The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Breakfast with Sue from Florida

Ten days ago, on the morning of September 3, I met my friend Sue for breakfast at Mama Janes Restaurant.

Sue and I became friends via Facebook.  Our online friendship began in February 2013, when Sue became a fan of my Facebook photography page and my friend on Facebook as well.  We attempted to meet each other in October that year, when Sue came to Warren to visit her family.  That meeting did not happen.  Five years later, in June 2018, we finally did meet each other in person. We met at Tim Hortons. Bob met Sue then, too, and we both met Sue’s husband Matt.  

Since 2018 we have met up three other times — in November 2019 again at Tim Hortons, in November 2020 at Bob Evans Restaurant and 10 days ago at Mama Janes.

We didn’t remember to get a picture at any of our meet ups, until today.

Sue and I at Mama Janes Restaurant

I am looking forward to the next time we are able to get together. Until then, we will keep in touch via Facebook.

Meeting a Blogging and Facebook Friend for the First Time

I met a blogging and Facebook friend for the first time yesterday morning. Eileen and I began reading and commenting on each other’s blog posts in December 2009. Eileen has three blogs, of which I read most often the blog entitled “Viewing nature with Eileen”.  Eileen and I became Facebook friends in September 2010.

Eileen and her husband, Michael, live in Maryland.  They are in Pennsylvania on vacation.  Their vacation plans included visiting two Pennsylvania State Parks —Cook Forest State Park and Presque Isle State Park— and meeting me, if possible.  Another Pennsylvania State Park was added to their itinerary, when Eileen and I made plans earlier this week to meet at Kinzua Bridge State Park.

I met Eileen and Michael at Kinzua Bridge State Park yesterday at 10:00 am. Kinzua Bridge State Park is located near Mt. Jewett, PA in McKean County.  It is the home of the Kinzua Viaduct.  The Viaduct, once known as the longest and tallest railroad structure at 2,053 feet long and 301 feet high, was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003.  I drove to the park from my home in Warren, PA. Eileen and Michael drove to the park from Clarion (where they stayed while visiting Cook Forest State Park).  While at the park we walked across the Kinzua Viaduct (now known as the Kinzua Bridge skywalk); we viewed the bridge and its ruins from three observation platforms; and we walked through the Visitor Center.

Eileen and Michael on the Kinzua Bridge skywalk

Eileen and me at the end of the skywalk

20170920_142759945_iOSKinzua Bridge skywalk and bridge ruins
(view from first observation platform)

We walked down to the lower observation platform seen in the photograph displayed above.

20170920_143221561_iOSKinzua Bridge skywalk and bridge ruins
(view from second observation platform)

On our way to the Picture Taking Platform under the skywalk, a colorful scene stopped me in my tracks.

Autumn is right around the corner

A nice woman took a picture of the three of us
and the remaining support towers from the Picture Taking Platform.
I LOVE the “3D” effect behind us.

I reciprocated the favor by taking a picture of the woman with her father.

I LOVE the “3D” effect!

20170920_144425872_iOSA side view of the Kinzua Bridge skywalk and the bridge ruins

Eileen and Michael told me that they visited Kinzua Bridge State Park, with their young son, many years ago.  The park looks a lot different now, compared to when they first visited.  Their first visit was several years before the tornado hit that knocked down the railroad bridge.  A train still traveled across the railroad bridge on their first visit.

We departed each others company, after visiting Kinzua Bridge State Park.  Eileen and Michael headed to Presque Isle State Park; I returned home.

I am glad that Eileen, Michael and I were able to get together, albeit for a short time. We enjoyed each others company and conversation, while taking in picturesque views.

Did You Know?

Did you know that “The Beauty Around Us” is on Facebook?

When you “like” The Beauty Around Us page, you will receive notification of new blog posts on your Facebook news feed.  It is an easy way to keep up with my blog, as well as a great way for us to interact with each other.

In addition to the blog post notifications, you will find content on The Beauty Around Us Facebook page that is not shared on my blog.

Please join the 224 people who have liked my page thus far!  I am looking forward to interacting with you on The Beauty Around Us Facebook page!



The Power of Social Media

Bride and Groom at Dobbins Landing

Bob and I were at Dobbins Landing in Erie, PA on the afternoon of Saturday, June 6th. I snapped the picture shown above of this lovely bride and handsome groom, while there. Someone asked if the picture would be placed on Facebook. I answered “yes”. Having no way to find this couple on my own, I posted the photograph on a local News/Media Facebook page on Thursday, June 11th, at 1:05 pm.  I requested fans of that page to share the photograph. I wondered how long it would take until this newly married couple would be found.

On Sunday, June 14, at 12:24 am Trista B. tagged Barb S.  At 9:53 am Barb S. left a comment stating that she has no idea who they were; she was just there with Steve and Stevie.

On Monday, June 15, at approximately 2:50 pm Mary K. left the comment “I know the groom’s Grandma”. Mary and I conversed briefly with each other.  I learned that the groom’s grandma is not on Facebook, but Mary will share the picture with her.

At approximately 8:50 pm, Nicole S. left the comment “I know the Groom’s mom. I shared the pic with her. The pic made it’s way to the couple and Groom’s mom all the way to Butler, Pa! The Groom’s mom says thank you for the beautiful pic!”

At approximately 9:30 pm the groom’s mother, Kathy S. left the following comment: “ Thank you so much Linda! The pic is great and the kids will love it.”

So, in a little more than 4 days this newly married couple was found.  Isn’t the power of social media impressive!

Matt and Rachele, I wish the two of you many years of happiness!

The OC&T Railroad

Bob and I went on a train ride this past Sunday (October 12). We departed home at 7:30 am and drove to Titusville, PA. We left home without breakfast, opting to stop for breakfast in Titusville.  By searching the Internet we found Sam’s Restaurant in Titusville..  Unfortuantely Sam’s is closed on Sunday.   We ended up eating breakfast at Perkins Restaurant in Titusville. We were reluctant to eat at this particular Perkins Restaurant, as the last time we ate there Bob wasn’t impressed with the food. The food, however, was good on Sunday.

After breakfast we drove the short distance to the Perry Street Station, the departure point for our train ride. We parked the car and went inside the station. We walked up to the ticket window and picked up the tickets that we had purchased via telephone the night before. We then wandered the grounds, taking pictures, until it was time to board the train.

Perry Street Station
The railroad crossing shadow is a nice touch!

The moon had not yet set.
See the moon in between the two trains?

The moon

Yet another picture of the moon

The Wabash Cannonball provides first-class accommodations for train passengers.

Most train passengers rode in a car similar to this one.

While taking pictures, a man approached me and said “it has to be you”. The man was remarking on my picture taking, when he made that statement. The man was Ken H., who is one of my Facebook friends. Until Sunday I had known Ken only through Facebook, most notably via the Facebook group named “You grew up in Warren PA if…” Ken didn’t just happen to be at the train station at the same time as Bob and I. Before leaving for Titusville, I sent Ken a Facebook message telling him that we would be in his neck of the woods later in the morning for a train ride.  After breakfast, I saw that Ken had responded to my Facebook message. Ken asked what time we would be boarding. Boarding time was 11:00 am, and it was not yet 10:00 am. Ken wrote “I have to go to town, watch for a scruffy looking character…rough looking jeans and dirty blue Carhartt work jacket.” Ken gave an estimated arrival time of about 20 minutes. Ken had no trouble finding me. I was the girl who was taking lots of pictures.

While talking with Ken, I heard someone call my name. The person who called my name was a 6-year-old boy named Eric.  I learned on Saturday evening that Eric and his parents would be on the 11:00 am Sunday train as well. I am Facebook friends with Sonya, Eric’s mother, as well as Eric’s Aunt Mary.  I met Mary in person some time ago but had never met Sonya. I have watched Eric grow up since birth via photographs that his Aunt Mary shared on Facebook. I met Eric and his dad one time, when I worked as a cashier at Howe’s True Value.   I recognized Eric from his photographs on Facebook.  As it turns out, I knew Mark long before I knew Mary or Sonya. Mark and I worked together at a local Internet provider more than 15 years ago!  He worked evening hours, while I worked during the daytime. Our hours sometimes overlapped. I talked briefly with Sonya, Mark and Eric. When they went into the train station to pick up their tickets, I returned to my conversation with Ken.


I am glad that Ken came to the train station to meet Bob and me. I am glad, too, that I met Sonya. I have met other online friends, both Facebook friends and blogging friends, with whom I have communicated for a while. Meeting those friends in person has always been a pleasant experience. Sunday’s exchanges were pleasant as well.

Bob and I boarded the Oil City & Titusville (OC&T) Railroad train about 15 minutes before the 11:00 am departure time. We walked through several cars, until we reached the car right before the open-air car. Even though it was very chilly (we had a freeze warning on Sunday morning), we planned to ride in the open-air car. We sat in the next-to-last car for the first 15 minutes of our ride. We were not able to walk out on the open-air car until after the first stop at Drake Well Station. I don’t understand why we were not permitted on the open-air car at the beginning of the ride, as we were able to be in the open-air car throughout the remaining duration of the ride all the way back to Perry Street Station. The train ride lasted 3 hours. We traveled 13.5 miles of winding railroad tracks, alongside scenic Oil Creek, through the Oil Creek Valley – “the valley that changed the world”. It was in the Oil Creek Valley that oil was discovered. We made two brief stops, one at Drake Well Station and the other at Petroleum Centre Station, and a 20-minute stop at Rynd Farm Station.

The following photographs were taken between Perry Street Station and Rynd Farm Station.

Bob and I rode the open-air car.

Departing Petroleum Centre Station

It took a little over an hour to reach the Rynd Farm Station.

Rynd Farm Station

There was a 20-minute stop at Rynd Farm Station, and we were able to get off the train. Directly in front of the station is Oil Creek.  There were several picnic tables between the station and the creek.  This stop is a good location for a quick picnic.  You can see Coal Oil Johnny’s House, too, which was reconstructed on this site.

While at Rynd Farm Station, the engine was uncoupled from the rest of the train and driven to the far end of the train, directly in front of the open-air car, for the return trip.

The following photographs were taken during the return trip.

During the return trip Sonya, Mark and Eric joined us on the open-air car.  Eric didn’t like the loud noise of the engine train whistle at crossings, so they went back inside after a while.

Crossing the railroad bridge again

The train ride was excellent. In addition to viewing the scenic surroundings (we even saw an eagle!), we learned a little bit about the history of the Oil Creek Valley.

We returned to Titusville at 2:00 pm and began our drive back home shortly thereafter. We made two stops on our way home. Our first stop was at Double D’s, where we ate lunch (burgers and chips). Our last stop was at Dairy Queen in Youngsville, where we had twist cones for dessert.

Something Red

I am in a Facebook group, called Photography Challenge.  This week’s challenge is “Something Red”.  This photograph of red tulips in a vase was my entry in this week’s photo challenge.

Tulips in a Vase

The tulips, leaves and vase are made of wood and once belonged to my sister-in-law.  I fell in love with this work of art, and it now sits on a cabinet in our living room.

I took this picture in our kitchen on the table.  Soft, natural light is coming in from the windows behind me.  I didn’t like the background (kitchen cabinets, counter top and stove), so I decided to place the flower vase on a different background.

Tulips in front of a waterfall

The waterfall is a digital background, which is included in one of the Photobacks packages that I own.

Photography can be such fun!

Feel the Magic?

Bob and I met on the Internet on Easter Sunday 1998. During the early days of Bob and my relationship, I made a remark about what was happening between us felt magical.

After many Internet connections and several telephone calls, we wanted to meet each other in person. That meeting happened  on May 1, 1998 when Bob drove from his home in Pennsylvania to where I lived in Maryland. On the day that we met in person, Bob had flowers delivered to me.

Photograph of Flowers and Accompanying Card
that I Received from Bob on the Day that we Met in Person

I saw a photograph today on Facebook that brought back to me the memories of Bob and my first meeting.

This beautiful photograph, which I obtained, with permission, from Open Your Heart Photography by Jessica Newman, appears magical to me.  Thank you, Jessica, for bringing back the memories from the early days of Bob and my relationship.

And, yes, in case anyone is wondering I do still feel the magic!

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