The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Dining Out’

Chincoteague VA Vacation (4th post)

We got up around 6:00 am on Monday, April 18th and saw another gorgeous sunrise.  

Chincoteague Island Sunrise

My breakfast was two bowls of oatmeal in a cup.  I included sliced peaches in one bowl.  I also ate an orange.  Bob ordered from McDonalds. With the exception of Bob’s McDonalds breakfast, we ate breakfast at our AirBnb “Tranquil Shores” throughout our vacation.

We ate lunch at “Tranquil Shores”.  We had plenty of leftovers to put together a very filling lunch.  Leftovers included grilled ham steak, macaroni and cheese, two hush puppies each and three shrimp each.  For dessert we had applesauce.

For dinner we ordered delivery (free anywhere on the island) from Famous Pizza and Subs.  It was our first time ordering from this restaurant. Our order was for two baked spaghetti with garden salad and garlic toast.  We added meatballs to one spaghetti order.   We shared the meatballs.   

Baked Spaghetti Dinners

We are happy that the restaurant delivered, as it was a chilly, windy and rainy day.   Dinner was delicious.  We could have easily split one spaghetti dinner with meatballs.  I couldn’t eat all of my spaghetti.  It will not go to waste, though.  I placed it in a storage container, and we will carry it home with us in the cooler.

So, this was a stay-at-home day. It was a relaxing day.  We read, surfed the Internet, and watched TV.  Bob played the ukulele. We packed for our drive back home.

—————

We departed Chincoteague at 7:30 am on Tuesday, April 19th. It took us longer to get home than it took to get to Chincoteague because we told the GPS to avoid highways on our way home.

We ate breakfast at Dayton’s Restaurant in Salisbury MD.  This appeared a popular restaurant. There was seating available, but not much! It seemed the waitresses knew most of the patrons by name. The food and service were both great.

Early afternoon we stopped at Sheetz in Lancaster PA for a bathroom break and to pick up a light lunch/snacks. 

Our route took us over two mountains — Blue Mountain and Second Mountain — via seven-mile long Gold Mine Road. Gold Mine Road begins in Union Township PA off Route 443 and ends on Route 325 south of Tower City in Schuylkill County, near the Dauphin County line. 

We are on Gold Mine Road,
crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Jonestown PA.
We are on Gold Mine Road,
soon after crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Tower City PA.

It really was surprising where our GPS took us, when we told it to avoid highways.

The GPS directed us onto the Quehanna Highway,
near Karthaus PA in Clearfield County.
It was snowing, as we approached our hometown of Warren PA.

The next time we travel to and from Chincoteague, we will not avoid highways (unless we split the travel time into 2 days). We returned home at 7:14 pm, approximately 12 hours after we had left Chincoteague!

This concludes my account of our Chincoteague VA vacation. We are already making plans for a return trip next Spring. We plan to go in May next year. Perhaps the weather will be more consistently warm a few weeks later.

Chincoteague VA Vacation (2nd post)

We got up around 6:00 am on Saturday, April 16th. We watched the sunrise. 

Chincoteague Island Sunrise
What a glorious sunrise!

We drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and rode our bicycles.  We bicycled Wildlife Loop to Black Duck Trail to Woodland Trail, back on Black Duck Trail and finished Wildlife Loop.  We rode 7.04 miles. 

We saw a Snapping Turtle on a pond, while bicycling the Wildlife Loop.
Woodland Trail
This is the boardwalk to the pony overlook.

The highlight of our bicycle ride was ponies, lots of ponies, at the Woodland Trail pony overlook. 

I took the next picture, while we were on the Black Duck Trail, returning to the Wildlife Loop.

Bob on Black Duck Trail

We returned to AirBnb “Tranquil Shores” for a light lunch.  We watched an episode of “Vera” on BritBox, a new streaming service that we purchased recently.  I ended up taking a short nap.  

Around 4:00 pm we drove to Ray’s Shanty, where we ate dinner.  It was our first time eating dinner there.   Bob ordered a prime rib dinner; I ordered a fried shrimp dinner.  Both meals were delicious, and the service was excellent.

After dinner, we returned to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove around the Wildlife Loop and then to the seashore and back.  We saw egrets, one great blue heron, snapping turtles, and four deer a long ways off.  I didn’t take any pictures, as I forgot to insert the memory card in my camera.  I had taken the card out to upload pictures onto my iPad that I had taken that morning.  

When we left the wildlife refuge, we drove downtown.  We stopped briefly at Robert Reed Waterfront Park, where we went for a short walk.  We, then, continued down Main Street to Beebe Road and made our way back to “Tranquil Shores” from there.  

We watched another episode of “Vera”.  It was around 9:15 pm, when that episode ended.  We went to bed shortly thereafter.

Chincoteague VA Vacation (1st post)

We spent 5 nights at AirBnb ”Tranquil Shores” in Chincoteague VA. This is the fourth time that we have stayed at “Tranquil Shores”. We plan to return next Spring as well.

We arrived at “Tranquil Shores” around 4:00 pm on Thursday, April 14th. We left Chincoteague to return back home at 7:30 am on Tuesday, April 19th. This blog post and the next few that follow will provide details of and photographs from our Chincoteague vacation.

We got up around 6:00 am on Friday, April 15th. We sat outside on our screened in porch, drinking tea / coffee, listening to the morning bird songs as we awaited the sunrise.

Chincoteague Island Sunrise

We ate a breakfast of eggs, sausage and waffles at “Tranquil Shores”.  

After breakfast we drove to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and bicycled the wildlife loop (approximately 3 miles). 

Wildlife Loop: Tern with Fish
This is one of several ponds found on the Wildlife Loop.

After our bicycle ride, we drove to Assateague Beach, stopping at Toms Cove Visitor Center.  

Tom Cove Visitor Center

We walked on the boardwalk and, inside the Visitor Center, I got my National Park Passport cancelled with a rubber-stamp ink marking that recorded the name of the park and the date of our visit. I purchased a collectible Passport stamp set for 2022.  There are 10 stamps, one National and nine regional. 

We are lunch at Metopkin Seafood. We have eaten here a few times over the years. The food is ALWAYS delicious. Bob ordered a crab bites basket.  I ordered a fish and fries basket.  We added 6 hush puppies to our order.

After lunch we drove to Assateague Island MD.  We stopped at the Assateague Island Visitor Center, where I stamped my National Park passport, and we bought a “Night Sky” buff for Bob. 

“Night Sky” is new merchandise
for the National Parks store.

Before leaving the Visitor Center, we walked the Rackliff House Trail.  The main trailhead is located behind the Visitor Center and is about a 1-mile loop. There is a spur off that loop that connects to another trailhead located at the Assateague State Park headquarters. We walked that trail too.

Rackliffe House Trail
We really liked how the trees
formed a canopy over the trail.
Rackliffe House Trail
Looking across to Assateague Island MD
Rackliffe House Trail
On the left is the Milk House.
Behind the Milk House is Rackliffe House.
On the right is the Kitchen Garden.

We were only able to explore the grounds, as the Rackliffe House was closed.

The trail continues from the house to the Assateague State Park Aviary.  The birds were outside but behind a fenced enclosure.  We were not able to see any of the birds. I haven’t done a lot of bicycling or walking so far this year. I decided to wait at the state park, while Bob walked back to the Visitor Center.  He picked up our car and came to get me.  We drove onto Assateague Island. 

Assateague Pony
More Assateague Ponies

That evening we enjoyed watching the moon rise over Chincoteague Island.

It is really nice that we can see the sunrise and the moonrise from the comfort of “Tranquil Shores”.
The moon was so beautiful that night!

Mid-Week Getaway: Day 2 – Aitch and Trough Creek State Park

The morning of Wednesday, March 23, we did some sightseeing.  Our first stop was at Aitch, where an old railroad bed has been transformed into a fishing pier.  We parked in the parking area and walked across the fishing pier.

Aitch Fishing Pier
Aitch Fishing Pier

I read that Aitch is a great place for birdwatching.  We saw only seagulls.

Our second stop was at Copperas Rock in Trough Creek State Park. Copperas Rock is a large overhang along the Great Trough Creek. These rocks are located directly adjacent to the park road. 

Copperas Rocks
The colors of this overhang are caused
by the weathering of the iron in the rocks.
Copperas Rocks has a nice picnic area.
Signs were present that warned of falling rocks.
This picture shows the 2001 Rock Fall at Copperas Rocks.

Our next stop was at the Balanced Rock Trail. 

Balanced Rock is visible from the road
near the start of the Balanced Rock Trail.
Balanced Rock Trail Sign
This sign points the way to Balanced Rock.
The Balanced Rock Trail takes you over a suspension bridge
and past Rainbow Falls.

We walked over the Great Trough Creek, via a suspension bridge that moves as you walk across it. 

Balanced Rock Trail Suspension Bridge
Balanced Rock Trail Suspension Bridge

It started to rain.  We walked back over the bridge and returned to the car. 

I photographed Bob, as he walked back over the suspension bridge.

We plan to make a return trip to the park tomorrow.  The forecast is for better weather tomorrow morning and for most of the afternoon.

We left the park via forest roads and made our way to Mamie’s Cafe and Bakery in Martinsburg. 

I like the mural on the side of Mamie’s Cafe.

Mamie’s Cafe was recommended to us by our Airbnb hosts.  Bob ordered a toasted Reuben sandwich; I had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich.  Both sandwiches were served with a pickle and chips.  We walked out of the cafe with homemade no bake cookies.  This was a good recommendation. The food and service were excellent.

After lunch we returned to our Airbnb rental, where we stayed for rest of the afternoon and evening.  How did we spend our afternoon and evening?  Bob took a nap.  I uploaded a few pictures to Facebook.  I started reading a book on my Kindle.  For dinner we ate leftover fried chicken, pasta salad and potato salad.

Day Trip to Erie

Yesterday we drove to Erie.

In Erie Our first destination was Presque Isle State Park, where we drove around the peninsula.  We saw Canada Geese, ducks and a Great Blue Heron.

Canada Geese in the Air
Two Female Mallards on a Log
Great Blue Heron

We ate lunch at Underground BBQ.  Bob had a chopped brisket sandwich; I had a pulled pork sandwich.  As a side dish, we both got macaroni and cheese.  Lunch was good.

After lunch we drove to the nearby Giant Eagle, where Bob got his first shingles vaccine.  Bob’s health insurance pays 100% of the vaccine cost.  He will need a second vaccine in 2-6 months.  I want to get a shingles vaccine as well.  My health insurance doesn’t cover the vaccine shot.  It appears that my prescription plan will cover a small percentage of the cost.  I checked the vaccine cost at Good RX.  It is the least expensive option.  I will get my first Shingles vaccine this week or early next week.

Our next stop was Sam’s Club, where we filled up our fuel tank and added to our pantry.  We paid $3.64/gallon for fuel, which was less expensive than $3.75 at Sheetz.  I checked fuel prices today online. Sam’s Club is now charging $3.69/gallon, and Sheetz is charging $3.89/gallon. Imam glad that our car is fuel efficient.

Our next stop was at PetSmart to buy cat litter.

We left Erie from PetSmart, en route home.  We stopped at Save a Lot in Corry to buy a few more groceries.  Then we stopped at Tim Hortons for dessert – tea for me and coffee for Bob with a Boston Creme donut for me and an oatmeal raisin cookie for Bob.

South Carolina Vacation: Surfside Beach SC to Warren PA

On Wednesday, February 16th, We “checked out” of Airbnb ”Seaside Cottage” around 6:30 am and drove to the beach, where we watched the sun rise. 

Bob and I at Surfside Beach
minutes before the sunrise
Watch along with us, as the sun rises!
Surfside Beach Sunrise

This was the first sunrise on the beach that I saw in the week we were in Surfside Beach.  I wasn’t able to get to the beach in time for sunrise the other mornings. A prescription drug that I take with dinner rarely allows me to leave the house before 9:00 am, unless I have the availability of a close by bathroom. Bob saw a beach sunrise the first and last day.  

After seeing the sunrise, we began our drive back to Pennsylvania.  

We arrived at the Quality Inn New River Gorge (Fayetteville, WV) around 2:00 pm.  We checked in and carried our baggage into our room.  Soon afterward we walked to Elliott’s Whitewater Bar & Grill, located on the hotel grounds.  There was a flurry of excitement, as we entered,  I thought there was going to be a bar brawl.  The guy cussing was told to “just go”.  He did, after a few minutes and more cussing.  Someone walked out with him to make sure that he left and didn’t hit anyone’s car!  The bar quieted down after that man left.  Later we learned that the unruly man had been there for several hours drinking Jägermeister and was saying things he shouldn’t be saying to the underage waitress.  The waitress felt so uncomfortable that she asked the manager to come sit in the bar.  A couple of the men at the bar, who had been there for only a short while, kicked out the unruly man.   By the way, the food and service were excellent.  Bob ordered a pork chop with onion rings.  I ordered fish sticks with a loaded baked potato.  Both meals included a side salad.

Soon after dinner we drove to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, where we viewed the New River Gorge and the New River Gorge Bridge.  The Canyon Rim Visitor center is about a mile north of our hotel. We had planned to stop at the visitor center the next morning, but it likely will be raining.  So we visited this afternoon.

New River Gorge Bridge, as seen from Canyon Rim Visitor Center Grounds

We have stopped often at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, but we had never seen this particular view of the bridge. As we were crossing the bridge I noticed a man and a woman standing at an overlook. When we arrived at the visitor center, the first thing we did was look for that overlook. The trail shown in the photograph displayed above leads under the bridge. Bob walked down and back up that trail (steep climb!), but was not able to walk under the bridge. The passageway was locked.

New River Gorge Bridge, as seen from Canyon Rim Visitor Center Grounds

We walked down a boardwalk to an overlook of the bridge. We could have walked farther, but neither of us felt like doing steps.

Bob and I at the overlook of the New River Gorge Bridge

We walked behind the Visitor Center, where we saw the New River Gorge.

New River Gorge
(photo by Bob)

Around 6:00 pm we lost power at the hotel. We had no electricity until 8:11 pm. We never did find out what caused the outage. The power outage did not affect the hotel only. Nearby businesses lost their power as well. By the way, soon after the power went out, we lied down and fell asleep. The power coming back on awakened me. That is how I knew the time the power came back on.

We departed Quality Inn New River on Thursday, February 17th, shortly before 7:15 am. Before leaving, we enjoyed a complementary breakfast of scrambled egg patties, sausage and biscuits; orange juice and tea/coffee; and muffin/danish.  The hot food was served to us.  The remaining foods we were free to pick up ourselves.  The server told us the way they do breakfast is not COVID related.  They do breakfast this way year round.

We reached the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border around 9:30 am.  We still had a 3 1/2-hour drive until we would be back home.  Up to this point we had avoided the forecasted rain! Ten minutes later, at Masontown exit (exit 14 on I-79), we caught up with the rain.  The rain was with us the rest of the way home.

We got off I-79 at the Slippery Rock exit.  We were getting tired of interstate travel.  The slower pace was welcome.

We stopped for lunch at Eat’n Park in Franklin.  Bob ordered a chicken sandwich with cheesy fries.  I ordered a turkey club sandwich with a fruit cup.  We each ordered pie for dessert. 

We were back on the road at 12:35 pm and returned home at 2:00 pm.  We drove a total of 1,750.40 miles, since our departure on February 8th.

This was the first time that Bob and I had ever been to the South Carolina coast. We enjoyed our visit very much — so much, in fact, that we are already talking about going back next year.

South Carolina Vacation: Myrtle Beach

Having recovered apparently from the previous days illness, we decided to drive to Myrtle Beach in the late morning on Tuesday, February 15th. It was about a 15-minute drive.  We parked along 7th Avenue and walked the boardwalk from 7th Avenue to 14th Avenue and back. It was a chilly and windy walk to 14th Avenue. 

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
You can tell how windy it was
by looking at the flags.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
This is the SkyWheel.

The SkyWheel is not a carnival ride, but a modern, safe observation wheel towering 187 feet or about 20 stories in the air. The SkyWheel has fully enclosed gondolas with glass windows and doors for optimal views and photography. The gondolas are heated and cooled allowing for year-round operation in any type of weather. A flight includes 3 revolutions and lasts about 10 – 15 minutes. We didn’t ride the SkyWheel. I don’t care for heights!

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
Beyond the palm tree is Pier 14.

Pier 14 provides opportunities for shopping, dining and fishing. The Pier was closed for the season.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
This is the view from Pier 14.

With the wind behind us, it felt warmer as we walked back to 7th Avenue.

We viewed Pier 14 from the beach.
We viewed the SkyWheel from the beach too.
Myrtle Beach boardwalk
This is a closer view of the SkyWheel.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
The sculpture in front of the SkyWheel
is called “The Goddess of the Sea”.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
“The Goddess of the Sea” sculpture

On our way back to Surfside Beach we stopped at The Market Common. The Market Common is Myrtle Beach’s premiere dining, shopping and entertainment destination. We didn’t go shopping; we didn’t attend any entertainment event. We did, however, dine. We chose the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant for lunch. Bob ordered the Ahi Tuna Salad (togarashi & sesame seed crusted seared Ahi tuna, romaine, cabbage, pickled cucumbers, wasabi vinaigrette, wonton strips, sriracha drizzle).  I ordered the CBLT Sandwich (grilled chicken, bacon, Swiss, crispy onions, tomato, lettuce, fresh avocado mayo, brioche bun).  Both entrees were good; the service was excellent.

After lunch we returned to our Airbnb ”Seaside Cottage”. We would be leaving for home the next day, so we packed. We relaxed too, especially enjoying the warmth of the backyard porch.

Bob and I relaxing on our back porch.

Oh, and I can’t forget the moon. We saw the moon each and every day, while in South Carolina. The moon became more and more beautiful, as the week progressed.

Full moon
Viewed from our backyard

Isn’t the moon gorgeous?

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