The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Dogs’

A Day in Erie

We spent the day Saturday, July 30, in Erie with my brother Jim, our sister-in-law Judy, and their dogs Piper and Ru. Jim and Judy arrived in Erie on Friday and spent two nights there. We met around 10:45 am near Sara’s Restaurant, along the road to Presque Isle State Park.  We drove around Presque Isle, making a few photo stops. 

Our first stop was at the Perry Monument.  I didn’t take any pictures during our walk at Perry Monument.

Our second stop was at the North Pier Lighthouse and then the houseboats on our way back out to the main park road. 

We walked first to the beach side of North Pier Lighthouse.
We then walked the North Pier to the lighthouse.
This houseboat, with a lighthouse, on Horseshoe Pond is my favorite.
According to this article, there are 24 houseboats on Horseshoe Pond.

Our third stop was at the Presque Isle Lighthouse. 

Presque Isle Lighthouse, with art show

We browsed the various artists’ wares for sale, but didn’t buy anything. 

Presque Isle Lighthouse

There is a fence surrounding the lighthouse property. The beach is behind me. There was a gate to the beach; however, it was locked. We tried to walk on the beach to where the gate is located. The beach is badly eroded.

Judy walking on a trail on a sand dune at Presque Isle Lighthouse beach. Some of the sand let go, and Judy slid down the dune. She had some difficulty getting back up, as the sand kept giving way. I didn’t go any farther on the trail, than where I am standing taking the picture!

While Judy, Jim and Bob attempted to make their way to the beach side of the lighthouse, I photographed the beach itself. By the way they didn’t make it to the lighthouse.

Presque Isle Lighthouse Beach
Presque Isle Lighthouse Beach

I believe if we had driven past the lighthouse a short way that we may have been able to walk back to the lighthouse.

From the lighthouse we drove to Smugglers Wharf, near Dobbins Landing, where we ate a late lunch / early dinner. 

Smugglers Wharf Restaurant
Photo obtained from Library of Congress

It was the first time that any of us had eaten at this restaurant.  We were not able to get patio seating. We were seated inside the restaurant with a view of Presque Isle Bay. We requested a table with a view, so that Jim and Judy could keep an eye on their dogs, who stayed in the car with all windows down. With the exception of Jim, we ordered seafood. Jim ordered chicken. Our food was good.  The service was OK.  Our waiter didn’t ask if we wanted anything other than water to drink or if we wanted any dessert.  He saved us money because we didn’t order any drinks or dessert!

After lunch/dinner we walked around Dobbins Landing.  

Dobbins Landing

We enjoyed seeing an old pirate ship. The pirate was squirting water at those passing by. He didn’t squirt water at us.

Old Pirate Ship near Dobbins Landing
Jim and Ru on a Seal at Dobbins Landing

The pirate on the old ship attacked the Skallywags Pirate Ship.  There was ship-to-ship water cannon battles.  It was a bonus that we were able to see the show unfold at Dobbins Landing.

Scallywags and Old Pirate Ship near Dobbins Landing

We parted ways at Dobbins Landing.  We are very glad that we were able to meet up with Jim and Judy and spend the day with them. I can count on one hand the number of times we have spent the day together in Erie.

Warren, PA to Front Royal, VA

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina.

We departed Warren PA on Sunday, May 14 at approximately 6:45 am, en route Front Royal VA.   Around 7:30 am we stopped for breakfast at Joey’s Bakery in Ridgway, PA. We ate from the Mothers Day brunch, which included scrambled eggs, ham and pineapple slices, hash brown potatoes, fried potatoes, Italian hot sausage and peppers, beef brisket, cut-up fruit (strawberries, pineapple and blueberries) and various donuts. Food was good, as was the service.  We were back on the road around 8:00 am.

We arrived and checked in at Quality Inn Scenic Drive in Front Royal around 12:30 pm. Normal check in time is 3:00 pm; however, the front desk clerk was able to accommodate us early.  Our hotel room was on the second floor, room 206. It was an average size room, nothing extraordinary about its furnishings. The room was somewhat shabby, but clean.  The view from our hotel room included the swimming pool and office.

The view from our room at Quality Inn Skyline Drive

About an hour after checking in to the hotel, we went in search of lunch.  Front Royal’s main commercial thoroughfare, East Main Street, was located across U.S. Route 522 from our hotel.  Located on East Main Street is  Main Street Mill, where we decided to have lunch.

E. Main Street
see the red checkered sign on the right?
That is Market Street Mill.
The restaurant is located in a renovated feed mill.


The restaurant has tall ceilings, exposed wood posts, a wood floor and a wrap-around wall mural. Very nice ambiance. Bob ordered a Cobb Salad; I ordered a Taco Salad. Our salads were delicious, and service was good.

After lunch we walked to the Warren County Courthouse.

On the way to the courthouse we walked through the Front Royal Town Square.

Front Royal Town Square Gazebo
The Front Royal Town Tourism Office is located inside a historic train station.
The tourism office lies adjacent to the town square.
This caboose Is located in the town square.

The caboose was given to Front Royal in 1989 by the Norfolk and Southern Railway Company.
It sits on original tracks.

The Millennium Sundial was located in the town square.

The sundial was dedicated on December 31, 1999 to commemorate the end of the 20th century and to celebrate the beginning of the 21st century.

We saw this beautiful Irish Wolfhound,
while walking to the courthouse.

I think it was a 5 block walk to the courthouse.

Warren County Courthouse
and Confederate Monument
the courthouse was built in 1936.

From the courthouse we walked back to our hotel.  We spent rest of the afternoon / evening in our room.  We ate a picnic-style dinner in our room.  Later in the evening we watched the movie “Night at the Museum“. Bob downloaded this movie and its two sequels before leaving home. He thought we would watch all three movies during vacation.  We ended up watching the last two movies, after returning home from vacation.

Stay tuned.  In my next vacation blog post (which may take a few days to prepare), I will share details and photographs of our drive on Skyline Drive.

Ice Cream Ride to The Igloo

I look forward to Wednesday night rides with friends. We ride for ice cream! We leave at 6:00 pm from the North Warren Playground parking lot, which is located not far from our house. We usually get home before dark.   This blog post recounts an ice cream ride from 2 weeks ago.

On September 3rd we rode to The Igloo in Frewsburg NY. We had a large riding group, 12 or 13 motorcycles and 21 (I think) riders plus Paul’s dog Beezer.

Yes!  Dogs are welcome on our ice cream rides!

The evening ride was not without adventure. Our first stop was in Russell PA, only a short distance from our departure point. John and Renate separated from the group.

We stopped in Russell to find out what happened to John and Renate.

We made another stop in Russell, just down the road from this stop, but I didn’t think to take a picture there.  John and Renate’s whereabouts were discovered, and we rode to where their motorcycle was disabled.   John and Renate’s motorcycle was stalling out on them. They coasted most of the way to where we found them.  It is good that we have two mechanics in our group. Shawn and Paul figured out it was a vapor lock from too much gas that was causing the stalling. The vapor lock eventually worked its way out.

All of us made it to The Igloo and ate ice cream, and we all made it back home safe and sound.

North Carolina Vacation – Day 3 of 9 (Biltmore Estates: Geese, Sheep and Horses)

We spent Days 3 and 4 (May 13 and May 14) of our North Carolina vacation at Biltmore Estates in Asheville NC. After admiring Biltmore House and the Library and South Terraces, the Walled Garden and Conservatory, and the Azalea Garden and Bass Pond, we returned to our car by shuttle bus and drove through the estate grounds to the lagoon.

the Lagoon

At the lagoon, we spread a blanket on the ground under the shade of a tree.  The photograph of the lagoon shown above was our view, as we ate a picnic lunch.  Our picnic fare was the same as other days: tuna salad and crackers, peaches and a couple sugar-free chocolate chip cookies.  We should go on a picnic more often.  Lunch was so relaxing.  After lunch, I entertained myself by watching and photographing the many geese and baby geese at the lagoon.

We drove to the other side of the lagoon and were rewarded with a magnificent view of the backside of the Biltmore House.

Lagoon view of Biltmore House

While on the shuttle bus ride, the driver pointed out two barns, one housing sheep and the other housing horses.  We stopped at both barns on our drive through the estate.

The sheep and lambs were in the pasture grazing.

Sheep

Sheep

Sheep

Sheep

Carriage and trail rides are available at the horse barns.  We didn’t go on a ride; however, we did enjoy looking at the horses.

Two Horses

Carriage & Trail Ride Barns

A farrier was in the barn shoeing this horse.

This is a smart dog.  It is staying out of the way of the horse’s hoofs!

We returned to our hotel around 2:30 pm, where we relaxed until it was time to leave for dinner.

Dinner was at Cracker Barrel Restaurant.  We met our friends, Karen and Pete, at the restaurant.  Pete and Bob used to be coworkers.  Karen and Pete moved to North Carolina several years ago.  Whenever we visit this part of North Carolina, we make arrangements to meet Karen and Pete for dinner.  Dinner was good, as was the conversation.  Karen and I are Facebook friends, and we keep in touch there.  However, nothing compares to a face-to-face conversation.   Much of the conversation centered around Bob’s workplace and coworkers that Bob and Pete both knew.  Before leaving the restaurant, Pete gave me a painting of two Carolina Wrens.  We now own three Pete Ferry original paintings!

imageThis covered bridge scene was the first painting that Pete gave to us.
Pete mailed this painting to us.

 imagePete gave us this painting of the ocean last year, when he and Karen visited us at our home.

imageThis is the newest addition to our Pete Ferry original paintings.

Pete is a talented painter.  His paintings are gorgeous!  Thank you, Pete, for your wonderful gifts.  We will treasure them always!

We returned to the hotel around 6:30 pm.  We spent the rest of the evening relaxing in our room.  Before retiring for the night, we watched a movie on Amazon Prime (Bob packed the ROKU).  The movie that we watched was called “Flight of the Phoenix”.  The movie was about survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert working together to build a new plane.  We enjoyed the movie.  Hugh Laurie was one of the characters in the movie.  It was interesting to see him cast in a different role than that which he was cast in the TV show “House”.

 

 

Kira’s Christmas Photo Shoot

I had a Christmas photo shoot yesterday afternoon at a friend’s home. My photo subject was an adorable 3-year-old Maltese named Kira.

Kira’s Christmas Photo Shoot

My friend and Kira’s owner, Cheryl, and I worked together to get Kira to pose on a stool covered with a blanket.  I photographed Kira quickly,  before she moved.  Kira is a wild little girl; she was very excited about getting her picture taken.  I think she liked the experience, though.  As I packed up my camera to go home, Kira made boisterous attempts to get into my closed camera bag.  I think she wanted me to take more pictures!  Cheryl will be printing one or more photographs to put in Christmas cards for those who have not yet seen Kira.

Bicycle Ride

Bob and I went for a bicycle ride through our neighborhood and across the grounds of the Warren State Hospital to Pioneer Arboretum.  I asked Bob how far we rode.  He said 2 miles.   I brought my camera along for the ride.  I didn’t take too many photographs, only three.

The Pioneer Arboretum is at the north end of the Warren-North Warren Bike/Hike Trail.  This train stands as a reminder that the trail was once a rail corridor.

On our way back home we rode past this patch of crocuses.

This is Peek-A-Boo.

I haven’t ridden a bicycle much in the 15 years (almost) that I have lived in Warren.  It was very windy today.  I found the pedaling easy, when the wind was at our backs.  The pedaling was very hard, though, when we faced the wind.  We faced the wind the whole way back home from Pioneer Arboretum.

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