting stars every minute! Aaaah so pumped! So this is my check list for star gazing!

Drive out to the middle of nowhere!


The further you can get away from city lights the better your chances are of seeing a ton of shooting stars. My go to place is my boyfriend’s house. He has a bunch of great open fields to choose from and lives far away from city lights!

Pick a good hang out spot!



To me, the two best set ups for watching meteor showers are laying on a trampoline with blankets, because it’s really comfy. Or by a bonfire, because it’s really fun! We are going with the bonfire option tonight.

Bring snacks! 


If you have a bonfire you definitely need some snacks and nothing goes better with a bonfire and shooting stars than Smores!

Good Company!


Be sure to bring a friend or a few!




If you liked this post check out this one from last year!

I hope you wish upon a shooting star tonight ❤

XOXO – Abbey

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Workout Wednesday: Go for a hike!

Aaaaah fresh air. What a rejuvenating feeling to spend the day outside hiking or what I like to call it, just exploring! My favorite workouts are the ones when you don’t even realize you are exercising because you are having fun. And hiking is definitely one of those kind of workouts! And that is exactly what I did today, on this spectacular Workout Wednesday!


I found this calculator on that calculates how many calories you burn while hiking according to your weight and the duration.

hiking calculator

I burned 1,098.4 calories! I’ll take that any day!

My go to place is a Ohiopyle, a nearby state park. It is not only gorgeous but it has a ton of different trails for biking and exploring! I spent about two and a half hours up there today with my boyfriend hiking the trails and even put my feet in the water. Just for a little bit…it was COLD! The weather could not have been more perfect, high 70s and sunny with some clouds. Here are some photos from the day!


Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-131 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-13 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-132 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-133 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-134 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-135 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-136 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-137 Hiking at Ohio Pyle 4-10-138


Even if you are from a different area than I am that is no excuse not to go hiking! Look up state parks in your area or other places that have trails nearby where you live and just have fun exploring! I suggest taking a buddy with you so you aren’t alone. And watch your step for snakes and other creepy crawlies like my worst enemy, big spiders!





Send me pictures from your favorite hiking spots on Twitter!

Happy Workout Wednesday! And remember as long your moving that is better than nothing! So get up and get moving 🙂


XOXO – Abbey

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A visit to The Flight 93 National Memorial

It is hard to believe that last week marked the 11-year anniversary of 9/11. On the anniversary I posted my memories of the horrific day. I remember feeling safe from all of the terror because everything was happening far away. But those feelings quickly changed when Flight 93 was hijacked and then crashed into a field only one hour from my home.

This weekend I took a trip to Shanksville, Pa to remember those who died on 9/11 especially the 40 heroes from Flight 93. This was not the first time I visited the spot of the crash. I was there just a few months after it happened.  In 2001 there was a fence that was covered with items that people left there to remember the innocent victims. I remember being overwhelmed with sadness as I looked at everything that was left in the big empty field.

Today everything looks different but the feelings are the same. Instead of the lone fence there is now a beautiful permanent memorial that is still being worked on. It begins with a long windy road through fields with newly planted trees and flowers until you get to the area with the memorial wall.

There you will find a path that begins with signs that take you through the history of exactly what happened from the moment of take-off  to the final moments of the 33 passengers and 7 crew members.

On one of the signs there is a photo of the ball of smoke that was taken by a resident of Shanksville only a mile and a half away from the crash site. In the photo you can see a red barn. From that sign you can look to your right and see the barn in a nearby field. It gives you such a weird feeling because you can almost imagine what it would have been like for the people to live so close and see the plane flying right towards their house and crashing only a mile away from it.

At the memorial there are other signs with quotes from residents who live nearby and many described seeing the plane fly so low that they didn’t think it was going to clear the roofs of buildings. Others said that the noise from the plane was so loud that it actually caused their house windows to shake. After the signs, you continue down another long path and pass the exact crash site that is marked with a big boulder in the field. Only family members of the passengers and crew members are allowed beyond the gate to visit the exact spot where the plane went down.

If you look at the top right corner of the photo above you can see the red barn from the other photo with the smoke from the crash.  Directly to the right from where this photo was taken is the spot where the plane crashed. It gives you a sense of how close it was to their home. Also along the way on the path there are parts carved out of the walls where visitors can place small items to remember and honor those who died on 9/11.

At the very end of the path you will find a long wall that has every victim’s name on it. Along the wall there are even more items that were left by family members to remember their lost loved ones.

As I walked along the wall and looked at photos that were left by family members I could sense what they were like. 40 victims died that day and they all had a story. They were all different and from all around the world. But they will always be remembered as heroes.

I really recommend taking a trip to Shanksville, especially if you live nearby. It is a beautiful area in Pennsylvania and a wonderful way to remember and honor all of the victims and heroes from 9/11.

For more information visit the Flight 93 Memorial website. 

XOXO — Abbey

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Wish upon a shooting star — TONIGHT!

“Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?” – B.O.B.

No need to pretend tonight!!!

I have been waiting weeks for the Perseid meteor shower. Finally it is here! The Perseid meteor shower will reach it’s peak tonight (Aug 11) until the night of August 13th.  I am a complete space nerd and totally obsessed with shooting stars and making wishes on every single one! I am going to have plenty of wishes tonight because NASA says there should be about 100 visible shooting stars an hour!

Perseid image taken from Joshua Tree National Park. (Wally Pacholka /

Not only is there going to be a ridiculous amount of shooting stars but this meteor shower is even more special because the brightest planets in the sky will be lining up right in the middle of it all. NASA experts said Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon will gather together right at the peak of the meteor show.

It all begins at about 11 p.m. tonight and ends around dawn Sunday. Unfortunately much of the East is calling for cloudy skies but I am still taking my chances.

So tonight get in your car and drive to the middle of no where to see the greatest show in the universe! You can typically see about triple the number of meteors out in the country compared to the city. Lucky for me my boyfriend lives in the mountains with pretty much no light at all around his house. Our favorite way to star gaze is on the trampoline with some blankets!

I hope you all get out tonight and watch some stars fly by instead of sitting around watching TV!

Believe me you will LOVE it!

XOXO — Abbey

“Always shoot for the moon because even if you miss you will land among the stars.” 


Rollin’ Down the River

A few days ago I went on an adventure down the Youghiogheny river with my Mom (Doodle), Dad (Pap), sister (Shelby) and my boyfriend (Morgan.) We call my parents Doodle and Pap because that is what my nephew Quincy started calling them as soon as he could talk.

Floating down the river on rafts is a fun past time that I have enjoyed with Morgan and our friends many times but my parents and my sister have never floated down the river until now. My dad grew up in a mountainous area of PA and spent most of his childhood playing outside, fishing and hunting. But, Doodle on the other hand is definitely a city slicker. Not that the small southwestern PA town she grew up in was anything like the nearby city of Pittsburgh. But it is safe to say she already had a million fears of bugs and snakes running through her mind just thinking about getting her toes in the water. And getting her toes in the water was just the first dilemma of the day.

She took one step into the water and screamed because the water was “freezing” on the 95 degree day. Then her flip flops wouldn’t stay on when she walked into the water so she had to take them off. And then the rocks were stabbing her unprotected feet. Maybe it was my fault for forgetting to mention how sharp the rocks can be but I guess I just figured she would think to bring some old shoes for walking in the water.

Actually, she did remember to bring some old shoes — my old shoes. Ya, they are old shoes but the shoes she happened to pick are one of my favorite old pairs of Sanuk flip flops that were bright orange (my favorite color) and miraculously still in decent shape even tho they are my go to shoes for outdoor adventures like this. But there is a big difference between me and Doodle.

I don’t lose things. Doodle loses and/or breaks EVERYTHING.

So when she finally mangaged to walk far enough out into the water to climb on her raft I warned her that if she wears those flip flops in her raft and puts her feet in the water they will get ripped right off. Of course she is the boss and as usual ignores my warning and does it her way.

We made it about 20 minutes down the river all tied together in our rafts before Doodle yelps, “O no! My shoe fell off! Morgan go get it!”

It was a sinker.

You probably also noticed in the above photo that her sun glasses are broken in half. Somehow while wearing her sunglasses and sitting perfectly still they just snapped in half. New sunglasses just broke for no reason at all. Well, that is Doodle for ya. Pap thinks they melted. We eventually pulled over for a little bit to eat some lunch. Any lunch Doo packs is a good lunch! Doodle can make a 5 course meal out of basically nothing and I have never met anyone that can cook like she does. What outdoorsy skills Doodle lacks she definitely makes up for in the kitchen! While on our little mini break my dad found treasure!

At first we thought it was a real gun but then when the handle broke off we decided it must just be someones old toy. Maybe someone will find my lost orange Sanuk flip flop one day.

The rest of the trip went pretty smooth except for a little rain that felt like needles stabbing my skin. It was only a 10% chance of rain that day but that is just typical for the Ways attempting an adventure. But really the whole day was pretty awesome! We had a lot of fun and we bought four new rafts and managed to make it down the river without snagging any holes.


The hardest part of any outdoor adventure is always the clean up.

Squeezing all of the air out of those big river rafts is harder than it looks when you don’t have the pump with you. It was so hard that Morgan even took a little tumble down the hill.

If you have never floated down the river I definitely suggest it! Aside from the initial purchase of the rafts it is totally free and a great way to just be lazy and enjoy some time with friends and family outdoors! Remember to be safe on the water and take your life jackets just in case!

Also I bought a disposable water proof camera just for this trip for $10 and then it cost and additional $14 just to develop it! I am looking into buying a digital waterproof camera for my future water adventures.

XOXO — Abbey

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