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Fall is falling away!!
Posted by Tina on Sunday, December 05, 2010 - 07:03 PM
(388 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " My last entry was in August about our Celebrity Solstice Cruise and upon our return my leisurely summer days came to a close . September did not produce any hurricane event for us and I tolerated the hot, humid days better than usual with the knowledge that many places north of us were sweltering this summer. Norfolk, Virginia actually made 105 degrees!!
October swept in with some lovely low humidity days and we finally dipped below 90 degrees for a few days. Finally, the long awaited trip to Vermont and the Adirondack Mountains in New York arrived! Our friends of 20 years, Mary and Charlie, joined us for a 10 day autumn adventure- though we planned our lodging and some sightseeing spots - we decided early on that we would just explore and see where the road would take us!
The cool, crisp 50 degree days with robin egg blue skies made for comfortable sightseeing jaunts. The gold, orange, and red leaves are always spectacular against the blue, blue skies.We enjoyed the multitude of waterfalls on Rte. 100 in Vermont. Texas Falls had such amazingly clear water. In Waterbury, Vermont we had to play tourists and visited the retired flavors graveyard at Ben and Jerry's , Cabot Cheese ,
and sampled Lake Champlain Chocolates. Ohh so good... From there we headed to Smugglers Notch Resort near Stowe. The road in was like driving an obstacle course with Volkswagon size glacial boulders edging the steep road. We were in the Aspen Units- very nice- and for 2 days we roamed the area , hiked, visited the Cabot Cheese Factory, and sampled wines at the Boyden Valley Winery.
Leaving Vermont on the Charlotte- Essex Ferry we crossed Lake Champlain and arrived in New York. Ausable Chasm near Port Kent was a 500 million year old natural wonder well worth the stop and we would have stopped at Whiteface near Lake Placid but the gondola was not running... Late in in the day we arrived at Prospect Cottages at Blue Mountain Lake.
We had a wonderful visit to the Adirondacks- saw plenty of geese, turkey, and deer. Our accommodations were the entire upper floor of the Loon Lodge at Prospect Cottages! The complementary breakfast was filled with all kinds of breakfast breads, quiches, and side dishes. Best of all was the wonderful staff- we felt like family during our stay... The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake was amazing and literally you could spend days trying to see everything! We even squeezed in a train ride along the Hudson River before leaving the Adirondacks.
The last two days of our trip we traveled south to Leonardsville and spent the night at the historic Horned Dorset- a lovely restored Victorian bed and breakfast. Charlie and Mary visited their relatives on the last day before heading back to Albany and Gene and I headed to Tully, New York were we connected with my Aunt Alice and her family and Gene's cousin Bunny . I was so glad we were all able to get together while on our trip!
Yes, Vermont and the Adirondacks was as wonderful as I imagined and even though we had to scrape ice off the windshield a few mornings the beautiful autumn foliage and beautiful mountain views made up for the morning chill. And best of all we shared this with our friends ( in our book they are family) Mary and Charlie Curtis...."

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End of Summer Cruise
Posted by Tina on Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 09:47 PM
(737 Reads)
Family News Tina writes " The last week before heading back to school Gene and I joined the Armands , Aba and Abu for a 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the Celebrity Solstice. This was Alexa's and Paul Andrew's second cruise - by the end of the week they had advanced to experienced cruisers. Paul Andrew greeted the cabin attendants with a "Hi there" as we strolled down the hallway and the glass elevator was a constant fascination- no fear of heights with these children! Alexa enjoyed the visits to the Fun Factory where she played with other children on board and especially enjoyed visiting the deck pool with Booie.
The weather at our first port of call, Puerto Rico, was rainy so after one attempt to walk around the port we gave up and spent the day on board. The Solstice is a very lovely ship with lots of places to relax and take a leisurely stroll. Our next stop was St. Thomas and we lucked out- the weather was fantastic! We took an open air taxi to Magen's Bay which is considered to be one of the top ten beaches in the world to visit. The lovely turquoise water and the tree covered hillsides enclosing the bay definitely make this beach a destination worthwhile to repeat again and again. An added bonus was a school of friendly squid that appeared when we snorkeled near the rocks.
St. Maarten was very hot ! We took the water taxi over to the beach near one of the shopping areas. Fortunately, there were chaise lounges and umbrellas to use when we came out of the water. As we looked over the ocean we could see the island Saba in clear view. St. Maarten is actually a great place to island hop to some very lovely less populated islands.
The food and service was phenomenal at the Solstice's Tuscan Grille and the entertainment on board was very good. I was very impressed with our cabin's appearance and size.
It was a wonderful week and all too soon we were back home to Florida.We thoroughly enjoyed our cruising with all the family and brought home some very special memories!

"

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Memorial Day and July 4th Beach Fun
Posted by Tina on Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 09:11 PM
(418 Reads)
Family News Tina writes " It is always a pleasure to get together with the family for holidays . Even with Paul's extremely busy schedule he managed to squeeze in time for some beach time over both these holidays. Dan fortunately was able to make it down for July 4th and take a break. Lori and Dave had made already 2 trips down to SW Florida in the last few weeks so they had already done their share of driving the full length of the state!!
It was great seeing all of Gloria's family for the July 4th holiday at Siesta Key . Even though the weather was less than perfect for part of our visit it did not dampen our spirits and we had a wonderful visit! After their full week at Siesta Key it was good to hear that Alexa and Paul Andrew are very comfortable in the water! In the years to come hope to teach them how to snorkle ...."

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Heading Home to Pennsylvania
Posted by Tina on Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 08:42 PM
(360 Reads)
Family News Tina writes " Within 5 days after school ended Gene and I were on a direct flight to Pittsburgh! During our 8 day visit we visited Gene's 3 brothers and families and explored the beautiful northwest corner of PA. Throughout our visit we enjoyed catching up with family and dining at some very good restaurants. Our first overnight stop was in Greenville where Gene's brother Paul resides . It was lovely relaxing out on his back deck in the evening air- the yard lit up with a multitude of fireflies.Unfortunately in Florida we spray for mosquitoes which affects so many more species...
We revisited several places we have visited with the sons such as Jake's Rocks and Kinzu Dam. This trip we spent several days in the Allegheny National Forest and Cook Forest - hiking in areas new to both of us. We stayed in a cabin 2 nights and also stayed with Gene's college friends Tom and Sue Curtin.
We headed eastward and stayed near several state forests- this time our accommodations was a 1830 Bed and Breakfast in Lock Haven. In Holidaysburg we visited with John and Malinda and of course shared pictures of grandchildren!
The last leg of our trip was back to Pittsburgh. We spent the afternoon visiting the Phipps Conservatory with Gene's brother Steve and our niece Stephanie. I have to say that in the last decade Pittsburgh is " new and improved"! Definitely, we had a wonderful time on our visit and would love to return the hospitality to family and friends that made our entire Pennsylvania visit perfect!!"

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Georgia on our Mind
Posted by Tina on Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 02:07 AM
(388 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " My dear husband has has Northern Georgia on his mind as a travel destination for 2 years. I figured my birthday was a perfect time to explore the Georgia mountains!! Our cabin near Helen, Georgia was beautifully decorated- definitely the nicest we have ever rented. It was built on pilings over a pond and our accommodations included a free frog concert every evening- Ribbitt...
We enjoyed all the beautiful waterfalls- especially Anna Ruby Falls, Amicacola Falls, and Tallulah Falls with its 1,000 ft. Gorge. The Georgia mountains reach up to 4,784 ft. and in the valleys pristine rivers are so delightful and contain some very large rainbow trout! We panned for gems at Crisson's Gold Mine and strolled through a 3 story home built in 1876 that now houses thousands of antiques and collectables . I bought at the Martin's House some very lovely hand crocheted table scarves. Dining on Lake Burton provided both scenic view and delicious cuisine while Unocoi Lodge was the spot for all you could eat trout buffet. We hiked in the location where the Appalachian Trail southern entry point is located and have many many more waterfalls, trails, train ride, horseback riding, and maybe some river tubing for our next Georgia mountains adventure..
"

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