Monday, August 27, 2012

Music, Friends, WashPA III

The good times in WashPA continue with more music, friends and food.  It is wonderful seeing so many old friends who we have known for so long.  The weather after a few days in the 90's when we arrived has been absolutely wonderful with warm, sunny days and nights where we can sleep without the AC.  I guess that is one reason we have always loved the summers here.
 We have been to the local casino a couple of times to contribute to their profit margin so we took advantage of a free day of neat old cars and wonderful music.  There were so many cars they lined both sides of the race track all the way to the back stretch.
One group was the Four Townsmen, a local do-wop group.  They had the crowd singing along with their many old time song.  Pete, a friend of John's and stands second from the left, is one of the original members of the group that first got together over fifty years ago. 

Following the afternoon at the casino, we were invited back to John and Patrice's house for more wood fired pizza. Here Jackie, Cindy, Carmella, Joe, and Dave enjoy a pie while John is working at the oven cooking another one. I think we could eat here every day:) 
For 25 of the 30 years we lived in our stix and brix we had the same neighbor, Dorothy.  She was such a great friend who we always called our second Mom so she is always on our must see list when we are in WashPA.  She is doing real well and is as feisty as ever.   
 We did our first trip into "the city", Pittsburgh, to visit the Carnegie Museum to see an exhibit of Impressionist art and its relationship to photography.   It was a great exhibit, but pictures were prohibited.  This is the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.  I had many, many classes over the years in the cathedral.
Just an interesting reflection picture of the courtyard at the Carnegie.
 We had dinner with Kim and Bill at a new place for us, Someone Else's. John and Patrice also joined us and it was another great evening of food, fun and friendship. 
Our stays in PA are not just about old friends.  Here are Class of 07 mates Jim, Tom, Nanc, Paula, Linda and Ron who have PA roots.  Linda and Ron are spending the summer north of Pittsburgh and called to tell us Tom and Paula where passing through, so we drove up for a mini reunion.  We shared a few travel stories and then went our separate ways knowing we would be crossing paths down the road in the future.

Sorry, some of the pics I took with the iPhone did not come out very well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Family & WashPA II

While we continue to take care of doctor and dentist appointments, we have been having a great time in WashPA with family and friends.  We got together with the Wednesday lunch bunch again and had dinner with my brother Rick and his wife Denise, but I forgot to take any pics.  We enjoyed more music and had a great day with Nanc's family. 
 Every Wednesday evening we try to go to Al & Rubens to hear a couple of former students play.  The former students are Josh on the sax and Dan on the guitar.  If you are in the area this is a great stop for an evening of live jazz.   
On Saturday we got together with Nanc's family at our nephew Scott's new home.  Here is Scott with his wife Bobbie Jo.  This was the first time we have seen Scott since we went on the road.
The gathering was to celebrate Haley's (right) 15th birthday. She sure has grown into a beautiful young lady. Here is the birthday girl playing a tune on her new Yamaha keyboard.
Scott with Lou and Betsy his sister.  We had seen Lou and Betsy in Marietta, but I did not get a picture.
Jaina, Emma and Jackie enjoying the pool.
Nanc's great nephew Erin with his girlfriend Alysia.  It was great seeing Erin as we had not seen him for several years.  It is hard to believe how much these young people change.
Scott with his mom Judy entertaining the whole family.
The brothers-in-law Jim, Keith and Bill.
The sisters Nanc, Judy and Michelle.

Getting to see family is another great thing about traveling.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

WashPA, Friends, Food & Music

So far, our time in WashPA has been filled with friends, food and much music.  The first day back we went out for dinner and an evening of music with Tom and Georgie.  We have been to all our favorite restaurants and seen many of our friends. 
On our first weekend we attended the Washington Wine, Jazz & Pops event.  Four groups filled the afternoon with great sounds while we tasted wine provided by several local wineries.  A couple of the acts included former students.  Here, emcee and former student ,Ruben Brock introduces another former student, saxophonist, Scott Boni and his trio.  They were fantastic.
The day offered not only hot music, but also hot weather.  Here are Tom, Georgie, Nanc, my empty chair and Mary Lou trying to stay cool while enjoying the hot sounds.
Here is another former student, drummer David Throckmorton, with his trio.  It is hard to believe that so many talented, professional musicians have come out of WashPA.  It was a wonderful day of music and seeing many old friends.
John has wanted to have a wood fired pizza oven in his yard for as long as I have known him.  Well, his wish came true since we were last here and it was far more fantastic than I had envisioned.  We have been looking forward to having one of his great pizzas and we were not disappointed. 
Here is John preparing and cooking that first taste. As you can see by the tray I could not wait for a taste. It was fantastic.
In addition to the oven John and Patrice (center left) put in a beautiful patio overlooking the lake behind their home. 
This is the Wednesday lunch bunch that John invited over.  A grand time was had by all, but as you can see, John did not even have time to look up from his cooking for a picture.  I don't know who loved it more all the eaters or the pizza chef.  It was a great evening getting caught up with many friends.
 Another step back in time was an evening of cards with our old euchre club.  Here are Tom, Tim, Diane and Mike.  Only Tim was smiling at the end of the night as he came in first.
Here are card players Marylou, Nanc, Sherri and Georgie.  I'm happy to report that, in addition to a wonderful evening of food and friends, Nanc and I finished in the money.

We also continue to get caught up with doctors and dentists and are looking forward to more time with family and friends.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Marietta and Family

We moved on to Marietta, Ohio to spend some time with family before heading to WashPA for two months.  We visited with Nanc's sister Judy, her husband Bill,and Judy's daughter Betsy's family.  We also explored a bit of this historic river town that is at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.  Marietta was a territory claimed by France before the French and Indian War, was visited by Lewis and Clark on there way west and was a big ocean going ship building town in the 1800's so there is a lot of history. 
Here we are with Judy's granddaughters Jackie (left) and Emma.  They were very concerned that we were homeless since we did not have a house.  I think they understood how we live after seeing the rig but were still perplexed by the fact that we don't have any grandchildren.
Jackie and Emma with a friend were all very happy with the haul of Mardi Gras beads we gave them.
While we were there the American Queen made a stop.  This steam powered paddle wheeler is the last of the big river cruise boats on the Ohio and Mississippi.  We saw the American Queen in 08 on the Mississippi in Illinois.
We had a great dinner with Judy and Bill while getting caught up with all that has been happening with them since we last saw them in Florida a couple of years ago.
Emma feeding the geese.  She loves animals and is not into dolls and other more traditional girl things.  I think she is going to be a great scientist.
The Marietta College Boathouse was really interesting.  The bottom walls where constructed with huge old mill stones.  We also found a couple of geocaches in the area.
The historic Barber House was built in 1829.
An old lock house on the Muskingum River.  The Muskingum was the first river in the US to be canalized with locks and dams to make it more navigable.
Being a river town Marietta has had many floods over the years.  These five poles show the height of the worst floods.  Nanc is standing by the pole of the 1913 flood that reached over 60 feet.
The W. P. Snyder was the last of the steam powered stern-wheelers that push coal, iron ore and steel laden barges up and down the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers.   Marietta is an interesting river town with a lot of history and is well worth a visit.