Sunday, December 6, 2015

Back Home in Lawrence

Look who got all big and stuff while we were gone on vacation!
(of course he's even bigger now since it took me almost two months to get vacation pictures on the blog!) 

These were pictures Josh and Susan sent us while we were on the road!  They were definitely a highlight to receive each day!

Too cute!

First time in the exer-saucer!  Such a big boy!

Susan sent this one on my birthday!  Made this Grandma very happy!

We received updated pictures of Merley Bird while we were gone too!  Also growing bigger every day!  In this one Sara said he was missing us!

Missed both of these boys while we were gone and loved getting pictures of them while we were on the road!

This was my birthday picture of Merle!

Gering / Johnson Road Trip 2015 - Days 10 thru 12 - Niagara Falls to Canton OH and on to Effingham, IL

After shopping in Niagara on the Lake we headed for the Canadian/US border.  Leaving Canada was a comedy of sorts as we were trying to calculate how much liquor we were bringing back across the border to see if we were under the duty free limit. Have to admit, even though we had nothing to worry about, it was still a bit nerve wracking waiting in the truck to cross through the checkpoint and watching the drug dogs do their job.  Guess I've been watching too many TV shows and movies about international travel mishaps.

We made it through the checkpoint without any problems and were on our way to Canton, OH to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  It was a sunny day and perfect for a road trip.

Pulled into Canton as it was getting to be dinner time, checked into the hotel and headed out for dinner at BJ's restaurant which was my suggestions since it is one of my favorite Ft. Worth eateries.  Food and drinks were great but the service was a bit harried and lacking.  Good thing this was one of the last nights of vacation pretty sure my restaurant picking privileges would have been revoked!

Took this picture so I can try to create the Alabama Sunset at home, they weren't able to make one that night because they didn't have all of the ingredients.  The Strawberry Patch was a great second choice! 

Bright and early the next morning we headed to the Hall of Fame which is housed in a very nice modern facility.

More Hall of Fame posing fun; Bobby showing Teresa the correct hand placement to receive the hike, hmmmm Charlie doesn't look too happy.

OK, he looks happier with Teresa back there!

In the Fan section of the Hall of Fame was an outfit worn by Chief's fans. 

Vintage football uniform. 

Modern day uniform. 

Super Bowl rings, they got flashier with more diamonds each year!

I especially enjoyed the gallery where the busts of past Hall of Fame honorees are displayed. And the computer geek in me loved the kiosk where you could search and retrieve information about each honoree by name, team, or year inducted.  The information retrieved even included the bio video clips that were made for the induction ceremonies.

Two of our Chief's Hall of Famers, Len Dawson and Hank Stram.

More posing fun!

My other favorite display at the football Hall of Fame was an actual on-field replay booth where you could step into the dark booth to review the replay from all angles and make your guess at the outcome of the call.  FUN! 

Both Hall of Fames that we visited were fun, informative, and well worth the time 
and money to visit!  

After finishing our tour we headed towards home, stopping in Effingham, IL for the night.  After checking in we had a quick dinner and dessert at Culver's. As we left town the next morning we drove by Effingham's claim to fame, the World's Largest Cross!     
 A pretty cool sight!    

We had a whole lot of fun on this vacation with Teresa & Charlie, lots of laughter and visiting, new things to learn, beautiful and interesting sights to see, great food and drinks!  Good times and great memories! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gering / Johnson 2015 Road Trip - Days 8, 9, 10 - Cooperstown, NY to Niagara Falls

After touring the MLB Hall of Fame museum we took our Danny's Market sandwiches on the road and headed to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.  Charlie navigated another scenic route and we saw beautiful autumn trees and old barns along the way.  Also, not too far outside of Cooperstown we saw one of the locks for the Erie Canal.  They say life is all about the journey and not the destination, well on this trip we certainly enjoyed the journeys from each destination to the next, time to visit, nap, and see lots of beautiful scenery!

Charlie found us another great hotel!  These shots were taken from our hotel room windows!  The hotel had positioned a comfortable chair so that it faced looking out the window, I spent a lot of time in that chair!  Bobby even joked that the second morning he woke up early so he could sit in the chair and I was already in it watching the sun come up!  We slept with the curtains open just like in Philadelphia, loved being able to glance out and see the Falls!

We had a really good dinner and breakfast the next morning in the hotel restaurant.  After breakfast we booked a tour for the afternoon, the tour was a great investment, a knowledgeable guide and a bus to take us to each attraction! The tour guide told us lots of information as we drove from stop to stop and even showed us pictures of the Falls from long ago.  Our first stop on the tour was Skylon Tower, next was Journey Behind the Falls, and the final stop was the infamous boat ride that takes you up close and personal to the Horseshoe Falls.  Guaranteed  to get you wet!  

View of the Horseshoe Falls from Skylon Tower:
 View of the American and Bridal Veil Falls from Skylon Tower.

Journey Behind the Falls

This was one of two tunnels that looked out from behind the Horseshoe Falls. 
Pretty dang cool!

A picture taken from the observation deck at Journey Behind the Falls of the boat we would soon be boarding!

Gotta love those rain ponchos!
A view of the American Falls from the boat.  Getting close...
 Horseshoe Falls.  Getting closer.....

Closer yet.....right before we were slammed with mist from the Horseshoe Falls and all the cameras got put away. This boat ride was probably my most favorite thing of the entire trip, exhilarating!

Apparently rainbows are a relatively common sight due to all of the mist.  We witnessed a full rainbow when we first pulled into town and then this smaller one on the second day.

Dinner that evening was at Tony Roma's, another great dinner and a bizarre encounter with two traveling nurses who were extremely friendly and wanted to take Teresa's picture because they thought she was Jean Stapleton the actress who played Edith Bunker!  The whole thing was kind of odd especially when they also took a picture of Bobby and me. 

The next day we headed to Niagara on the Lake, a town 45 minutes or so north of the Falls on Lake Ontario. There are many wineries in this region and we passed several of them on the way.  When we first got into town we drove around some of the residential areas (something we had done at almost every destination), it was interesting to see the political signs in the yards as Canada was conducting a Federal election that very day. There were lots of fun shops and eateries in this town and we had a good time shopping.  We picked up a couple of bottles of local ice wine in the liquor store.

The Falls and Niagara on the Lake were two more destinations where we could have spent several more days.  I kept referring to this trip as a 'vacation sampler' because we sampled so many places but could have really made an entire vacation out of each destination!

Gering / Johnson 2015 Road Trip - Days 7 & 8 - Philadelphia, PA to Cooperstown, NY

Philly departure day; we decided to get on the road first and then find a place for breakfast later on down the road. Once the valet had brought the truck around we headed out towards Montreal. As we drove north, Teresa studied the map and we made the decision because of time to skip Montreal and head directly to Cooperstown, NY and then Niagara Falls.  Bob turned around and off we went again!

Charlie navigated us a very scenic drive into Cooperstown.  As we pulled into Cooperstown it was beginning to drizzle a bit and the temperature was dropping.  It was a Friday evening and the hotel was filling up with wedding guests.

That evening we enjoyed another great meal; this time at Council Rock Brewery.  We had to wait for a table so we ordered a sampler flight made up of five of their house brews. All of the samples tasted good and made for a pretty picture!  And I admit to really liking how the bartender put them in order of color from dark to light (yes, as a kid I used to organize my box of 64 Crayolas by color and shade too!) 
For dinner, I had the Bacon and Brie Panini which had sweet figs on it, so delicious! Bobby had the Brie Burger and is still talking about how good it tasted!  

Here is their website for anyone who wants to check out the beer or food menus:

After dinner it was time to head back to the hotel and watch the Royals beat the Blue Jays! 

The next morning we headed into a very picturesque downtown Cooperstown, the birthplace of baseball, to tour the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

Having a little fun in front of the Hall of Fame!

Waiting on the movie to start:

A couple pictures from the Satchel Paige display.  Bobby saw him pitch in his last game with the Kansas City Athletics in September of 1965.  Satchel was 59 years old at the time!

The MLB standings are posted in front of the building and we thought it was kind of cool since the Royals had moved into the Championship and their score from the night before was posted on the board.

Kansas City's own Hall of Famer!

We finished up around lunch time and used the 'Food Network On The Road' app to find a lunch spot.  Danny's Market is a small old fashioned market with a deli that makes some really awesome sandwiches!  The wait was long but it was worth it.

Cooperstown was one of my favorite stops on the trip and we could have found plenty more to do if there had been time. Including spending time at beautiful Lake Otsego just a few blocks from the Hall of Fame and touring a couple of more breweries!  It would also be fun to stay in one of the bed and breakfast's that are located in the older historical homes.