Sunday, November 29, 2015

Towpath Trail VII (11/29/2015)

Saturday, November 28, 2015
We went out for breakfast at Al's Diner on Larchmere Boulevard, where I made the mistake of ordering three pecan pancakes. Each was the size of a salad plate and 4 times as thick, containing a cup of chopped pecans! I couldn't even finish one!
Al's Diner pancakes
We discovered it was the weekend of the Larchmere Holiday Stroll. So we strolled down to Loganberry Books to browse, check out their Old Curiosity Shoppe, and listen to Cleveland guitar virtuoso, Brian Henke.
Loganberry Books mural (2011) created by Gene Epstein
Loganberry Books Sanctuary room

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Took advantage of good weather to hike another piece of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail, from Station Road Bridge halfway back towards Alexander's Mill.
Brecksville Station (replica) of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Station Road Bridge (1881), the oldest
remaining metal truss bridge in Cuyahoga Valley
The bridge surface is made from wood blocks
Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge (1931,
designed by Alfred M. Felgate) reflection
Pinery Dam gate controlled water flow into the canal
Pinery Dam (1827, with modern concrete abutments)
assured adequate water levels in the canal
Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge
over the Cuyahoga River
Mud Catcher, a small dam built
where a stream enters a canal to
hold back silt and debris
No smell today!
(We hiked the "first" section of the Towpath Trail that follows the old Ohio & Erie Canal on July 6, 2014 from Harvard Road to the Marcy Trestle. We started at the Canalway Center near the trestle and walked to the overpass of Route I-77 on November 9, 2014. On December 26, 2014, we walked between the I-77 overpass and Quaker Steak on Canal Road in Valley View. On September 27, 2015 we hiked between Quaker Steak on Canal Road and Lock 38. On October 4, 2015, we went between Lock 38 and Alexander's Mill. On November 8, 2015, we hiked from Alexander's Mill halfway to Station Road Bridge.)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Wedding in Florida 2 (11/14/2015)

Saturday, November 14, 2015
We had lunch at Gilligan's in Siesta Key.
Brynne and Kent at Gilligan's
Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for Dan's & Maggie's wedding.
The schoolbus to take guests to and from the wedding venue
The wedding venue sign with Congs
(Congratulations) (KSS)
The groom, Dan, with his best man/brother, Lance (KSS)
Lance & Trista,
Ring bearer Jackson and flower girl Delaney
Guest Kathy with some of the flyboys
Mike & Donna with Delaney
A nice wedding with an Air Force Major as officiant.
Major Patrick
Then plenty of "food and booze, and bad dance moves!" Meanwhile, wedding photos:
Maggie with her bridesmaids and Delaney
Dan & Maggie,
Mike & Donna, Teresa, Wendy & Lewis
The wedding party and families
Trista & Lance, Dan & Maggie, Ryan & Maddie,
Delaney, Mike, Jackson, Donna, Wendy, Lewis
Mike & Donna with the newlyweds
Maggie's family
Mike wrestling with the kids in
Mexican wrestler masks
Delaney & Jackson wearing
Mexican wrestler masks
The wedding cake
Maggie & Dan cutting the cake

A wonderful wedding! Congrats to Dan & Maggie!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wedding in Florida 1 (11/12-13/2015)

Thursday, November 12, 2015
We flew from balmy Cleveland, OH (58 degrees) to warmer Tampa, FL (88 degrees). Rented a car and headed down I-275. Stopped for lunch in St Petersburg, at the brand new Stillwaters Tavern, located across the street from The Museum of Fine Arts.
Ceiba pentandra/Kapok Tree at the Museum of Fine Arts
Closeup of the Kapok tree trunk
 Ficus benghalensis/Banyan Tree
at the Museum of Fine Arts
Tamiko in the Banyan tree (KSS)
Kent dwarfed by a Banyan tree
Kent noticed something under this information kiosk
A tiny statue of a bird pulling a worm
Crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (1982-1987)
We arrived at Siesta Key in Sarasota, and checked into the Sea Club II condos. Kent's brother, Mike, and his wife, Donna, were already there, and we visited with them and friends until dinner at S.K.O.B. (Siesta Key Oyster Bar). Very good, except that Art's order of oysters came with one basically empty shell. That got him three more (whole) oysters!

Friday, November 13, 2015
After going out for breakfast, we wasted a lot of time trying to get on the internet. Finally headed to the pool to read, but found the wedding BBQ party was already underway. Dan & Maggie were providing and cooking the food at a lunch the day before their wedding!
We had to drive to the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport to pick up Brynne.
Circus Parade mosaic on a Wells Fargo bank
in Sarasota, FL, the winter home of the
Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus
We returned to the BBQ party at the pool at the Sea Club II.
Ardea alba/Great Egret crashing the party;
he did snatch a hot dog!
A "kegstand"
Crowded pool
Lawn games included cornhole,
the Swedish game of kubb, and giant Jenga
Kent, Brynne, and I walked over to Siesta Beach, a white sand beach of 99% pure crystal quartz.
Siesta Beach
Rynchops niger/Black Skimmer
Thalasseus maximus/Royal Tern
This weekend was the Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival. We saw the backs of the sculptures.
Professional sand sculptors:
Greg Grady & Damon Langlois
Free Minded by Melineige Beauregard & Joris Kivits;
Second place and People's Choice winner
We the People by Jan Zelinka & Radovan Zivny
Headed back to Sea Club II.
Aratinga nenday/Nanday or Black-hooded Parakeets;
they have become invasive
Signs everywhere made sure you knew
which was the #1 Beach USA!

Next: Wedding in Florida 2.