Monday, September 25, 2017

Big Food - Friends - Music - Fish - Birthday

Our time here in WashPA is down to the last week. We have finished all of our appointments and have been spending time with friends and family.  
The Wednesday lunch bunch went to a place we have never tried in all the years we have lived here. Rudnick's is a little out of the way spot that is famous for its BIG food. I caught Tom licking his chops before biting into his one pound hot dog. 
I went for the bacon cheeseburger with a pound of meat for only $7.50. The knife is needed to get it down to edible size. I was only able to finish half of this BIG burger. They did have a huge salad that Nanc liked but almost all the appetizers were deep fried, something we try to avoid. Rudnick's was a unique place. That being said, it is now on our been there done that list.
Always on our to do list when we are here is visiting our old neighbor and second mom, Dorothy. She is still sharp as a tack at 94 and was planning to move into a bigger apartment a week after our visit.  
Local music is also on our to do list anywhere we travel. We enjoy the Dan Baker group and were sad that they are not playing every week at Al an Rubens like they did in the past. Jim Cope, another retired Washington teacher, stood in this week on the trombone. We hope to hear them one more time before we leave.
On Thursday when the ladies were out to lunch together Mike and I went bowling at the casino.
I even got a strike on this shot, proving that even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while. Neither of us are very good but we had a good time harassing each other.
One of the things I miss being on the road is fishing. To buy a license in every state is very expensive so I usually pass. When we are here I like to take advantage of my senior lifetime license and fish. The shirt says it all.
Mike and Sherri invited us to Pymatuning for the weekend and the first day I landed this nice catfish. The weather was really too good with warm temperatures, but almost no wind so we did not drift very far or fast.
We did see several blue herons and a couple eagles.
Beautiful day with s few clouds, but not a ripple on the water.
Mike did get a nice cat and we had a fun time even though we only got a couple fish each. As I like to say, it is a great time fishing even if the catching isn't.  
The last day we opted for a boat ride over fishing. We went to the South end of the lake where Nanc and I have never been in all our years coming to the lake.
The sun sets on another beautiful weekend at Pymatuning.
We did play euchre all three evenings and I'm happy to report that after clutching defeat from the jaws of victory on Friday the guys ruled the next two times and won the best of three days for the weekend.  Looks to me that they are a little too happy to see us leaving. Thanks for a fun weekend.
Monday was Rick's birthday so we got together at the Walnut Grill to celebrate his, "I'm eligible for Social Security birthday."
The birthday boy with friends who came out to help him celebrate. 

Our last week here will be about completing a couple projects and seeing friends one last time before we leave on Sunday. Our plan is to stop in DC to see Nanc's sister Michelle and her husband Keith. Then if the wind does not blow to hard we have reservations for a week in Avon on the Outer Banks. After that we are doing a quick trip to Florida where we have an appointment for annual service in Ocala. We are happy to report that Lake San Marino RV Resort in Naples, where we have a reservation for a month starting the middle of October, is up and running after Irma so that part of our winter plan is still in place.

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..... 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.