The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Courthouse’

Warren, PA to Front Royal, VA

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina.

We departed Warren PA on Sunday, May 14 at approximately 6:45 am, en route Front Royal VA.   Around 7:30 am we stopped for breakfast at Joey’s Bakery in Ridgway, PA. We ate from the Mothers Day brunch, which included.scrambled eggs, ham and pineapple slices, hash brown potatoes, fried potatoes, Italian hot sausage and peppers, beef brisket, cut-up fruit (strawberries, pineapple and blueberries) and various donuts. Food was good, as was the service.  We were back on the road around 8:00 am.

We arrived and checked in at Quality Inn Scenic Drive in Front Royal around 12:30 pm. Normal check in time is 3:00 pm; however, the front desk clerk was able to accommodate us early.  Our hotel room was on the second floor, room 206. It was an average size room, nothing extraordinary about its furnishings. The room was somewhat shabby, but clean.  The view from our hotel room included the swimming pool and office.

XZ140968The view from our hotel room

About an hour after checking in to the hotel, we went in search of lunch.  Front Royal’s main commercial thoroughfare, East Main Street, was located across U.S. Route 522 from our hotel.  Located on East Main Street is  Main Street Mill, where we decided to have lunch.

We walked across U.S. Route 522 and followed East Main Street  to Main Street Mill.
See the red checkered sign on the right?
That is Market Street Mill.

XZ140946The restaurant was located in a renovated feed mill.

Here’s a picture of me that Bob took inside Main Street Mill.


I liked the restaurant’s tall ceilings, exposed wood posts, the wood floor and the wrap-around wall mural.  Bob ordered a Cobb Salad; I ordered a Taco Salad. Our salads were delicious, and service was good.

After lunch we walked to the Warren County Courthouse.

On the way to the courthouse we walked through the Front Royal Town Square.

XZ140961Front Royal Town Square Gazebo

XZ140964The Front Royal Town Tourism Office is located inside a historic train station.
The tourism office lies adjacent to Front Royal Town Square.

XZ140950This caboose is located in Front Royal Town Square.
The caboose was given to Front Royal in 1989 by the Norfolk and Southern Railway Company.
It sits on original tracks.

The Millennium Sundial is located in Front Royal Town Square.

The sundial was dedicated on December 31, 1999 to commemorate the end of the 20th century and to celebrate the beginning of the 21st century.

We saw this beautiful Irish Wolfhound, while walking to the courthouse.

I think it was a 5 block walk to the courthouse.

Warren County Courthouse and Confederate Monument
The courthouse was built in 1936.

From the courthouse we walked back to our hotel.  We spent rest of the afternoon / evening in our room.  We ate a picnic-style dinner in our room.  Later in the evening we watched the movie “Night at the Museum“. Bob downloaded this movie and its two sequels before leaving home. He thought we would watch all three movies during vacation.  We ended up watching the last two movies, after returning home from vacation.

Stay tuned.  In my next vacation blog post (which may take a few days to prepare), I will share details and photographs of our drive on Skyline Drive.



Clock Towers and Climbing Them

A prime benefit of my stepdaughter Stacey’s newspaper reporter job is access.  She took advantage of that access recently by climbing to the upper levels of the Warren County Courthouse, located in Warren PA.

Warren County Courthouse

Please click here to read Stacey’s latest blog post.

Ride to Benezette, PA

Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride on Saturday, June 25. We departed home at 9:30 am, en route Benezette PA. Our first stop was in Ridgway PA.

We parked on South Broad Street, beside the courthouse.

20160625_143356595_iOS 4x6Parked on South Broad Street in Ridgway, PA

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Elk County Courthouse
Ridgway, PA

As I do whenever we pass through Ridgway and have no time constraints, I telephoned a friend who lives in Ridgway. Gretchen answered my call, AND she was in Ridgway. She wasn’t at her house, though. She was at her parents’ house, which is in Ridgway as well. Gretchen gave us directions to her parents’ house. A few minutes later we crashed her dad’s birthday BBQ.


I LOVE this picture of Baby “A”, Bob and me. Baby “A” is Gretchen’s granddaughter. We crashed Gretchen’s father’s birthday BBQ so that we could meet this beautiful and precious baby girl and, of course, to see our friend. Baby “A” is 6 weeks old in this picture.  Thank you, Gretchen, for taking this picture of the three of us!

After a short visit with Gretchen and her family, we left for our next destination, lunch at Rose’s Hilltop Diner in Weedville, PA.

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Rose’s Hilltop Diner

This diner was Dad’s favorite place to eat, while at his cabin in the “mountains”. I had hoped to see my cousin, Chrystle, who waitresses at the diner. We didn’t see Chrystle, as she wasn’t working that weekend. Bob ordered a Reuben sandwich with onion rings. I ordered a club sandwich. The food and service were excellent.

After lunch, we rode to Walmart in St. Marys. I purchased a lightning cable to charge my iPhone, while riding the motorcycle.  I had forgotten to charge my iPhone before leaving on our ride.  I am sure that the lightning cable will come in handy on other rides too.

From Walmart we rode to Benezette, to the old schoolhouse pavilion. We stopped at the pavilion to wish Cora and Dave congratulations on their marriage, which had taken place earlier in the day. Family and friends were gathered at the pavilion to celebrate their wedding.

Cora and I knew each other only via Facebook, via the Benezette Elk Camera Club group. We became Facebook friends in May 2012. We met in person for the first time at her wedding celebration.


I walked up to Cora, soon after she arrived at the old schoolhouse pavilion.  I said hello to Cora and asked if she knew who I was.  It didn’t help Cora identify who I was, when I said that I was a member of the Benezette Elk Camera Club.  The camera club has over 300 members, and Cora has not met everyone in the club.  When I said that I lived in Warren, I could tell there was recognition on Cora’s part.  She asked tentatively “Brenda?”.  I said close enough, that my name is Linda Gross.  That is the moment in time, captured by Richard Coy, in the photograph displayed above.  It was nice to finally meet Cora in person, after 4 years of being Facebook friends.

_LG23259 4x6Congratulations Dave and Cora!

Bob and I spent about an hour at the pavilion. We visited with a few other camera club group members in addition to Cora. Some of the club members we met 3 years ago at a club picnic in Benezette at the same location as the wedding celebration.  Some of the club members were new to us, known until then only via Facebook.  I am hoping that Bob and I can attend the next Benezette Elk Camera Club picnic, which will be held in late September.

From the old schoolhouse pavilion we rode to the Elk Country Visitor Center and to the elk viewing site on Winslow Hill. We didn’t expect to see any elk, given the time of day and how hot it was. We didn’t see any elk, as expected.

20160625_181119749_iOS 4x6Oh WAIT!
We did see one elk, this one, while at the Elk Country Visitor Center.

I guess we should have stuck around for a longer time at Cora and Dave’s wedding celebration.  Cora said that two deer and a elk came to visit!

We returned home around 5:00 pm, after a stop at Bob’s Trading Post in Kane, PA for pizza and ice cream.


VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Getting There – Hudson OH to Greenfield IN

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 12; the post was published on September 28.]


Today is Day 2 of our 13-day vacation.  We are traveling to Eureka Springs, AR to attend the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion rally.

We left Hudson, OH at 7:15 am. It wasn’t a bad travel day, although it was a chilly day and rained for the first couple hours.

Storm clouds breaking prior to reaching U.S. Route 30 rest area

We made a rest stop at a rest area in Ohio, along U.S. Route 30.  The first thing I noticed, as we pulled into the rest area, was a truck pulling four homes on wheels.

20150912_131328449_iOSI like the gray home on wheels with the red window!

We crossed over the Ohio-Indiana border at approximately 12:30 pm.

This is the state border along I-70, leaving Ohio and going into Indiana.


We arrived in Greenfield, IN at 1:30 pm. The majority of today’s driving was on routes I-271, US 30, I-75 and I-70 as seen in the map shown below. We drove 315 miles today.

We are staying at the Quality Inn in Greenfield. This is a Choice Privileges free night accommodation. We had enough points (8,000) to buy a free night. Our room is spacious. The furnishings include two Queen-sized beds separated by a nightstand, an arm chair with footrest and small round table, a desk and chair, a large chest of drawers and TV, a refrigerator and microwave. The bathroom is clean and generously sized.

Greenfield is the county seat of Hancock County. We drove downtown to take a look at the courthouse. The Hancock County Courthouse sits inside the Courthouse Square Historic District. Opposite the Courthouse Square is the Hancock County Veterans Park. I took several pictures of those two areas.

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Hancock County Courthouse

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Hancock County Veterans Park

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Hancock County Courthouse

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James Whitcomb Riley statue
the “Hoosier” Poet

After checking out downtown Greenfield, we stopped for dinner at Montana Mike’s Steakhouse.  According to its website, “Montana Mike’s is a full-service steakhouse…Our steaks are naturally aged, USDA steaks, hand-cut at the restaurant and grilled to your liking. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a mountain lodge and our service is first class.”  When we arrived at the restaurant, a waitress accompanied us inside. She said “I will wait on you; I’m a good waitress.” She seated us and took our order.

Bob, at Montana Mike’s
He is anticipating a good steak dinner.

Shortly after our dinner orders were taken, another waitress came to our table and asked for our drink orders. She said that our waitress walked out. I asked if she had placed our dinner order before she walked out. I was told “yes”. Our new waitress brought water to our table. Another waitress placed two small bread plates on our table. A little later our waitress brought a sirloin steak dinner to our table. The sirloin steak dinner was the only order placed by the waitress who had walked out. I ordered sirloin steak and a fully loaded baked potato. The baked potato was not fully loaded. I told the waitress that my husband ordered a steak dinner as well and that we had not received our salads or dinner rolls. The waitress said “let’s forget this ever happened and start over”. She took our orders. A woman and then a man came separately to our table to apologize and to let know us that our dinners would be taken care of. We learned that the waitress walked out because she was “frazzled”. After “starting over”, all was good. It was a crazy time, but the food was good. Our new waitress took very good care of us. We rewarded her with a $10.00 tip.

After dinner we went to Walmart, where Bob picked up a couple pair of jeans. We returned to the hotel, where we spent rest of the evening. We found two more reasons to like this hotel. They provide complimentary popcorn from 3:00-11:00 pm (approximate time) and coffee/hot tea 24 hours a day.


West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 7 of 9: More Waterfalls and Lunch

As I wrote in my previous vacation blog post, we spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.

We saw seven waterfalls before lunch.  I shared photographs and videos from Cullasaja Falls, Quarry Falls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in my previous post.

The last three waterfalls that we saw before lunch were:

  • Silver Run Falls
  • Toxaway Falls
  • Batson Creek Falls


Silver Run Falls is located on North Carolina Route 107, approximately 4 miles south of Cashiers.

Silver Run Falls is a 25-foot high waterfall.


Located on U.S. Route 64 near Lake Toxaway is the 150-foot Toxaway Falls.  Many travelers drive across the top of Toxaway Falls without realizing it is there!  We crossed the bridge and parked in a pull-off area on the left side. Bob stayed in the car, while I crossed US 64 to see the falls on the south side.

Toxaway Falls

The last waterfall that we saw before lunch was located in Connestee Falls Park, about 6 miles from Brevard along U.S. Route 276.  A very short stroll to the viewing area begins at the right rear of the parking area.  From the viewing area you are actually at the top of Connestee Falls, which I couldn’t see, and are looking over at Batson Creek Falls.

Batson Creek Falls

If you look closely at this photograph, you may see what appears to be steps on the right of the falls, near the middle.  Through an Internet search I determined that these are, in fact, steps.  Residents of the private, gated Connestee Falls residential community can hike a trail that ends in this set of steps. From there, there is a view of Connestee Falls.  The trail is not open to the public.


From Connestee Falls Park, we drove into Brevard and found parking near the Transylvania County Courthouse.

Transylvania County Courthouse

Transylvania County Courthouse

We ate lunch (pizza) at Jaime’s Creole Brasserie.

We were seated on an outside verandah.

Our wood-fired pizza had a thin crust and was covered with marina sauce, cheeses, pepperoni and banana peppers. The pizza was very tasty. The host and waitress were very friendly and served us well.

From Brevard we drove a short distance along U.S. Route 276 to Looking Glass Falls, which is located in the Pisgah National Forest.

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls is 60 feet tall.

In my next vacation blog post I will continue sharing details and photographs from our 7th day of vacation.

Weekend in Ohio – Day 1 and the Morning of Day 2

We spent the weekend of September 6 in Ohio’s Amish Country.  The purpose of our weekend getaway was to attend a Central Ohio Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) motorcycle rally.

We departed our hometown of Warren PA on September 5th a little after 8:30 am en route Wooster OH. We followed U.S. route 62 most of the way, with the exception of Route 27 from Pittsfield to Oil City and Route 30 into Wooster.   Our original plan was to spend 3 nights at a hotel in Wooster and ride to Whispering Hills Campground, rally headquarters, located about 20 miles south of Wooster.  Every one attending the motorcycle rally was staying at Whispering Hills Campground, either in a tent or a cabin, except for Bob and me.  We do not have a trailer or room on our motorcycle for camping essentials such as sleeping bags, so a hotel stay was our only option … or so we thought.  Since Thursday a thought had been bubbling inside my head.  I wondered if the cabins at Whispering Hills campground included linens.  I had never checked out that possibility, had never given it a thought, when we made our hotel reservation for the weekend.  I didn’t act on my thoughts, until Friday, while en route Wooster.

I asked Bob to stop in Oil City.  I telephoned Whispering Hills campground to ask if bed linens were provided for cabin rentals.  I expected to be told that we would have to bring our own bed linens, so I was pleased to learn that bed linens were provided when renting a deluxe cabin.  An additional pleasant surprise was to learn that Whispering Hills campground was running a special – 2 nights for the price of one.  I attempted to cancel all 3 days of our hotel stay at Best Western; however, it was past the time for a no cost cancellation. I changed our hotel reservation to one night and made a reservation at Whispering Hills for 2 nights.

We made two more stops after Oil City.  We stopped for gas and a bathroom break at Sheetz in Mercer PA, and we stopped for lunch at Denny’s Restaurant in Hubbard OH.  We arrived at Best Western Wooster at 3:00 pm. I was so happy to stop riding. Temperatures were in the upper 80s / lower 90s.  It had been a long, hot ride!

We relaxed in the hotel for about 1 ½ hours. Relaxation time included a shower. The shower was very refreshing, after being so hot and sticky from the ride to the hotel!  Around 4:30 pm we left the hotel and rode to the Whispering Hills campground, located 3 miles south of Shreve OH, where we met up with our VROC friends.  We sat around in a circle and chatted for a bit. A picnic table was pulled to the circle so that Bob and I would have a place to sit. As I mentioned earlier, our motorcycle is limited in space. We had no room to carry camp chairs.  We are talking about installing a rack on top of the truck to add more space.

We left, as a group, and rode to the Iron Pony Saloon for dinner.  Dinner (bacon cheddar hamburger with fries for me; prime rib and fries for Bob) was very good, and the conversation lively.  If I remember correctly, there were 17 of us at dinner.  After dinner, Bob and I rode back to our hotel in Wooster.

It was a stormy night. The wind awakened me around 12:30 am. Then the rain hit hard against the window for a while. At 8:30 am on September 6th, it was cloudy but dry. We ate breakfast (complimentary) at the hotel cafe. Breakfast was excellent and included selections such as waffles, eggs, sausage, yogurt, hot and cold cereal, fruit, pastries, and a variety of beverages.

We checked out of the hotel at 9:30 am. We spent an hour in downtown Wooster photographing the courthouse, a monument and the farmers market. I used my iPhone to capture the sights.

We walked from our parked motorcycle
to the courthouse in the background
and back to our motorcycle.

This Civil War Monument is located across the street
from the courthouse.

Civil War Monument

The courthouse entrances are flanked by Atlantes.

Wayne County Courthouse

Wayne County Courthouse

A Farmers Market is held on Saturdays,
across from the courthouse.


After our short walk in downtown Wooster, we sat outside the Open Spoon Market and shared a chocolate and peanut butter cinnamon roll (delicious!).

Open Spoon Market

We departed Wooster en route the Whispering Hill campground at 10:30 am.

Stay tuned!  I will be sharing more about our Weekend in Ohio in future blog post(s).

Clarion County Courthouse

Bob is on vacation through Tuesday (March 4th).  I planned today’s activities; Bob will plan tomorrow’s activities.  As one would expect, I filled the day with photographic opportunities.    I will share the fruit of those photographic opportunities with you throughout this week.

We departed home (Warren, PA) around 9:00 am.  We didn’t return home until 9 hours later! We drove through several western Pennsylvania counties today.


Our first stop was in Clarion, PA.

Clarion is the county seat of Clarion County.

Clarion County Courthouse

The Clarion County Veterans Memorial Park is across the street from the Clarion County Courthouse. The park includes a large gazebo plus the Clarion County Veterans Monument, the Civil War Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the POW/MIA Marker.

Clarion County Courthouse

Clarion County Courthouse clock tower

Stay tuned.  My next blog post will showcase photographs taken while at Brady’s Bend Overlook and East Brady.

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