We spent 5 nights (April 7th through April 11th), at Chincoteague, Virginia in an Airbnb rental called “Tranquil Shores”. Our host, Joseph, gave me permission to include details of his Airbnb in a blog post. The complete listing for this AirBnB rental may be seen by clicking here.
Here is a Google Map picture of our Airbnb accommodation.
“Tranquil Shores” is the right side of this duplex house.We had use of that entire side of the duplex. The entrance to the home was via the wooden steps on the side of the house. We entered the door code, opened the door and we walked inside. The entry door opens to the kitchen.
The kitchen contains all the essentials of cooking and dining to include cookware, dinnerware, utensils, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, spices, and so much more. We didn’t use it, but there was coffee grounds in the freezer for the coffeemaker. We brought the tea kettle that you see in this picture. We boiled water for hot tea and coffee. Bob used an Aeropress to make coffee.
The kitchen and living room form a Great Room.
There is access to a Screened Porch from the Living Room.
The living room was comfortable, and we made frequent use of the screened porch.
In addition to the kitchen and living room, this Airbnb rental has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Two of the bedrooms (queen bed and twin bed) and one bathroom are located downstairs. A washer and dryer are located in the downstairs bathroom. The master bedroom (king bed) and second bathroom are located on the second floor. There is access to a balcony from the master bedroom. We made use of only the master bedroom. The bed was very comfortable and provided for a good night’s sleep. Bed linens and towels are not provided in the rental cost. They are available, however, for an added fee of $10.00 per bed. We saved $10.00 by bringing our own towels and bed linens.
Tranquil Shores, as seen from Maddox Blvd.
This AirBnB rental is located at the end of a quiet road.
This is the view of the road on which “Tranquil Shores” sits. The house is at the end of this road.
The rental cost was approximately $55.00 less than the cost of a King Bed with Balcony hotel room at Best Western Chincoteague, where we have stayed in past visits. “Tranquil Shores” was a much nicer accommodation than staying in a room in a hotel! We had lots more space, and we were able to eat in or eat out, as desired. We ate breakfast and either lunch or dinner at home, during our stay. Our view at “Tranquil Shores” was much, much better than at Best Western Chincoteague too. At Best Western Chincoteague, if you booked a balcony room, your view was the McDonald’s Restaurant across the street. Compare that view with the view from the screened porch and balcony of our Airbnb rental.
When I took this picture, I was standing at the edge of the property. The water seen in this picture is Eel Creek.
We enjoyed daily sunrises, sunsets and wildlife viewings, while at Tranquil Shores.
Snowy Egret on Eel Creek
Osprey flying over “Tranquil Shores”
Sunset at “Tranquil Shores”, as seen from back porch
Canada Geese on Eel Creek
Sunrise at “Tranquil Shores”
Tern Gull Flying Over “Tranquil Shores”
Sunrise, on the morning of our departure
I highly recommend “Tranquil Shores” to individual travelers, couples, and families. You will be within a couple miles of downtown Chincoteague and Assateague Island where you can enjoy Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore. We brought our bicycles with us and enjoyed rides in the neighborhood, several rides at the wildlife refuge, as well as one ride from “Tranquil Shores” to the wildlife refuge.
Thank you, Joseph, for sharing your home with us. We will return!
On Sunday, March 10, Bob and I went for a drive along NYS Route 5, between the Daniel Reed Pier in Westfield to the Dunkirk City Pier in Dunkirk, and NYS Route 60 to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown. We saw a waterfall, seagulls and waterfowl.
I published two prior blog posts about our drive. The blog post was about Barcelona Falls at the Daniel Reed Pier. The second blog post was about seagulls and geese that we saw, while at Lake Erie. This third, and final, blog post is about the ducks, geese and seagull that we saw at McCrea Point Park.
McCrea Point Park was my favorite stop.We saw ducks, seagulls, and geese.I took a few pictures of geese flying away from me.The lighting was getting dim, so the ISO was higher than I desired.The bird-in-flight pictures did come out OK. A big HIGH-5 for my new camera!
We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area.
We checked out of the Best Western East Syracuse, after breakfast, on Monday July 3, and were on our way home shortly before 8:00 am.
On our way to East Syracuse on Saturday, we stopped at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We stopped at the wildlife refuge once again on our way back home. I am so glad that we visited Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. I put my new camera lens to good use, as we drove around Wildlife Drive.
New camera lens, you ask? I just realized that I hadn’t shared on my blog that I purchased a new camera lens. I waited for well over 1-1/2 years to purchase this camera lens. At first the camera lens wasn’t in stock. Then I didn’t have the money available to purchase the lens. Finally, everything came together to make the purchase. I purchased an Olympus m.Zuiko ED 300mm f4.0 IS Pro lens, specifically for wildlife photography. Coupled with a 1.4x teleconverter, I have an effective focal length of 840mm! My new lens arrived on Friday, June 30, the day before we left on our weekend getaway. I need to use the lens more to increase my proficiency in its use, but I am very pleased with the images that I captured at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
Bird ID needed
Osprey in Flight, with seaweed attached to its claw
Are these birds American Coot?
The highlight of our visit to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was the sighting of two American Bald Eagles. One eagle flew off to parts unknown, but one eagle landed in a tree not far from where we were on Wildlife Drive.
Bob took this photograph of me, while photographing the eagle.
And to think I didn’t want a moon roof, when we were car shopping. I didn’t want to spend the extra money. The car on the lot that we liked came with a moon roof. I am glad that we got a moon roof, because it enabled me to capture a couple good photographs of the eagle!
American Bald Eagle
My new camera lens is a keeper!
These two eagle images are the best pictures I have ever taken of an eagle!
We sat and watched a group of Canadian Geese farther along on Wildlife Drive.
Canadian Geese, quietly enjoying the pond
The quiet didn’t last for long!
Noisy Canadian Geese!
This duck had one of the Wildlife Drive ponds all to herself.
The eagle monument was built in honor the the 40th anniversary of New York State’s bald eagle
reintroduction program, which largely happened at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
The eagle monument is visible from Interstate 90.
Leaving Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, we drove to Mt. Morris, NY. We ate lunch at Brian’s USA Diner. We selected this restaurant for lunch, based on its positive reviews. Yes, as stated by reviewers, the service was quick and friendly. Bob ordered a Reuben sandwich with Onion Rings. I ordered pulled chicken in a hoagie bun with potato salad. The restaurant reviews indicated that the portions were large. I agree. My pulled chicken hoagie sandwich was huge! My potato salad was heaped high in a small bowl. At first, Bob’s Reuben sandwich looked average size. He said, though, that there was lots of meat in his sandwich, so much meat that he could barely taste the dressing. Reviewers raved about the taste of the food. The food tasted okay, nothing really to boast about. Nothing to complain about either.
After lunch, we drove to nearby Letchworth State Park. I will share details and photographs of Letchworth State Park in the next (and final) blog post I write about our East Syracuse NY weekend getaway.
We departed home at 6:50 am, on July 1 (Saturday) en route the Syracuse NY area for a 2-night stay. It was thundering and raining, when we left home.
We ate breakfast in Frewsburg NY at Sally’s Deli & Catering.
On Saturday Sally’s has a breakfast buffet, beginning at 7:00 am. It was our first time there. I am glad that we chanced upon it, while looking for a place to eat. Sally’s is a tiny place, with a pleasant dining area. The breakfast selections that included scrambled eggs, bacon, corned beef and potatoes, potato casserole, sausage, French toast, pancakes, fruit, pastries and hot beverages were more than adequate. The food was delicious. We liked everything, with possibly the exception of the corned beef and potatoes. I am sure it was a personal taste issue in regard to the corned beef and potatoes.
The rain stopped, while we were eating breakfast. We caught up with the rain again a short ways west of the Friendship/Boliver exit on Interstate 86. We drove in and out of rain rest of the way to Syracuse. For the most part, the rain didn’t last long.
Our next stop, after breakfast, was in the village of Honeoye Falls. The small village of Honeoye Falls is located approximately fifteen miles southeast of Rochester, NY. The village includes a small waterfall on Honeoye Creek, which flows through the village and gives it its name.
Honeoye Falls, NY
This was our first time in Honeoye Falls. How we missed knowing about this village is beyond me. We have been within a few miles of the village many times over the past 19 years. Now that we know of its existence and how picturesque the village is, I am sure we will make a return trip to Honeoye Falls sometime in the future.
We stopped for lunch at the Clifton Springs Travel Plaza on Interstate 90. Our lunch at Burger King (a Whooper with Cheese meal and a Junior Whooper with Cheese meal) was much more expensive than the cost at home! I should have planned this trip better and brought along food for picnic-style lunches.
Before stopping for lunch a couple accidents had slowed traffic on Interstate 90. Interstate traffic was moving well, after lunch.
It thundered and rained about halfway around the 3.5 mile Wildlife Drive. We stopped near the end of the drive and waited out the rain. Near the end of Wildlife Drive is a new viewing platform and eagle monument. It stopped raining momentarily, and I snapped a picture of the new structures.
New Viewing Platform and Eagle Monument at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
The eagle monument was built In honor of the 40th anniversary of New York State’s bald eagle reintroduction program, which largely happened at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
Soon it began to rain again.
We departed Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge around 2:00 pm. We were notified a few times of severe thunderstorm warnings and flash flood warnings, soon after departing the refuge. The rain and wind were pretty wild, as we made our way east!
We stopped at an indoor flea market, located in Elbridge NY along NY Route 5. We shopped, while waiting for the storm to get ahead of us. There was a nice selection of merchandise, reasonably priced. I came out of the store empty handed, though. The stop served its purpose, as the storm did get ahead of us.
The white building seen in the photograph displayed above is the Inn Between Restaurant, located in Camillus NY. The restaurant provided an excellent contrast against the dark sky.
We checked into Best Western Plus East Syracuse around 3:30 pm. Our room number was 225. We turned off the air conditioning soon after entering the room. The room stayed comfortably cool throughout rest of the afternoon and evening. Our room was comfortable, but small. The walking space between the furniture was narrow. The bathroom was of moderate size. Our room included a microwave, refrigerator and single-serve coffee maker. There were both tea bags and coffee in the room for the preparation of hot beverages. In my experience tea bags aren’t always provided, along with coffee. There is a beverage station in the lobby, too, where hot beverages may be obtained. I read that the hotel was recently renovated. Our room appeared to be fairly new. We spent 2 nights here, using reward points as payment.
We ate dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s, located within walking distance of hotel. We took the car, though, in case it rained. It didn’t rain. We both ordered chicken entrees, with the garden salad bar.
Rather than order dessert at Ruby Tuesday’s, we went to a nearby Dairy Queen and ordered small blizzards.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Rite Aid and picked up beverages and snacks. It was around 6:00 pm, when we made it back to the hotel. We stayed in for rest of the night.
Please check back later. I will be sharing additional blog posts about our East Syracuse NY Weekend Getaway in the near future.
We spent two days during the Easter weekend, enjoying the sights and sounds of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This blog post provides photographs and details of our second day in the park. If you missed reading about our first day in the park, you will find the blog post here.
After a good night’s sleep, I awakened at 5:45 am, took a shower and got dressed. We went to breakfast around 6:30 am. Our hotel accommodation included a complimentary Deluxe Breakfast Buffet. I had scrambled eggs, sausage, Tater Tots and French Toast.
We spent a few hours in the morning visiting points of interest in the central and south regions of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Our first stop was at Brandywine Falls, arriving there shortly before 8:00 am.
A boardwalk takes you to upper and lower observation platforms.
Bob and I on the upper observation platform
Brandywine Falls is 65 feet high;
it is one of Ohio’s highest waterfalls.
Bob and I on the lower platform observation
Here is a short video that I took of Brandywine Falls. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Our second stop was at Blue Hen Falls, arriving there at 9;00 am. The trail leading to Blue Hen Falls begins at a small parking lot and takes hikers down an old driveway to Spring Creek. The trail crosses Spring Creek via an old wooden bridge.
Blue Hen Falls Trail
Just beyond the bridge, we continued to the right and quickly reached the Blue Hen Falls viewing area.
Blue Hen Falls Trail
Approaching the waterfall viewing area
Just past the wooden fence we found a trail, something akin to a goat path, that led us below the viewing area. I managed to hike down that trail, with the assistance of a hiking pole. I needed the hiking pole and Bob’s help to hike back up the trail!
Blue Hen Falls
Blue Hen Falls
Here is a short video that I took of Blue Hen Falls. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Our third stop was at Beaver Marsh, arriving there around 9:50 am. We stopped here the day before as well, but later in the day. We wanted to see if we would see anything different earlier in the day.
We walked from the parking lot, a short distance, along a tow path to an observation platform.
We saw the same wildlife at Beaver Marsh, as we did the day before…wood ducks, Canadian geese, and tree swallows. What we didn’t see were turtles. The day before there were lots of turtles out, basking in the sunshine.
The goose was still sitting on its nest.
Wood Ducks were grooming, and a pair of geese were having a lively conversation.
If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Wood Ducks are beautiful.
Add in reflections for a lovely scene!
Our fourth stop was at Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park, arriving there at 11:00 am. Deep Lock Quarry features a 1.4-mile loop trail, which leads from the parking lot through the forest to the deepest lock on the Ohio & Erie Canal. We began hiking the trail but decided to turn around, as radar showed rain moving in. We did get to see a train go by, which was very cool as it was close to us.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train
We left Cuyahoga Valley National Park around 11:30 am and drove to Chagrin Falls, OH for lunch. I will share photographs and details of our visit to Chagrin Falls in a later blog post.
After our visit to Chagrin Falls, we returned to our hotel and relaxed for a few hours.
Around 5:00 pm we decided to return to Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see one more point of interest. We drove to Everett Covered Bridge.
Everett Covered Bridge crosses over Furnace Run.
We returned to the hotel around 6:00 pm, where we stayed for rest of evening.
It was a nice day, but not as nice as the day before. It was a mostly cloudy and sometimes rainy day. We dodged the raindrops for the most part. The rain fell hardest, as we were driving to Chagrin Falls and while we ate lunch. It began clearing up, when we stopped for the day (around 2:15 pm). The weather didn’t hinder my picture taking. In fact, the overcast day provided great lighting for photographing waterfalls.
We spent two nights (April 14-16) at the Clarion Inn, located in Hudson, OH. We stayed at this hotel one time before for one night, a couple years ago, while en route Eureka Springs, Arkansas. During that stay, we noted that the hotel was in close proximity to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When we decided to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park this past weekend, we chose to stay at Clarion Inn.
We left our home in Warren PA around 5:30 am en route Ohio.
We ate breakfast at Richard’s Family Restaurant in Youngsville, PA. We ordered omelets with toast (rye for Bob; wheat for me), one order of home fries to share and coffee for Bob / tea for me. Bob had eaten breakfast there before. I hadn’t. Breakfast was delicious and filling. We were back on the road again shortly after 6:30 am.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. The 32,950-acre park can easily be divided into three regions: North Valley, Central Valley and South Valley. We used this map, which I found on the U.S. National Park Service website, as a guide during our 2-day exploration of the park.
Points of interest 1 through 5 are located in the North Valley region. Interest points 6 through 9 are located in the Central Valley regions. Points of interest 10 through 13 are located in the South Valley region.
We arrived in the North Valley region of Cuyahoga Valley National Park at approximately 9:45 am. In particular, our arrival point in the park was at the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation. This was our first visit to the North Valley region of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We discovered there were many points of interest in this region.
Our first stop was at Bridal Veil Falls. We parked at the trail head and walked across Gorge Parkway. It was a short descent from the road via boardwalk and steps to a platform that overlooks the falls.
Boardwalk and stairs to Bridal Veil Falls Overlook
Once you reach the bottom of the boardwalk and stairs, a bridge crosses over the creek.
The waterfall observation platform is visible from the bridge that crosses over the creek.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bob and I at Bridal Veil Falls
Our second stop was at Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. The viewing area is located next to the parking lot.
Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook
This overlook provides a panoramic view of the valley from the rim of the gorge. The view would be spectacular in the Autumn. The lighting was particularly good, so this was the only photograph that I took during this stop. We did return to this overlook, and I have a photograph of the view later on in this blog post.
Our third stop was at Willis Picnic Area, which we mistakenly thought was Viaduct Park. The two areas are next to each other. There are several points of interest at Viaduct Park, and we were not finding any of those points of interest. One point of interest was Great Falls. We could hear rushing water, but couldn’t see the waterfall.
Willis Picnic Area
We saw a sign at Willis Picnic area that read “trail closed”. It looked like high winds had passed through the picnic area at some point in time, and the downed trees and branches had not been cleaned up. Behind the picnic pavilion we found a “trail” that looked like it led to the bottom of the gorge. Bob hiked down that trail, and it did lead to the bottom of the gorge. Bob didn’t find a waterfall. He found a tunnel, through which Tinkers Creek flows. We later saw the other side of the tunnel at Viaduct Park.
Willis Picnic Area Trail to Tinkers Creek
If you look closely, you will see Bob making his way back up the trail. I am glad that I didn’t attempt to hike down that trail. Bob said he had some trouble navigating the trail.
Our fourth stop was at Viaduct Park. This small park features a very nice waterfall, view of a large viaduct, and information signs dotting the trail as you walk through the park. The parking lot is at street level. When we visited the park, we had to drive over a curb to reach the parking lot. From the parking lot there is a paved trail that descends down to Tinkers Creek, where the Great Falls of Tinkers Creek can be viewed from an observation platform. We spent about an hour exploring Viaduct Park.
The Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad stone viaduct across Tinkers Creek Gorge was completed in 1864. It replaced the original wooden truss bridge, which opened in 1852. The viaduct is 225 feet long and towers 120 feet above Tinkers Creek.
The Great Falls of Tinkers Creek
I love this picture of me that Bob took at The Great Falls.
Here is a short video of The Great Falls. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Remember earlier I mentioned that Bob hiked down to Tinkers Creek from the Willis Picnic Area? He saw a tunnel there, through which Tinkers Creek flowed. Here is the other end of that tunnel, which is called The Arch.
The Arch was built between 1901-02. Its purpose is to control the flower of Tinkers Creek, while providing a base for the railroad above. The Arch is 512 feet long, with a 20 degree turn inside. The openings are 40 feet wide and 32 feet high.
Our fifth and last stop at Bedford Reservation was a second stop at Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. As I mentioned earlier the lighting was better than it was during our first stop.
Again, this is Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook.
If you walk to the end of the overlook, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the valley from the rim of the gorge.
View from Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook
Leaving the overlook, we continued on Gorge Parkway to Dunham Road. We turned right onto Dunham Road, crossed over Tinkers Creek, and turned left onto Tinkers Creek Road. We followed Tinkers Creek Road to its terminus, at which time we turned left onto Canal Road. About this time we decided it was time for lunch. We were hungry, which was understandable. We ate breakfast around 6:00 am, and it was after 1:00 pm.
We ate lunch at Joe’s Family Restaurant in Northfield, OH. The salad bar and soup were excellent. Service was excellent. Our main entrees (meatloaf for me, boneless pork chops for Bob) were piping hot and delicious. Our side dishes were not so great. My mashed potatoes and our mixed vegetables were lukewarm. Our waitress did bring me a new dish of mashed potatoes, which were piping hot. I am surprised she didn’t do the same with the mixed vegetables. Perhaps she didn’t hear me, when I said that the mixed vegetables were also lukewarm.
After lunch we drove back to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in particular to the South Valley region. We stopped at Beaver Marsh. It was a short walk from the parking lot, along a tow path, to an observation platform. We saw wood ducks, geese, tree swallows and lots of turtles. Bob saw a muskrat, briefly.
Wood Ducks at Beaver Marsh
One of several turtles at Beaver Marsh
Goose Sitting on Nest
From the Beaver Marsh we drove to the Great Blue Heron Viewing Area.
One of two trees making up the Great Blue Heron Rookery
Great Blue Heron
We didn’t stay long at the Great Blue Heron Viewing Area, as there wasn’t much activity at the heron rookery.
We checked into the Clarion Inn around 5:30 pm. We spent rest of the day in our room. We had picked up a few grocery items, after lunch, so we were able to eat a picnic-style dinner in our room.
We drove to Fairview, PA this past Saturday (April 8th), arriving at the John V. Schultz warehouse shortly after 10:30 am. We passed through Edinboro, en route Fairview, and stopped briefly at Edinboro Lake.
Edinboro is in the snow belt.
When we left home, there was a little bit of snow on the ground. There was more snow on the ground in Edinboro.
According to a Wikipedia article, Edinboro “is a small college town [and]…a resort community”. The centerpiece of the town’s resort community is the 245 acre Edinboro Lake.
Edinboro Lake (east side of the lake)
A short walk from this view is the Mike Ondo Beach, which is adjacent to the old Edinboro cemetery..
Old Edinboro Cemetery
See that little bit of sand in the forefront of this photograph? That is the Mike Onda Beach, a very small unguarded beach on the east side of the lake.
Old Edinboro Cemetery
A pair of geese at Mike Onda Beach
I took this picture just before the goose at the back stretched its neck, looking straight at me, and the goose in front stepped into Edinboro Lake. This pair of goose didn’t like that I was walking on the beach!
On the walk back to the car, this pair of Mallard ducks wanted a handout. As I readied to take a picture, the ducks kept walking into my shadow. I was able to capture a photograph of the ducks, when they must have realized I had nothing for them and walked away from me toward the lake shore,
A pair of Mallard Ducks at Mike Onda Beach
The purpose for today’s drive was to pick up a chair side table that we purchased a few weeks ago. At the John V. Schultz warehouse we picked up a chair side table that we purchased a few weeks ago. The man, at the John V. Schultz warehouse, who brought out the table and loaded it into our car said he thought it was the smallest pickup he has ever had. The table fits nicely between our new recliner chair and sofa. The end table that we have had for many years was too large for that spot.
We ordered burgers and fries and shared an apple dumpling with ice cream for dessert. This is the second time we have eaten at this restaurant. The first time was last year for breakfast. We would eat here again, as we were not disappointed with either breakfast or lunch.