Thursday, June 13, 2019

Visit with Brother, Finally at Black Lake

Probably will not be posting here again, for a while.  We do not have unlimited data, but today is the last day of the month...and I have enough left to bring our travels up to date.

Day four of our trip north took us from Dunmore, PA to Kirkwood, NY to visit with my baby brother, Dave Benjamin.......and then the final leg.... arriving at our cabin on Black Lake in Hammond, NY.

Picture below....crossing the PA/NY border... Me and my brother Dave at his home in Kirkwood, NY,  His Chocolate Lab, Jake, a view of his beautiful  back yard, David again with Rich, our cabin on Black Lake, in Hammond NY, and our view from the cabin.

I'm not one to complain much about cooler weather......but it's been COLD, RAINY and very WINDY.  As a result we've only been out fishing three times in 6 days!  Today it's very very windy and in the low 60's.... with rain.  Picture below..  The fishing has not been much better and the lake water is really pretty high.  We've caught a total of 17 fish.  Rich has had the better luck..His first fish was a 20' Northern Pike, (picture/bottom left),  and our last day out he caught another Northern. This one was 26".( Top middle picture)  My first fish was my biggest fish so far........ and that was an 8 1/2" crappy!  (top right).  You can see the water has been pretty rough....Top left picture is a view of our cabin from the lake....and I was able to catch the rainbow a couple days we were heading in for the day.

This weekend Bass Season opens, so I'm sure we'll have a full house here at the Log Cabins.  Our Pennsylvania friends will be coming in Saturday, so I'm sure we'll get together a couple of times while they are at Roger's Camps.  

Yesterday was my birthday.........Rich planned on taking me out for dinner, but I just wanted to stay in.  There's a little store down the road called Echo's on the Lake where you can get take out........and they have a great fish fry.  Rich had the fried chicken dinner w/fries, and I got my Fish Fry!  Excellent!

6 1/2 weeks left........then on to Columbia Crossroads before we head back home. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

North to Black Lake - Day 3

Today we left Troutville, VA and headed for Dunmore, PA.  On the road again, about 7:30 AM.   Stopped and filled up on gas, before we left VA.... as gas is much much cheaper!  Made it to West Virginia about 10:15, Maryland, about 10:35, and the PA state line about 10:45.......and got to the hotel in Dunmore around 2:00 PM

The rain was pretty steady, a bit heavy, and the visibility when we started the trip was not real good.  On the road about 35 minutes and the traffic was backed up a bit....not for long.  Seems that the weather was responsible for this truck sliding off the road.  Of course the weather made it almost impossible to get any good pictures in Virginia.....where the mountains and hills are so beautiful...

 But by the time we got to PA I was able to get some decent shots.  Love the farmlands with the rolling hills in the background. the rock ledges on the hillsides, and the view of the Susquehanna River.  Yes there were some major traffic back ups today, but thankfully they were going in the opposite direction,

Everything in PA is expensive.  Now remember I said we stopped for gas before we got out of Virginia.  We paid $2.399/gallon.   We stopped for a quick breakfast at McDonald's ( and I won't complain too much - but even Rich complained when our sausage burrito's were cold)  But no far down the road the gas at a Loves station was $3.359!  Most others we passed were much less - but still ranged from $2,69 to $2,85/gallon.

Lots of construction on 81 near Dunmore - but finally made it!  This is not a fancy hotel at all....just the basics, very clean, and very comfortable.  Nice pool and exercise pool.  But this year they have new beds.... those real high ones... that short people like me, feel like a little kid trying to climb up on!   We stayed at this hotel when we came north last year....and the price is pretty good.... for Pennsylvania!

Just a short walk from the hotel is Joey's Pizza, a family owned Italian restaurant.  They have everything imaginable on the menu.........and it was quite obvious it's favorite of the locals.  Last year we had ordered deliver.. (not realizing they were right next door!).  Rich ordered the linguine with meatballs, and I had penne pasta with broccoli and garlic sauce  Came with salad and garlic rolls.  It was AWESOME!  Absolutely delicious. 

Tomorrow will be the last leg of the trip, with us landing at the Log Cabins on Black Lake, NY.  Going to stop in Kirkwood, NY, on the way, for a short visit with my baby brother!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

North to Black Lake - Day 2

We were back on the road at 7:30 AM........leaving South Carolina and headed for Troutville, Virginia..... and checked in about 2:00 PM at the Quality Inn.  We had stayed here last year on our way to NY......and remembered that the Cracker Barral was right next door.  After driving all day - it was nice to be able to just walk across the parking lot.   Unfortunately dinner was not the best today.  Rich ordered a burger and fries, and I had the special of the day, Turkey dinner. The turkey was OK, but the stuffing was so dry... the potatoes, cold and the green beans straight out of the can. Very disappointing.

Not a lot of pictures today......not a lot to see in North Carolina.  Traffic was pretty heavy going through Charlotte. Lots of construction going on - so got a picture of the skyline.....and a couple of Lake Norman as we passed by.

Virginia is such a beautiful state.... I always find myself snapping a lot of pictures of the hills.

The entire trip today, regardless of what state, on I-95, I-26, I-77 or I-81 the trucks were everywhere.  Never fails when you are on 2 lane highways, they just monopolize both lanes.

And then on top of that... today Vice President Pence was visiting near Roanoke, VA for DDay.  So, of course, whenever someone like this is in town, the traffic is affected, while he is escorted in and out of the area.  And we were about 15 minutes from the hotel when traffic just stopped. 

Plans are to head out early again tomorrow.... we'll be headed for Dunmore, PA

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

North to Black Lake, NY - Day 1

On the road today!  Left home at 8:00AM .........on route to the Quality Inn & Suites in Hardeeville, SC.

Longest part of the trip today was getting out of the state of Florida.  But I do always like the trip around Jacksonville.....especially the views of the cable bridge and St John's River.

And then all the rivers you pass by driving through Georgia......... Below is the South Brunswick River, Turtle River, Chapney River, and the Savana River....

We arrived safely at the Quality Inn and Suites in Hardeeville, SC around 3:00PM.... no rain, no problems today, and just a couple of stops, once at McDonald's for breakfast, and then again for gas.  Hotel is nothing fabulous, but clean, comfortable, nice pool, friendly staff, and a reasonable price.

We got brave tonight and tried a local, family owned restaurant here in town.  Checked for different places on Trip Advisor - and this one had some really good ratings.  It definitely was not what we expected.... very very small and older building, with maybe 5 or 6 tables.  You go to the window to order.  Not hard to tell from the traffic of people that most of their business is take-out...but we sat there and ate.  The food was absolutely excellent, delicious, freshly made, piping hot, and the people were so friendly!  Two pieces of Chicken, with two sides, roll or corn bread.  Wish we had a place like this at home.

  Gwen and Franny's Fried Chicken

Pretty good day........Wake up call set for 6:45 in the morning!   Headed for Virginia!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

More doctor appointment.....Blue Heron Fledglings, Getting ready to go North

I can't remember a week recently where one or both of us has not had a doctor's appointment.   It was a week ago today that we got back from Cocoa Beach....  We enjoyed our stay, as usual........and before we left, we signed and filed the quick claim deed to transfer ownership...we no longer own the time share at Ocean Landings. I will miss it......

Monday was Memorial celebrations...just a normal day.
And being thankful.... remembering those who served, and gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country and our freedom!

God Bless them all.

Tuesday, both of us had appointments with our Primary Doctor.  Rich's was a followup  for his blood work..Everything looked good! Mine was a follow-up for my CPAP - which is required if you want medicare to keep paying for your equipment!  Everything's good there .

Wednesday - I had my follow-up with Dr. Thakkar for my Upper Endoscopy.  Lower Esophagus biopsy shows Barrett's esophagus with moderate chronic inflammation, and confirms presence of focal intestinal metaplasia.... but is negative for dysplasia..  Bottom line we don't know how long I've had is one of those "silent" types..... can become cancerous.

Basically the esophagus, that carries food and saliva from the mouth to the stomach, changes so that some of its lining is replace by a type of tissue similar to the stomach or intestine.

So I am on two different medications, provided a list of  trigger foods to avoid (chocolate, onions, fatty meals, caffeine, mints, tomatoes, citrus, alcohol...)  and I will need to return in one year for another make sure there is no change.

 Pretty much on medication forever..... unless it becomes cancerous and the esophagus is removed.

Thursday was my six month visit to the oncologist........... sight in my left eye is getting I will be scheduled for cataract surgery when we get back from NY.  Additionally - my eyelids continue to droop...and are now starting to get in the way of we are talking about lid surgery AFTER the cataract!

Update on our Blue Heron.....The two fledglings are doing well.  One of them flew from the nest  on Wednesday at 56 days old...., and we are still watching to see when the second one does the same.  We see the one, along with his mom in our yard or down by the canal most every day.  Pictures below of the two fledglings,, and of the second one still being fed by its Mom... They always make so much noise and spread their wings when being fed.   Amazing to watch

Trying to use up as much of the food as we can before we leave for NY.    So we used the ground beef with the Hamburger Helper.... the Chicken for Fajitas w/ re fried beans and rice, the Shrimp, and the rest of the Heavy cream for Cajun Shrimp Pasta..... and I had some Butter cream icing to we made a Butter Pecan cake.....put 1/2 in the freezer.........  Today was hot dogs and potato salad..... and tomorrow will be the last two Turkey pot pies in the freezer!

Monday we'll pick up something, either Chinese take out or Subway....and I'll pick up a small package of ground beef, so we can use the last pizza crust, and the leftover pepperoni...... on Tuesday.  The few veggies, cheeses etc. anything that will spoil........we'll give to the neighbors.   And got a pretty good start.... along with a checklist to get the packing done......

OH... and we can't forget Onyx's Birthday.   Today Onyx is 13 years old...  Dennis put his picture on facebook today.........with this lovely message.

This is the most incredible boy! He's so amazing & the bestest! 

He's a retired school obedience service dog, he was the best big brother & comfort for Shadow & Venus and now the big brother & companion to Zoey. Loves this boy so much! 💓🐾🐕 
Happy birthday Onyx & wish you so many more! 🙏