The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Dining Out’

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 4

We departed the Birdhouse Inn Confluence Airbnb at 8:00 am, en route home.  We had a very nice, relaxing stay in Confluence.  We plan to make a return trip here one day.

We stopped for breakfast at Zambo’s Country Cottage in Rockwood, PA.  The restaurant is located in the middle of nowhere, farm country, less than 30 minutes from Confluence.  The service was excellent, and the food was delicious and filling.  Bob ordered a western omelet and rye toast.  I ordered two pancakes, eggs, bacon and wheat toast.  The pancakes were huge.  I boxed half of them and my toast and placed the box in our cooler.  We were back on the road at 9:05 am.

In Penn Run, PA we made a slight detour by driving into Yellow Creek State Park

The 720-acre Yellow Creek Lake occupies about 1/4 of the 2,981-acre state park.
We couldn’t have picked a better day to visit Yellow Creek State Park.
The sky was blue and reflected so beautifully on the lake.
Yellow Creek Lake

After taking these pictures, we turned around and returned to Route 422.  The park would be a nice place for a picnic, had it been lunchtime.

We returned home around 1:30 pm.  Wickett, our cat, was really happy to see us.  She ran up and down the hallway, tail raised high, as we carried stuff into the house from the car.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 3

We awakened to rain on Day 3 (September 28th) of our wedding anniversary getaway. I got up shorltly before 7:30 am and made a cup of tea. I sat outside on the side porch in my pajamas and bare feet, drinking that cup of tea, and listening to the falling rain.  The Birdhouse Inn Confluence Airbnb has two covered porches, one in the front and the other on the side.  The side porch is my favorite.  The rain started earlier this morning, around 4:15 am, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The rain stopped falling mid morning, but stayed cloudy all day.

My knee is back to its usual discomfort, so we decided to hike the Ferncliff Peninsula in Ohiopyle. We arrived on the peninsula around 11:50 am.  We followed Ferncliff Trail along the rocky Youghiongheny River to where we could see an overlook of the Ohiopyle Falls. 

There are two trails in this picture.
Ferncliff Trail is to the left and right; Oakwoods Trail is straight ahead.
We took Ferncliff Trail on the left and exited the hike on Oakwoods Trail.
Hiking Ferncliff Trail to Youghiogheny River
One of several fossils
that we saw along Ferncliff Trail
Bob on the Ferncliff Trail
Youghiogheny River, as seen from Ferncliff Trail
First view of Ohiopyle Falls from Ferncliff Trail
Bob took this picture of Ohiopyle Falls,
after hiking down some several stone steps.
Ohiopyle State Park Visitor Center,
as seen from the Ferncliff Peninsula

My right knee is weak and wobbled a bit sometimes, while navigating the rocks along the Youghiogheny River.  Soon after the waterfall overlook we came across a trail that led up away from the river toward the center of the peninsula. The first few feet of that trail was eroded, steep and difficult. Bob had to pull me up one of the steep steps.

I gave Bob a thumps up that I was able to climb up off the rocky trail along the Youghiogheny River.
We took the Buffalo Nut Trail to cut across the peninsula, to shorten our hiking distance. 
Buffalo Nut Trail was much easier to hike
than the Ferncliff Trail!
We saw lots of moss-covered tree branches, while hiking Buffalo Nut Trail.

At the end of Buffalo Nut Trail we hopped onto Oakwoods Trail that took us back to Ferncliff Trail and our origin point. 

We turned right onto the Oakwoods Trail.
I took the 360 degree video that follows
at this point on Oakwoods Trail.
Please have volume ON for the video.

We made it back to our origin point by 1:15 pm.  We enjoyed our hike on Ferncliff Peninsula.  I feel I have accomplished quite a bit in the past two days—the 10 mile bicycle ride on Monday and this hike.

After our hike we went to lunch at the Yough Roadhouse Bar & Grill just outside of Confluence.  We sat at the bar.  There was one other couple there, and one girl behind the bar.  The girl behind the bar was the only one there to wait on customers.  We sat at the bar to make her waiting on us easier.  Bob ordered a fish sandwich with chips, and I ordered chicken strips and beer-battered fries.  Our meals were delicious.  The service was excellent.  We enjoyed the conversation, too, with the other customers and our waitress.  The other customers are staying in Confluence as well, at a campground.

After lunch we returned “home”, where we relaxed for rest of the afternoon and evening.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 1

This past Sunday, September 26th, was our 23rd wedding anniversary.  We celebrated our anniversary with a mini getaway–3 nights at an Airbnb in Confluence, PA.  

Before leaving home, Bob made us omelets for breakfast.  We put the dishes in the dishwasher and started the cleaning cycle.  We packed the car.  Bob placed our bicycles on the carrier.  We left home at 8:15 am, en route Confluence.

We made one stop in Ebensburg and arrived in Confluence between 12:00 and 12:30 pm.  Check in wasn’t until 3:00 pm.  We drove by our rental Airbnb.  There was a car parked outside the front porch, which we supposed belonged to the cleaner(s).  

We had a few hours to kill, so we decided to do some sightseeing.  We saw a sign on our way to Confluence for a nearby covered bridge.  We drove to the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge and checked it out.

Lower Humbert Covered Bridge

The Lower Humbert Bridge is a 126 1/2 feet long Burr Arch truss covered bridge. It crosses over the Laurel Hill Creek in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. The bridge was built in 1891 and rebuilt 100 years later. It is one of ten remaining covered bridges in Somerset County.

The Lower Humbert Bridge is a Burr Arch truss covered bridge.
Bob and I at the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge

From the bridge we decided to drive to Ohiopyle State Park.  We parked near the Visitor Center and walked a short way along the Youghiogheny River.  We enjoyed the view of the Ohiopyle Falls.

Ohiopyle Falls on the Youghiogheny River

We visited the Visitor Center as well.  I picked up a map and brochure for the park.

We returned to the Birdhouse Inn Confluence Airbnb shortly before 3:00 pm.  The cleaner was still there but left as soon as she made one last bed.  The Airbnb is a cute 2 story house.  There are two porches, one in the front and one on the side.  I love the side porch.  It is where we sat, waiting for the cleaner to finish up.  The chairs are comfortable, and the view is a cornfield in front of a hill.

Shortly after 5:00 pm we walked to the River’s Edge Cafe, where we had a 5:30 pm dinner reservation.  The walk took only a few minutes, so we were early for our reservation. 

We ate our anniversary dinner at the River’s Edge Cafe.

We sat at a picnic table and enjoyed the view and sound of the Youghiogheny River.  Dinner was excellent. Bob ordered a Oak Barrel steak dinner; I ordered a Smoked Barbecued pork chop dinner.

After dinner we went for a short bicycle ride to the Confluence Town Square.  Our bicycle ride took us over the Casselman River on a bike/pedestrian bridge. In all we didn’t even ride a mile from our “home” to the town square and back “home”.

Ellicottville, NY

Late this morning we drove to Ellicottville, NY, a small town located about 50 miles northeast of where we live.

The first thing I noticed, as we pulled into a parking space on Washington Street was a different kind of tree sitting in front of the post office.

Ski Tree

Ellicottville’s Ski Tree went up in November 2017. According to the ski tree stands 31 feet tall and is constructed of over 400 skis, it is the largest ski tree in America.

Close-up picture of the Ski Tree

The Ellicottville Coffee Company was near where we parked our car on Washington Street. We stopped in the shop to browse. Bob ended up purchasing a compact Aeropress Coffee Maker that was priced the same as one he had seen on Amazon.

We ate lunch at The Gin Mill. It had been a while since we last ate at The Gin Mill. In fact the last time we ate there was Dec. 7, 2015. Today Bob ordered a Buffalo chicken wrap; I ordered a BLT sandwich. Both sandwiches were accompanied with potato chips. We have always enjoyed our meals at The Gin Mill, and today was no exception.

We ate lunch at The Gin Mill.

The Gin Mill moved down the street to a new, bigger location since we last ate there. At first we thought The Gin Mill had closed. We were pleased that it was still a viable business.

We went for a short walk down Monroe Street, after lunch. I admired a store front and took a couple pictures.

Looking up Monroe Street toward Washington Street
Pretty store fronts

On the way home we drove through Randolph, NY. We stopped for dessert (ice cream) at Peaches ‘n Cream.

We returned home at 4:00 pm. What a nice way to spend a few hours!

Ohio Vacation Day 6 – Retirement! (6/30/2021)

Today is Bob’s first day of retirement from Betts Industries Inc., after 35 1/2 years service.

Bob started work at Betts Industries on November 26, 1984 (first day of buck season). Since June 2020, when he was laid off work because of COVID, Bob has been in practice for retirement. This week-long stay in Ohio is our first vacation in retirement.

I am using the words of a friend (thank you Debby) who wrote about retirement a few weeks ago. Debby’s words struck home with me. Debby wrote that the most luxurious part of retirement is that we can go as long as we want. There is no job to return to. There are no vacation days trickling through our fingers. The only thing determining the length of a vacation trip is us.

We are excited about this new chapter in our lives!

We ate lunch at The Brew Kettle in Hudson OH. I ordered Fish and Chips; Bob ordered a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries. Bob had a couple beers too. One beer was a celebratory drink.

Congratulations on your retirement, Bob!

Ohio Vacation Day 3 – Boston Mill Visitor Center (6/27/2021)

After our walk around Kendall Lake, we drove to the new Boston Mill Visitor Center. The visitor center is located at the southeast corner of Riverview and Boston Mills roads in the Village of Boston in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

I was attempting to take a selfie at this location,
as we were walking to the Boston Mill Visitor Center.
A fellow visitor asked if we wanted her to take our picture.
I said yes and thank you.
the Boston Mill Visitor Center

The original function of the Boston Mill Visitor Center building was a general store that was constructed in 1905 for the Cleveland-Akron Bag Company.

The new visitor center opened on October 25, 2019. The Boston Mill Visitor Center serves as a central, one-stop resource for visitors to plan their journeys in the national park and Ohio & Erie Canalway. The visitor center includes the main visitor center building (displayed above) and two smaller buildings nearby, which serve as public restrooms and office space. An outdoor pavilion and courtyard provide visitors with park information and resources 24/7, while indoor exhibits orient visitors to the park and its geography, natural resources, history, and surrounding areas.

The Boston Mill Station is located near the visitor center. We watched the 11:45am train arrive and leave the train station.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train approaching Boston Mill Station
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train at Boston Mill Station
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train departs Boston Mill Station

We see this train often, when in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. So far we have not ridden the train. Some day we hope to ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train on its National Park Scenic Excursion.

We ate lunch at Fisher’s Cafe and Pub in Peninsula. It was our first time eating there. We have passed by this restaurant many times, while on other trips to this area. I always thought we should eat there sometime. “Sometime” was today. Bob ordered a Yellow Fin Wrap (Medium Rare Caribbean & Cajun Seasoned Yellow Fin Tuna, Wrapped with Romaine Lettuce. Thai Rice, Kung Fu Teriyaki Sauce on the Side) with potato salad. I ordered beer-battered fish and potato salad. Our meals were delicious and filling; our waitress was attentive.

Please return for a blog post about our visit to Brandywine Falls, also on Day 3 of our Ohio vacation. I hope to publish that blog post tomorrow.

Ohio Vacation Day 1 (6/25/2021)

We departed home at 9:30 am en route Hudson, OH. We stopped for breakfast at the Station 61 Restaurant in Youngsville, PA. We both ordered a western omelette with toast. Breakfast was delicious and filling. We were back on the road by 10:40 am. We arrived in Hudson around 2:00 pm. We passed by our rental Airbnb and drove to Szalay’s Farm and Market in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We ate lunch–a Polish sausage for Bob and an all-beef hot dog for me. For dessert we each had a fruit sundae.

Szalay’s Farm & Market
Szalay’s Farm & Market
We ordered our hot dog and sausage from the booth at the far right.
We ordered ce cream sundaes from the booth at the far left.
Szalay’s Farm & Market
We ate our lunch, while sitting in one of these gliders.
Szalay’s Farm & Market
An ice cream sundae

We get a fruit sundae, whenever we visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The cost was $5.00 the first time we got a sundae. The price is still $5.00. It is a GREAT buy!

We visited the Boston Mills Visitor Center, where I purchased a pocket size National Park passport.

Photo obtained from America’s National Parks website

Cancellation stamps from Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be the first stamps to be made in the passport.

We checked into our rental Airbnb, “Wildlife and Serenity in Hudson OH”, at 4:00 pm.

Our host and hostess, John and Deborah, met us in the driveway as we got out of our car. One of the first things pointed out to us was a pair of bald eagles on a tree snag in the middle of a pond in their back yard. We saw that eagle pair in the same spot several times, as we “moved in”.

This is the street view of our rental Airbnb. The listing refers to our rental as an apartment. We had use of this home from the front porch and everything to the left.
This is the back yard view of our rental Airbnb. We had use of the first floor of this home from the three windows on the left to the end of the house on the right. Deborah and John live in the rest of the house. We had use of the deck and shared the back, front and side yards. The deck looks out on a wetland, where the eagles hung out. This was our first Airbnb rental where we shared the house with our hosts. Deborah and John were accessible, but they would keep to themselves if that was something we had desired. We did share some conversation, in person and via text, with our hosts. Our first shared living experience was a good one.

Our rental space is an open floor plan, with the bedroom being the only room shut off from the other part of the house.

This is the view of the deck and the wetlands from the living room of our rental Airbnb.

After moving in, we went grocery shopping at the nearby Acme Food Market. We picked up fruit, lettuce, milk, eggs, water, beer and frozen dinners. Tonight’s dinner was chicken parmigiana with a tossed salad.

I went to bed shortly after 9:00 pm. Our king size bed is HIGH off the ground. The bed sits on top of deep drawers. A foot stool is needed to climb into bed.


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