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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cancellation stamps from Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be the first stamps to be made in the passport.
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”.
Our rental space is an open floor plan, with the bedroom being the only room shut off from the other part of the house.
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.
This past Saturday (June 19th) Bob suggested that we drive to Pymatuning State Park. A change of scenery appealed to me.
The highlight of our visit to Pymatuning was seeing the Pymatuning Dam and the area near the dam.
Pymatuning Dam is located at the southern end of Pymatuning Reservoir. We have visited Pymatuning several times. This was our first visit to the dam and its surrounding area.
Our first stop was at Shenango River. We crossed over Pymatuning Dam via Dam Road. We turned right onto Water Trail Drive, which led us to the Shenango River.
Our second stop was on the reservoir side of the dam. We backtracked and drove back over the dam. We pulled into the parking lot for pavilion shelter #3.
We, then, drove back across the dam but only half way. We parked across from the Dam Gatehouse.
According to signage at the site, the “castle-like stone gatehouse allows water flow through the dam. Water enters the gatehouse through a 20-foot-wide diversion channel and travels 280 feet to the outflow conduits.”
We walked back across Dam Road and visited the outflow area.
Leaving Pymatuning Dam and its environ our next stop was at the Linesville Spillway, where we saw lots of carp, ducks and geese.
Leaving Pymatuning State Park in our rearview mirror, our next stop was for lunch in Spartansburg. We ate lunch at the Dutch Treat Restaurant.
Bob had an egg sandwich with French fries and coleslaw. I had a BLT sandwich with French fries and applesauce. Our meals were delicious. Service was OK. It would have been better, if Bob had gotten the lunch he ordered–a steak salad. Bob should have been tipped off, when the waitress asked if Bob wanted coleslaw. A salad has a coleslaw side??? I did notice that the waitress was hard of hearing AND she was tired–overworked from lack of help. Bob decided to let it go. He saved $8.00 on our lunch price. The egg salad sandwich was a lot less expensive than the steak salad.
After lunch, we walked across the parking lot to Clear Lake.
We returned home, after lunch. It was a good day, even with the rain that came in the afternoon.
Today, April 8th, is Day 8 of our Easter vacation.
This afternoon we decided to make a return visit to the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. We saw a few ponies!
We stopped for dinner at Don’s Seafood and Chicken House near Pocomoke City, MD. Our dinners were moderately expensive. We were celebrating, though. As of today, both Bob and I are fully vaccinated against COVID. This was our first time to eat at Don’s. Bob ordered crab dip for an appetizer. Bob selected stuffed flounder, as his entree. I chose southern fried chicken tenders. Our meals were delicious, and service was excellent.
We had ice cream for dessert at Island Creamery in Chincoteague, VA. Bob got a brownie sundae with Java jolt ice cream. I got my usual, a scoop of chocolate ice cream and a scoop of peanut butter cup ice cream.
Today, April 7th, is the 7th day of our Easter vacation.
We have awakened each morning of our vacation in time to watch the sun rise. Each sunrise that we have witnessed has been beautiful. This morning’s sunset, though, was more than beautiful; it was splendid.
We visited downtown Chincoteague this morning. We went window shopping along Main Street. The shops that interested me were closed until later in the day.
We walked back to our car the scenic way.
During our walk, we decided to drive to Cape Charles, VA–a place we had never been. Cape Charles is located about 66 miles south of Chincoteague.
A popular mode of transportation at Cape Charles appears to be golf carts.
We went for a walk alongside the beach and on the fishing pier.
Leaving Cape Charles, we drove to Metopkin Seafood for lunch. Metopkin Seafood is located in Mappsville, VA about 50 miles north of Cape Charles. We were disappointed to find that Metopkin Seafood was still closed for the season. Metopkin Seafood is a favorite place for us to get a seafood platter.
We decided to eat lunch at Maria’s in Chincoteague, VA– our first time to eat there. Bob ordered a crab cake sandwich with French fries. I ordered a small pizza.
I have leftover pizza for another meal. The food and service were good. We returned to our rental AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, after lunch.
I have more to tell you about our 7th day of vacation, which I will share with you in a future blog post.
Today, April 2nd, is Day 2 of our Easter vacation.
We slept in a bit this morning. Our later-than-usual awakening was most likely caused by our early departure from home yesterday and noisy hotel guests who kept us awake. Those guests left sometime in the late evening. Do you find that strange? I do. Perhaps they were asked to leave?
We went downstairs for breakfast a little after 8:00 am. Because of COVID-19 breakfast wasn’t the typical full hot breakfast, served buffet style. Breakfast was still good, though, with selections individually wrapped. I had an egg and bacon sandwich, a banana, cranberry juice, a banana nut muffin, and a cup of tea. Bob picked up similar selections. We carried our breakfast in paper bags to our room and ate there.
We checked out of the hotel around 9:00 am and began the last leg of our drive. Today’s destination is Chincoteague, VA. As was the case yesterday, the GPS is programmed to avoid highways.
Shortly before 11:00 am we stopped for a potty break in Cambridge, MD at the visitor center (Sailwinds Park). It was only 36 degrees. It was a lot warmer during our stop there in late November last year. We enjoyed a walk in the park last year. Today we were happy to hurry to the bathroom and back to the car.
At 12:00 pm we met our friends Tom and Ellen for lunch at Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Salisbury, MD. Bob ordered a brisket sandwich with Sweet Potato fries; Tom ordered a pulled pork sandwich with French fries; I ordered chicken wings and a half order of fries; and Ellen ordered French onion soup and clams. We sat inside and ate our lunch. It was too cold to sit outside to eat, as we did in November. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed our time together. I don’t have a picture of the four of us because I forgot to have one taken!
We departed the brewery at 1:30 pm and arrived on Chincoteague Island around 3:00 pm. We had an hour to kill before the check-in time at our AirBnB. We drove around the island a bit, before heading out to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore.