The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘AirBnB’

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 2

On Thursday (May 26) we visited Fillmore Glen State Park and saw sights, as suggested by an Uncovering New York post. Fillmore Glen State Park is located below the southern end of Owasco Lake, near Moravia NY. Our Empire Pass would have provided free admittance in the state park. However, there was no one at the gate so admittance was free for all.

We parked in the large parking area near the swimming area. It was a short walk, past the natural swimming pool to the bridge that crossed Dry Creek.

Fillmore State Park – Swimming Area, as seen from Dry Creek Bridge
Work was being done on the natural swimming area,
preparing it for the summer season.

From the bridge it was an easy walk for a short distance to a viewing area near the base of Cow Sheds Waterfall.

Bob and I at Cow Sheds Waterfall

There is a large rock overhang adjacent to the waterfall. It is said that cows would shelter here during storms, which is why this is known as Cow Sheds Waterfall.

From Cow Sheds Waterfall we backtracked to the start of the Gorge Trail. The Gorge Trail starts with a steep climb up a flight of old stone stairs climbing 150 feet or so fairly quickly.

The next two photographs show those stone stairs, where I needed to stop for a break and sit for a short time.

Looking down the stone stairs
This was how far we had climbed,
when I needed to rest.
Bob took this picture of me, as I rested.
We still had a lot of steps to climb!
At the top of the stone stairs was a pavilion.

As you can see the trail leveled out at the top of the hill. I am standing partway up a grassy knoll, returning from a restroom. The top of the stone stairs is located to the right of the pavilion, with the Gorge Trail continuing to the right alongside the hillside. To the left is a gravel road that leads to Park Road. I will say more about the gravel road a little bit later.

From the pavilion it was an easy hike on the Gorge Trail. Some of the photographs that we took along the trail are displayed below.

The Gorge Trail
We crossed over several wooden bridges,
while on the Gorge Trail.

The next two photographs were taken from the bridge displayed above.

Looking back on that same bridge
This is another bridge that we crossed, while on the Gorge Trail.

The Gorge Trail is a 2.5 mile out-and-back trail. Not counting the stone stairs climb, I think we walked about 1/2 mile of the 2.5 mile out-and-back trail. I called it quits, when the trail looked like it started to gain elevation.

We turned around and walked back to the pavilion. I definitely did not want to hike back down the stone stairs. Remember the gravel road to the left of the pavilion? Looking on a map it looked like the gravel road led to Park Road. The distance from the pavilion to the parking lot didn’t look like a long walk. That is what we did. We walked down the gravel road, rather than climb down the stone stairs.

This parking lot was at the end of the gravel road.

I wish we had known about this parking lot. We *might* have made it to the end of the Gorge Trail and back, if we had not climbed those stone stairs!

Walking back to our car, we came across the Millard Fillmore cabin.

This cabin is a replica of Millard Fillmore’s birthplace.

We returned to our car and, as suggested by Uncovering New York, we drove up Park Road. After 1.5 miles, the road ends at a parking area next to a trailhead. The trailhead is where the North Rim and South Rim Trail meet. We followed the North Rim Trail downhill. Soon, we arrived at a shelter.

North Rim Trail shelter
This was the view from the shelter.

We continued our hike down to the lake.

This lake on the North Rim Trail is beautiful!

Do you see the stone dam at the far left side of the lake?

There is a waterfall on the other side of the dam.

What a pretty waterfall!
The North Rim Trail passes over the rim of the dam.
The North Rim Trail continues on the opposite side of the lake.
You can see the lake and dam from the North Rim Trail.
This is where we turned around
on the North Rim Trail.
The trail was quite muddy,
once you crossed over the bridge.

NOTE to SELF: Purchase mosquito netting to go over a hat and my face to use next time we go hiking. My scalp got bitten badly, while we were hiking. My scalp still itches to this day!

Leaving Fillmore Glen State Park, we drove alongside the eastern side of Owasco Lake to Auburn.

East Side of Owasco Lake
(near Niles, NY)

We ate lunch at Seb’s Green Shutters in Auburn.  Bob ordered a Seb’s double cheeseburger, onion rings and water.  I ordered a Seb’s cheeseburger, French fries and Diet Pepsi.  We shared the French fries and onion rings.

From Seb’s we returned to our Airbnb “Casa Esperanza on Wyckoff Road”.  We purchased a couple bundles of firewood along the way.

There is a path through the woods at our Airbnb. 

Walking path through the woods

We walked the path in the afternoon.  The path leads from one corner to the other corner along the back part of the property.  It was a nice stroll.

In the evening we roasted weiners over a hot fire, using one of the wood bundles. In addition to the weiners we enjoyed baked beans and leftover macaroni & cheese for dinner. For dessert we, once again, had Klondike bars.

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 1

The Finger Lakes are a group of eleven long, narrow, roughly north–south lakes in New York in an area called the Finger Lakes Region. The eleven Finger Lakes, from west to east, are: Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Canadice Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canandaigua Lake,
Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, and Otisco Lake.

We have visited the Finger Lakes Region often over the past 20+ years. We have seen four of the eleven Finger Lakes: Canandaigua Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, and Cuyuga Lake. During the week of May 25 through June 1 we added Owasco Lake and Skaneateles Lake to our list of Finger Lakes that we have seen. This blog post and several that follow will provide photographs and details of our visit to these two eastern finger lakes.

We left home at 7:42 am on Wednesday, May 25, en route Scipo Center NY via the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

We arrived at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge around 11:42 am.  

the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

I got my National Park Passport cancelled with a rubber-stamp ink marking that recorded the name of the wildlife refuge and the date of our visit.  We drove the Wildlife Drive two times.  The highlight of our visit was a Sandhill Crane family, two adults and two babies.

Sandhill Cranes
Two Adults and a Baby
Sandhill Cranes
Two Adults and a Baby
It looks like the one adult is looking back for the second baby.
Sandhill Cranes
Two Adults and Two Babies

This was our first ever sighting of sandhill cranes. How exciting! We had hoped to see the sandhill cranes again on our second drive around Wildlife Loop. Unfortunately, we did not see them.

From Montezuma we drove to Auburn, to Emerson Park, where we ate a picnic lunch (tuna salad with crackers snack set, snack size fruit cup and cookies). 

This was our view, at Emerson Park on Owasco Lake, as we ate a picnic lunch.

After lunch we went for a walk in Emerson Park. We spent an enjoyable few minutes watching Canada Geese at the water’s edge.

Emerson Park is about a 9 minute drive from our Airbnb.  We arrived at Airbnb “Casa Esperanza on Wykoff Road” in Scipio Center NY at approximately 3:20 pm.  Our host, Mickie, met us.  She showed us around the house and gave us a dozen fresh eggs from her farm and a bottle of wine (how nice!). Mickie lives in the next house up the road from the Airbnb.

After we had unpacked the car and got settled in, we left to pick up groceries at Wegmans in Auburn.  We did our shopping and returned to the Airbnb.  We cooked dinner together — sloppy joes, macaroni & cheese, and green beans.  For dessert we had Klondike ice cream bars.

After dinner Bob started a campfire. 

We had a fire our first night at “Casa Esperanza”.


Mid-Week Getaway: “Mountain Living Close to Raystown Lake” Airbnb

We spent the nights of March 22, March 23 and March 24 in Martinsburg PA at “Mountain Living Close to Raystown Lake” Airbnb.

This is the first picture that I took of our Airbnb. There wasn’t much of a sunset Tuesday evening, but at least there was some color in the sky. Most of the day had been overcast, with the sky showing shades of gray.

Sunset at “Mountain Living Close to Raystown Lake” Airbnb

The next three pictures were taken on Thursday.

The sun was trying to break through the morning fog.

Our Airbnb was located on a hill about 1/4 mile from the main road to Martinsburg PA. We walked that 1/4 mile a couple times during our 3-night stay.

I took this picture during a late afternoon walk on Thursday.
Our Airbnb is the last house on the left.
Our Airbnb “Mountain Living Close to Raystown Lake”

We did not have full use of this house.  Our hosts live in the main level; The Airbnb is an apartment located in the basement.  The apartment is entered through the garage.  There are six steps up into the apartment.  The basement apartment is laid out well, felt spacious and was very comfortable.  

The bathroom is located on the right as soon as you enter the apartment.  The bathroom is actually two small rooms.  One room houses the toilet and a sink; the other room houses a shower and washer and dryer.

Located on the left, as you enter the apartment, is a large living room.

In the living room is a generous 3-seat sofa that, when you sit, you sink into comfortably; a coffee table, a gas fireplace that heats up the space exceptionally well; a TV; two end tables; an arm chair; and bookcases (the three double bookcases shown in this picture and one single bookcase), all filled to the brim with books.   

Located straight ahead, as you enter the apartment is a small, but cozy and functional, kitchen. 

View of Kitchen from the living room

In the kitchen there is a small table for two; a refrigerator; and plenty of counter space with drawers and cabinets underneath and cabinets above the refrigerator and microwave. There is no oven or stovetop; however, there are appliances provided from which meals can be prepared (e.g. microwave, Keurig coffee maker, a large toaster/oven, countertop electrical twin burner, and an electric skillet).
There is additional seating for three along the countertop.
Next to the kitchen is a small room.
Note, too, the open door. The bathroom is through that door.
The small room next to the kitchen contains a hide-a-bed sofa on one wall and a table on the opposite one. Through patio doors is the master bedroom.
I LOVE this wall mural!
The master bedroom contains a comfortable king-size bed, two bedside tables, and a dresser.  There is also a wood-fired stove.  There is access to a patio through the master bedroom.
Master Bedroom Dresser
Master Bedroom Wood Fireplace

Our hosts, Ruthie and Peter, were personable and friendly. They respected our privacy, but they were readily available if we had any questions. We highly recommend that you consider this Airbnb, if you are in the Raystown Lake area.


South Carolina Vacation: Warren PA to Surfside Beach SC

We returned home from vacation the afternoon of February 17th. This blog post and several that follow provide written and photographic details of our South Carolina vacation.

We were on our way out of Warren at 6:30 am on Tuesday, February 8th. When we left home, snow was falling, possibly mixed with sleet or freezing rain.  The temperature was 19 degrees.

We ate breakfast at Station 61 Family Restaurant in Youngsville PA. At  7:20 am, after a hearty breakfast, we were back on the road.

It was still snowing when we hopped onto I-80 in Barkeyville PA.  It was still snowing when we hopped onto I-79.  Thankfully each road surface was good, clear of snow and ice.

The snow essentially stopped falling near Pittsburgh PA, although there were short bursts of snow flurries and spitting snow for several miles afterward. 

We had snow flurries in Morgantown WV, with very little snow on the ground.  There was a little bit of snow on the ground, mostly wooded areas, as we drove through the WV mountains.

At 1:00 pm we stopped briefly at Young’s Monument Scenic Overlook. The overlook is on the northbound side of Route 19, a few miles north of Summersville, WV. The overlook is located on Powell Mountain, south of Birch River, with a view of the Powell Creek Valley to the east and further north, the Birch River Valley can be seen. 

Young’s Monument Scenic Overlook

Look at that blue sky!  It was still chilly here (37 degrees), but was nice to feel the sunshine.

There is an official West Virginia Historical Marker that stands near the entrance to a rest area at the overlook. The marker reads: “Off Young’s Monument Rd. (.3M) is grave site of Henry & Lucinda Young. A Confed. militiaman or sympathizer, he was killed by Union troops nearby on 8 Sept. 1861. Details of Young’s life and death are scant and confused, symbolizing divided loyalties, tragic times and enduring saga of Civil War in WV, when state was pitted against state and brother against brother. New road in 1970 required reburial.”

We stopped at the Northside Drive Car Wash in Summersville, WV.  Bob says it was the best self serve car wash he has ever used.   The water pressure was strong; the soap suds were plentiful; and he had enough time to do a spotless rinse, spending less money than he does at home.

We arrived at Comfort Suites in Wytheville, VA around 4:00 pm in the afternoon.  We will spend the night here and continue our drive to Surfside Beach, SC tomorrow.

We checked into our room.  Bob set up the Internet.  Then we went out to dinner.  

We ate dinner at Cracker Barrel, which was located about 2 miles from the hotel and easy to drive to.

I liked where the hostess seated us — at a table in front of the fireplace.

Bob ordered grilled catfish with hash brown casserole, broccoli and biscuits.  I ordered meatloaf with hash brown casserole, fried apples and corn bread muffins.  Both meals were delicious.  After dinner we returned to our hotel, where we stayed for rest of the evening.

The next day we ate a complimentary hot breakfast at our hotel.  Because of COVID precautions implemented by the hotel we were not free to get desired foods ourselves.  An attendant got the food we desired.  Bob had eggs, bacon and a muffin with coffee and OJ.  I got a waffle with diced peaches with tea and OJ.  

We departed Comfort Suites Wytheville at 8:15 am, en route Surfside Beach, SC.  The temperature was 27 degrees.

I saw a few snow patches near Wytheville.

Approaching the VA/NC state line, we lost a lot of elevation and saw the last of snow patches.

We ate lunch at Magnolia on Main Cafe in Bennettsville, SC. Bob ordered homemade chicken salad on a bed of lettuce served with pita chips, pasta salad and a frozen fruit cup. I ordered turkey, lettuce and tomato in flat bread … like a turkey wrap but toasted … with pasta salad. We shared a slice of pineapple cake. Our meals were delicious.

After lunch, we wandered around the Marlboro County Court House grounds.

Marlboro County Court House
Confederate Civil War Monument

We arrived in Surfside Beach around 2:00 pm, with about 2 hours to kill before we could check in to our Airbnb “Seaside Cottage”.  We drove to the nearby Walmart to see the location of their curbside pickup.  We have a scheduled pickup between 7:00 and 8:00 am on Thursday morning.  We, then, took a ride along the ocean to Garden City Beach.  We stopped at the Azalea Ave public access to the beach, where there was free parking.   We walked out on the beach, where we saw the Garden City Pier.

Garden City Pier

A few minutes past 4:00 pm we checked in at Airbnb “Seaside Cottage”. Bob carried in the stuff from the car.  I organized the kitchen and put away my clothes / toiletries.   Around 5:30 pm I made dinner – Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder, with crackers,  and fruit cocktail. Neither of us were very hungry.

We went for a short walk in the neighborhood, after dinner.  We walked about 1/3 of a mile.  The neighborhood appears well cared for and quiet. In the evening we watched “The Cleaning Lady” on Hulu TV.

Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 1

December 18th began with breakfast at Mama Janes Restaurant here in Warren.  Bob ordered corned beef hash and eggs with breakfast potatoes, rye toast, coffee and orange juice.  I ordered two eggs, 4 slices of bacon, wheat toast and breakfast potatoes with tea.  I gave Bob two slices of bacon and left behind one slice of toast and some of my breakfast potatoes.

We planned to leave home mid morning, en route Weedville PA, but didn’t leave until noon.  The weather forecast didn’t motivate us to leave earlier, as a winter weather advisory was in effect until 1:00 pm.  Mixed precipitation was forecasted, with ice accumulations of a light glaze and snow and sleet accumulations of up to one inch.  Here in Warren I believe all that fell had been rain.  Looking at Wunderground at 11:45 am it showed rain between Warren and Weedville, with temperatures well above freezing.  Rain did stay with us all afternoon and into the evening.

Our first stop was in Benezette at the Elk County Visitor Center.  

We arrived at the Visitor Center around 2:15 pm.
This elk is ready for Christmas.

We went inside the Visitor Center and looked at the exhibits. The elk outside was not the only exhibit ready for Christmas.

There was a nicely decorated Christmas tree at the Visitor Center too.

We even took a couple close-up pictures of the exhibits.

I took this close-up picture of a bear.
Bob took this close-up picture of a Bull Elk.

We looked around the Visitor Center gift shop but didn’t buy anything.  It was raining, so we didn’t walk any of the trails.

Our second stop was on Utz Hollow Road at Ruffo Flats, where we saw at least 2 dozen elk in a field.  We reached Utz Hollow Road by turning left off of Winslow Road.  Utz Hollow Road is the first right turn just past the Benezette Store.  This was our first time stopping at this viewing area.  There were two bull elk in the group.  

See the two Bull Elk?
One is lying down; the other is standing up.

Our third stop was at Family Dollar in Weedville.  We picked up water and snacks.

Around 3:15 pm we  checked into our Airbnb “Creekside Cabin” in Weedville.  Our home away from home for two nights was a trailer with three bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, living room and bathroom.  A creek, Kersey Run, flows close to the trailer.  There is a covered porch with table and chairs.  We were pleased to find that our hosts had decorated for Christmas.  

Airbnb living room

Our Airbnb has more Christmas decorations than we have at home.   Oh, and that TV stand fireplace…I want one!  The fireplace adds ambiance to an already cozy home.

We ate dinner at our Airbnb.  I prepared a ham steak, fried potatoes and onions, green beans and apple sauce — all brought from home.

We had hoped to see elk before sunset at our Airbnb.  The elk didn’t show.


Corning NY Mid-Week Getaway: Day 1

We spent three nights the week of October 17th in Corning, NY.

We left for Corning on October 19th at 9:20 am.  

We stopped in Cuba NY at the Cuba Cheese Shoppe and at The Perfect Blend Coffeehouse & Eatery.  We bought habanero cheese and butterscotch cookies at Cuba Cheese.  At the coffeehouse we had a mid-morning snack–coffee and tea and two chocolate with peanut butter frosting muffins.  The muffins were delicious!

We would have arrived in Corning too early to check in at our accommodation, so we drove to Watkins Glen first. 

We enjoyed a stroll at Seneca Lake Harbor, before leaving for Corning.

We stopped at Wegmans in Corning to pick up a few grocery items that we felt were needed for our 3-night getaway.

From Wegmans we drove to our Airbnb “Home Away From Home”.  It was a short drive, as Wegmans is only a mile away.    Check-in was 2:00 pm, and our arrival time was around 2:30 pm. We carried in our stuff from the car and got settled in for our 3-night stay. 

This was our third stay at “Home Away From Home”.  Our first stay was for one night in January 2019.  That was our very first stay, as well, at an Airbnb.  Our second stay was for three nights in April 2019.

Since our stay 2 1/2 years ago we noted some changes throughout the house.  In the living room the couch was different.  The new couch doesn’t recline like the old one.  The old one didn’t work properly, so the new couch is an improvement. The coffee table is different too, as is the tv and the stand it sits on. 

The TV stand has an electric fireplace.
The TV stand was a very nice aesthetic improvement!

The fireplace has several temperature settings and does generate sufficient heat to take the chill out of the living room.  I LOVE the new TV stand.  Maybe one day we can replace our TV stand with one similar to this one. 

In the bathroom the window on the bathtub wall is now frosted.  I don’t believe anyone could have seen in that window, but it is another improvement that we especially liked. In the kitchen there is a new table and chairs.  One of the bedrooms now has a TV.  All of the changes were nice improvements.

I noticed as we entered the living room, a gift bag on the coffee table.  Lucas gave us two Corning “Crystal City” wine glasses.  He is a thoughtful host.  Lucas gifted us a Corning coffee cup, when we stayed there in April 2019.

Another thoughtful touch was this flower arrangement in the kitchen.

We brought the makings for chili with us.  We had chili for dinner, accompanied with tortilla chips and salsa.

I was in bed by 9:00 pm.  Bob followed me about an hour later.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 2

I got up on September 27th at 7:00 am, after a good night’s sleep. Bob got up about an hour later. Shortly after 9:00 am we drove to the nearby Confluence Food Market handpicked up a few groceries. Back “home” Bob made us breakfast — scrambled eggs, sausage links and orange juice.

Around 10:00 am we left on a bicycle ride, which you may find details and photographs of by clicking here. This blog post begins where the bicycling blog post ends.

Shortly before 3:00 pm Bob returned to Ohiopyle from Confluence. I met Bob in the Ohiopyle State Park parking lot. Bob loaded my bicycle on the carrier. Then, we walked back to the Ohiopyle Falls overlook for one last look.

Bob and I at Ohiopyle Falls

Nearby the falls overlook we happened upon a cat.

The cat’s tag reads:
I live in Ohiopyle. I am not a stray.

Tonto is not an ordinary cat. There are many articles on the Internet about Tonto. Click here for one of the articles I found about Tonto.

On our way back “home” from Ohiopyle we visited three sites — Cucumber Falls, Baughman Rock Overlook and Youghiogheny Dam. 

We hiked down to Cucumber Falls. Thankfully the hike wasn’t too far, as my knee still hurt from our earlier bicycle ride.

Cucumber Falls

The waterfall was OK, but I was disappointed that the water flow was low.

All we saw from Baughman Rock were trees.  The view from there is supposed to be Pennsylvania’s deepest gorge.  We didn’t see the gorge; all we saw were trees. 

Baughman Rock Overlook Trailhead

The view was disappointing, after hiking up Baughman Rock’s steep face.  That hike was painful for me. My knee complained loudly! The view from Baughman Rock will be beautiful, when the leaves change color. When the trees shed their leaves I believe, then, the gorge will be seen.

Our last stop before returning “home” was at Youghiogheny Dam.

Youghiogheny Dam

We drove across the dam and back.

Youghiogheny River Lake was established in 1944
with the construction of the 184-foot high, 1,604-foot wide Youghiogheny Dam.

We returned to our Airbnb, the Birdhouse Inn Confluence, around 4:45 pm.  We spent rest of the afternoon and evening at ”home” relaxing and allowing my knee time to recuperate.

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