Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Friends, Family, Traveling

Wow, I'm WAY behind with the blog so this is a catch up post of what we have been up to since the end of July. We left DC heading north to Winsted, CT to visit George and Nan, It was a wild 390 mile drive leaving DC and traveling through Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. I'm glad we were in the Tuscon and not in Opus.
George and Nan have a beautiful place on a lake in Northwestern Connecticut. They showed us around their neck of the woods. We had lunch at the Hopkins Inn overlooking another lake. 
Wow, a black bear crossing the road. Bear sightings are very common. George told us he was at the local brewery one evening and everyone was getting up and pointing his way as there was a bear right behind him.
Capt George took us on a tour of the lake.
Beer and, later, pizza, Life is Good. As we always say, meeting up with friends is the greatest thing about traveling. We will be seeing them next month here in Stuart. 
We left Winsted and drove 536 miles to Pymatuning Lake in Northwest Pennsylvania where we stayed with Mike and Sherri at their cabin for a few days. It was a fun time fishing and the guys winning at euchre. 
Mike's reputation as the captain of catfish is still intact.
I even caught a few after a slow start. Going to "the lake"is always something we look forward to when we are in Pennsylvania. From there it was only 125 miles to WashPA.
Always at the top of our to do list in WashPA is getting to enjoy John's wood fired pizza. It was great seeing everyone and the pizza was fantastic. We also got together with many of these people at the teacher's lunch bunch luncheon every Wednesday at different restaurants in the area. 
Mike and Sherri's 50th anniversary was in September so to make it a surprise their kids had a party in early August. They were really surprised.
Three generations of Sharps, mom and dad, kids and grand kids.
The old card club at the party. We did get together for euchre but I failed to get any pictures. It was a fun evening celebrating 50 years of sainthood for Mike.
We did a day trip to Marietta, OH with Nanc's sister Judy to see our new great, great nephew, Archie and his beautiful mom, Morgan. Archie is one happy baby. We also got together with Judy's sons Scott and Rick and their families along with our sister-in-law, Suzann but I failed to get any pictures.
In WashPA we stayed at an Airbnb apartment above the President's Pub. Wednesday evenings were open mike night and the first time we went we were entertained by a former Washington student, Greg Smith. We liked the location and stayed in shape as it was 24 steps to our apartment.
We did a day trip to Pittsburgh. We went to the Strip District for breakfast at Pamela's so I could get their wonderful pancakes and visited Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. There is an entire wing that is all beautiful orchards.  
We loved checking out the bonsai trees. Some are very old and are kept small with a lot of pruning and care.
They had a special exhibit using Monet paintings and recreating a few of  his works with flowers.
He used a studio boat like this to get close to his subjects and painted it into some of his works.
Luncheon Under the Canopy..... we could join the feast.
Here I am reenacting the Bridge over a Pond of Water Lillies painting. The Monet exhibit was well worth the visit to the Phipps. 
The University of Pittsburgh's, 42 story, 525 foot Cathedral of Learning, is the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere. I spent many hours there back in the day.  
Another day, another trip to Pittsburgh. This time for the Pitt vs.Tennessee football game. Unfortunately, the Pitt band was the highlight as we lost in overtime. H2P!!!
Another day, another trip to the Burgh. This was for the Blues and Heritage Festival. I wanted to go to hear and get this picture autographed by Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. I took the picture when we saw him at Fred's Lounge in Clarksdale, MS in 2013. He was 13 at the time. I posted it in Facebook in the spring and he personally responded.
The evening started with New Breed Brass Band, a New Orleans group that plays a mix of funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop. Their music took us back to our visits to the Big Easy.
 The Commonheart, a local Pittsburgh band was next. They were great with their blues and rock music. 
I did get Kingfish's attention when he was setting up for his gig. He has come a long way from that 2013 performance we saw. In May 2020 he won five Blues Music Awards including album of the year, Kingfish. This past April he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Album, 662
He puts on a fantastic show. He has been compared to past guitarists B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince. He has appeared with Buddy Guy and toured around the world.  
He is known for getting with the audience during his shows. Here he is with Nanc. Here is a link to a short video of that walk with the people.
After the show I did get him to sign my picture. He said he remembered that Facebook post. 

We had a great visit to WashPA seeing so many friends and getting together with family. A lot of what we did was what we have done on every visit, so there is not really anything new to write about. We went out to eat soooo much that when people asked what we have been doing we responded, "EATING".

We had a couple stops on our way home that I will be blogging about. We are now getting settled again in Stuart and looking forward to a long warm winter.