The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Sunset’

Chincoteague Vacation: “Tranquil Shores”

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”

“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.

Eat-in 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.

Living Room

There is access to a Screened Porch from the Living Room.

Screened Porch

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!



Easter Vacation – Day 3 of 5: Blue Ridge Parkway (Humpback Rocks to Rockfish Gap) and Back to Waynesboro

Bob and I spent three nights (April 17-20) in Waynesboro, Virginia. Waynesboro is located near where the Skyline Drive ends and the Blue Ridge Parkway begins. Our original plan was to stay in Waynesboro for four nights, but we departed a day early. I will explain why we left Waynesboro a day early in a future blog post.

The highlights on Day 3 (April 19) of our Easter vacation included a visit to Natural Bridge, walking on a swinging bridge in Buchanan and driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.  My blog posts last week provided photographs and details about our visit to Natural Bridge and about our brief stop in Buchanan VA.  From Buchanan we took Route 43 to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We entered the Parkway at Milepost 90.9, Bearwallow Gap, and exited at Milepost 0, Rockfish Gap.   Our 90-mile drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway yielded many photographs.  My blog posts this week have shared those photographs.  In Tuesday’s blog post (4/29/2014) I shared photographs from Milepost 90.9, Bearwallow Gap, to just before Milepost 63.8, James River Visitor Center.  In Wednesday’s blog post I shared photographs that were taken at the James River Visitor Center.  In yesterday’s blog post I shared photographs from Milepost 63.8, James River, to just before Milepost 5.8, Humpback Rocks.  In today’s blog post I will share photographs that were taken from Milepost 5.8, Humpback Rocks, and back to our hotel in Waynesboro.

Upon reaching Milepost 5.8 we parked at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center.

Humpback Rocks Visitor Center

Adjacent to the Visitor Center is an outdoor farm museum.  A sign at the entrance to the farm museum reads: “This was originally a Land Grant tract granted by the Commonwealth of Virginia to induce pioneers to settlers the Blue Ridge Mountains and establish the border of the Western Frontier. Later it became known as the William J. Carter Farm. The original buildings have long since disappeared, but replaced with other authentic structures moved from nearby.”  The farm museum consists of a single-room log cabin and a series of outbuildings that represent elements of regional architecture of the late 19th century.  The buildings were assembled here in an arrangement that allows for an easy stroll along a pathway.

The first building that you come to as you walk along the pathway is a one-room log cabin.  Near the log cabin a sign reads: “A man’s home is his castle. The log cabin has always been associated with the American frontier, but the idea of homes built from logs came from immigrants from northern Europe. The early southern highlanders adopted this type of construction and found it well suited to their needs. Using the mountains’ most abundant resource, trees, a log cabin could be built quickly with only a few tools.”

 One-Room Log Cabin.  The small building behind the log cabin is a chicken house.


I like the vintage look of this photograph.

The next building that you come to is a “gear loft”, where the family stored their “plunder” (supplies and equipment).

Gear Loft

Continuing along the pathway, you will come to a barn surrounded by a stone-walled pig pen.


Note the pig pen behind the barn.  Farmers had razorback hogs that ran wild in the forest.  In the fall, the farmers would round up the best hogs and put them in this pen.  This was a bear-proof pig pen.  The “x” supports held the logs in place and kept bears out of the pen.

The last building along the pathway is a spring house.

Spring House

This is inside the Spring House.  Farmers kept their butter and other cold storage items on the rocks.


If we are ever in the area in the summer, it would be worthwhile to return to the farm museum.  During the summer months costume interpreters provide demonstrations of weaving, basket making and gardening.

Leaving Humpback Rocks we made one more stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We stopped at the Afton Overlook.  This northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway becomes the Skyline Drive from this point north through the Shenandoah National Park.

Afton Overlook

We talked about returning to this overlook early the next day, in the hopes of seeing the sun rise.  As it turned out, we didn’t make it back to this overlook the next morning.  We didn’t watch the sun rise; however, we did see a beautiful sunset in Waynesboro.

What a way to end the third day of our vacation!

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 3

Bob and I spent Tuesday, September 17, in Nags Head, at the beach house.  It was a very windy day.

I enjoyed watching the waves crashing on the beach.

The pirate flag at the beach house next to ours was fully extended in the gusty winds.

The strong winds blew the sand onto our beach access.

I took a chance with my camera, taking photographs outside with the wind and blowing sand.  I got lucky, though.  The sand wasn’t blowing at me in the morning hours, and I was able to capture some photographs and video from the beach access.   Later in the day, the sand was blowing so badly that I didn’t go anywhere near the beach with my camera.

The wind knocked down the beach chairs.

The wind knocked down Ed’s fishing poles too.

Ed  and Scott, who was visiting for the day, braved the blowing sand to secure the fishing poles.

As the sun began to set, it cast a golden glow on the ocean waves and dune grass.

The almost full moon

Sunset over the Sound

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Getting There

Our Outer Banks vacation got started at 12:15 pm on Friday, September 13.  Bob came home from work at noon.  Fifteen minutes later we were on our way to pick up Pam, who accompanied us to the Outer Banks this year.  Our friend, Denise, who coordinated the plans for our week stay in the Outer Banks, graduated high school with Pam.  Pam and Denise were best friends in high school.  They lost touch after high school and found each other recently on Facebook.  Bob and I had not met Pam until we picked her up for our drive to the Outer Banks.  I had been corresponding with Pam, though, on Facebook.

It was a good travel day.  Traffic wasn’t bad.  What traffic there was kept moving.   The steady conversation among Pam, Bob and I made the 6+-hour drive go by more quickly than otherwise.

We spent the night at the Best Western Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  We arrived at the hotel around 7:15 PM.  Bob and I stayed at this hotel last year, on our way to the Outer Banks.  It is a very nice hotel, and we had no qualms about staying there again.  This year, however, we requested two rooms that were not in “pet alley”.  The Best Western Fredericksburg allows pets.  Last year we were accommodated in a room in “pet alley”.  Although we enjoyed a quiet night’s rest last year, we were awakened the next morning around 5:30 AM  by barking dog(s).

We checked into our rooms and ate dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant, which was located on the hotel grounds.  We returned to the hotel at 8:30 PM and spent the rest of the evening in our respective rooms.

Neither Bob nor I got much sleep from 2:15 AM and on.  Both of us experienced irritable bowels.  We thought perhaps it was something that we ate at Shoney’s that didn’t agree with us, although everything tasted good.  When we met Pam for breakfast, we learned that she experienced an irritable bowel during the night as well.  The common food all three of us ate was Tilapia, so we blame the fish for our distress.

We ate breakfast at the hotel.  As always, Best Western’s complimentary breakfasts are good and filling.  We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and were on the road en route Nags Head, NC by 8:30 AM.   We made one photo stop along the way, in Tappahannock, VA.

Tappahannock, VA
Essex County Courthouse and Civil War Monument

Motorcyclists were gathering for a poker run, when we arrived in Tappahannock.

All proceeds from the poker run would be donated to Special Olympics, according to one motorcyclist to whom I inquired what was going on.

We arrived at A Whale’s Head Inn around 3:30 PM.  Denise arrived about an hour after we did.  Accompanying Denise were the other five people who would be vacationing with us for the week.  Denise’s two adult children and a friend arrived a little later.  The three young people spent one night with us.

Bob and I went for a walk on the beach that evening, as the sun was setting.

I loved seeing the moon shining high above South Nags Head Beach!

The sun had almost slipped below the horizon when we returned from our walk on the beach.  This photograph of the setting sun was taken through the stilts of our beach house.


Michigan Vacation – Day 3 of 6: Part 3

The purpose for Bob and me to go to Michigan earlier this month was to attend the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) motorcycle rally at the Cycle-Moore Campground in Interlochen.  We knew very little about the scenic attractions in Northwestern Michigan before departing for the rally.  We discovered that Northwestern Michigan is bountiful in scenic attractions.  The best part of the rally was being able to ride with other VROC’ers on such wonderful scenic roads.   Add camaraderie, friendship, a campfire, food and beverages to the scenic roads, and you have the makings of a good time.

The campfire area is where tall tales are told and riding adventures described.  It’s a kickback time, too, after a day of riding.  Passing a variety of drinks around the campfire circle goes a long way toward kicking back!  Today’s blog post showcases photographs from Friday night’s campfire (August 9th).

Our campfire!


It was a beautiful night for a campfire!

Stay tuned; more details of our Michigan vacation to come!

Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade: Divison 9

On Saturday afternoon (May 25) the Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade was held in downtown Erie, PA.   The parade is one of many events to be held as part of Erie’s Perry 200 Commemoration that honors the 200th Anniversary of Commodore Oliver Perry’s defeat of the British in the War of 1812.  The 1.8 mile parade route traveled east on 12th Street from Cherry to 3rd and State Street through downtown Erie.  This historic parade featured more than 20 bands, numerous floats, several marching units, antique cars, giant helium-filled cartoon and patriotic balloons and more.  The Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade was the largest and most diverse celebration ever seen on the streets of Erie!

There were  nine parade divisions — one division for each of the nine American vessels that fought in the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813.  I will showcase photographs from each division in nine separate blog posts.  This blog post showcases photographs from Division 9.

Girard American Legion Post 494 Color Guard

WCTL Radio mascot

WCTL Radio mascot

The Port Dover Museum Puppets were a surprise to me.  In addition to the big helium balloons, I had never seen puppets of this size before.

Port Dover Museum Puppets

Port Dover Museum Puppets

Port Dover Museum Puppets. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words …

Port Dover Museum Puppets

The last big helium balloon in the Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade was Michael the Eagle balloon.

Michael the Eagle Balloon

Michael the Eagle Balloon

Thus concludes my coverage of the Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade.  I do believe attendance at this parade to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for me.  I am so happy that Bob and I were able to see this parade!

My coverage of the parade has ended; however, I wanted to share one more photograph with you.  As I am sure you noticed, it was a beautiful day for a parade.  The evening ended beautifully as well.

Sunset, as viewed from our room at The Avalon Hotel

Findley Lake, NY

Bob and I went to Erie, PA this past Saturday.  Yesterday I shared photographs that I took in Waterford, prior to our arrival in Erie, and at Presque Isle State Park.  On our way back home, we stopped in Findley Lake, NY.

Swartz Mill

At one time a horizontal water wheel furnished power for both a saw mill and a grist mill at this site.  This vertical waterwheel has been constructed near the site of the original. I believe the only purpose of the present waterwheel is that of a tourist attraction.

Findley Lake Anchor

After leaving Findley Lake, we made a grocery stop at Sam’s Club in Jamestown, NY.  When we left Sam’s Club, sunset was drawing near. Not far from home I captured a couple nice sunset photographs.

Yankee Bush Rd. Sunset

Yankee Bush Rd. Sunset


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