The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Dining Out’

Bemus Point’s Fall Fest

We attended Bemus Point’s Fall Fest this afternoon. The Fall Fest began yesterday and continues tomorrow.


We parked along Sunnyside Avenue and walked to the Village Casino, window shopping at vendor booths along the way.

A portion of our walk was along Chautauqua Lake.
The Fall Fest included a classic car cruise-in.
We saw several classic cars being driven in Bemus Point.
We ate lunch outside at the Village Casino.
The Stow-Bemus Point ferry
made several crossings, while we ate lunch.
I ordered Chicken Lips and fries.
Bob ordered a Buffalo Chicken Wrap with potato tots.

Both meals were delicious.

After lunch, we walked from the Village Casino to the Bemus Point Golf Club. We found more vendor booths for window shopping. Several vendor items caught my eye, but no purchases were made.

We enjoy the walk alongside Chautauqua Lake so much.
What a beautiful day for a walk!
Beautiful flowers!
Scarecrows adorn the streets of Bemus Point.
I found a friend …

There was a classic car Cruise-In at the Bemus Point Golf Club. We strolled through the field of parked cars and trucks.

Webbs Ferry

Yesterday we ate breakfast at Wendy’s Cafe in North Warren.  I ordered a  “Small Big Breakfast” (2 eggs scrambled, half portion of home fries, half portion of bacon and toast).  Bob ordered an “Everything Omelet” (ham, sausage, bacon, veggies and cheese with home fries and toast).  Breakfast was delicious and filling.  

After breakfast, we went for a drive to and through Allegany State Park (near Salamanca NY).  Before reaching the park, we stopped at Webbs Ferry. 

Webbs Ferry is located in Pennsylvania in the Allegheny National Forest on the western shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir.

This map shows the location of Webbs Ferry.

As you might suppose from the topographical map, Webbs Ferry is a boat launch for loading and unloading boats. We didn’t stop at Webbs Ferry to make use of its boat launch. From the parking lot there is a foot trail to a fishing pier. We climbed down two flights of stairs and followed a trail that wound through the woods to the fishing pier. If you prefer not to use stairs, the pier is reachable by walking the foot trail alone.

The Webbs Ferry Fishing Pier is 45-feet long.

The fishing pier is completely out of the water, preventing fishing and exposing needed repairs. The entrance to the fishing pier is blocked with caution tape. A sign indicates that the fishing pier will remain closed until repairs are done and a safety inspection is successfully completed.

The views at the fishing pier, though, made the hike down from the parking lot worthwhile.

View just left of the Webbs Ferry Fishing Pier

Webbs Ferry was our only stop. The drive through Allegany State Park was enjoyable, though, on such a beautiful day.

Breakfast with Sue from Florida

Ten days ago, on the morning of September 3, I met my friend Sue for breakfast at Mama Janes Restaurant.

Sue and I became friends via Facebook.  Our online friendship began in February 2013, when Sue became a fan of my Facebook photography page and my friend on Facebook as well.  We attempted to meet each other in October that year, when Sue came to Warren to visit her family.  That meeting did not happen.  Five years later, in June 2018, we finally did meet each other in person. We met at Tim Hortons. Bob met Sue then, too, and we both met Sue’s husband Matt.  

Since 2018 we have met up three other times — in November 2019 again at Tim Hortons, in November 2020 at Bob Evans Restaurant and 10 days ago at Mama Janes.

We didn’t remember to get a picture at any of our meet ups, until today.

Sue and I at Mama Janes Restaurant

I am looking forward to the next time we are able to get together. Until then, we will keep in touch via Facebook.

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 9 – Maggie Valley NC to Wytheville VA

We awakened at 6:00 am on Sunday, August 28. I surfed Facebook for a short time, checked email and did Bing searches.  Facebook, checking email and Bing searches in addition to reading a couple digital newspapers are my usual morning routine. We showered and got dressed.  We ate breakfast – oatmeal in a bowl and coffee/tea.  I ate a banana too.  We finished packing and then relaxed, as we do not have to leave Maggie Valley until 9:00 am.  In the past we have left by 6:00 am, one of the first to leave.  We are meeting Bob’s brother, John, and our sister-in-law Dorothy at 12:00 pm at Cracker Barrel in Statesville NC.  John and Dorothy flew from Hawaii to North Carolina on August 24 to visit with a friend, who is going into hospice care in Charlotte.  Google maps says that we are a little over a 2-hour drive from Cracker Barrel.  We will allow 3 hours for the 2-hour drive. 

We left A Holiday Motel at 9:00 am, en route Statesville NC.  We were among the few to leave last.

We met John and Dorothy at Cracker Barrel 11:45 am.  Shortly before their arrival, I checked us in for lunch.  A 25-minute wait turned into a 35-minute wait.  Dorothy ordered pot roast; I ordered meatloaf; and Bob and John ordered Barrel Cheeseburgers.  Our lunches were good, as was the conversation. The last time the four of us had been together was in Hawaii in September 2018. There was a lot to catch up on. The conversation continued, after lunch, outside on the porch. It was SO good to see Dorothy and John. We only wish our getting together was under better circumstances.

We ate lunch at Cracker Barrel with John and Dorothy.

We departed Cracker Barrel at 2:30 pm en route Wytheville.  We arrived at Comfort Suites Wytheville shortly before 5:00 pm.

We ate dinner at a nearby Subway.   We ordered two different six inch subs, potato chips and beverage.  We were back at the hotel by 6:30 pm.  I changed into PJs.  I was in bed by 8:30 pm.

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 7

Friday, August 26, was the third day of SEVROC.

We got up around 7:00 am and ate breakfast in our room.

After breakfast I sat outside our room, enjoying the crisp air of the morning. I also watched fog rolling over the mountains.

At 8:42 am a heavy fog was still rolling over the mountains.

At 9:00 am a few of our friends left A Holiday Motel to ride up The Rattler (NC 209) to Hot Springs.

They are off, with “Skid” in the lead.
Skid’s blog post will provide details and photographs of the ride.

At 9:30 am Bob and I left en route the Fred W Symmes Chapel. We traveled via Interstate or highway most of the way and arrived at 11:12 am.

The Fred W Symmes Chapel is located in Cleveland, South Carolina. The chapel is also known as “Pretty Place” because of its amazing view.

The Fred W Symmes Chapel
As I walked into the open-air sanctuary, I was filled with awe.
Such an incredible place to visit!
What a breathtaking view!

We left the chapel around 11:30 am and began the second part of our sightseeing journey. We visited several waterfalls, as well as a visitor center for the Pisgah National Forest.

Connestee Falls Park is located about 6 miles from Brevard NC, along U.S. Route 276. We took a very short stroll from the right rear of the parking lot to the viewing area for two waterfalls: Connestee Falls and Baston Creek Falls. There is a Connestee Falls that is a gated community. You need to drive past the gated community to Connestee Falls Park. There is a realtor’s office next to the park. I tell you this because EVERY SINGLE TIME we have visited Connestee Falls and Baston Creek Falls, we have turned into the gated community and were turned away!

This wheelchair accessible trail leads to an overlook of the Connestee and Batson Falls.
The viewing platform sits on top of Connestee Falls.
Panoramic view of Connestee Falls and Batson Falls
I zoomed in to capture this picture of Batson Falls.
This video shows the Connestee Falls, as it drops to the bottom of its hill and joins Batson Falls, as it drops to the bottom of its hill.

From Connestee Falls Park we drove to another waterfall. Located a short distance from Brevard along Route 276 is Looking Glass Falls. It had started to rain, as we approached Looking Glass Falls. As a result, we didn’t hike down the trail to lower viewing platforms. We viewed the falls from the top viewing platform only.

Looking Glass Falls is 60 feet tall.

From Looking Glass Falls we backtracked a short distance and visited the National Forest Visitor Center Pisgah Ranger Division.  It was pouring rain; glad we didn’t have to park far from the building! I obtained a National Park Service passport cancellation stamp for Pisgah National Forest and looked at the exhibits.

This is a replica of the entrance gate that once stood at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest.
This is the only bear that we saw, while on vacation.

The rain stopped, as we drove through Brevard.

Our next stop was at another waterfall.

Shortly before reaching Highlands is Lake Sequoyah Dam Falls. 

Sequoyah Falls flow over a man made dam. 

Our next stop was at Bridal Falls. At one time it was possible to drive under the falls. The road under the falls has been closed the past few times, when we visited.

There wasn’t much water falling at Bridal Falls.

By the way this was our first visit in the summer in this part of the United States. In the past we have visited in May. Waterfalls have significantly more water flow in May.

Our last sightseeing stop was at Dry Falls.

Bob took this picture of me,
as we hiked down the stairs to the base of Dry Falls.
Dry Falls is 75 feet tall.
Dry Falls earned its name because you
can take a trail to walk behind the falls
and not get wet (well, not too wet).
Bob took this picture of me, when I was behind the falls.
I kept as close to the rock wall, as possible,
without hitting my head.
I stayed mostly dry.

Well, I stayed mostly dry behind the falls. It started to rain again on our hike back up the stairs. We both got fairly wet!

At 3:16 pm we began our drive back to A Holiday Motel. Wouldn’t you know the sun came out a few minutes’ drive past Dry Falls?

We ate dinner at the Sagebrush Steakhouse in Waynesville and made it back to A Holiday Motel around 6:00 pm.

Tonight was the “hotel room crawl” at A Holiday Motel.  It had been a long day. We called it a night at 9:00 pm, without participating in the crawl.

Today’s Map

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 6

Thursday, August 25, was Day 2 of SEVROC 2022.

We got up around 6:00 am.  A group of eight of us ate another good breakfast at Pop’s Place. 

After breakfast Bob and I went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stopped at several overlooks.

Our first stop was at was Waterrock Knob Overlook. The Parkway’s highest visitor center is located here. The visitor center was closed at the time that we were there. Waterrock Knob Overlook is known for its beautiful long-range views of several major mountain chains in the Appalachians. Waterrock Knob is uniquely suited for viewing sunrises and sunsets. 

Waterrock Knob Overlook
Looking East
Waterrock Knob Overlook
Looking West
Milepost 451.2 – Elevation 5820 ft

Our next two stops were at the View Wesner Bald Overlook and Woodfin Cascades.

View Wesner Bald Overlook
Milepost 448.1 – Elevation 4914 ft.
The Woodfin Cascades can be seen
at the Woodfin Cascades Overlook.
Milepost 446.0 – Elevation 4345 ft.

To see Woodfin Cascades, park at the overlook and cross to the other side of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Our next four stops were at The Orchards Overlook, Rabb Knob Overlook, Richard Balsam Overlook and Casey Fork Overlook.

The Orchards Overlook
Milepost 444.6 – Elevation 3810 ft.
Rabb Knob Overlook
Milepost 441.9 – Elevation 3725 ft.
Richard Balsam Overlook
The highest elevation along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Milepost 431.0 – Elevation 6053 ft.
Caney Fork Overlook
Milepost 428.0 – Elevation 5650 ft.

A lone flower caught my eye.

A Wildflower at Caney Fork Overlook

We left the Blue Ridge Parkway at NC 215. We drove North on NC 215. We stopped at two waterfalls.

This Unnamed Waterfall was alongside the roadway,
approximately 1.5 miles after turning onto NC 215.
There is a small pull-off on the right side of the road.
Sunburst Falls is located about 3 miles
from the first waterfall.

I captured video of all three waterfalls.

I used Apple’s iMovie to create a short movie of the three waterfalls.

We returned to A Holiday Motel around 12:30 pm. 

Several VROC friends rolled in, while we were sightseeing.
Moonshine was being passed around.

I believe this is the most colorful label I have ever seen on a bottle of moonshine. Anyone who wanted to taste moonshine was welcome to a sip. I didn’t sip.

We ate dinner at Haywood Smokehouse in Waynesville.  Bob ordered a brisket platter, and I ordered a pulled pork platter.

We ate at Haywood Smokehouse.

We filled the party tent.  I think there were 35 of us.  The food and service were excellent.  

Today’s map


Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 5

Wednesday, August 24, was the first day of SEVROC 2022.  This event ran through Sunday morning.  We last attended SEVROC in May 2018.  We attended SEVROC in other years as well: May 2008, May 2014, May 2015, and May 2017.

We got up around 6:30 am. We ate breakfast in.  We each had a Jimmy Dean Scrambles and orange juice.  I ate oatmeal in a cup as well.  Bob had a banana.

Shortly before 9:00 am “Skid” (Jim) and Sandy, the Texas gals (Debbie, Vickie and Kay) and “Pappy” (Jeff) left for a motorcycle ride.

Please check out Skid’s blog post to see to where this group of six rode.

At 9:15 am Bob and I left en route Newfound Gap, via Cherokee and US 441.  We stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, where I obtained a National Park Service passport cancellation stamp for both the Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The cancellation stamp is a rubber ink stamp that records the name of the national park and date of your visit. We would be driving on the BRP on our way back to Maggie Valley.

Our next stop was at Mingus Mill, located about 1/2 mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

This grist mill was built in 1886 and uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery in the building.
A miller was on site to demonstrate the grinding of corn into cornmeal.

 We arrived at our destination, Newfound Gap, at 10:52 am.

Looking down on Newfound Gap Road from the Newfound Gap Parking Lot
Rockefeller Memorial is at Newfound Gap.

To thank the Rockefeller family for its assistance in establishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a memorial was built for Newfound Gap.  President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park on September 2, 1940 at this spot.

Do you see the trail leading to the right side of the memorial? That trail is the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap

When at Newfound Gap, one can stand both in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Bob is standing on the
North Carolina – Tennessee State Line

We turned around at Newfound Gap, leaving at 11:15 am, and drove back to Maggie Valley, via Newfound Gap Road (NC Route 441) and via the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We stopped at a couple overlooks on our way back down Newfound Gap Road (NC Route 441).

Deep Creek Valley Overlook #2
Charles A Webb Overlook
Clingmans Dome is visible (barely) on top of mountain partially in clouds.

On the Blue Ridge Parkway we drove through FIVE tunnels and stopped at several overlooks.  

View Thomas Divide Overlook
Elev 3735 ft.
Big Witch Overlook
Elev 4160 ft
Bunches Bald Overlook
Elev 4925 ft.
Plott Balsam Overlook
Elev 5020 ft.

Leaving the Blue Ridge Parkway, we drove through Maggie Valley and fueled up at Exxon in Waynesville.  We drove across the road to Walmart, where Bob purchased a pair of reading glasses.  He forgot to pack his reading glasses.

We returned to A Holiday Motel and ate a tuna salad kit and a chicken salad kit for lunch.  Both salad kits include crackers on which to spread the meat salad.

We sat outside our room and chatted with “MT” (Tim).

Bob and Tim chatting

“Skid” and company, who left for a ride this morning, returned to A Holiday Motel around 3:30 pm. Again, if you would like to know where the group of six rode, please check out Skid’s blog post.

While the eight of us were sightseeing, more of our friends arrived at A Holiday Motel.

“Ice Cream” arrived with his wife Sharon, as did “Butch” with his wife Theresa. Here is “Ice Cream” with Vickie,Kay, Theresa and Sandy.
“Joker” arrived and is seen here
with “Skid” and Sandy.
“Cargo” arrived and is seen here with the Texas gals and Sandy.

Around 5:30 pm twelve of us left for dinner at BearWaters Brewing Company in Maggie Valley, not far from A Holiday Motel. 

We ate dinner at BearWaters Brewing Company.

The food was good, as was the service. 

I took this video, after dinner as we were leaving. The video shows the creek that ran alongside the restaurant, as well as the outside seating that we occupied.
“Blondy” (Donna) arrived at A Holiday Motel, while we were at dinner.
Theresa and Sandy are shown here with Donna.
Sunset at A Holiday Motel
The end to a wonderful day!

Today’s map, excluding side trip to Waynesville.

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