The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘Family’ category

A Day in Erie

We spent the day Saturday, July 30, in Erie with my brother Jim, our sister-in-law Judy, and their dogs Piper and Ru. Jim and Judy arrived in Erie on Friday and spent two nights there. We met around 10:45 am near Sara’s Restaurant, along the road to Presque Isle State Park.  We drove around Presque Isle, making a few photo stops. 

Our first stop was at the Perry Monument.  I didn’t take any pictures during our walk at Perry Monument.

Our second stop was at the North Pier Lighthouse and then the houseboats on our way back out to the main park road. 

We walked first to the beach side of North Pier Lighthouse.
We then walked the North Pier to the lighthouse.
This houseboat, with a lighthouse, on Horseshoe Pond is my favorite.
According to this article, there are 24 houseboats on Horseshoe Pond.

Our third stop was at the Presque Isle Lighthouse. 

Presque Isle Lighthouse, with art show

We browsed the various artists’ wares for sale, but didn’t buy anything. 

Presque Isle Lighthouse

There is a fence surrounding the lighthouse property. The beach is behind me. There was a gate to the beach; however, it was locked. We tried to walk on the beach to where the gate is located. The beach is badly eroded.

Judy walking on a trail on a sand dune at Presque Isle Lighthouse beach. Some of the sand let go, and Judy slid down the dune. She had some difficulty getting back up, as the sand kept giving way. I didn’t go any farther on the trail, than where I am standing taking the picture!

While Judy, Jim and Bob attempted to make their way to the beach side of the lighthouse, I photographed the beach itself. By the way they didn’t make it to the lighthouse.

Presque Isle Lighthouse Beach
Presque Isle Lighthouse Beach

I believe if we had driven past the lighthouse a short way that we may have been able to walk back to the lighthouse.

From the lighthouse we drove to Smugglers Wharf, near Dobbins Landing, where we ate a late lunch / early dinner. 

Smugglers Wharf Restaurant
Photo obtained from Library of Congress

It was the first time that any of us had eaten at this restaurant.  We were not able to get patio seating. We were seated inside the restaurant with a view of Presque Isle Bay. We requested a table with a view, so that Jim and Judy could keep an eye on their dogs, who stayed in the car with all windows down. With the exception of Jim, we ordered seafood. Jim ordered chicken. Our food was good.  The service was OK.  Our waiter didn’t ask if we wanted anything other than water to drink or if we wanted any dessert.  He saved us money because we didn’t order any drinks or dessert!

After lunch/dinner we walked around Dobbins Landing.  

Dobbins Landing

We enjoyed seeing an old pirate ship. The pirate was squirting water at those passing by. He didn’t squirt water at us.

Old Pirate Ship near Dobbins Landing
Jim and Ru on a Seal at Dobbins Landing

The pirate on the old ship attacked the Skallywags Pirate Ship.  There was ship-to-ship water cannon battles.  It was a bonus that we were able to see the show unfold at Dobbins Landing.

Scallywags and Old Pirate Ship near Dobbins Landing

We parted ways at Dobbins Landing.  We are very glad that we were able to meet up with Jim and Judy and spend the day with them. I can count on one hand the number of times we have spent the day together in Erie.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

There was a light dusting of snow on the ground on Christmas Eve morning. That was the extent of our White Christmas, as the temperature for both Christmas Eve and Christmas were well above freezing. It also rained on Christmas Eve for most of the day.

Our Christmas Tree

Sometime after I took this picture the pre-lit lights on the top half of our 4-foot Christmas tree stopped working. There didn’t appear to be any reason for the bulbs not to work. The fuse was good. Bob checked individual bulbs, as best as he could, for any bad bulbs or bulbs not seated properly. On Christmas Eve day we took off the ornaments on the top half of our Christmas tree, and Bob pulled the top half of the tree from the base.  He still wasn’t able to figure out why the bulbs wouldn’t light on the top half of the tree.  We removed the light string completely from the top of the tree.  He inserted a bulb contained in a plastic bag fastened to the string of lights. That bulb blew out immediately! It was then that Bob decided to remove the bottom string of lights as well.  Afterward we put the ornaments on the Christmas tree and placed it back on the end table in front of the living room windows.  So, on Christmas Eve, the only light on the Christmas tree was the star at the very top of the tree.  We will buy strings of lights, or possibly a new Christmas tree, next year.

We spent a few daytime hours on Christmas Eve with Stacey and our granddaughters at their home in Oil City, PA.  

Harper and Juniper had spent the previous night at “Big Grandma” Chris and Jay’s house.  We picked up the girls there at 1:00 pm.  The four of us arrived in Oil City around 2:00 pm.  We kept the visit casual.   For food we snacked on pizza, chicken wing dip and chips, breaded mozzarella cheese sticks, and beef franks in a blanket.   We exchanged gifts with each other.

Our granddaughters liked their Triceratops and Brontosaurus night lights. The soft silicone night lights change between a variety of colors
and giggle when they are touched.

Sometime after our gift exchange, Juniper asked if I wanted to go outside and watch her hit a ball. That activity allowed us to talk about sports. I asked Juniper if she would be interested in playing ball at school. Juniper said no, that she likes to come home from school immediately.

I LOVE this picture of our granddaughters and me!
Stacey, our granddaughters, Bob and I on Christmas Eve day

Stacey and the girls baked Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. We took home a dozen cookies, which we ate in their entirety before the end of the day. It is a good thing we opted to take only a dozen cookies! We left for home around 4:30 pm. We enjoyed our visit with Stacey and our granddaughters very much.

Bob and I spent Christmas, just the two of us. We liked the Christmas gifts that we got from each other.  I gave Bob a golf club and a gift card for a local golf course, baking utensils for his pizza oven, and a Type C Micro SD card reader.  Bob gave me a hardback copy of The Bowser Family History, a Ninja smoothie maker, USB flash drives with a carrying case, and a battery backup for my electronic devices.

For Christmas dinner Bob prepared a spatchcocked turkey that he grilled on the pellet grill. 

Bob splatcocked a turkey for our Christmas dinner.

The turkey was delicious!  Accompanying the turkey was mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and cauliflower, and cranberry sauce. 

For dessert we each had a slice of the frozen peanut pie that
“Big Grandma” Chris had brought to us the other day.  

It was a quiet, but nice, Christmas. We didn’t mind spending the day just the two of us.

I hope all of my readers had as good a Christmas as we did.

Ohio Vacation Day 6 – Retirement! (6/30/2021)

Today is Bob’s first day of retirement from Betts Industries Inc., after 35 1/2 years service.

Bob started work at Betts Industries on November 26, 1984 (first day of buck season). Since June 2020, when he was laid off work because of COVID, Bob has been in practice for retirement. This week-long stay in Ohio is our first vacation in retirement.

I am using the words of a friend (thank you Debby) who wrote about retirement a few weeks ago. Debby’s words struck home with me. Debby wrote that the most luxurious part of retirement is that we can go as long as we want. There is no job to return to. There are no vacation days trickling through our fingers. The only thing determining the length of a vacation trip is us.

We are excited about this new chapter in our lives!

We ate lunch at The Brew Kettle in Hudson OH. I ordered Fish and Chips; Bob ordered a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries. Bob had a couple beers too. One beer was a celebratory drink.

Congratulations on your retirement, Bob!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my blog followers!

The top photograph was taken in November 2020, during our Thanksgiving week vacation in Chincoteague VA.  The photograph on the left along the bottom row was taken, while on our first date, in Annapolis MD in May 1998.   The bottom right photograph was taken in February, this year. Bob and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary in September, this year.

Couple Minutes of Crazy (Fun)

We took our granddaughters sled riding at Pool Hill in Youngsville, PA.

Earlier today I published a blog post about taking our granddaughters sled riding. In that blog post I shared a video that I had taken.

Bob also captured video, using our GoPro camera.

Bob compiled several video clips into one video. I especially love two edits that Bob did with the video. He zoomed in on the girls walking hand in hand up the sledding hill. He added slow motion to two wipeouts, and zoomed in as well.

Sled Riding Fun

We took our granddaughters sled riding this afternoon.

Harper and Juniper Pulling Sleds Up Hill

We went sled riding on Pool Hill in Youngsville, PA.  Our friends, Marge and Neil, who live near Pool Hill, joined us and enjoyed watching the girls sled ride too.

I think the girls had been sledding for about 40 minutes, when they wanted to take a break.  We took a break from sled riding to have hot cocoa and snacks.  Marge and Neil left us at that time to go for a walk.

We had one close call.  The sled that Harper was on got away from her before she was ready.  She rode backwards into the woods.  Bob was closest to Harper.  He ran to her,but wasn’t fast enough.  Harper ended up riding through brush, narrowly missing a couple tree trunks.  It was scary moment for Harper, Bob, Juniper and me.  Thankfully Harper didn’t get one scratch, sprain or broken bone!  She did want to go home right then and there, though.  We talked Harper into taking one more ride.  There is a quote that says “if you fall off a horse, you get back up”.  If you wipe out on a sled, you get back up.  Harper was a brave girl today. 

We had such a good time today.  It was wonderful to spend time with the girls.  The last time we saw the girls was 2 months ago. I had not been seeing anyone, except Bob, since late November.  COVID-19 was rampant in our small community.  It was my decision to self isolate, as I have underlying health issues.  Given my health issues, I feel that I would not do well if I contracted COVID.  The numbers of positive COVID cases have decreased significantly, and I felt safe once again to be with my granddaughters.

Year in Review 2020

Bob, Wickett and me at our house on New Years Eve

Amazon Photos made this Year in Review slideshow for me.  Please click on “slideshow” to view the video.  Keep clicking until the slideshow begins.

The slideshow features Bob and me, Stacey and our two granddaughters, my brother and his wife, three great nieces, a few of our local motorcycle riding friends, and some of our friends with whom we were fortunate to spend a week with in the Outer Banks, and lunch with friends in Salisbury MD on our way to Chincoteague VA.

What great memories to remind me that 2020, with all that was bad about it, still had good things!

 

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