Monday, September 18, 2017

Friends, Fishing and Museums

Our routine of many doctors and dentists visits has slowed a bit but we still have a couple left before we depart on October 1st. We continue to spend time with friends and enjoying many local eateries and get a few chores done with Opus. 
One thing we try to do when we are here is Thursday afternoon get-togethers. The ladies do lunch at different restaurants and then either shop or play games. Here are Di, Nanc, Patty, Georgie and Sherri having lunch at Palazzo 1837 Ristorante, a neat place that gets its name from the old building where it is located.
Mike and I usually go to Shorty's for lunch (great hot dogs) and then go fishing while the ladies are out and about. As you can see I did well this week. Caught this beauty on the first cast before Mike even had his line in the water. I did not get another one but that was okay.....
.....as I was busy helping Mike land his catches.
The euchre club got together at the Ridge's, but since you have seen all those people I decided a picture of Milo was a better idea. He is a wonderful rescue dog who was the life of the party. I'm happy to report that the four guys finished in the money.
We were invited to stop by for the Washington High School Class of 1997 reunion. This was a first for me and it was neat having a beer and talking to "kids" I had in class 25 years ago in middle school. While I have seen some of them over the years it was nice talking to them as adults and hearing about their lives and families.
HOOOORAY!!!!  WashPA finally has a brew pub. We went the first weekend it opened and are happy to report the beer was very good and the food was fantastic. This gives us another option when dining out while we are here,
We love the spot we have at Pine Cove. It is the last one right by the woods and we often see deer. This doe grew concerned when I opened the door....
....because these two little ones were right behind her. The are beautiful, but also a big hazard on the highways. Between Nanc and I we have hit four over the years.
We went to the Ligonier Valley branch of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, an interesting local museum that also has branches in Altoona, Johnstown and Lorretto. This branch is the only of the four that is a stand alone building. While it looks like an old log home, it is a new building that was built around a steel frame using logs from old log homes that were donated to the museum. The interior floors are local cherry that was also donated. Unfortunately, interior photos are not allowed.  
While no inside pictures are allowed there are a couple pieces outside. One interesting exhibit in the permanent collection is Walter Carlyle Shaw's collection of 169 glass paperweights some of which are 150 years old. The museum has a wonderful collection of works by George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent and other famous artists.  
Tom, Georgie and Nanc soaking up the sun in the garden outside the museum. This is a great little local museum with a great collection that is available free of charge, though they do ask for a donation.
On the same day we went to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. This is a great regional museum with a large permanent collection of art related to the history of Western Pennsylvania. 
The special exhibit The Art of Movement: Alexander Calder, George Rickey and Time Prentice featured several works of mobile art. This piece by Rickey is made of metal.
Our favorites were the paper and wire works by Prentice.
Some were designed to be put in motion by blowing on them.....
.....and others had fans on sensors that turned on as you approached them.
Part of the permanent collection includes works of many local artists including Washington's Malcolm Parcell, bottom center. 
I liked these two, a painting and relief sculpture of the same young girl.
They have an extensive collection of works that feature industrial workers of the Pittsburgh area. 
This painting of coal miners and the sculpture of the worker and his apprentice is a great representation of Western Pennsylvania. These two great regional art museums have interesting collections and are well worth a visit if you are in Western PA.

We are down to our last two weeks in WashPA and this week we are getting together with family and friends every day so it will be very busy. Our plans of spending the winter in Florida are up in the air until we learn how the parks where we have reservations came through Irma. We did see pictures of the Florida Keys Elks and the building had some damage but did not lose its roof. So, as often is the case, our plans are written in sand.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Shumaker - Santek Wedding

The wedding of my cousin Missy and her husband Marty's son Michael Santek and Amanda Shumaker was a special day for us as my parents Bob and Betty watched Mike from the time he was six weeks old. Since Bob and Betty's sons never had children, Mike and his brother Marty were like their grandchildren. That sure took a lot of pressure off of Rick and me:)
The wedding was at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, a new event location that is a beautiful setting for any affair.
The wedding was on Friday evening and we opted to stay at the hotel where the wedding party was staying. Talk about luck!  We got to ride to the wedding in the limo. Nothing like going in style.
Proud parents Marty and Missy Santek. It was a big week for them as they celebrated their 37th anniversary the same week as the wedding.
The grooms brother Marty and bridesmaid Liz Martini.
The ring bearer Ricky Shumaker stole the show with his Secret Service look and carrying the ring in a locked briefcase that was handcuffed to his wrist. Mike is a Pittsburgh police officer so the cuffs were the real thing.  Notice he also had an earpiece to ensure all was in sync. 
The beautiful bride Amanda and her mom Jody.
Amanda and Michael exchanging vows.
The unlocking of the rings. Ricky did a great job.
I missed "the kiss" but as you can see this is one happy couple.
The new Mr. and Mrs. Michael Santek!!!
My Aunt Elsie (Missy's mom), Marty, Missy. Uncle Smitty (Missy's dad) and Dee (Missy's sister). The grandparents of the groom are still going strong at 90. It was great seeing them all.  
The happy parents.
Happy grandparents.
All those relatives of Missy and Marty who attended the wedding. Most of them are from our home town and we have not seen many of them for a while so it was great getting caught up.
The new Santek Family Marty, Amanda, Michael, Missy and Marty.
Gotta love Denise's dress. She is always up on the latest in fashion.
Mike's bachlor party was in Nashville so they took the Stanley Cup to show the locals on Broadway. Many people signed the cup but a few Nashville residents comments were not very nice. We loved it, we got to raise the Cup.  
The beautiful bride and handsome groom.
Cousins and spouses Marty, Missy, Rick, Denise, Mike, Marty, Nanc and Jim. We sure are happy the wedding was during our time in PA so we could be part of the celebration.
Mike enjoying himself as he retrieves the garter from Amanda. 

A follow up to the wedding, their new life together got off to a stormy start as they honeymooned in Punta Cana during Hurricane Irma. They had to evacuate to Santo Domingo for three days to escape the worst of the storm. They made it back to Punta Cana, but as I write they were not sure they would be able to get out on their scheduled flight. I'm sure it was a trip to remember.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pizza and Friends

We had another very busy week of medical and dental appointments and getting together with friends. Nanc had a crown put on the tooth she had a root canal on a couple weeks ago. We both had appointments for medical tests and fortunately they were at the same place the same morning. We had our annual review with our financial planner, my brother Rick, and are happy to report the news was very good. The week ended with a family wedding which will be the next blog entry.
We got together with Donna and Ed who I taught with (middle couple) and Georgie and Tom, right. They came down our way and we had dinner at the River House in Charleroi, another locally owned restaurant that we can recommend. 
How about this unique RV that was in the park. Very neat looking conversion rig.
Anyone who reads the blog knows one of our favorite things about being in WashPA is going to John's for his wonderful homemade wood fired pizza. Here is John, right, with Chuck who appears to be getting some cooking pointers.
Tom, Jim, Charlie and Ron swapping lies and waiting for pizza.
Reg and Pat brought some great Philly style pretzels.
Becky, Tish and Pat enjoying the food.
Gail and Mischa checking out the wings that John cooked in the oven before doing a few pizzas.
All these people and no one wanted to sit with Joy:)
Sandy, Nanc, Linda and Phil sharing some tales and enjoying the food.
Kim and Bill waiting for John to serve up some pizza.
Not only is John a great cook he also is a great baker. He made a couple fruit pies and this to die for cheesecake.
It is so great to see all these friends and having John's pizza is always a high point of our stay in WashPA. As always, THANKS JOHN!!! 
On Sunday we checked out a new spot in WashPA, The Presidents Pub, where we had brunch and enjoyed the music of Johnny Smooth. There is now weekly music sponsored by the Washington Jazz Society so we have another stop for great local music. 
Another day, another get together with an old friend, Nancy, who I worked with at my first teaching job in 1975 at Atlasburg Elementary. The next year I got a job in Washington and became friends with Tom who I later learned had been friends with Nancy for many years. We have gotten together a few times over the years, but had not seen her since we went on the road.

Our stay here is at the half way mark and the weather has become very fall like much earlier than normal. The temps have been well below normal and a few trees have even started to turn. We have a few more appointments this month before starting south for warmer weather in October.