The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts from the ‘Friends’ category

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!

 

Thanksgiving Week Vacation Day 2

Today, November 22nd, is the second day of our Thanksgiving week vacation.  Breakfast was from 7:00 am-10:00 am today at our hotel — the Best Western North East Inn, located in North East, MD.  We went downstairs for breakfast a little after 7:00 am.  Because of COVID-19 breakfast wasn’t the hotel’s typical full hot breakfast, served buffet style.  Breakfast was still good, though, with selections individually wrapped.  I had a hot egg and bacon sandwich, applesauce, a banana, orange juice, a chocolate chip muffin, and a cup of tea.  Bob picked up similar selections.  We carried our breakfast to our room on a tray and ate there.

We checked out of the hotel around 8:40 am and began the last leg of our drive.  Today’s destination is Chincoteague, VA.  As was the case yesterday, the GPS is programmed to avoid highways.

We made a bathroom stop in Cambridge MD at the Dorchester County Visitor Center.  A monument caught my eye.

This is the “Flying goose” monument fountain.

You can see the “Flying Goose” from several viewpoints or see it up close.

“Flying Goose” monument fountain

Returning to our car from the “Flying Goose” monument, we spotted a lighthouse off in the distance.

View of Choptank River Lighthouse from Dorchester County Visitor Center

We hopped into the car, drove 1 mile to Long Wharf Park and parked the car.

Bob and I with the Choptank River Lighthouse in the background

Choptank River Lighthouse

Choptank River Lighthouse

and one last photograph of the picturesque lighthouse

Choptank River Lighthouse

At 12:15 pm we met Tom and his girlfriend, Ellen, for lunch at Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Salisbury, MD.  We sat outside and ate our lunch.   

Lunch with friends at EVO Brewery in Salisbury, MD

Bob ordered a pulled pork sandwich with French fries; Tom ordered a brisket sandwich with French fries; and Ellen and I ordered  Brioche French Toast with strawberries and whipped cream. 

Brioche French Toast with strawberries and whipped cream

A little background … Tom graduated with Bob’s brother, John, who is 9 years older than Bob.  When we got together for lunch, I believed that I had never met Tom and that Bob and Tom hadn’t seen each other since high school.  During lunch Tom mentioned John’s 50th birthday, and I had a vague recollection of a photograph taken during John’s 50th birthday celebration.  I found that photograph, upon our return home.

Photograph Taken on the Occasion of John’s 50th Birthday (October 2000)

Apparently in October 2000 Tom, his wife Anne (who died in May 2019), and Bob and I celebrated John’s 50th birthday together.  The four of us are in the back row on the left.  

… Fast forward to 2018 …  

Bob and Tom became Facebook friends in August 2018.  Tom and I became friends on Facebook a few months later, in January 2019.  Tom likes photographs that I share on Facebook.  He has left many complimentary comments over the years.  We message each other occasionally too.  It was via Facebook Messenger that we made plans to meet on our way to Chincoteague, VA.  Tom, Bob and I believed an outdoor setting would be the safest way to meet, given COVID-19.   

… Back to the present …

Our respective lunches were delicious, and we enjoyed our time with both Tom and Ellen (whom we met for the first time today).  We hope to meet up again one day. 

 

I think it was 2:30 pm when we left the brewery.   We drove to Food Lion in Oak Hall, VA.  We picked up a few groceries and then drove to Tranquil Shores, our Airbnb rental in Chincoteague, VA.  We arrived at the rental shortly before 4:00 pm and got settled in.  Tranquil Shores is home through Saturday, November 28th.   

Our Airbnb rental was cleaned to COVID-19 standards.  We could smell the disinfectant, when we walked into the house.  The house was spotless.  When we stayed here before, pre-COVID, the refrigerator wasn’t completely emptied out in between guests.  The refrigerator was completely emptied, when we arrived today.  The empty refrigerator, in and of itself, gave me that little extra feeling of safety.

Tonight’s dinner was Sloppy Joes, coleslaw and, for dessert, cheesecake.  We purchased a small platter that contains 8 slices of cheesecake, four different flavors.  We will enjoy cheesecake for a few days this week. 

 

 

Outside is Safer

According to medical experts COVID-19 transmits more easily when inside closed areas, where there is less ventilation or room for airflow.  Generally, your risk of contracting the virus is remarkably lower when you are outside. This is because there is more space to separate from others and there is more natural airflow.

Bob and I went for a walk in our neighborhood this afternoon.  A neighbor’s backyard scene caught my eye.

What a great way to watch TV (golf in this instance) with friends!  

The temperature was around 45 degrees.  These two men look toasty warm, don’t they?

Summer Picnic

This past Saturday afternoon  we went to a picnic at our friends Mark and Faye’s house. Mark and Faye provided hot dogs and all the fixings, clams and corn on the cob.

This is how Mark cooked the corn on the cob.

Those attending the picnic brought a dish to pass.

Bob and I brought a cheese and pepperoni tray with crackers.

The food was plentiful and tasted great.

Scott looks like he is enjoying an ear of corn.

It rained, while we were at the picnic. The rain fell lightly at first but gained momentum. We had quite a heavy downpour that lasted a few minutes.

It is raining!
Note the red car with its top down!

The rain caused people to scatter. Some people took shelter inside the garage; some people took shelter in the shed; a few people took shelter under a tree; and some people took shelter under two canopies.

 

What’s a little rain, when you are having fun!

 

After about 20 minutes of rain, the sun returned.

Thank you, Mark and Faye, for hosting a great picnic.  We had a great time!

An All-Day Motorcycle Ride

Bob and I, along with two other couples, went on an all-day motorcycle ride on Saturday. We left home at 7:30 am and returned home about 12 hours later. We rode 266 miles.

We rode to Leonard Harrison State Park in Wellsboro. We made two stops en route the park. Our first stop was in Smethport, along Route 6.

Smethport, PA

We had just ridden over several miles of Route 59 that was tarred & chipped. This stop was to stretch and to commiserate with each other about having to ride over a road surface that had been recently tarred and chipped. Bob, Paul and John were driving at speeds to minimize the effects of fresh tar and chips to the motorcycles. People passing us drove too fast, disregarding what could happen, as they sprayed chips in our direction. Bob heard gravel hit our motorcycle. He thought the gravel hit the windshield. When he checked, he didn’t find a ding in the windshield. Bob said if the motorcycle sustained a ding, he will find it when he washes the bike. I hope none of the motorcycles received dings from flying gravel.

We did see immediate injury from a flying piece of gravel, though.

Paul was hit in the cheek with a flying chip. He sustained a small cut. Thankfully, his injury wasn’t any worse!

Our second stop was a fuel stop at Sheetz in Coudersport.

There is a very pretty park near Sheetz in Coudersport.
The park is where I took this very nice photograph of Debbie and Paul.

Oh no!  Not again!
We had no alternative but to ride on this road.
We were on the road leading into Leonard Harrison State Park.

We took our time admiring the view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, while at Leonard Harrison State Park.

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Leonard Harrison State Park

John, Carol, Bob and I

It was John and Carol’s first visit to Wellsboro. They liked the ride to the park, as well as the views from the park itself.

From Leonard Harrison State Park we rode into Wellsboro and ate lunch at the Wellsboro Diner. The diner was crowded, when we arrived. There was a booth available in the main part of the diner and a round table in the gift shop area. We chose the round table, as it provided more room and was in a quieter location. Everyone except for Bob ordered cheeseburgers and fries. Bob ordered a steak sandwich and onion rings. Lunch was very good.

On our way back home we made three stops. We made a fuel stop in Port Allegheny and we stopped for ice cream in Mt. Jewett. In between those two stops we visited Kinzua Bridge State Park. We walked across the Kinzua Skywalk.

Kinzua Skywalk

Remains of Kinzua Bridge, after tornado

It is quite an experience to walk out onto those blocks of glass.  I am smiling here.  I wasn’t smiling a few minutes before this photograph was taken.  I probably had a look of surprise on my face at that time, as Bob, Paul and John jumped up and down on the block of glass that I was standing on!

 

Paul is peering down to the forest floor below the bridge.

All six of us on the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk

We hung around the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk for a while. It was fun to watch and listen to people’s reactions, as they contemplated whether or not to walk on the blocks of glass from which you could see way, way down to the forest floor.

Oh, I almost forgot.  While riding en route Port Allegheny, Bob had to dodge flying square pieces of slab wood. He rode over one. Thankfully, we didn’t blow a tire and, more importantly, none of us were injured!

We had an amazing day with great friends. We enjoyed the ride, the laughter, the fun and making memories with our friends. Bob and I have visited Leonard Harrison State Park many times since we were married. We have enjoyed the beauty there together, alone.  Saturday was the first time that Bob and I were able to share the beauty of the view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from Leonard Harrison State Park with friends.

First Friday

According to a Wikipedia article, “First Friday is a name for various public events in some cities (particularly in the United States) that occur on the first Friday of every month.”  My hometown of Warren, PA hosts First Friday events. Downtown businesses come together under a fun theme, with special discounts and offers, on every First Friday.

Bob and I, along with friends, attended this month’s First Friday event in downtown Warren.  The theme of this month’s First Friday event was classic cars, hot rods and vintage bikes.  Our friends Paul, Shawn, Dave and George rode their vintage bikes to the event.

I took this picture shortly after our arrival on Liberty Street.

 After parking our motorcycles we walked along Liberty Street, admiring the cars. I took only a few pictures of the cars that participated in this First Friday event.

There was a good turnout for this month’s First Friday event.

After admiring the cars parked along Liberty Street, we ate dinner at The Plaza Restaurant.  Later in the evening we went to Dairy Queen for ice cream.

John and Carol at Dairy Queen

Paul and Debbie at Dairy Queen

Bob and I at Dairy Queen

It was a very enjoyable evening out with friends!

Two Birthdays Celebrated

Bob and I attended a birthday party this evening. The party celebrated the birthdays of two of our friends, Corky and his daughter Debbie.

This is Debbie and her husband with one of their children and some of their grandchildren.
Debbie is in the front row, second from the right.

This is Corky with two of his children and some of his grandchildren.
Corky is in the front row, first man on the left.

Bob and I attended Corky and Debbie’s birthday celebration five years ago too. https://thebeautyaroundus.com/2010/08/04/two-birthday-celebrations-one-party/

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