The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Sunrise’

South Carolina Vacation: Garden City Beach SC to Warren PA

Sunrise from 10th floor balcony at One Ocean Place

On Sunday, March 5, we left One Ocean Place at 7:30 am, en route home.  

We stopped for breakfast in Rockingham NC at Waffle House.   I ordered the the All-Star Special (two scrambled eggs, with Toast & Jelly; Hashbrowns, a Waffle and 3 Slices of Bacon).  Bob ordered the Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl (Double Hashbrowns, Two Slices of Melted American Cheese, Two Scrambled Eggs and 3 Slices of Crumbled Bacon).   I gave Bob one of my eggs, my toast and one slice of bacon.  In addition to our main entrees we ordered coffee / tea and orange juice.  It didn’t take long to place our order, to have our food delivered, or to eat our food.  We were in and out of Waffle House fairly quickly.  

Another stop was at the Pilot Mountain Scenic Overlook in Pinnacle NC along US 52 /Interstate 74.  The overlook was a great place to stretch our legs and to take a picture.

Pilot Mountain, as seen from the Pilot Mountain Scenic Overlook

Bob decided to leave the interstate approximately 23 miles from the overlook.  We hopped onto NC-89 towards Mount Airy and followed that route into Galax VA.  From Galax we drove to Comfort Suites in Wytheville VA.  Again, we avoided interstate travel, using routes US-58 and US-21.  It was nice not to be driving on the interstate and to see different scenery.

We arrived in Wytheville VA around 2:30 pm and checked into Comfort Suites.

We went to dinner around 4:30 pm.  Instead of eating at Cracker Barrel, our go-to restaurant when in Wytheville, we ate somewhere different.  We ate dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant.  There are no Shoney’s near Warren PA.

We left Wytheville at 7:00 am on Monday, March 6, after a skimpy breakfast at the hotel.  Breakfast was not up to standards, the first time we have experienced subpar service.  No eggs; pancake machine not operational; no coffee.  A breakfast of sausage and hash browns was not appealing.  Breakfast commenced at 6:30 am, and we were there at 6:40 am. Unsatisfactory!

We stopped for lunch in Portersville PA at Brown’s Country Kitchen.   Bob ordered a burger with French fries.  I ordered a chicken salad croissant sandwich with a fruit cup.  We decided to stay off the interstate and take back roads rest of the way home.

We returned home at 3:55 pm.  We left sunny skies to come home to a winter storm advisory.

South Carolina Vacation: Taste of the MarshWalk

Saturday, March 4, I got up around 6:00 am.  I watched for the sun to rise.  It was overcast, so there wasn’t much of a sunrise. 

The sun did come out eventually, though,
bright and shiny peeking through the clouds.

Late morning Marge, Neil, Bob and I went to the 9th annual Taste of the MarshWalk at Murrells Inlet.  Being able to attend this event is why Marge and Neil invited us to stay with them for two nights.  We are so happy that we stayed.  What a great event… good food, drinks, live music and vendors.

Shortly after returning to the condo from Murrells Inlet, Bob and I walked over to the next building (south tower) of One Ocean Place. We met my cousin and his wife for the first time. I have been working on my ancestry for a few years. Tom and I are Ancestry DNA matches. We share a grandfather. My maternal third great grandfather is Tom’s maternal second great grandfather. Tom’s daughter took a DNA test as well. I found Wendy on Facebook. Soon she and I became Facebook friends. Tom messaged me to ask if I had any photographs of his grandmother. I didn’t have any pictures but told him that another cousin might have a picture. I contacted Carolyn, whose mother is Tom’s grandmother’s sister. Carolyn was able to share a couple pictures with Tom of his grandmother. Tom, Carolyn and I are now Facebook friends. Unplanned, Tom and his wife Geri spent the same vacation time in the Surfside Beach / Garden City Beach area as did Bob and I. We had a good visit. It is nice to make the acquaintance of a new cousin. I hope to one day meet Tom and Geri’s two daughters and grandchildren.

Around 4:00 pm I noticed how clear it was on the beach. The lighting was great too.

The beach seen from 10th floor balcony at One Ocean Place
Clearly visible are Myrtle Beach in the background
and the Surfside Pier (under construction) in the foreground.

Later I noticed the moon shining brightly over the ocean.

The moon above the ocean
Isn’t the moon beautiful?

The sun set magnificently around 6:15 pm.

Sunset from the 10th floor of One Ocean Place in Garden City Beach

Marge, Neil, Bob and I ate dinner at Pizza Hyena in Surfside Beach. 

Bob, Marge, Neil and I at Pizza Hyena

We waited an hour for our pizza.  The pizza was good and worth the hour wait.  There are three restaurants near each other–Pizza Hyena and across the street the Gracious Pig Smokehouse and the Chimichanga Llama Cantina.  All three restaurants are members of the Dining & Design team of restaurants founded by Nate Anderson in 2017. It is a lively part of town near these three restaurants.  The cantina had live music that could be heard throughout the area.  

Do you see Jupiter and Venus aligned in the night sky?
(look just to the left of the umbrella)

This was our last night in South Carolina. The next day we began our drive back home.

South Carolina Vacation: Sunrise

On the morning of Friday, February 24, we watched the sun rise from Surfside Beach. 

We first walked to the public beach access at the end of 1st Ave S.  I took a picture of the Surfside Beach Fishing Pier, under construction, before the sun had risen.

The dawning of a new day

We walked north a short distance to the next public beach access, next to River City Cafe, so that we could take sunrise pictures with an unobstructed view.  The sunrise did not disappoint!

Here comes the sun!
Such a beautiful sunrise!
Bob and I enjoyed watching the sun rise.

As we walked back to our Airbnb rental “Nanny & Pops”, we stopped briefly to take a picture of a Surfside Beach art mural.

Surfside Beach SC mural
Close-up picture of me in front of the Surfside Beach SC mural

This day’s activities continue in my next blog post.

South Carolina Vacation: Warren PA to Surfside Beach SC

We left home shortly after 6:30 am on Monday, February 20th, en route Surfside Beach SC via Wytheville VA.

We vacationed in Surfside Beach last year at this time, as well. Last year, when we left en route South Carolina, snow was falling, possibly mixed with sleet or freezing rain.  The temperature was 19 degrees.  There was snow on the ground from home and all the way past Pittsburgh.  This time there was no precipitation whatsoever; there was no snow on the ground; and the temperature as we are leaving home was 42 degrees.

We stopped for breakfast in Franklin PA, at Linda Lou’s Family Restaurant.  This was our first time eating here.  The restaurant was recommended to us years ago.  We kept saying someday we would eat there.  Bob ordered a 3-egg Scrambler that contained home fries and bacon.  The Scrambler filled his plate similar to a large pancake. 

I ordered a light Western omelette, made with two eggs,
with fruit cup and wheat toast.

Bob said he was sorry that he didn’t order the same as me, as he wasn’t able to eat his entire meal.  The food was good, no better no worse than other breakfast eateries.  It was noisy, though, with the majority of the noise coming from the kitchen and wait staff.  This isn’t a restaurant that you go to, if looking for a peaceful meal!  We were on the road again shortly before 8:45 am.

We arrived at Comfort Suites in Wytheville VA shortly before 3:30 pm.  The drive there was uneventful.  We did see some rain, but it was spotty.  The most persistent rain occurred, as we approached Wytheville. 

We checked into our room and, then, we left for dinner.  We ate dinner at Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel is located about 2 miles from the hotel and easy to drive to.  Bob ordered a 1 piece catfish dinner with hash brown casserole and broccoli.  I ordered grilled chicken with a smoky seasoning, accompanied by hash brown casserole and fried apples.  My dinner came with two pieces of chicken, but I could eat only one piece (the smaller of the two pieces).  Our meals came with biscuits or corn muffins.  Bob chose biscuits; I chose corn muffins.   We each ate only one of our selections.  As we left the restaurant, we talked about sharing our meals in the future.  We are both eating less, and it would be less expensive to share meals.

We spent the night in Wytheville and continued our drive to Surfside Beach SC the next day.

I awakened at 4:30 am on Tuesday, February 21st. We took our time getting showered and dressed.  I read online newspapers and did my Bing searches.  I scrolled quickly through Facebook.  I checked email.  We went downstairs for a complimentary breakfast.  Bob had an omelette and sausage.  I had a waffle and a fruit cup.  

We departed Comfort Suites Wytheville around 7:15 am, en route Surfside Beach SC, after I had photographed that morning’s sunrise.

Sunrise at Comfort Suites Wytheville

We arrived at our Airbnb rental, “Nanny & Pops” around 1:15 pm.  The rental was as described at the Airbnb site. 

After getting settled into the Airbnb, we went for a walk on the beach.  The beach is only 0.10 miles from Nanny & Pops. It was an easy and quick walk to the beach. 

In the background is the Surfside Pier, which is under construction.
The construction is supposed to be completed this year.

We walked only a short way on the beach.  We walked south, until we encountered a small “river” running the width of the beach.  A man told us there is a lake about 4 blocks from us, and the lake is where the water flows from.  There is a way around the river, but we chose to end our walk on the beach at the “river”.  

From the beach we walked to River City Cafe.

We ate a late lunch / early dinner at River City Cafe.

Bob ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger.  I ordered Buffalo Chicken Bites with BBQ sauce.  We shared a side of cheese fries.   Dinner was tasty. 

From River City Cafe we walked back to Nanny & Pops, where we spent the evening relaxing.

Deruyter Lake Getaway: Day 3

Thursday, June 30, was our last full day at DeRuyter Lake.

We watched the sun rise from our water’s edge dock.
What a glorious sunrise!

We ate breakfast at Quincy Square Diner for the second day in a row.  Bob ordered the Quincy omelet, same as the previous day.  I ordered chocolate chip pancakes and bacon.  Both meals were delicious.  

Since our arrival at DeRuyter Lake, we have seen an elephant in a field on our daily drives into the village of DeRuyter. We stopped at the field this morning, and I took a picture of the elephant.

I Spy an Elephant

According to “Concrete sculptor John P. Kennedy created the DeRuyter mastodon in 1992 when he was just starting to make life-like creatures out of foundation material. He’s since branched out into all sorts of critters, generally of the non-extinct variety…”

We visited two waterfalls in the morning.  Delphi Falls is 4.2 miles from our Airbnb, and Chittenango Falls is located an additional 10 miles from Delphi Falls.  This was our first visit to Delphi Falls and our second visit to Chittenango Falls.

We had a personal tour guide at Delphi Falls.  A local woman stopped to talk with me, while I was waiting for Bob to complete his business in the port-a-john. 

Delphi Falls County Park is located in Madison County, NY. The park used to be the home of a private person.  The property was made into a park only recently.  The house is still standing.  The waterfall would have been visible from the backyard of the residence.  Our “tour guide” walked with us the short distance to the waterfall. 

Our first view of Delphi Falls
The falls trail was easily navigable.
Our “tour guide” took a picture of
Bob and me at Delphi Falls.

Chittenango Falls is located in Chittenango Falls State Park. The main attraction at Chittenango Falls State Park is its picturesque 167-foot waterfall. 

We visited the top of the falls first. It is easy to see the top of the falls. Just walk from the parking area towards the Gorge Rd Bridge. Please note the footbridge at the end of the video. We hiked to that footbridge.
Chittenango Falls – Top of falls

It is a bit more difficult to see the bottom of the falls. We hiked down hundreds of steps, descending 170 ft into the gorge.

This video shows the falls trail to the first overlook and the trail leading away from that overlook.
First Overlook of Chittenango Falls

We hiked all the way down into the gorge.

The footbridge at the base of Chittenango Falls
Bob and I at Chittenango Falls
View of Chittenango Falls from footbridge

As I wrote earlier this was our second visit to Chittenango Falls. We visited Chittenango Falls 5 years earlier on July 2, 2017.  As shown in my blog post written about that day, the water gushing over that waterfall was impressive.  The trail to the base of the waterfall was only partially open in 2017.  During our second visit, there was much less water falling over the waterfall.  We were able to hike down to the footbridge to view the waterfall at its base.  I am glad that we were able to see Chittenango Falls from that vantage point. What a beautiful view!

Before returning to our Airbnb we stopped in the village of DeRuyter for lunch at the Coal Yard, where we enjoyed deluxe cheeseburgers and onion rings.  

We returned to our Airbnb, after lunch, and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon and evening. 

Bob played his ukulele often, while we were on vacation.
This is the dam at the north end of DeRuyter Lake.
We enjoyed the view across DeRuyter Lake.
This is an island in DeRuyter Lake (looking south).
We enjoyed the view across DeRuyter Lake.
We enjoyed the view across DeRuyter Lake.

We enjoyed watching the activity on the lake.

This is just some of the activity on the lake. We saw several kayaks, as well as a few people swimming in the lake.

Our three-night vacation at DeRuyter Lake was very nice. We would like to make a return trip one day to Airbnb “DeRuyter Lake NY House for 2 on Water’s Edge“.

There is one more blog post about this vacation, so don’t go away 🙂

Deruyter Lake Getaway: Day 2

We spent much of Wednesday, June 29, at Airbnb ”DeRuyter Lake NY House for 2 on Water’s Edge”.

I watched the sun rise from the comfort of our dock, taking a few pictures and videos as I did so. 

Sunrise at Airbnb “DeRuyter Lake NY House for 2 on Water’s Edge”

The steam rising from the water made sunrise that much more special.

The sun in all its glory

We showered and got dressed.  The Airbnb has a small septic, so small that our hosts request passionately that we conserve water.  The following notice was posted on the refrigerator: 

“Every drop of water used to cook, clean, shower goes into a tiny septic system that has no leach field. We beg you to conserve! To help we have provided disposable eating utensils, face and body wipes and Castle Soap that can be safely used in be the lake! Yes, jump in the lake, lather up and rinse rather than fill the septic with shower run off.”

We didn’t bathe in the lake, but we were conscious of how much water we used during our 3-night stay.

We ate breakfast at Quincy Square Diner in the village of DeRuyter. Quincy Square Diner was across the street from where we ate dinner the precious day.

Breakfast Specials at Quincy Square Diner

We both ordered a Quincy Omelet with toast.  Inside the omelets were cheese, sausage, ham, green peppers and onions.  I didn’t want sausage in my omelet, so my portion of sausage was added to Bob’s omelet.  I ordered a glass of orange juice, and Bob ordered coffee.  Both meals were delicious; service was good.  We overheard a conversation shortly after being seated.  A man said it is coming up on a long weekend.  Another man said “everyday is a weekend”.  That remark made Bob and me chuckle.  Retirement is wonderful; life is good!

We spent the day at the Airbnb generally doing nothing. It was a great day of relaxation. In no particular order, this is how we spent our day.

We did our Bing searches and solved the Wordle game of the day.

Bob played his ukulele.

We ate a picnic lunch at the table on our dock.
I took a nap for an hour. 

I started reading a new Fern Michael’s novel “No Way Out”.
Relaxing at Airbnb “DeRuyter Lake NY House for 2 on Water’s Edge”

I shared this photograph on Facebook and had a couple people ask how I took this picture. I placed my Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader on the dock, snug against a railing. I opened my camera phone and, then, I propped my iPhone on my Kindle and flush against a railing. I sat down. Using the camera remote on my Apple watch, I took our picture.

We did leave the Airbnb a few times, after breakfast. We made two trips to the DeRuyter Lake General Store, located at the south end of the lake. The General Store is stocked with bait and tackle, camp firewood, ice, beverages, beer and wine coolers, ice cream, CBD oil and more. The General Store is where one goes to launch a boat and fill up with marine fuel.  I believe kayaks can be rented there as well. I purchased a DeRuyter Lake long sleeve T-shirt  on our first stop and two King Cones on our second stop. We drove to Heritage Hill Brewhouse for dinner.

Heritage Hill Brewhouse

We both ordered BBQ platters. The meals and service were good. The view from the Brewhouse was fantastic, too. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the view. If you scroll through the Facebook page, though, you will see pictures of the view. 

Chincoteague VA Vacation (4th post)

We got up around 6:00 am on Monday, April 18th and saw another gorgeous sunrise.  

Chincoteague Island Sunrise

My breakfast was two bowls of oatmeal in a cup.  I included sliced peaches in one bowl.  I also ate an orange.  Bob ordered from McDonalds. With the exception of Bob’s McDonalds breakfast, we ate breakfast at our AirBnb “Tranquil Shores” throughout our vacation.

We ate lunch at “Tranquil Shores”.  We had plenty of leftovers to put together a very filling lunch.  Leftovers included grilled ham steak, macaroni and cheese, two hush puppies each and three shrimp each.  For dessert we had applesauce.

For dinner we ordered delivery (free anywhere on the island) from Famous Pizza and Subs.  It was our first time ordering from this restaurant. Our order was for two baked spaghetti with garden salad and garlic toast.  We added meatballs to one spaghetti order.   We shared the meatballs.   

Baked Spaghetti Dinners

We are happy that the restaurant delivered, as it was a chilly, windy and rainy day.   Dinner was delicious.  We could have easily split one spaghetti dinner with meatballs.  I couldn’t eat all of my spaghetti.  It will not go to waste, though.  I placed it in a storage container, and we will carry it home with us in the cooler.

So, this was a stay-at-home day. It was a relaxing day.  We read, surfed the Internet, and watched TV.  Bob played the ukulele. We packed for our drive back home.


We departed Chincoteague at 7:30 am on Tuesday, April 19th. It took us longer to get home than it took to get to Chincoteague because we told the GPS to avoid highways on our way home.

We ate breakfast at Dayton’s Restaurant in Salisbury MD.  This appeared a popular restaurant. There was seating available, but not much! It seemed the waitresses knew most of the patrons by name. The food and service were both great.

Early afternoon we stopped at Sheetz in Lancaster PA for a bathroom break and to pick up a light lunch/snacks. 

Our route took us over two mountains — Blue Mountain and Second Mountain — via seven-mile long Gold Mine Road. Gold Mine Road begins in Union Township PA off Route 443 and ends on Route 325 south of Tower City in Schuylkill County, near the Dauphin County line. 

We are on Gold Mine Road,
crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Jonestown PA.
We are on Gold Mine Road,
soon after crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Tower City PA.

It really was surprising where our GPS took us, when we told it to avoid highways.

The GPS directed us onto the Quehanna Highway,
near Karthaus PA in Clearfield County.
It was snowing, as we approached our hometown of Warren PA.

The next time we travel to and from Chincoteague, we will not avoid highways (unless we split the travel time into 2 days). We returned home at 7:14 pm, approximately 12 hours after we had left Chincoteague!

This concludes my account of our Chincoteague VA vacation. We are already making plans for a return trip next Spring. We plan to go in May next year. Perhaps the weather will be more consistently warm a few weeks later.

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