Saturday, August 15, 2015

Nickel Plate 765

Ever since she was a little girl, my mother has loved trains. When she was really little, they lived behind a store in Java Center that her father ran. It was very close to the A & A (Attica and Arcade Railroad) and she would play at the Depot. She still has a soft spot for that train, which amazingly still runs. So when she heard that the Fort Wayne Historical Society's Nickel Plate Road Steam Engine 765 was headed our way to run two excursions from Buffalo, she was very excited to go. She got us tickets for Sunday August 2, then all we had to do was wait.

We got up bright and early to be at the Buffalo rail yard by 7:15.  We mistakenly went to the Amtrak station, where they kindly pointed us in the right direction. After a little initial confusion, a kind conductor found us four seats together in the beautifully restored St. Augustine car. With a puff of smoke and a blowing horn we were off!

The amazing part, at least to us, was steaming past all the familiar sites, from a vantage point rarely seen. We even went past our house! The most exciting part was going over the 100 year old iron train trestle in Letchworth State Park.  It's being replaced, so this was the only chance to go over it.  It was really beautiful. So many people came out to see the train, every where we went there were people! Mobs of people - at intersections, in fields, and all along the roads.  There were even "train chasers" w/o followed us all the way to Corning!. 

In Corning, there were buses to take people to the glass museum if you wanted to go.  Or you could stay on the train as it went to load up on coal and water for the trip home.  

It was a gorgeous ride on a gorgeous train, and I'm thrilled we got to be a part of history

Mom on the train  
The train in Corning
Main Street Attica. Our train actually went past our house!
Our beautiful car

Going over the trestle

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Saturday March 7th, 2015

Saturday March 7th, 2015
Location - Daytona Beach
Image result for cruisin bar and grill daytona beach

Another cold and windy day. High in the 50's. But still better than back home.  If it was 50 at home we'd be in shorts.  We walked down to Main Street to catch part of the parade, which we ended up missing anyway as we were inside eating.  We walked all the way down to the Boot Hill Saloon, checking out all the bars and food vendors on the way. Nothing really stood out, so we ended up back at the beginning, at Cruisin Bar and Grill.  We were seated very quickly for as busy as it was.  One of the special drinks was Mud Slide, which is my favorite.  I didn't realize until the bill came that it included the lame souvenir glass, and was $15!  I was NOT happy about that at all, and feel the server might have mentioned that.
I ordered the Reuben, which was just okay.  John had the grilled chicken breast sandwich which he said was also just okay.  But we were really saving up our appetites for dinner.

Image result for hilton doc bales restaurant daytona beach
We ate next door at the Hilton, where we had eaten last year and really enjoyed it.  Doc Bales Restaurant has a prime rib and seafood buffet on Fridays and Saturdays
Image result for hilton doc bales restaurant daytona beach

It had tons of seafood, including crab legs.  The salads were fresh and the ranch dressing was one of the best we've ever had.  The prime rib was super tender.  We only had room for a little dessert, but they were delicious. Service was great too!
After dinner we wandered back down to Main Street.  It was packed.  Lots of bars had bands. Everywhere was pretty packed.  And since it was later (10ish)  a lot of people had been partying all day and let's say they were not at their best LOL.   One of the bars had Godsmack, so we listened to them for a bit and then the crowd was too much so we moved on and stumbled on Whitesnake!  Any true 80's music lover will know who they are.  We only caught maybe the last hour and were pretty disappointed we hadn't heard it all but we heard them play our favorites.  This to me was definitely my favorite part of Bike Week.  After they finished, we waited around to hear the next band which was a Kiss cover band.  And they were seriously the worst band I've ever heard.  They just couldn't get it together.  Ouch.  We wandered up and down Main Street a little more and then finally called it a night

Sunday March 8, 2015

Sunday, March 8, 2015
Location - Daytona Beach

Today is our 4th day at the Daytona Beach Regency.  We are here partly for Bike Week, and partly just to enjoy the beach.  Today we are taking a break from anything bike-related and just relaxing.  We slept in a bit (hello Daylight Saving Time!) and then walked down the beach to the Pier and Boardwalk
Image result for daytona beach pier

Image result for daytona beach pier and boardwalk

There's a Joe's on the pier, but today we ate on the Boardwalk, at King Pizza. We of course had pizza.

It was pretty great.  Lots of cheese and pepperoni, and NY style bendy-crust.

It's warmer today, high of 72, with just a little bit of wind off the water.  After two cold, super windy days, this felt awesome.  Today the food trucks were back on the beach, as were the beach-goers. After lunch we strolled back along the boardwalk to the condo.  We sat out on the balcony for a bit, but the wind is still a bit chilly.  And the motorcycles going by are SO loud.  I realize they are just excited but they don't need to rev it up just waiting for the signal to change.  I loved the condo last year when we were right on the ocean, the ocean is much quieter than the bikes.  Last year we never heard them!  This year we are one unit back, still with an ocean view but there is a service alley between us and the building next door and it acts like a wind tunnel and noise amplifier.  If we come back next year we will definitely ask for a front unit.

Images courtesy of Google

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be an awesome year! We've got a great winter of traveling planned.  But first, I want to tell you about my daughter's travel blog, and urge you to go read today's post.  I'll just wait here until you read it :D

Click here for Will Work For Travel

It really gives a great perspective on setting those New Year's Resolutions

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Finally Home

I really hated to leave the Hampton Inn in Lexington Virginia. We had our usual complimentary breakfast in the beautiful dining room and then I took a few photos.  None inside as it was very busy with families travelling for the Easter holiday. 

Outside corridor


Pool and spa

We reluctantly packed up and took off, as we had 450 miles to go and I wanted to get home. We got back on 81 and got off at Berkely Springs WV.  This is another beautiful place that I'd like to go back to someday. They have the Country's first warm mineral springs and the town is really cute. Even George Washington has been here.  Here is a castle
More mineral springs

We passed a couple other places the day before that I want to mention.  One was the headquarters of Shutterfly in North Carolina. Patti uses them to make the most wonderful photo books!  Another place we passed was the historic Shot Tower, by the New River in West Virginia. 

The early settlers used to make ammunition here, more than 200 years ago.  

We also went by Carowinds, an amusement park I'd love to go to someday

After going through Berkely Springs we took 70 West then 99 then I think the 80 to the 219?  Anyway, we ended up in Ellicottville and then Chaffee and Java and Varysburg then HOME!  After being in Florida for 3 months then home for a week and gone again for two weeks it felt like I had been gone forever.  Plus, John didn't go on the Mississippi Riverboat cruise so I hadn't seen him in two weeks and I really missed him. Today I have to unpack and catch up on laundry. Tomorrow is Easter, have a great day!

*All images courtesy of Google, as for some reason my mom doesn't like me going 75 and taking pictures. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Long Day of Driving

We had a quick breakfast at the hotel this morning and then took off. By the time we got fuel it was almost 11.  Back on Route 301 which I really love but it makes me sad too.  This was "the" way South years ago, before the 95 opened.  Now it is full of once-beautiful examples of mid-century architecture.  Deserted and abandoned motels, diners, and gas stations, once thriving and now run down

From 301 we got on 321 and took that to 77 I think?  We got stuck in a horrible traffic jam in Charlotte. It looked exactly like this

Two hours and only 20 miles later we finally emerged from the snarl.  Almost 500 miles today and we ended up in Lexington Virginia, after being on 81.  This is our gorgeous Hampton

The front part is a bed and breakfast and there are regular rooms around the side and back. We were too tired to eat and just snacked in the room.
Home by tomorrow night! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Heading Home, Part II. 4/16/14

So today I found myself making the trek from Zephyrhills Florida home to New York for the second time in 3 weeks.  This time driving my Mom (and her car!) back.  The good news is she had a recheck on her broken wrist yesterday and it was healed enough to take off the fixator
 That's the 'before' and here is the 'after'

Just a Velcro brace! 

We were packed up and ready to leave around 1:00, which is actually a day earlier than I thought so that's great. Traffic was light on 301 and we managed to go 300 miles before we stopped in Statesville Georgia around 8.  We got a room at a brand new Hampton Inn and it's really nice. 
 It has a keyless tap and go entry which is super handy when you're loaded down with luggage like a pack mule.  We went next door to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner, a place I've never been but now love.  We started with the signature soup
 Which we were leery of at first but loved at first spoonful. We also shared a small pizza and each had an awesome beer, Terrapin Tree Hugger.  It was the special today and we got to keep the glass.  Yay for free swag! 
  After a quick call to the husband, I'm doing a blog post and Mom is reading the paper.  Maybe we'll make 400 miles tomorrow? I want to get home to this sweet face