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Posts tagged ‘Dining Out’

Maine Vacation: Amsterdam NY to Peru VT

We set the GPS to avoid highways for our drive from Amsterdam NY to Peru VT.

Our first stop was for lunch at Sunset Grill in Ballston Spa, NY. Bob ordered a Cobb Salad; I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich.  Our lunches were good.  What caught my attention, though, were the salt and pepper shakers at the tables near us.

Salt ‘n Pepper Shakers

Our waitress said that the salt and pepper shakers were brought to them as gifts when patrons returned from travels all over the world.

In May this year Ballston Spa held its second annual birdhouse competition.

I like how the birdhouses are displayed in the park.

The Soldiers Monument is located at Front and Low Streets.  The monument lists the names of local soldiers from the towns of Milton, Ballston, and Malta who served in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War.

The Soldiers Monument

The Soldiers Monument

The monument features a Union Army infantryman, known to local residents as “Civil Sam”.  Soldiers Monument was first dedicated on June 16,1888.  Over the years the monument fell into a state of disrepair.  Soldiers Monument was restored and rededicated in June 2013.

As an aside, I learned recently that my maternal second cousin, Dr. Naton D. Leslie, Jr., lived in Ballston Spa.  Naton died in December 2013.  I never met him.

Our second stop was at Buskirks Covered Bridge.

Buskirks Covered Bridge is 165 feet long and crosses over the Hoosick River.

Buskirks Bridge is in the town of Hoosick but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our third stop was at Eagleville Covered Bridge.  

Eagleville Covered Bridge is 100 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Eagleville Bridge is in the town of Jackson-Salem, NY but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our fourth stop was at Arlington Covered Bridge.

Arlington Covered Bridge is 80 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Arlington Bridge is in the town of Arlington, VT.  According to the people at this bridge, the river here was a fine place to swim.  On the other side of the bridge we saw lots more people in the water, swimming and using inner tubes.

The Norman Rockwell House is very near Arlington Covered Bridge.  We drove in front of the house.  I wasn’t impressed, so I didn’t take any photographs.

We arrived at our night’s accommodation, the Lodge at Bromley (Peru, VT), at 6:00 pm — 12 1/2 hours after leaving home.  After checking in and carrying in our bags, we went in search of dinner.  But, first, I took a couple pictures of the view from our balcony.

We could see Mountain Adventure Park from our balcony.

We had a corner room, so we could see the mountains across the road from our balcony too.


There are a few restaurants nearby.  The first place we went to — J.J. Hapgood — was very crowded.  We opted to turn around and go to Bromley Market Country Store that we had passed on our way to J.J. Hapgood.  The country store was closing, as we arrived.  We ended up eating at Raven’s Den, located in Manchester Center, VT.  It was an excellent restaurant choice.  We ordered a 12-oz prime rib dinner with split plate.  For an additional $19.00 we shared the prime rib and had full portions of the unlimited salad bar and three vegetable side dishes (carrots, green beans and corn on the cob).  Our meals were delicious; the service was excellent; and the split plate option was a good deal.  

This post concludes Day 1 of our 10-day vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).


Chincoteague Vacation – Day 7: Chincoteague, VA to Warren, PA

On Friday, April 12th, Bob got up at 4:30 am; I got up about 1 1/2 hours later.  We were both showered and dressed by 6:30 am.  We did most of our packing the previous night.  We finished packing this morning, loaded the car and began our drive back home.

We stopped for breakfast at the Ocean Deli, an obscure restaurant attached to a Spirit fuel station on Wallops Island, VA.  I just happened to notice a sign that advertised eggs, French toast, home fries, pancakes and bacon.  We ordered breakfast at the counter and sat down in the dining room.  Bob ordered a meat lovers omelet accompanied with home fries and toast.  He didn’t care for the gyro meat.  Otherwise, the omelet was good.  I ordered two scrambled eggs, home fries, toast and bacon. 

My breakfast at Ocean Deli

Our breakfast orders were delivered promptly.  The portions were large and very filling.

After eating breakfast we continued our drive back home.  We made a couple more quick stops on the way home, where we arrived around 5:15 pm.

Total miles driven Saturday through Friday were 1,275 miles.  What a WONDERFUL vacation; we are looking forward to a return visit to Chincoteague, VA!

Please click here, if you missed any of my Chincoteague vacation blog posts.  The link will take you to all posts tagged “Chincoteague Vacation 2019” and allow you to scroll from the most recent to oldest vacation post.  Thank you very much for following along on our vacation.


Chincoteague Vacation – Day 5

On the morning of Day 5 of our vacation (Wednesday, April 10th) we rode our bicycles from Tranquil Shores (our vacation home) to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, VA. It is approximately 2 miles from Tranquil Shores to the entrance booths. 

We followed the bicycle trail to Woodland Trail.  We rode the Woodland Trail, where we saw several wild horses in the marshland. 

Woodland Trail – Wild Ponies

Leaving Woodland Trail we took the Black Duck Trail to the Wildlife Loop.  We rode the Wildlife Loop. We saw egrets, birds and wild ponies. 

Wildlife Loop – Snowy Egret

Wildlife Loop – Red-Winged Blackbird

For the first time since 2011, when we first visited the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, we saw wild horses in the marsh, while on the Wildlife Loop. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies


From the Wildlife Loop we returned to Tranquil Shores. 

Crossing bridge from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island (Beach Access Road)

We rode 11.69 bicycle miles in the morning.

We ate lunch at Metompkin Seafood Market in Bloxom VA, which was a 13-mile drive from Chincoteague. 

Metopkin Seafood Market

Metopkin Seafood Market
Food ordered here.

Metopkin Seafood Market
Fresh Seafood

Bob ordered a fish and scallop platter.  I ordered a fish platter.  We both had two generous pieces of fish with French fries, coleslaw and hush puppies.  Bob had scallops in addition to the fish.  There were three cats that were looking for handouts.  

A bold cat at Metopkin Seafood Market


On our way to Metompkin Seafood and on our way back to Chincoteague, U.S. Navy airplanes kept circling us.

U.S. Navy airplane

U.S. Navy airplane

I took these photographs from inside our car, through the windshield. We were traveling at about 55 MPH at the time. The airplanes were flying from NASA Wallops Flight Facility. It was awesome having the airplanes fly so close to us!

Before returning to our vacation home, we stopped for homemade ice cream at the Island Creamery.  

Island Creamery

Island Creamery
Ice Cream Selections

Bob ordered two scoops of coffee ice cream in a cup.  I ordered one scoop of Peanut Butter Cup and one scoop of Peanut Butter Chocolate, also in a cup.  Delicious!

We went for a drive around the Wildlife Loop in the evening.  The wild horses that we saw in the morning were still there.  The horses were even a little closer to the road than they were in the morning. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Pony

For dinner we ate salad.  Bob had a Cobb salad; I had a chef salad.  Neither of us were very hungry after eating a big lunch and ice cream.

Later in the evening we watched a few episodes of NYPD Blue and then went to bed.

I hope that you are not getting tired of seeing photographs of wild ponies.  I will be sharing more wild pony photographs in my next blog post.  Those ponies were closer to us than all of our other encounters!


Chincoteague Vacation – Day 1: Warren, PA to Annapolis, MD

We departed home at 7;15 am on Saturday, April 6th, en route Chincoteague, VA.  We made a few stops along the way.

Our first stop was at 9:00 am for breakfast at The Dutch Pantry in Clearfield, PA.  We both had omelettes–a Western Omelet for me and a Veggie Omelet for Bob.  Accompanying Bob’s omelette was a strawberry yogurt, rye toast and coffee.  I ordered home fries, wheat toast and tea to accompany my omelet.  Our meals included a small apple fritter.   Breakfast was filling and delicious.  We were back on the road at 9:40 am.

Our second stop was at a rest area.

Crystal Springs, PA Rest Area on Interstate 70

The Crystal Springs Rest Area is a pretty place to stop, when you need a break from driving.

Our third stop was at 2:00 pm at Fort George Meade, MD.  Bob’s cousin moved recently from the state of Washington to Fort George Meade.  Because our route to Chincoteague would take us very near their new home we decided to pay a visit to Chris and his family, providing Amy was up for a visit.  Amy gave birth to their fourth child 5 days prior, and we weren’t sure if she would be up for a visit.  Amy wanted us to come, so that is what we did.  

Chris met us at the Demps Visitor Control Center and escorted us to his house.  We went through a vehicle inspection center, where our IDs were requested and they took down our license number.  Chris signed us onto the post.   We expected to have our car inspected; no inspection was performed.

We spent several hours with Bob’s cousins.  I got to hold 5-day-old Michael, and we got to spend a lot of time with David and Sarah.  Peter was sick, so we didn’t spend much time with him.  Chris, Bob, David, Sarah and I went to a nearby playground.  The children enjoyed swinging and digging in the sand. 

Back at the house David drew two maze games, one for Bob and the other for me.  As with any maze, we started at one point and had to find the right path to the exit. I was impressed that a 6-year-old boy drew such intricate mazes.  Sarah and I played with stickers.  Bob and I read to Sarah and David too.

Bob reading to his cousins, Sarah and David (photo by Chris)

Dinner was calzones with marina sauce, beans and brownies or honey cake for dessert.  Bob and I chose a slice of honey cake for dessert.  Dinner was delicious.

We enjoyed our visit with Chris, Amy and their children very much.  Thank you, Amy and Chris, for inviting us into your home and for dinner.

Our fiourth and last stop was at Best Western in Annapolis, where we spent the night.



Presque Isle State Park Day Trip

We left home at 10:00 am on Saturday, January 26th, en route Erie.  I did not like traveling on either Follett Run Road or Preston Road, both of which were snow covered and hilly.  The road surface for the remainder of our drive to Erie was good.  We drove to the following destinations, while in Erie:  Presque Isle State Park. Cheddars Scratch Kitchen, Best Buy and Sam’s Club.

Arriving at Presque Isle State Park, we drove around the peninsula, making a few stops along the way. 

Soon after entering the park, we noticed the trees were coated with white snow.

The snow-covered trees along Peninsula Drive were gorgeous!

We saw the new emergency intake tower, which often is mistaken for a lighthouse, at the Waterworks area.  Bob and I have always referred to the tower as a lighthouse.  I told Bob that the lighthouse was in a different spot, when we first saw it.  Bob said no it wasn’t.  I said yes it is.  Well, I am right.  I have photographic and written proof!

This was the old Waterworks Lighthouse.

The old Waterworks Lighthouse was removed in late 2017.  It is believed that the emergency intake tower was installed in the early 1900s. The valve apparatus has not been operational for decades,

The newly restored and repainted lighthouse was installed in September 2018.  It is located to the left of the original lighthouse and quite a bit forward of the sign seen in the photograph displayed above.  It was installed on land, not on water.  Donations helped to pay for the $80,000 project, with $50,000 coming from the Dan and Sallie Shipley Charitable Fund.

This is the new Waterworks Lighthouse.

Jayme, one of Bob’s coworkers, told Bob that he would be ice fishing on either Misery Bay or Horseshoe Pond.  We planned to walk across the ice to where Jayme was fishing.  As it turned out, Jayme didn’t go to Presque Isle to ice fish, as he had heard that the ice wasn’t good.  There were some ice fishing huts both on Misery Bay and Horseshoe Pond.

Horseshoe Pond Houseboats and Ice Fishing Hut

This houseboat with a replica of the North Pier Lighthouse is my favorite of all the houseboats on Horseshoe Pond.

Panoramic Image of some of the houseboats on Horseshoe Pond and Ice Fishing Huts

Continuing around Presque Isle we stopped at the Waterworks area, located across Peninsula Drive from where we had stopped earlier to admire the new Waterworks Lighthouse.  We were on the lake side of the peninsula.

Lake Erie

Today was Snow Day at Presque Isle State Park.  At the event, organized by the Presque Isle Partnership, visitors could enjoy everything from dog sled and snow show demonstrations, to outdoor cooking and ice fishing.  Our interest in stopping at this event was to see a dog sled demonstration, which we did. 

Bob captured video of the dog sled demonstration, while I captured still images.  Bob’s video is short, only a little over a minute.  So please do click on the play button!



Dog Sled Demo at Presque Isle Snow Day event


Shortly before the dog sled demo we petted one of the Siberian Huskies, a beautiful girl named Meeka.  She was really soft!  Meeka was the lead dog in the dog sled demonstration that we watched.

From Presque Isle State Park we drove to Cheddars Scratch Kitchen, where we ate lunch.  Bob ordered from the “Lighter Side”.  The entree Bob chose was bourbon-glazed grilled salmon over seasoned rice, broccoli cheese casserole and a house salad.  I ordered from “Comfort Food”.  My entree was homemade chicken pot pie with a house salad.  We enjoyed both of our meals.

From Cheddars we drove to Best Buy.  In June 2017 I purchased a 10.5 in. 256 GB iPad Pro tablet.  At the time I was in a quandary.  Do I buy the 10.5 in. tablet or the bigger, more expensive 12.9 in. tablet.  I chose the 10.5 in. tablet because I thought the larger tablet would be too big for me.  In hindsight, I should have purchased the 12.9 in. tablet.  Well, today, I purchased a new 12.9 in. 256 GB iPad Pro tablet, along with a Smart Keyboard case and Apple Pencil.  The Smart Keyboard case was not in stock.  I am expecting delivery of the Smart Keyboard case by Tuesday, Jan. 29th.  The new Apple Pencil attaches magnetically to my iPad, a feature that I love.  So, I am a happy owner of a new iPad Pro tablet!  I plan to sell my 10.5 in. iPad Pro, along with its keyboard and pencil, as a package in the near future.

From Best Buy we drove to Sam’s Club, where we picked up a few groceries.  We renewed our Sam’s Club membership in December last year, after allowing the membership to lapse a few months prior when Sam’s Club closed in Jamestown, NY.  The Sam’s Club in Erie is farther for us to drive than it was for us to go to Sam’s Club in Jamestown.  After several months without a membership, we decided that we go to Erie often enough that a Sam’s Club membership would be worthwhile.  Besides I miss some of the foods and paper products that we would buy at Sam’s Club.  The reason for driving to Erie on Saturday was to go to Sam’s Club.

From Sam’s Club we made our way back home.  I didn’t believe snow was in Saturday’s forecast.  Well, it snowed the whole way back home!

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Two Day Circle Tour (Day 2) – Hilo to Kailua-Kona

This blog post continues the activities of Tuesday, September 4th.

We were still talking about our surprise helicopter ride, as we left the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and drove to Rainbow Falls.   Rainbow Falls is located at the northwest border of Hilo and quite easy to reach.  From the parking lot it is a very short walk to an overlook of the falls.

MVIMG_20180904_104617Rainbow Falls
(Photo by Bob)

_LG27998_LG27999_LG28000-HDRRainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is 80 feet high.  The waterfall cascades over a lava cave that according to legend is home to the ancient Hawaiian goddess Hina, the goddess of the moon.

Depending on the amount of rainfall upstream in the preceding days the falls can be either roaring or they can be reduced to a trickle.

D5263853 4x6I took this photograph of Rainbow Falls in May 2010.
The amount of water falling was less in 2010 than it was this year.

Late August this year Hurricane Lane dumped many, many inches of rain on Hilo.  I believe Rainbow Falls was flowing well still from the amount of rain that fell then.  Watch this video, which was filmed on August 23, twelve days before we visited Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls during Hurricane Lane
August 23, 2018

Bob and I at Rainbow Falls this year.

From Rainbow Falls we drove to Zippy’s Restaurant, which is located at the Prince Kuhio Plaza Shopping Mall.  After breakfast Dorothy and I went shopping at Skechers, Sears and TJ Maxx. I purchased a pair of Skechers sneakers, as the sneakers that I wore to Hawaii were falling apart.

We took Highway 19 out of Hilo and drove north up the Hamakua Coast.  We followed Highway 19 to about the 7.5 mile marker, at which point we make a right hand turn onto 4 Mile Scenic Drive.  We followed this scenic drive until it took us, in 4 miles, back to Highway 19.  This road twists and snakes around tight curves and over one-lane bridges, through a lush tropical rain forest lined with streams.  There are breathtaking views of the ocean, coast and the collapsed Onomea Arch in Onomea Bay.

_LG28002_LG28003_LG28004-HDROnomea Arch

According to Hawaiian legend King Kamehameha threw his sword and created a tunnel in solid rock. Onomea Arch stood for thousands of years until an earthquake in 1956 caused the top of the arch to collapse.

Further up the road we saw a large hole in the cliff side spilling water under a bridge and into the stream.

Small roadside waterfall

We stopped for a snack at What’s Shakin’.

What’s Shakin’

20180904_234712696_iOSWhat’s Shakin’ Menu

John and Bob ordered Peanut Braddah smoothies. I ordered a Farmers Favorite. I cannot remember the type of fruit smoothie that Dorothy ordered.  The smoothies were delicious!

We made our way back to Highway 19 and continued our drive north.

Our next stop was at Akaka Falls State Park. Akaka Falls is located in a tropical forest.

_LG28007Akaka Falls is visible from the parking lot.

We took the most direct trail to Akaka Falls, which reduced significantly the amount of stairs we had to climb. We enjoyed the tropical vegetation and saw a couple small falls along the way.

_LG28008I love the drops of rain on this plant.

_LG28009One of the small waterfalls that we saw on our way to Akaka Falls.
The young couple on the far right side of the bridge are Emily and Ben,
whom we shared our helicopter ride with earlier in the day.

I liked the red color of this plant, against the green background.

Another waterfall

The bulb at the bottom is the bunch of bananas is a banana flower.

This is Akaka Falls.

Akaka Falls is 442 feet tall.

20180904_145838Bob and I at Akaka Falls.

Our last stop along the Hamakua Coast was at the Waipio Valley Lookout.

_LG28020_LG28021_LG28022-HDRThe lookout provides a view of the Waipio Valley.

From Waipio Valley Lookout we drove to Waimea. We stopped at the Big Island Brew House.

20180904_165142Dorothy took this picture of Bob, John and I at the back of the car.
John and Bob are getting out the growlers to fill with beer.
I don’t know what I was looking at.

After getting some brew we stopped at the supermarket and got pizza and a few other groceries. We returned to Kailua-Kona via the high road (Highway 190). We returned home around 7:30 pm.

We ate dinner (pizza), and shortly afterward I went to bed.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Sunday, a Day of Rest

Sunday (September 2) was a day of rest. Dorothy prepared a breakfast casserole the night before, which we ate mid-morning.  We spent some time on the lanai chatting, enjoying the beauty of the flowers that were in front of us and watching and feeding the several wild turkey that visited with us.

May I come in?

_LG27847Wild turkey?

More like a pet turkey!
(Please click here for direct link to video, in event it doesn’t display or play.)

_LG27853A dozen or more wild turkey visit often!

_LG27855Wild turkey

Here are a few of the beautiful flowers that grace Dorothy and John’s yard.





We stayed home, until late afternoon.

Around 4:15 pm we left home en route Kona Brewing Company, arriving there around 4:30 pm.

Kona Brewing Company

We had a short wait for outdoor seating. On Sunday evenings there is live music. While we ate dinner, we listened to traditional island music. Bob, John and I ordered sandwiches–Porterhouse Dip for Bob, Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich for me and a Fish sandwich for John. Dorothy ordered a salad with a slice of pizza.

20180903_025145824_iOSand drank beer, of course … all except me

Dorothy ordered dessert.
Everyone has heard of a root beer float.
How about a beer float?

Bob purchased a pair of cool shades, as we were leaving Kona Brewing Company.

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