Candy Store Memories at La King’s Galveston

As a child, my sister and I often visited my grandparents for the day.  My mom would drop us off and give us each $1.00 which in the 70’s/early 80’s was a lot of money with strong purchasing power in the candy store world. We would plan our strategy before going to the local penny candy store up the street.  Yes, penny candy existed and we had 100 pennies to figure out the best allocation so that we had enough candy for the day to keep us satisfied.   I remember the wooden glass enclosed cases with two shelves of candy in wooden boxes that slid out, the top of the counter held candy in large glass apothecary jars.  In addition to the candy, there was a refrigerated case with drinks and a side freezer with ice cream treats.  We each had $1.00 and so many ways to be happy at the candy store.

La King's Galveston candy

The candy of my childhood at La King’s

And thus the patience of the clerk began as my sister and I would rattle off “5 of this”, “8 of that”, “one candy necklace”, “a pack of candy cigarettes”, etc.  I’m convinced we were good at math because we could add, multiple and subtract candy and our dollar budget. We had to dismiss the jaw breakers (Mom’s orders) as we watched all of the pieces being added up and put in the smallest of brown paper bags.  If we had any money left after pointing and choosing our treats, then we turned around to the ice cream.  We were fascinated with the waffle ice cream sandwiches – we never had waffles growing up. (we did bug my mom so much she gave in and bought the frozen waffles for us to toast and add ice cream).  Happy to spend all one hundred pennies in the candy store, we walked back home to Nana’s.

Happy candy store memories are what made me seek out  La King’s Galveston, located on the Strand, during my conference visit to the city.  Pulling back the heavy wooden door, I walked up the few steps and just took it all in.  In front of me were tables filled with families, couples, etc.  -everyone was as they should be in a candy/ice cream store – happy!  La King’s Galveston was founded in 1927 and today makes over 50 items with old time recipes (quite labor intensive) – that’s pretty amazing!  The Strand store contains a 1920’s soda fountain serving ice cream (local Galveston Purity ice cream hand made), milkshakes, malts, ice cream floats, sundaes and ice cream splits.  The modern offerings would be the coffee bar.  The candy side of the store features the hand dipped chocolates, the homemade brittles, fudge and a host of tempting treats for young and old.  No longer do you pay per piece, you pay by weight.

La Kings Galveston Ice Cream

Old Fashioned Soda Fountain at La Kings

La Kings Candy Galveston

The Illuminated Displays of Candy at La King’s

Walking toward the candy side, I slowly studied each offering behind the counter trying to mentality make that childhood list “one of this, two of that”. Flashbacks of my childhood candy store immediately played in my mind when I saw the jawbreakers in four sizes (Mom still wouldn’t approve, neither would my dentist), candy necklaces, candy cigarettes, wax candy – candy I haven’t seen in years, candy I thought was discontinued for a variety of reasons.  Tempted to buy the candy memories to bring home to my sister, I instead chose to do what any adult would do (take photos to post on social media) indulge my grown up candy tastes. Two sea salted caramels in chocolate,  two raspberry truffles and four chocolate covered pretzels were weighed and placed in my small brown paper bag. There are hand dipped chocolate everything – you name it, they do it!  I left the homemade ribbon candy, salt water taffy, fudge and so many other great candies behind (no candy should be left behind!).

Candy Cigarettes Gum Candy

Candy Cigarettes were so cool as kids as we tried to mimic our parents

Jawbreakers Candy

Things never change…jawbreakers are still banned in our household

A dollar today won’t buy a candy bar or pack of M&M’s as I’ve recently learned when I was craving chocolate at work.  To try to explain to my nieces the power of a dollar in a candy store gets lost (as does the whole I was the remote control as a child and there was no Disney channel or cable for that matter) and that make me sad for them.  Sad that they don’t have the memories of the candy store like I do as candy played such a big part in childhood fun.  If you want to relive your (or your parents) candy store memories of youth, then a visit to La King’s Galveston is a must – don’t worry about the calories, memories have no calories!

La Kings Galveston Salt Water Taffy

Salt Water Taffy – the perfect candy at the beach – over 20 flavors

Do you have any candy store memories growing up?  What was your favorite candy growing up?



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My Philly Favorites: Reading Terminal Market, A Food Gem in the City

Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market – farmers market in Philadelphia filled with aisles of fantastic foods and tempting treats

No visit to Philadelphia is complete without a visit to the Reading Terminal Market (tagline Fresh and Local Every Day) located in downtown Center City across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  The market is one of the largest and oldest markets in the U.S. with its origin in 1892 as part of the Reading Railroad train shed (the market was located below the tracks).  Over the years with the bankruptcy of the Reading Railroad and neglect, the market was in disrepair.  In the 1980’s, the city embarked on a massive relocation of the commuter rail system to bypass the terminal and in the 1990’s the Convention Center bought the building and set about to rebuild the historic market and train shed.  All of this happened before I started working in Center City, so I only know the Reading Terminal that I visit weekly.  I often think how nice it would have been to see the old train station live (not in historic photos) and the market area prior to all of the new buildings which are now almost 25 years old.  For the past twenty five years, many vendors have come and gone but the spirit of the market remains as each day it is filled with locals, tourists and convention attendees – it really is a gem in Philadelphia.

Before you enter, you will hear the street musicians outside the market and see the One Step Away vendors who are trying to combat homelessness by writing, producing and selling a street newspaper for $1.00 (it is a great local cause to help people earn money to find housing and jobs).

As I enter Reading Terminal Market, the four corners are enough to keep me blissfully happy without exploring the middle of the market.  In one corner, my favorite Amish counter, The Dutch Eating Place, for breakfast (blueberry pancakes, crispy bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice) or lunch (hot turkey platter with fresh squeezed lemonade).  In another corner, I’m indulging my sweet tooth at the PA General Store with locally made treats and goods such as chocolate from Asher’s, John & Kira’s and Neuchatel and my favorite cookies from Hope’s Cookies. Across the aisle are freshly made baked goods from Metropolitan Bakery (love their sour cherry sea salted chocolate chip cookie).  A new entrant to the tempting baked goods is Beiler’s Donuts which are made right in front of you – try to buy (eat) one!

Reading Terminal Market vendors

Indulging my sweet tooth at PA General Store and Metropolitan Bakery

Metropolitan Bakery at Reading Terminal Market

Tempting but my favorite is the Sour Cherry Sea Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie for $2

Beiler's Donuts

Amish Goodness – Beiler’s Donuts at Reading Terminal

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A Tasty Treat at Harrod’s Ice Cream Parlour

“I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream” unless, like me, you are lactose intolerant, then you just sit there sad with your once scoop of sorbet remembering a time when you could enjoy ice cream (yes, I’m still bitter by my diagnosis). Here I was at Harrod’s Ice Cream Parlour  at the iconic luxury department store in London with my niece, it was all so surreal.  The room was filled with multiple nationalities, languages, religions, etc. and yet, here we were enjoying our commonality, a love for ice cream (or sorbet in my case).

Harrods Ice Cream Parlour

The seats at the counter were empty for only a few minutes at Harrods Ice Cream Parlour

I tried to dissuade my niece from the ice cream idea after our late lunch (I was afraid to go because I knew the prices would be insane) as we walked back to the first floor food hall – “what about a cupcake, isn’t it so pretty?”, “how about pain du chocolat like we had in Paris?”, of course, my case was getting weak, the child wanted ice cream, more specifically the ice cream sundaes she watched the other kids eat with glee.  So back to the 2nd floor we went as I gave in and her mood did a 360 into this happy, no longer moody, child.

Cupcake Temptation at Harrods Food Hall

Cupcake Temptation at Harrods Food Hall was not enough to forget about the Ice Cream Parlour

Harrods Ice Cream Parlour

Table set for two at the ice cream parlour

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Categories: Dessert, London, Travel, Travel With Children, Travel with Niece(s) | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

As Visions of Greece Danced in My Head

This week many of my travel friends are in Athens, Greece for the TBEX conference, sadly, I was unable to attend due to work commitments. I’m a bit (very) jealous not to be sharing the adventures with them this week so I thought I’d share some of my favorite Greece photos (note these are all unedited photos, the country really is that gorgeous – no filter needed!).

Santorini Church Bells

Church Bells of Santorini

My first visit to Greece was over twenty years ago as part of a group tour with visits to multiple cities and a day cruise to various islands to explore.  At the time, I was just out of college and excited to explore the storied history and see all the ancient ruins I had studied in my European History class. It was interesting to see how the world had grown around the ruins (just like in Rome, Paris and other European cities), life in the form of cars, traffic and people passed by history on a daily basis as it was just part of the landscape.

Temple of Apollo Corinth Greece

Temple of Apollo in Corinth

Windmills of Mykonos

The windmills of Mykonos

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Why I’m Wine & Spirits Woeful in Pennsylvania

On wine tours in the past few years around the world, I’m often asked if I’d like to buy wine to bring home with me.  For most people, this is an easy question.  For me, I just give the winemaker a sad puppy dog look and reply “Pennsylvania” and immediately they know and instantly feel sorry for me. Living in Pennsylvania means that the state government buys and controls the wine – they won’t let me ship any wine to my house either (can’t sign up for a wine club, can’t ship that delicious wine I tasted on vacation, etc)  You’re thinking this is insane, right?  You’d be right but woe is the poor wine lover in Pennsylvania.  But the state doesn’t just control the wine but the liquor and beer too!


Wine at the British Airways lounge

Leave it to a foreign airline to source local – they offer Chadds Ford Winery in the British Airways Lounge at Philadelphia International Airport

The Commonwealth (because we are technically not a state although we say “State of PA” often) of Pennsylvania controls all alcohol, yes, all of it via the Liquor Control Board (LCB).  The LCB regulates happy hour rules/prices, charges a fortune for liquor licenses (which is why Philly has over 200 BYOBs) and is the largest purchaser of wine (which keeps prices pretty low based on bulk buying) .   If you ever see me (or other people) gawking at the ease of buying liquor in the corner store, supermarket or Costco you can guess we are from Pennsylvania.  There is no Two Buck Chuck at Trader’s Joes, no wine at Costco (let me repeat, I go to Costco and there is no wine!) and forget the supermarket (that would be too easy to have it all in one place.).  To make it even more complicated:

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Categories: Musings, Philadelphia, Travel, Wine | Tags: , , | 1 Comment