The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts from the ‘Pennsylvania’ category

Indian Foods Dinner

Tim, one of Bob’s high school classmates, invited us in early September to join he and his wife for a traditional Indian Thanksgiving dinner. That dinner, the 58th Annual Indian Foods Dinner, was held yesterday at 1:00 pm.

The Indian Foods Dinner is sponsored by the Jimersontown Presbyterian Church. The dinner was held at the Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building in Salamanca, NY. When we arrived at the administration building around noon, Tim and Kathy were already seated at a table set for eight. We gave our names to the cashier, then Tim’s name, then Kathy’s name…reservations were under Kathy’s name. We paid our $13.00 each and joined Kathy and Tim. Bob sat next to Tim. I sat next to Kathy. As I wrote earlier, Bob and Tim know each other from high school. Bob remembers Tim from a younger age in the neighborhood and riding the bus to high school together. Bob had never met Kathy. I knew Tim only from Facebook. He commented on photographs that I posted in the You Grew Up in Warren PA Facebook group and was, in general, a frequent commenter on other posts in the group. Conversation flowed quickly. Bob and Tim reminisced; Tim, Kathy and I initiated the small talk that begins the process of getting to know one another. We were joined by a woman. I didn’t catch her name. She sat down next to Bob. Just before the pastor of the church welcomed us to the dinner, Wayne and Lori  joined us. Lori sat next to me; Wayne sat next to Lori. Another woman joined us, sitting down next to Wayne. I didn’t catch her name either.

We were welcomed to the dinner by the pastor of Jimersontown Presbyterian Church. He, then, introduced us to Tyler Heron. Tyler is one of the organizers of the dinner, as well as one of the preparers of the traditional foods. In addition, Tyler is featured in the film “Lake of Betrayal” narrating portions of the film and appearing in segments of the film. Lake of Betrayal is the story of Kinzua Dam. The film examines the US government’s taking of Native lands for dam building and the extraordinary fight the Seneca Nation undertook to protect its sovereignty and ensure its cultural survival. This film will be aired on PBS November 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm. A short word of prayer was said, after Tyler spoke to us. Then it was time to eat.

The menu for the Indian Foods Dinner included Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes with gravy, Green Beans, Hulled Corn Soup, Roast Venison, Boiled Corn Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Sauce, Cole Slaw, Fry Bread, Apple Cider, Coffee and Water.

My plate of food (minus the venison)
I gave my venison to Bob.

The food was delicious.

During dinner, conversation continued to flow nicely. New friendships were initiated. I really enjoyed Tim, Kathy, Lori and Wayne’s company. Kathy and I are the same age, as are Bob and Tim. Lori is a few years younger than Kathy and me. Lori is older than Wayne. Kathy, Lori and I are all older than our husbands. Some of the things I learned about our new friends include the following. Kathy traveled cross country years ago. She slept in a pop up tent that was attached to a pickup truck. Kathy and Lori are nurses. Wayne and Lori moved to New York from Texas recently. Wayne and Lori enjoy travel. Everyone likes to eat at Sprague’s Maple Farms and at The Plaza in Warren. Wayne and Lori have a blended family. Lori and Wayne have six children; no grandchildren.  I believe we are well on our way to new friendships.

It was 3:00 pm, when we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Tim said we should do something together again. I hope that we do. We had a good time.

Leaving the Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building, Bob and I drove to Allegany State Park.

DA211811Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building
(view from ASP 1 overlook)

From ASP 1 we enter Allegany State Park’s Red House area.  We made stops at Stone Tower, the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge and the Red House Administration Building.

DA211819Stone Tower
The Stone Tower dates from 1933.  It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps,
as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal effort.

The lure of Stone Tower is the panoramic view afforded from its vantage point.

DA211815View from Stone Tower

DA211818View from Stone Tower road

Our next stop was at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

DA211827Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

The Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge was built in 1989. It is a pedestrian bridge. In addition to foot traffic, the bridge is used by bicyclists and, in the winter, by snowmobile riders.  Its 110-foot length spans Red House Creek.

Our last stop in the Red House area was at the Red House Administration Building.

The Pumpkins in the Park event was just ending, when we arrived at the Red House Administration Building.

I found this flyer on the Allegany State Park’s Facebook page.  The information about this event indicated it was in its second year.


We received an Autumn welcome
at the Red House Administration Building.

IMG_20171021_155841Bob took this picture of me with a large smiling pumpkin that we found
on the grounds of the Red House Administration Building.

We left the Red House area and drove to Quaker Lake.

DA211837Quaker Lake

Our plan for Allegany State Park was to take some pictures and hang out until 7:00 pm, when Paul Crawford would be performing at the Quaker Bath House in the lakeside room.  According to promotional information about the concert, Paul has been playing contemporary and classic rock, contemporary country, and some originals for over twenty-five years. Paul is the administrator on a few Facebook pages that feature the Allegany State Park. I have enjoyed his photography on those pages for a few years but have never heard him play guitar and sing.

DA211840Quaker Lake
Across the lake is the Quaker Bath House.

Bob and I decided a 4-hour wait for Paul’s concert was too long. I took a few pictures in the park, and then we left for home. I hope in the future we have another opportunity to hear Paul perform.

On our way back home from Allegany State Park, we stopped briefly at Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir in McKean County, PA.

The water in the Allegheny Reservoir is quite low.

A father and son, with kayaks, arrived at Sugar Bay as we were leaving. They would have to carry (or drag) the kayaks quite a distance before reaching open water.

What a great day!  We ate a very tasty dinner; we made new friends; and we enjoyed Autumn’s beauty at Allegany State Park.


Our Outer Banks Vacation – Warren PA to Fredericksburg VA

Last night we made plans to go out for breakfast, before beginning our two-day drive to the Outer Banks.  When everyone awakened this morning, I asked if it would be OK if we ate breakfast at home instead of going out.   Everyone was amenable, so I made breakfast for the four of us. Making breakfast saved money and made for a leisure start to the day. Breakfast included scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee/tea and fruit cocktail.

We were on our way out of Warren by 7:30 am, en route Fredricksburg, VA. We will overnight in Fredricksburg and continue on to Corolla, NC in the morning. Bob and I were in the lead; Jim and Sandy followed behind. Jim’s Walkie Talkies provided  great communication between the two cars.   Our day started out foggy.  We drove in and out of fog for about an hour. The rest of the day we enjoyed blue skies and plenty of sunshine.

Our first stop was about an hour later in Brookville, PA at Sheetz. We filled the fuel tanks and took advantage of the bathroom facilities

Our second stop was at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA.  This was Bob and my third visit to the memorial. It was Jim and Sandy’s first visit. We arrived at the memorial shortly before 11:00 am. We visited the Visitor Center Complex (new to us) first. We walked the Flight Path Walkway and Overlook.

_LG24700Flight Path Walkway
My back is to the Overlook.

_LG24699Flight Path Overlook

The overlook provides a view of the Memorial Plaza at the crash site.

A National Park Service volunteer spoke with us for 25-30 minutes, providing information regarding Flight 93.

National Park Service Volunteer

The volunteer’s talk was riveting and emotional.

Inside the Visitor Center were several informative exhibits regarding Flight 93, as well as the three other flights that crashed the morning of September 11, 2001.  The following three photographs are displays showing some of the thousands of artifacts that have been left at the memorial.  There were several other informative exhibits in addition to the ones displayed below.

Some of the thousands of artifacts left at the memorial


More artifacts

From the Visitor Center we drove to the Memorial Plaza.  We followed the pathway to the Wall of Names.

_LG24719Wall of Names

A wooden gate is located at the end of the Wall of Names.  My back is to this wooden gate in the photo displayed above.

The white walls behind the fence show the flight path.
The boulder seen through the fence is where Flight 93 crashed.

This was not the first time that we had seen the Flight 93 Memorial. We visited the Flight 93 Memorial for the first time in April 2008. It was a temporary memorial at that time.


The temporary memorial included a 40-foot (to commemorate the 40 passengers and crew) chain-link fence on which visitors left flowers, flags, hats, rosaries, and other items.


The Wall of Names now stands where this temporary chain-link fence stood.

We also visited the memorial in September 2012.

E9143974 4x6Approaching the Wall of Names during our visit in 2012

We departed the Flight 93 National Memorial at 12:15 pm and continued driving east on U.S. Route 30.

We ate lunch at McDonald’s in Everett, PA.  We were back on the road at 1:24 pm.

We continued our drive on U.S. Route 30 to Breezewood, where we picked up Interstate 70. Soon after entering Maryland we exited onto U.S. Route 522 to Berkeley Springs, WV.  From Berkeley Springs we continued on U.S. Route 522 through Winchester, VA to U.S. Route 17 South.  Traffic was light driving through both Berkeley Springs and Winchester.

We arrived at the Best Western Fredericksburg around 4:45 pm. We checked into our respective rooms. We are on the second floor, with one room separating us.  After a hearty dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant, which is located on the hotel grounds, we spent rest of the evening relaxing in our hotel rooms.  Part of our relaxing was done together in Jim and Sandy’s room.  Jim opened a bottle of Eagle Rare.  Bob and Jim shared a glass of bourbon, while Jim began work on his blog and conversed with us at the same time.  Sandy caught up on Facebook, and I edited pictures taken today.

Bob and I returned to our room maybe an hour later.  I worked on the narrative portion of my blog.  Tiredness overcame me (and Bob too).  We were both in bed by 9:00 pm.

Please click here for Jim’s blog post on today’s activities.

Meeting a Blogging and Facebook Friend for the First Time

I met a blogging and Facebook friend for the first time yesterday morning. Eileen and I began reading and commenting on each other’s blog posts in December 2009. Eileen has three blogs, of which I read most often the blog entitled “Viewing nature with Eileen”.  Eileen and I became Facebook friends in September 2010.

Eileen and her husband, Michael, live in Maryland.  They are in Pennsylvania on vacation.  Their vacation plans included visiting two Pennsylvania State Parks —Cook Forest State Park and Presque Isle State Park— and meeting me, if possible.  Another Pennsylvania State Park was added to their itinerary, when Eileen and I made plans earlier this week to meet at Kinzua Bridge State Park.

I met Eileen and Michael at Kinzua Bridge State Park yesterday at 10:00 am. Kinzua Bridge State Park is located near Mt. Jewett, PA in McKean County.  It is the home of the Kinzua Viaduct.  The Viaduct, once known as the longest and tallest railroad structure at 2,053 feet long and 301 feet high, was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003.  I drove to the park from my home in Warren, PA. Eileen and Michael drove to the park from Clarion (where they stayed while visiting Cook Forest State Park).  While at the park we walked across the Kinzua Viaduct (now known as the Kinzua Bridge skywalk); we viewed the bridge and its ruins from three observation platforms; and we walked through the Visitor Center.

Eileen and Michael on the Kinzua Bridge skywalk

Eileen and me at the end of the skywalk

20170920_142759945_iOSKinzua Bridge skywalk and bridge ruins
(view from first observation platform)

We walked down to the lower observation platform seen in the photograph displayed above.

20170920_143221561_iOSKinzua Bridge skywalk and bridge ruins
(view from second observation platform)

On our way to the Picture Taking Platform under the skywalk, a colorful scene stopped me in my tracks.

Autumn is right around the corner

A nice woman took a picture of the three of us
and the remaining support towers from the Picture Taking Platform.
I LOVE the “3D” effect behind us.

I reciprocated the favor by taking a picture of the woman with her father.

I LOVE the “3D” effect!

20170920_144425872_iOSA side view of the Kinzua Bridge skywalk and the bridge ruins

Eileen and Michael told me that they visited Kinzua Bridge State Park, with their young son, many years ago.  The park looks a lot different now, compared to when they first visited.  Their first visit was several years before the tornado hit that knocked down the railroad bridge.  A train still traveled across the railroad bridge on their first visit.

We departed each others company, after visiting Kinzua Bridge State Park.  Eileen and Michael headed to Presque Isle State Park; I returned home.

I am glad that Eileen, Michael and I were able to get together, albeit for a short time. We enjoyed each others company and conversation, while taking in picturesque views.

Labor Day Motorcycle Ride

We enjoyed an all-day motorcycle ride with friends on Labor Day (September 4th).

We met our friends at 7:30 am at the Hog Wild BBQ just outside of Warren.

20170904_112444983_iOSOur ride began at the Hog Wild BBQ Co.

It was a chilly (and sometimes foggy) ride through lunch time. To prepare for the cold ride I wore the liner in my leather coat and leggings underneath my jeans.  I wore a long sleeved shirt underneath my leather jacket. A pair of gloves completed my cold weather wear.  Everyone else dressed warmly as well.  We removed layers, as it warmed up.  It was very freeing, when the last of the warm weather clothing was removed.  Donna and I were in agreement that doing so was freeing.  We could move freely once again!

We followed Pennsylvania Route 59 and U.S. Route 6 to Wellsboro, making one stop in Port Allegheny.

20170904_124800914_iOSWe stopped briefly at Sheetz in Port Allegheny, PA.

Debbie was inside Sheetz at the time I took the picture displayed above.  I wasn’t in that picture, because I took the picture.  Scott said I am never in any of our group pictures.  I handed Scott my iPhone, when Debbie came out of Sheetz.

20170904_124846909_iOSDebbie and I at Sheetz
(photo by Scott)

The purpose of our ride to Wellsboro was to see Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon. It was the first time three of our friends had ever been there.  We enjoyed the view from both Colton Point State Park and Leonard Harrison State Park.

_LG24568Donna and Scott at Colton Point State Park

_LG24569Bob and our friends at Colton Point State Park

We even enjoyed (after the fact) an off-road ride on a slick, muddy trail at Colton Point State Park. The muddy trail was a bit treacherous riding on heavy street motorcycles!   Thankfully, there was no mishaps.  That is why I wrote that we enjoyed the off-road rode AFTER we successfully made it to pavement once again.

From Colton Point State Park we rode to Leonard Harrison State Park.

_LG24582A very nice young couple took a picture of all of us at Leonard Harrison State Park.

I reciprocated the favor by taking a picture of the two of them at this overlook.

We ate lunch at the Wellsboro Diner.  The diner was crowded, when we arrived.  It stayed busy for our entire stay.  We had hoped to get the big table in back, but we settled for two booths, one in front of the other.  I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch of an omelet, toast and home fries.  Bob said his roast beef club sandwich was good.  I heard nothing but praise for each lunch selection.

We made three stops on the way back home.  Our first stop was for fuel in Wellsboro.  Our second stop was at Sheetz, once again in Port Allegheny.  It seemed like it took longer to get here on the way home than it did on the way to Wellsboro!  The motorcycle riders sure needed a break to stretch.  A few of us needed caffeine and carbs to alleviate sleepiness!


Paul cheated at the Port Allegheny stop.
He put up the soft top on the jeep.
The jeep was pretending to be a motorcycle.

The wind was bothering Paul’s ears.  I suggested ear muffs next time.  Someone else suggested that Paul wear a helmet.

Our third stop was for ice cream at the Mt. Jewett Family Tastee Freeze.  We call our group “2 Scoop Cycletherapy”, and we always include an ice cream stop on our rides.

We rode about 260 miles, returning home around 6:00 pm. We had a fun day with our friends sharing beautiful vistas, laughs, conversation and food.  The ride was a great way to conclude the unofficial end of summer. I hope, though, that we get in a few more rides before the riding season ends!


Warren County Fair

Late last month my friend Nokomis asked if I would be willing to take pictures of her daughter at the Warren County Fair Queen Pageant on Monday, August 7. Honored to be asked to take pictures, I readily agreed to do so. Nokomis gifted me two fair passes, good for free admission all week long, for taking the pictures.  The gift was unnecessary, but welcome.

The Warren County Fair was held the week of August 7.  Bob and I attended the fair three times.

On Monday, August 7, we attended the Warren County Fair Queen Pageant.  We arrived at the fair grounds around 5:30 pm. I thought we might have difficulty finding parking because admission to the fair was free Monday evening.  We easily found parking. Shortly before the pageant was to begin I took a picture of two of six princesses who would be crowned during the pageant.

Two pretty princesses
The girl in blue is my friend Nokomis’s daughter.

My main focus during the pageant was photographing Nokomis’s daughter.  Here are some highlights from the Warren County Fair Queen pageant.

My friend’s daughter presented…

…and crowned.

LJG23188The princesses did very well in their dance routine.

LJG23196Each princess was asked one question.
My friend’s daughter was asked what is her horse’s name. She responded “Tinkerbell”.

LJG23202This year’s fair queen and runner up.

My favorite picture of the evening, though, was not on stage.  This was my favorite picture, which is both a candid and evocative portrait of a princess and her daddy.

_LG23161A princess and her daddy

The Warren County Fair Queen Pageant ended at 8:20 pm.  We returned home by 9:00 pm.

Bob and I went to the Warren County Fair again on Wednesday, August 9, after Bob came home from work. We spent about 2 1/2 hours at the fair. We ate dinner, supporting the Zem Zem Hornets with our food purchases. Bob ordered a hot Italian sausage sandwich; I ordered a Steak ‘n Cheese sandwich. We found seating at a picnic table and enjoyed a picnic-style dinner.

After dinner we began to check out the barn animals. We had only reached the rabbit barn, when Nokomis found us. She said that a show would soon be starting at the Equestrian Show Ring.  At first the riding was just for fun, giving the horses some exercise.

XZ091315My friend’s daughter, riding Tinkerbell

The corral was cleared after a short time, in preparation for a performance by the Equestrian Drill Team. Nokomis’s daughter was part of the drill team.  Here is a short video of the drill team performance.

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

I took this picture at the conclusion of the drill team performance.

XZ091334Nokomis’s daughter is the young girl riding the smallest horse.

Bob and I left the Equestrian Show Ring after the drill team performance and visited the barn animals. We saw cows, more horses, chickens, more bunnies, goats, sheep and pigs. We checked out the commercial displays inside some of the buildings, as well as food, quilts, crocheting, art and photographic displays.

Bob and I attended the Warren County Fair again on Saturday, August 12, the last day of the fair.  We arrived around 12:00 pm. We ate lunch, supporting the St. Luke Roman Catholic Church of Youngsville PA with our food purchases. Bob ordered a meatball sub combo meal; I ordered a 3-meat sub combo meal. Besides our sandwiches lunch included beverage of choice, pretzels and a chocolate chip cookie (Bob) and chocolate peanut butter fudge (Linda). We found seating at a picnic table and enjoyed a picnic-style lunch.

After lunch we went in search of Nokomis to see if she had a better handle on when the costumed horse show would begin, rather than her earlier in the week “sometime in the afternoon” response (the best that she could give us at the time). Bob and I went to the Equestrian Show Ring, where we stumbled upon our friends, Doyle and Sheila B.  After a brief chat, I left still looking for Nokomis. Bob stayed behind and continued chatting with Doyle and Sheila. I saw Nokomis’s dad (Scott), who was looking for Nokomis too. After a brief chat with Scott, I walked to Tinkerbell’s stall, which I found empty. The empty stall told me that Tinkerbell and Nokomis’s daughter were participating in a horse competition. I walked back to the Equestrian Show Ring, on the opposite side from where Bob was sitting with Sheila and Doyle. I spotted Nokomis, her daughter and Tinkerbell in the staging area of the show ring. There was an ongoing horse show but not the costumed horse show, at least not yet. I walked back over to where Doyle, Sheila and Bob were seated. Sheila and Doyle’s son Brian and his family had joined Sheila and Doyle. Bob and I didn’t stay for long, upon my return, as his daughter Stacey messaged me around 1:00 pm stating that she and the girls had arrived at the fair.

Bob and I made our way to The Midway, where we found Stacey and the girls. Bob and I hung out with Stacey and the girls while they rode rides.

_LG23256Harper and Juniper on the “bug ride”.

Harper, Juniper and Stacey rode the Carousel.

_LG23259Stacey, Juniper and Harper on the Carousel

In the preceding picture, Harper is in the forefront, just before the carousel ride began.

_LG23260Here is Juniper, enjoying the carousel ride.

_LG23262Harper and Juniper on the helicopter ride.

_LG23269The girls liked the “frog ride”.


The majority of The Midway rides were included with the fair entrance fee. Some of the rides, though, cost extra. Bob and I paid $5.00 for each girl so that they could bungee jump.

Juniper did the bungee jump first.

_LG23275Juniper gets buckled in for her bungee jump.

And here she goes …

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

Harper’s turn was next.

_LG23283Harper is buckled in and ready to begin her bungee jump.

And here she goes…

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

After a while the girls tired of riding rides.  We went to the Equestrian Show Ring, after stopping for water for the girls and a sandwich for Stacey (Harper and Juniper were not hungry). We arrived at the Equestrian Show Ring toward the end of the costumed horse show.

_LG23291My friend Nokomis and her daughter’s costumed horse entry

_LG23293Some of the other costumed horse entries

If we had arrived at the beginning of the costumed horse show, I would have photographed each contestant.  All of the costumes were very creative.

_LG23295Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

I didn’t capture Miss Muffet being frightened away by the spider.  She got up from her tuffet and ran to the bleachers, screaming all the way!

_LG23297My friend’s daughter won first place for her “Little Miss Muffet” entry in the costumed horse show.

Harper and Juniper enjoyed the costumed horse show.  I wish we had arrived in time to see the entire show.

We left the Equestrian Show Ring, after the costumed horse show, and checked out some of the barn animals. Harper and Juniper met Nokomis and her daughter.  Nokomis showed the girls the big white draft horse that her daughter would next be competing on.

_LG23298The girls liked that Nokomis said it was OK to pet the horse.


Leaving the barn area, we parted ways with Stacey and the girls.  We caught up with them again later at the Fire Fighter show.

_LG23301Fire Fighter Show

At the end of the show all children were invited to crawl on the floor through a building that had “real, fake smoke” inside.

Juniper emerges from the smoke-filled building.


Harper emerges from the smoke-filled building.
The boy with his hands raised up is the girls’ friend, William.


We left Stacey and the girls after the Fire Fighter show and went to find seats for the Terry Lee Goffee concert. Stacey and the girls went with William and his grandmother to The Midway to go on more rides.

The Terry Lee Goffee concert is a tribute show to Johnny Cash. The show was awesome. All the songs one would expect to be heard at a Johnny Cash concert were performed by Terry Lee Goffee. He sounded just like the real deal! We sat in lower bleacher seating, which ended up being great seating for taking pictures with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera and 75mm prime lens.

_LG23337Terry Lee Goffee, as Johnny Cash

Here is a video clip of one of the songs Mr. Goffee performed.  Listen and you, too, will think he sounds just like the real deal!

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

What a great week we had at the Warren County Fair!  Thank you, again, Nokomis for the complimentary fair passes.  We very much appreciated your gift.




Senior Citizen’s Day at the Erie Zoo

Sometime Monday I posted on Facebook that I was planning to go on a photo walk at the Erie Zoo on Wednesday.   I asked if anyone would be interested in joining me. A few people showed interest, but they had other plans.

Tuesday afternoon I saw the following Erie Zoo Facebook page post:

“Calling all Senior Citizens! Join us for a fun-filled, free day at the Erie Zoo this Wednesday July 26th from 10am-2pm. On this special day, seniors ages 62 and over and their grandchildren under 18 years old will receive free Zoo admission, free lemonade, free popcorn and a free carousel ride. Thank you to UPMC Health Plan and Northwest Bank for making this day possible.”

I decided at that time NOT to go to the zoo, as I suspected that the zoo would be crowded. I posted on Facebook that I would not be going to the zoo.

Early Wednesday morning I changed my mind and decided to go to the zoo.

I departed home at 8:00 am and arrived at Erie Zoo at 9:15 am, 45 minutes before the zoo opened. There was already a small line forming at the gate! I walked over and got in line. The gate opened at 10:00 am.  Here is a Smilebox video of some of the animals and other things that I saw at the zoo.

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In recognition of the Senior Citizen’s Day event, there were many informational booths in healthcare, wellness, and entertainment scattered throughout the zoo. At these booths were informational brochures and free stuff (e.g. Notepads, Kleenex, bottle openers, measuring tape, pens, etc.) Here is a picture of all the free stuff I got.

In addition to it being Senior Citizen’s Day at the zoo, it was Wild Wednesday (the last one this year), when the zoo stays open until 8:00 pm.  I am a member of the Erie Zoo.  Besides the Senior Citizen’s Day giveaways shown in this picture,  as a perk for zoo members on Wild Wednesday, I rode the Wildlife Carousel and Safari Train for free and got a free hot dog and soft drink for lunch.

I am SO glad that I decided to go to the zoo after all.  I had a very good time!


Maggie Valley NC to Warren PA

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our eighth, and final, day of vacation.

I wish I had slept better the night before.  Bob’s snoring awakened me, and the room temperature wasn’t good. I was either too warm or cold. Apparently I slept with an ant too. While half asleep, during the night, I changed my sleeping position. I rested the side of my head on another pillow. I heard a buzzing noise…bee? fly? I turned on the light and lifted my pillow….nothing. I lifted the other pillow…nothing. I pulled back the bed sheet and shook the covers…nothing. I eventually went back to sleep. Later on, I placed my hand underneath the pillow and felt movement. I brushed my hand outward. I got up, looked underneath the pillow and saw a black, plump ant moving quickly to the head of the bed. I flattened that ant, without a moment’s thought.

We departed A Holiday Motel on Sunday, May 21, at 5:15 am, in the rain.  We arrived at Cracker Barrel in Asheville, NC at 5:50 am. We had an approximate wait of 10 minutes before the restaurant opened. While we ate, it got lighter outside. The rain, however, continued. We were back on the road around 6:30 am.

Our next stop was 3 hours later at the Rocky Gap Safety Rest Area/Welcome Center, located along Interstate 77 in Virginia. The only thing noteworthy about this rest stop was some old vehicles that we saw in the parking lot.

20170521_133433293_iOSInterstate 77 in Virginia at the
Rocky Gap Safety Rest Area/Welcome Center

The rain turned into drizzle, as we entered West Virginia and soon stopped completely.

We ate lunch at Shoney’s in Summersville, WV. We were back on the road at noon.

The Pennsylvania Welcome Center in Waynesburg is a very nice welcome center. It is full of brochures and maps about places throughout Pennsylvania, as well as coloring and activity books for children.  There is also a coal miners memorial at this welcome center.

20170521_180940895_iOSCoal Miners Memorabilia at
Pennsylvania Welcome Center in Waynesburg, PA


Monument Dedicated to all Coal Miners at
Pennsylvania Welcome Center in Waynesburg, PA


The coal miners memorial was of interest to me, as both Dad and my brother, Jim, were coal miners.

The rain started up again soon after leaving the Pennsylvania Welcome Center, and followed us home.

We got off Interstate 77 at the Slippery Rock exit, several miles sooner than routed by the GPS. We were getting tired of interstate travel.

We returned home at approximately 5:30 pm. We drove in rain at least 75% of our drive home.

This blog post concludes our Virginia and North Carolina vacation.  I hope that you enjoyed, vicariously, coming along with us on our vacation.

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Rambling On

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

This Abundant Life

A Space for Authentic Living

Talk and Chatter

Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

The random musings of a fairly active Tennessee retiree

Pics & Pieces

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



Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

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


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

Linda's Peaceful Place

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

Life's Funny Like That

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


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

I'll give you a piece of my mind

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

Hospitality Lane

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

Gretchen's Traveling

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

An English Girl Rambles from 2016 to ....

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