The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘My Sister-in-Law Cynthia and her Husband Larry’

Our Thanksgiving Holiday – First 3 Days

We spent Thanksgiving Day and two days afterward in New Hampshire.

We drove from our home in Warren PA to Bennington VT on Wednesday. We left Warren at 7:20 am. It was a gorgeous, but frigid, morning.  The temperature was 18 degrees, when we left home.  

After making a few stops (for fuel, breakfast, stretching and bathroom), we arrived in Bennington VT shortly before 3:00 pm.  Our drive there was smooth sailing all the way.  The weather continued to be gorgeous; the traffic wasn’t bad; and the temperature got warmer.  When we arrived in Bennington, the temperature was 36 degrees. 

We checked into the Best Western Bennington, room 172.  Our hotel room was spacious, with access to an outside deck. 

Our hotel room

The room looks nice on the surface.  If you look closely, though, you will notice a moderate amount of wear and tear.  The room was clean and appeared to have been recently painted.  The refrigerator was turned off, and wouldn’t turn on.  We assumed it was plugged in, but there wasn’t a way to check this as the refrigerator was bolted in place.  We didn’t have anything with us that had to be kept cold. We didn’t say anything about the refrigerator until the next day, when we checked out, only to alert the hotel to the fact that the refrigerator was not working.

At 4:00 pm we ate dinner at Bennington Pizza Plaza, located in a strip mall behind our hotel.  I had baked ziti with meat; Bob had stuffed shells. Both meals came with garlic toast.  Dinner was delicious.  Bennington Pizza Plaza, with its attractive table and chairs for dining in and tasteful seasonal decorative touches, was a notch up from a regular pizza joint.

On Thanksgiving Day we drove from Bennington VT to Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law’s house in Amherst NH. We got up at 6:15 am and went to breakfast about an hour later.  We enjoyed a hot breakfast, with all the selections (waffles, eggs, bacon or sausage, pastries, etc.) normally offered by Best Western hotels. We departed the hotel at 7:45 am, en route Cynthia and Larry’s house. Our route took us on the Molly Stark Trail (Route 9) through the Green Mountain National Forest. 

We stopped for a photo opportunity at the Hogback Mountain Overlook,
a short distance east of Wilmington VT.

Leaving the Green Mountain National Forest, we stopped briefly for a photo opportunity in West Brattleboro at the Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Cynthia and Larry were not expecting us until after 11:00 am. In order to kill some time we drove into Nashua.  We parked below Water Street at the entrance to Le Parc De Notre Renaissance Franchise.


These art murals are located where we parked.
The art murals appeared to be 3-D.

We walked a short way along the Nashua River, in Le Parc De Notre Renaissance Franchise. The first thing to catch my eye was a sculpture of a woman and a child.


This sculpture pays tribute to the women and children who worked in the textile mills during the first half of the 20th century.

Later in the week we would meet up with a blogging friend and her husband. My blogging friend and her husband live in what used to be a textile mill.

Clocktower Place, a former textile mill,
is where my blogging friend and her husband live.

From Nashua we drove to Cynthia and Larry’s house, arriving there shortly after noon.  Lunch was served around 1:00 pm. 

Table set for four
(Photo by Cynthia)

We enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked squash, green beans, Brussels Sprouts with walnuts baked in maple syrup, and cranberry salad.  For dessert we had a variety of delectable cupcakes to choose from.

Dessert selections
My dessert
The four of us and Weezie

We left Cynthia and Larry’s house for our hotel sometime between 4:00 and 4:30 pm, with plans to meet up again at 1:00 pm the next day. We drove to the Clarion Inn located in Nashua NH.  The hotel is about a 20-minute drive from Cynthia and Larry’s house.  We checked into room 235, which would be our home for the next 3 nights. Our hotel room was spacious with a king-size bed and a couch that would fit three people comfortably. Our room would sleep four people, as the couch pulls out into a bed. The room is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.

We got up for the day on Friday around 6:30 am, after a good night’s sleep.  The clerk who checked us in the prior night said that our room would be quiet, and it was. The rooms on our side of the hotel are used only as needed in late fall and winter. An hour after awakening we had showered, gotten dressed, had breakfast and were back in our hotel room.  There were less offerings at breakfast here than there were in Vermont.  We could make our own pancakes or waffles; there were cereal and packaged muffins selections; yogurt was available ; and there were juice, coffee and tea selections.  We preferred the breakfast at Best Western Bennington.

We spent Friday afternoon and evening with Cynthia and Larry.  We enjoyed a second Thanksgiving dinner that included open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy and soup that Larry prepared using leftover turkey, rice and vegetables. Later in the day we left to go to an inaugural outdoor light show, located on The Links at LaBelle Winery golf course in Derry, NH. Unfortunately it was raining, so we didn’t see the display.  We drove by a couple houses in Bedford that are usually lit up for Christmas.  One house had decorations outside, but the lights were not turned on.  The other house didn’t have any decorations on display.  So, we didn’t get to see any Christmas lights. For dinner we had Chinese take-out that Bob and Larry picked up.  After dinner we sat in the living room and chit-chatted for a while.  We left for the hotel around 7:45 pm.  Twenty minutes later we arrived at the hotel.

Thank you, Cynthia and Larry, for a wonderful Thanksgiving! We enjoyed our time with you and look forward to the next time we get together with each other.

**TO BE CONTINUED**

Bennington VT to Lincoln NH

On July 31 we were up, showered and dressed ready for breakfast by 6:30 am. Breakfast was included in our hotel accommodation. We had to wait, as breakfast didn’t begin until 7:00 am.

Breakfast was good, what we have come to expect when we stay at Best Western hotels…eggs, sausage, bagel and an assortment of pastries, waffles, fruit, yogurt,tea and coffee. I had an egg and sausage bagel sandwich and a banana for breakfast. Bob had eggs, sausage and a pastry for his breakfast. I brought a hot tea back to room with me. I sat outside our room on a chair on the covered corridor drinking my tea and listening to the rain drops fall. How very peaceful and relaxing!

We departed the Best Western Bennington at 8:00 am en route Cynthia (Bob’s sister) and Larry’s house. We followed VT 9 from Bennington VT to Brattleboro VT.  The Molly Stark Trail, as VT 9 is called, winds its way through low-lying valleys, historic villages, busy towns, and the beautiful Green Mountains.  This route passes through gorgeous scenery.  It is the route I enjoy most when we travel between home and Bob’s sister’s house in New Hampshire.  Had it been a sunny morning, we would have made a few photo stops along the way.  It was a rainy morning, though, and the views were not very good or nonexistent. We did make one photo stop at a covered bridge. The covered bridge was located in Brattleboro, VT. It was raining, but I got out and photographed the covered bridge anyway. Bob walked with me, holding an umbrella over my head.

Brattleboro, VT
Creamery Covered Bridge

We walked through and around the bridge.

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge is 80 feet long and 19 feet wide.
The bridge spans the Whetstone Brook.

We arrived at Cynthia and Larry’s house in Amherst, NH shortly before 11:00 am. We spent the next 4 hours eating lunch, conversing with each other and playing with their dog Weezie. Cynthia and Larry recently converted their screened porch into a sunroom and shed. We spent the majority of our time there in the sunroom.  The sunroom was very comfortable and quite cozy.

We enjoyed a selection of appetizers before lunch which included crackers, meat, cheese, smoked trout, shrimp cocktail, an assortment of vegetables and a few other things I can’t recall.

Yummy, smoked trout!

Our lunch entree was lobster rolls, accompanied by pasta salad.

Table set for lunch
How elegant!

For dessert we split large peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes.

Lunch was exceptionally good.

The four of us and Weezie

To take this picture I used my selfie stick, which had been sitting in my camera bag unused for quite a while. My selfie stick came in handy, as I forgot my tripod at home.

Thanks for everything Cynthia and Larry.
We enjoyed our visit with you very much.

We left Cynthia and Larry’s house at 3:15 pm en route Lincoln, NH. We arrived at the Rodeway Inn a couple hours later.

Rodeway Inn – our home for 4 nights

Our hotel room was on the ground floor, Room 104, and faced Route 3.  Our room was simply furnished with two double beds, a nightstand, a table and two chairs, refrigerator, dresser and flat screen TV. There was plenty of outdoor seating, under cover. Our room was small, nothing fancy.  It was clean; the air conditioning worked; and it was quiet.  We spent 4 nights at this hotel and had only one complaint.  We were told not to use the toaster that we brought with us in our room.  We were allowed to use our electric teakettle, but not the toaster.  There was a toaster in the breakfast room that we could use.  However, the toaster was on a timer.  We were out and about in the morning before the toaster became available for use.

At dinner time we drove into North Woodstock, located about 3 miles south of our hotel.

We were welcomed in North Woodstock by the “mayor”.

We ate dinner at the Landmark II Greek Restaurant. Bob ordered a chef salad; I ordered a meatloaf dinner accompanied with mashed potatoes and a tossed salad. Our meals were excellent. Our waiter was personal and attentive. We met the owner, who was personable as well. We didn’t meet the chef but learned his name is Andre. He is a very good chef.

After dinner we returned to our hotel and went for a walk along Route 3.

During our walk, we stopped for a look at the Pemigewasset River.
The river is located on the opposite side of the road from the Rodeway Inn.
(Photo by Bob)

A very rocky Pemigewasset River!

Each evening and each morning I sat outside our door, admiring the view.

This mountain range is to the north, toward the east.
According to our brother-in-law, this is the Franconia Ridge.

This blog post concludes Day 2 of our 7-day New Hampshire vacation.

Thanksgiving 2012

We spent the Thanksgiving Day holiday in New Hampshire with Bob’s sister, Cynthia, Cynthia’s husband Larry, and Larry’s mother Marion.   Except for witnessing a three-vehicle accident in Vermont on Thanksgiving Day, while traveling Route 9 en route New Hampshire, and wintery conditions for the last 100 miles on our way back home on Saturday, driving conditions were good.  The traffic accident was a little too close for comfort.  I am thankful that Bob and I were not involved in the accident and that there were no serious injuries as a result of the accident.  We encountered white-out conditions on Interstate 86 / Route 17 in New York on Saturday on our way back home.  I am thankful that the first 400+ miles were driven in good driving conditions and that we made it home safely!

We had a great visit with Cynthia, Larry and Marion.

Larry carves the turkey, while his mother prepares the gravy

Table set; ready for Thanksgiving Day dinner

On Friday Bob, Larry, Cynthia, Weezie and I went for a walk at the Ponemah Bog Wildlife Refuge.

Larry and Weezie on boardwalk trail leading to pond

3-acre pond

Cynthia, Larry and Weezie on one of the pond’s viewing platforms

It was really cool that we saw a great blue heron, while at Ponemah Bog!

We returned home around 7:00 pm last night.  I hope everyone who reads this had a great Thanksgiving Day holiday as well!

Family Visit with Cynthia and Larry

This past Sunday Bob and I drove to Kennerdell, Pennsylvania, to visit Bob’s sister, Cynthia, and her husband, Larry. Cynthia and Larry chose the Kennerdell area for a two-week vacation. The drive from our home in Warren to Kennerdell is approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Please click here for a map of our route.

On our way to Kennerdell, we stopped for a short time at the Tidioute Overlook.

Tidioute Overlook
Scenic View of Allegheny River

Tidioute Overlook
Scenic view of town of Tidioute

Cynthia and Larry’s “home away from home” was Camp Kingfisher, a three-bedroom cottage located alongside the Allegheny River.

Camp Kingfisher

There is easy access to the river and Allegheny River Trail from Camp Kingfisher.

Larry had traveled the trail by bicycle to Emlenton the morning of our visit. He said it was 10 miles one way to Emlenton.

Cynthia and Larry at Camp Kingfisher

Bob and Cynthia

We enjoyed our visit with Cynthia and Larry. Our conversation topics included house projects, work, family, and present and future vacation plans. We also enjoyed a delicious meal that Cynthia prepared. Our main course was lasagna and salad, followed by chocolate cake for dessert. Cynthia had prepared two pans of lasagna, with the intention of giving us one pan to take home. We took home one pan of lasagna, which I promptly cut into individual portions and froze. We’ll be enjoying Cynthia’s lasagna for several days to come!

Before beginning our drive back home, Bob and I drove a short distance to the Kennerdell Overlook, which provides a scenic view of the Allegheny River.

View of Allegheny River from Kennerdell Overlook

This was Bob and my first visit to this part of Pennsylvania. We hope to make a return visit one day and explore the area in more detail!

Family Dinner

Bob’s sister and her husband are visiting this week. They are staying in the village of Lakewood, which is located along the southern banks of Chautauqua Lake in Western New York.

Cynthia & Larry’s Vacation Home

I took this picture in May, last year. Cynthia and Larry stayed in the same rental this year as they did last year during a week-long visit.

Yesterday, Cynthia and Larry hosted a family dinner at their vacation home. In addition to Bob, Cynthia, Larry and I the dinner party was attended by four of Cynthia and Bob’s cousins and their spouses: Paul and Ann, Sue and Bruce, Dale and Tim and Chuck and Jess. Each couple brought a dish to share. We enjoyed a delicious dinner.

After dinner we sat around the dinner table (and later in the living room) and shared family photographs and stories.

The Guys

The Girls

Thank you, Cynthia and Larry, for hosting this dinner party. We had a good time visiting with everyone. Safe travels to you both on your way back home.

The Day After Thanksgiving

Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, was a full, pleasant day. As planned we went to Cynthia and Larry’s house for breakfast. We arrived at their home around 8:30AM. Breakfast, which included broccoli and cheese omelets, sausage links, orange juice, and toast, was delicious. The rest of the morning we hung around the house and visited with Cynthia, Larry and Marian. We played with Weezie too.

Around 12:30PM we went out to lunch. Cynthia and Larry treated us to lunch at the Mikato Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. It was Bob and my first experience eating in a Japanese restaurant. Besides the five of us there was only one other couple in the restaurant. All other potential diners must have been taking advantage of Black Friday specials. Larry asked that we be seated at the hibachi table. A waiter took our drink orders. When the waiter returned to our table with our drinks, he took our orders for lunch. Cynthia ordered prime rib; Larry ordered shrimp; and Bob, Marian and I ordered chicken. Our hibachi chef was really fun and personable. He put on an entertaining show as he prepared our meals of meat, rice and vegetables. It was a great lunch all around.

After lunch we took the scenic route back to Cynthia and Larry’s house. We ate dessert (a choice of peanut butter or chocolate fudge, pumpkin roll, pecan pie and cherry pie) and visited some more.

Family Portrait
Marian, Larry, Cynthia, Weezie, Bob and I

Weezie, about to jump through the hoop

Weezie, jumping through the hoop!

We left for the hotel at 4:30PM. We had a great visit, albeit a short one, with Cynthia, Larry and Marian. We are happy that we were able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with them.

Thanksgiving Day Part 2

On November 25th I wrote that we were on our way to New Hampshire to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law.

We arrived at Comfort Inn in Merrimack, New Hampshire around 11:30AM. After checking into our hotel, we relaxed for a little over an hour before driving over to Cynthia and Larry’s house. Soon after arriving at Cynthia and Larry’s house we sat down to Thanksgiving Day dinner. In addition to the four of us, we shared dinner with Larry’s mother (Marian). Dinner was delicious. Cynthia and Larry prepared a bountiful feast of turkey, peas and onions, mashed squash, green beans, stuffing, gravy, corn pudding and cranberry salad. For dessert we had a choice of two kinds of pie — pecan or cherry — and pumpkin roll. We visited for a while after dinner and played with Weezie, Cynthia and Larry’s two-year-old dog. We happened to be at Cynthia and Larry’s house for Thanksgiving two years ago when Weezie first joined the family. Weezie has grown a LOT since 2007!

Weezie, in November 2007

Weezie in November 2009
Looking out the front door

Weezie in November 2009
with favorite toy, Bear

Weezie in November 2009
Isn’t she super cute!

Bob and I left Cynthia and Larry’s house around 6:00PM with plans to return at 8:30 the next morning.

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