Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Birthday and More Time With Friends

The busy times continue (so busy I'm behind with the blog) in WashPA with a week of getting together with friends, one last doctors visit and wrapping up a couple RV projects (a later post).
The week started with my brother Rick's birthday.  Our friend Marlene invited us all to dinner, making Rick's favorite lasagna and we had a great meal and a great time with her and her family.  I'm not sure if the person who put the candles on the cake was dyslexic or if they were just making Rick happy.
Kathy, BJ and Julie getting ready for dinner.  This was the first time we have seen them since last summer at Lake Norman in North Carolina.
Marlene, Mike, Denise and Rick.  Not only did we have a wonderful meal we had Mike's homemade wine, a family tradition he is carrying on from his father, John.
Lori and Nanc and a reflection of the rest of the Antonetti family and me.
Marlene and her boys John and Mike.  It was a great day seeing all Marlene's family and celebrating Rick's "16th".  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER!!!! 
On Wednesday we returned to  Bacon, Bourbon and Beer with the teachers' lunch bunch.  These people know how to enjoy their retirement, gathering every week for a two hour lunch after years of only having 25 minutes to eat because they had to be back in the classroom.  Here are Joy, Linda, Nanc and Becky on the left and Charlie, Tom, Georgie, Sandy and John on the right.
Here are Ron, John, Patrice (hiding) and Becky.  We always look forward to seeing all of them and checking out the newest, locally owned restaurants that they search out each week. 
On another evening we had dinner with Tim and Di at a new, local restaurant, Markook.  We then went to their place to see pictures and hear all about their trip to Alaska this summer.  Nanc with Bentley, their wonderful golden retriever, who thinks he is a lap dog.
Fall is in the air and we are seeing more animals.  This flock of turkeys walked through the park.
On Friday we went to Pittsburgh to the Church Brew Works for a great meal and some oompah music.  I had a different Pittsburgh meal, buffalo chicken perogies.  It was fantastic.
Church Brew Works is celebrating its 20th year.  It is a unique brewery, having the tank on the old altar of the church.

We only have one more week and still have a lot to do here.  On Saturday we will be heading to Michigan to have annual service on Opus and then on to Elkhart for a couple RV repairs, including the AC.  Then we will be taking the rest of the month to get to Mesa, AZ  where we will be until the end of the year.. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Friends and Fishin

We had another busy week in WashPA.  We had a couple of surprise visits with friends at Pine Cove, had dinner with friends, and continued working on a big project on Opus.  Even with all that I got to go fishing for a couple days.
On Saturday I was working on Opus when new neighbors pulled in and began setting up.  They looked like they were new to the whole RV thing and sure enough it was their first overnight stay in their new to them rig.  A bit later Nanc walked around the corner and Rob said I know you.  Turns out he worked at Crown Castle, Nanc's last place of employment.  We ended up spending the evening talking RVing with Rob and Sharon.  They are looking forward to traveling around the country and had many questions.  We assured them there was a bit of a learning curve but they would figure it all out and would definitely enjoy the whole experience.   
Sunday afternoon we got a call from my cousin Missy and her husband Marty who were out for a ride on their Gold Wing motorcycle.  They wanted to know if we were available to talk RVing, as they are planning to buy one and travel the country part time when they retire in the near future.  It was great seeing them and sharing stories about our RV lifestyle. 

On Tuesday we had dinner with our friend Gail, but I failed to take a picture.  We had a great evening getting caught up with what has been going on with her and her family.
On Wednesday we had dinner with Donna, Georgie, Tom and Ed.  It was a fun evening with all of them and listening to music at Al'an Rubens.
One of my favorite things to do when we are here is going fishing at Pymatuning.  This year we got to spend four days at the Sharp's cabin in June and did some fishing.  We have really been busy this time and could only squeeze in a couple days.  Mike and I went to the lake on Thursday and Friday while Nanc and Sherri got together with the ladies for a couple days of dining out, playing games and shopping.   Mike with one of the many catfish we caught.
He sure out fished me, landing way more fish and even landing this stump he snagged without breaking his line.
Mike caught more, but I had the biggest the first day, a nice catfish.
It was a beautiful fall day with an unheard of zero chance of showers at Pymatuning.  We were nearly the only boat on the water.  Isn't this retirement a great thing, fishing during the week while others are working.
A beautiful Pymatuning sunset with a flock of geese swimming through the marina.  We also saw many monarch butterflies heading south.
The next day we were back on the water and catching many more fish.  Mike sure lived up to his name, Captain Catfish.  In two days we landed over 30 fish and every one was a catfish.
While Mike once again caught the most, I got the biggest.  We had a great couple of FUN days at the lake fishing and swapping lies.
We drove back Friday evening and met Nanc and Sherri for dinner at Bacon, Bourbon and Beer.  Since the ladies had been snacking they opted to eat "light".  Sherri loved the chocolate covered bacon with ice cream.  

Our time here is nearing an end but we still have more friends to see and much more to do.  We sure hope we can fit it all in in the next two weeks.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Another Busy Week

Looking at our calendar we knew it would be another busy week in WashPA.  Of course it was not all work and obligations and no play.  We had an appointment with our financial planner, my brother Rick, and are happy to report that we will be able to continue our full time lifestyle.  We both had eye doctor appointments, Nanc for new contacts and new glasses for me.  I also have been busy working at a big project on Opus that I will report on when it is complete.  Nanc got together with the ladies for their usual lunch and games session.  
Like I said, we did play a bit.  On Labor Day Tim And Di had a cook out and pool party and a few of us took advantage of a beautiful day, taking a dip.  Tom, Jim, Tim and Ron soaking up the sun and the warm water.
Sherri, Georgie and Di with just a small bit of the food.
Di's cousin Karen and her husband Ron enjoying the feed.
Tim was the burger and dog chef while I did my best to stay out of the way.
It was great seeing Judy and Mike.  They are birders and do one or two big trips a year, so we always want to hear about their latest adventure. 
Sherri, Nanc, Mary Lou and Gail chowing down.  We go way back with these ladies and it sure is great getting caught up with what has been happening in their lives.
Georgie and Tom enjoying their meal.  It was a fun day with all these friends.  While we don't get to see them all the time, when we do it is just like we saw them yesterday.
Always high on our WashPA to do list is seeing our old stix and brix neighbor.  We lived by Dorothy for almost thirty years.  We called her our second mom because she tried so hard to keep us in line, not an easy job.  We were happy to see her daughter Tina was visiting.  We missed her when we stopped in Blacksburg last summer, but did get to see her husband Chuck.  It was great seeing both these wonderful ladies.  
Two days after our visit was Dor's 93rd birthday so we sent her flowers for the occasion.  She is still going strong and still very sharp.  She remembers things we did way back in 1978 when we became neighbors that I never do.
On Friday we went to the Pirate game with Mike, Sherri, Georgie and Tom.  We had a fun time even though the Bucs just aren't that good this year.
We love PNC Park, one of the best views of any ball park in the country.  We had great seats overlooking the field and the Pittsburgh skyline.
Unfortunately, there were no fireworks as the Buccos went down to the Reds.  This years' poor record was reflected by the low attendance.  When we went last year it was a sellout.  Oh well, for those from the Burgh it is time for the next season, HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!!!!! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fun Time in WashPA

Since returning to WashPA from our trip to Lake Norman we have been very busy dealing with doctors, getting caught up with friends and working on an RV issue, all while doing our best at supporting many local restaurants.  The RV issue happened when we tried to turn on the AC after a week away it would not come on. Short story, the local mobile repair guy we called could not fix it, long story we now have an appointment in Elkhart in October to have it worked on or maybe replaced.  Bad news no AC, good news we borrowed an extra fan from Tom and Georgie and the weather has gotten more fall like.
On the first evening we were back from North Carolina we went to the Union Grill, another great locally owned restaurant, and we just happened to run into my cousin Missy's husband and son, Marty and Marty who were having dinner there.  Missy and Marty want to get together and talk about RVing as they are both nearing retirement age and want to buy an RV so they can travel the country a few months a year.  They said they want to be like us, how cool!!
You know we love all kinds of music and search it out wherever we are.  We were happy to see the Kopper Kettle, another great local restaurant, had entertainment on Friday evenings.  We have seen Tom Terling before and really enjoy his music except that it did not start until 9:30, almost past our bedtime. 
Always high on our to do list is having John's wonderful wood fired pizza.  We jumped at the chance when he called and said he had some extra dough from a previous gathering and wanted us to come over.
John is a great cook and is always looking for something new to cook in his oven.  These are wings that he cooked at 700 degrees.  They were fantastic.
John invited Mary Lou to join us and we had a great time getting caught up with her while eating wings, salad, bread sticks and pizza.
Since there were only five of us, John even had time to enjoy his own creation.  After a couple beers and pizza I was happy to just sit back.
Another evening we drove to the South Hills of Pittsburgh and met Tom and Georgie at Someone Else's, another one of those great, locally owned places we love to patronize.  They have the best burgers around.
When we are in WashPA Nanc gets together with the ladies, Georgie, Di, Sherri and Mary Lou, one day a week for lunch, shopping and games.  Mike and I usually take advantage of the free time to go to lunch at Shorty's, a great old time hot dog shop, and do some man stuff.  This week it was fishing at Cross Creek Lake.  Mike caught the first fish, a very scrappy bass, and I was feeling disappointed with one blue gill. 
Then I hooked and landed this beautiful bass.  It was a real fight with this big boy pealing line off the reel.  By far this is the biggest fish I have ever landed at Cross Creek.  I think we will be back here next week weather permitting.

We had our dentist appointments for cleaning and Nanc had to return for a filling and new crown.  She also had her doctor's appointment this week and is happy to report all is well but had to schedule  ANOTHER appointment for a bone density scan.  Oh the joys of getting old but as long as all the tests come out good we are thankful.  We only have four more weeks here and still have to see the optometrist for new glasses and contacts and our primary care doctor for check-ups.  We have tickets for a Pirate game and more friends to see, so we will continue to be very busy during September. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cajun Invasion

We had a wonderful stay at Rick and Denise's place on Lake Norman.  Of course a big part of the fun was getting together with Betty and her family who brought a bit of Cajun with them.  Betty and Brett left Louisiana on Wednesday evening and drove straight through arriving Thursday morning in time for breakfast.  
Rick now has a new welcome for visitors with a driveway chalk welcome.  He even included a "stick Betty" with a glass of wine. 
Here are Betty, Samantha, Dylan and Brett.  Dylan and Samantha live in Mooresville and have been to Rick and Denise's before.
They have a beautiful place overlooking the water.
This is the view from the house as I had my morning coffee.  Sure could get used to this.
Betty told us they were bringing some food, but we had no idea it would be this much.  They arrived with two coolers filled with over 100 pounds of shrimp and crabs.
Most of that shrimp had to be cleaned so Betty, Nanc and I went to work heading shrimp.....
.....while Dylan and Brett were boiling sausage, shrimp and crabs.  Brett brought the burner and bought the 50 quart pot which he left with Dylan as part of his Cajun boil starter kit.
Nothing like fresh boiled shrimp.
Now understand, there were only eight of us and all this wonderful food.  It sure was more then we could eat in one meal.
The next day Brett cooked a shrimp and crab etouffee while Nanc chopped up shrimp for salad and Betty prepped shrimp to be fried.
Rick checked out the etouffee and gave two thumbs up.
Betty making one of TWO shrimp salads and deep frying even more shrimp.
It was not just about the food.  Here are Betty, Nanc and Denise celebrating with wine.  Check out the drinking buddies they have on their glasses. 
With all that food Rick called in reinforcements. Here are Tim and Mary with Rick and Brett the chef.
Brett, Mary, Tim, Denise, Rick, Samantha, Dylan, Betty and Nanc getting ready to chow down.  There was more than enough for all.  The next morning Brett cook eggs with shrimp and we opted for left overs for lunch.
When you are at the lake it is not all about the food.  We got out on the water with some of Rick's toys.  Dylan and Samantha skied for the first time, though we did not get a picture of her.
She also mastered the paddle board even as Dylan harassed her with Rick's little power boat. 
Betty and Brett did not want to try the water sports but did like the boat.
Even the old guys got on the skies.  It has been years since I skied but it was just like riding a bike.  I got right up and did a couple of loops all without getting injured.  May have to do it again next year so I can say I skied at 70.
I took over the jet ski and Rick took a couple of loops around the lake.  Sorry, we did not get a good picture of him on the skies.
Dylan, Rick and I all smiles after skiing.
While Rick and Denise have a beautiful townhouse they have always wanted a house on the lake.  They are closing on this lot next month and are looking to building here in a couple years.
On Sunday a few of us hit the water.  It sure was refreshing.
Betty, Brett, Dylan and Samantha on board the boat.  It sure was fun and a great way to see the many beautiful homes on the lake shore.
Nanc, who is not a big water fan, wanted to master the board and looks real happy with the results.
One of the sunsets on our stay at the lake.  Betty and Brett left early Monday morning to miss the traffic and we headed out a bit later.  It was great getting to see Betty and to get to know Brett, Dylan and Samantha.  We sure had a great time with the Cajun invasion of Lake Norman.  Thank you Rick and Denise for your gracious hospitality and a wonderful time.  It's always a pleasure to spend time with you both.