Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mini Solo Road Trip

Today was an absolutely gorgeous Spring day and after doing some volunteer work at the church, I decided to take a couple of hours and do some exploring.  Also, I wanted to try out my binoculars.

I headed out towards the IROQUOIS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE.  I stopped at TOPS and purchased a wrap and a chocolate milk and headed on my way.  I wondered if I would be able to find the Visitors Center on Casey Road.  I did find it and spent about fifteen minutes there, looking around, picking up some information and purchasing a postcard.

Then I looked at a map and decided to drive around a bit.  I continued down Casey Road and then went east into Alabama, NY, and then got back on 77.  I drove on 77 for a bit, stopping at a couple of overlooks and trying out my binocular.  They work well, but are old and big and bulky.  

 I turned north on Salt Works Road.  which took me right through the refuge.  I noticed this interesting sign 
When I reached the corner of SALT WORKS ROAD and WEST SHELBY ROAD, I saw a really small old cemetery.  I stopped to take a couple of pictures.  
According to findagrave.com  this is the OLD WEST SHELBY CEMETERY.  

I turned west on West Shelby Road, and passed the fire station and continued.  I found another old cemetery (I think it is on Gilbert Road), and stopped to take a couple of pictures 

findagrave.com says this is the GILBERT CEMETERY and it in Royalton Center (Niagara County) and now I realize that I have been here before, about 13 months ago when I stopped to  find a geocache while driving across the state.
I continued in the direction I thought would take me to Lockport(west) and found myself on Chestnut Ridge Road (the second time). 
I stopped at a place called OLEARS and had an ice cream cone.   Its a convenience store, a couple of miles east of Lockport on Chestnut Ridge.  Mostly, I wanted to find out if they serve food there (for future excursions) and they do.  

It was a great afternoon!  I was in three countys: Niagara, Orleans and Genesee!

Friday, April 24, 2015

SLAVIC Adventure 4/24/15

A while back, my friend Arlene suggested I might be interested in a store in Buffalo:  SLAVIC BAZAAR.  I picked Chickie up this morning and we headed to Buffalo to check it out.   We new we had arrived when we saw this mural!  We drove around a bit looking for a place to park and eventually wound up right back here and squeezing into a non parking spot in front of their small plant.
We went inside and browsed and spoke to the very friendly clerk. It was too early for lunch (10:30) so we decided to go out and geocache and explore until noon or so.  

The first place we headed was to THE IRON ISLAND MUSEUM where there is a geocache hidden  I found it within a minute or two and let Chickie find it on her own.  It was in am ammo can.  There was a guy idling in his car in front of the museum so we took the cache to my car.  We had a rough time opening it up but Chickie finally did it.  We signed the log and moved on.
We could see the BUFFALO CENTRAL TERMINAL in the distance and decided to drive there for another geocache. We could not find that geocache, even with a good hint.  Chickie had never seen it and she regretted that she had not brought her camera.  
Then we headed towards this cache : WNY RAIL HISTORY #2 Wagner Palace Car Co. and it was kind of deja vu for me.  I recalled that Peggy and I looked for this geocache years ago and were on the wrong side of the train yard and could not figure out how to get to the other side.  The same thing happened this time.  We were on the wrong side, and there was no clear route to the other side.  We drive a bit, kind of keeping our eyes out for a possible way over, but when we saw the abandoned WILDROOT BUILDING, with a door that appeared to be open, we stopped and looked around a bit.  The door did indeed open but without flashlights, we were afraid to go inside. 

By then it was time for lunch so we found our way back to the SLAVIC BAZAAR.  Chick recognized some places we passed, since she lived in Buffalo with a friend for a couple of years after high school.

Back at the SLAVIC BAZAAR, we each ordered lunch. I had a potato pancake, a cabbage roll and a crepe with sweet cheese filling.  They were all delicious!  Then we shopped for items to take home.  I bought candy, cookies and some cheese pierogies.

Then we headed towards home.  It was a great day.  I want to go back to the SLAVIC BAZAAR again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tyler and Chris Stop Briefly in Lockport on APRIL 15, 2015

When I visited Plainwell Michigan a couple of weeks ago, I did not get to see my son in law, Chris because he was in Dominica teaching a course.  I was happy to hear that he was going to a conference in Worcester, Mass and might stop in Lockport on the way.
 They had an hour and a half and since Tyler was documenting his trip for school with pictures we went downtown.  First stop GRIMBLES (Chris  really enjoyed this old time hardware store, then to the Lockport Police Station to visit Mike, and then down o the locks.  Unfortunately, LAKE EFFECT ICE CREAM was not open (Tyler specifically asked to go there!

Here are a couple of pictures I took when we stopped to see Mike.

Monday, April 20, 2015

OWL PROWL Adventure: April 18, 2015

Earlier today, I went to a VOLUNTEERS BANQUET for the Lockport CareNet Center.  I have done some volunteer work for them, which is why I was invited.  I sat with Peggy and David.  Lunch was wraps, salad and a lemon desert, along with soda.  It was very good.  The banquet itself was disappointing since they did not have any type of program.

This evening Mary Ann picked me up so we could go to the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge for an OWL PROWL.  She has gone several times in the past.  This is the inside of the Visitors Center on Casey Road.  Apparently, the building is very new and replaced an older, smaller building.
We arrived a few minutes late and everyone was in a conference room down at the end listening to the leader describe what we would be doing.   He stressed that there was no guarantee that we would see any owls.    When he was finished, we got into our car and followed him to a parking area near the trail 
Here is our leading giving us last minute instructions.  He explained exactly where we would be going and what he would be doing and what he expected of us.  

We headed down the trail.  It was still light out, but dusk was quickly approaching. I took these pictures on our way to the first stop.  

By the time we stopped it was getting dusky.  Our leader started to call out to the owls (a particular kind) and after a few minutes they flew in and landed in the branches overhead.  Here is a picture of a BARRED Owl, which is the one that flew in.  
But of course, we could not see it this well, since it was dark out by then.  
 It was spectacular!  Next time I will take my binoculars with me!  Many of us had small flashlights which we used to illuminate the ground in front of us.

We backtracked and he tried  to call in other owls but we did not have any success.  We finally arrived back at the parking area and then walked a ways down the road where he tried again, without success    He asked if anyone wanted to make a stop on the way back to the Visitors Center, and most people did, so we followed him and stopped while he tried again.  Again, no success.  But it was a beautiful spring evening and I enjoyed every minute of it.  

I hope to become involved in more activities at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, now that I know a bit about it.  It is less than a half an hour drive from my house!    I drove through the refuge (or maybe along the side of it) many, many times while driving between Oneonta and Lockport over the years  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"DID NOT FIND" Adventure in Olcott, NY

Chickie and I went to Olcott to geocache.  The first cache (PIER PRESSURE) we tried to find was at the East Pier (which really seems to be west of the beach).  To get to the pier you walk through a kind of maze.   Neither one of us knew this pier existed!

Here there were just too many possible hiding spots and we gave up after about 15 minutes.

 Then we backtracked to where we had parked and tried to find LAKEVIEW VILLAGE, which must be hidden in the triangular sign at the entrance to the area of small shops.  We looked and looked and looked, but no luck again.  Ten we walked south until we got to the area of WELCOME TO OLCOTT BEACH.  This one appears to e hidden somewhere on the caboose.  I warned Chickie that I do not have much luck finding these kinds of hides, and AGAIN we came up empty handed.

 We were getting very discouraged.  We headed north towards the lake and stopped at a convenience store and used the restroom and talked to the proprietor.  She has been managing the shop for close to a year.  She has also done some geocaching, but not recently.

Next we headed to the NEWFANE MEMORIAL TREE GARDEN in Krull Park.  I really thought we would find this one, but we didn't.
It is hidden somewhere in or around this tree (I think), but we were unable to find it.  While we were looking, two workers in a truck stopped and asked us wht the hell we were doing!!!!!!

And then it was on to IF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM-Harbor View. There really is a nice view here!
 No luck again, but it appears that this one has gone missing, so its NOT our faults!!!!We were really feeling like losers by this time.

But we DID find the last one CONIFER HIDE!!!!!  Actually Chickie found it.  This one entailed a long"walk in the park" both in and out.

In spite of our DID NOT FINDS, we thoroughly enjoyed being out on a gorgeous spring day, though!

We decided to have lunch at the Park Place Diner in downtown Olcott.  This was the only place serving food that was open today in Olcott.   We had already ordered when Mary Ann came in and I asked her to join us.  Our waitress was very rude.  Chick and I both had a bowl of bean/ham soup and the club sandwich.  Both were good, but not exceptional.

On the way back to Lockport, Chickie pointed out the way to get to the BURT DAM.  Since the trees are bare, we were able to see the dam as we drove by.

Anyways, we got a lot of exercise on a gorgeous spring day.  I hope we have better luck next time!

Monday, April 13, 2015

DAY FOUR Trip to Michigan: April 9, 2015

This was my last full day in Michigan.  Shortly after breakfast we headed to Kalamazoo.  Our ultimate goal was Sweetwater Donuts. which is their favorite place to get donuts.  We purchased a dozen and sat at the counter to each have one.  Tyler had requested a HUGE donut.

I think after that we went to COSTCO.  I had agreed to buy a one year membership for Megans birthday gift.  We took care of that and then looked around.  Its a lot like BJ's.....most items come in large amounts, so it  wouldn't work well for me.

Then we headed to downtown Kalamazoo.  We passed by WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY on the way, and we saw the medical school which is basically off campus.

Once we got to the Main Street area, we went to POP CITY POPCORN.  Here are the kids, and Cassy's friend in Pop City.
and Megan made a purchase.  Then we went to a shop/studio, which was very interesting.  We also went to a huge antiques shop, with many venders.

Our last stop was to pick up cupcakes for Megans best friends sons birthday at FOOD DANCE

The kids wanted to go to YOPLA, their favorite frozen yogurt place, but we were not really hungry, so we skipped it.

The kids and I played a few card games and I packed up for my trip home.

DAY THREE Trip to Michigan: WEDNESDAY, April 8th, 2015

We headed towards Holland Michigan early in the day.  Our first stop was at a Visitors Center where we got information about what to see and do.  Our first stop of the day was at Nelis Dutch Village.   Most of the village was closed. but the shops were open.
We spent a lot of time in a large antique shop and a couple of other shops.  
After the village, it was lunch time so we drove back to Main Street in Holland and had lunch at the WINDMILL DINER on Main Street.  It was very good.  
After lunch we attempted to find a geocache but were not successful.  Then we headed to HOLLAND STATE PARK home of Big Red:

  We walked out on the pier.  And then we went to tunnel park.  

went out of our way a bit to go to CRANE'S PIE PANTRY in Fennville, which I think was the highlight of the day!  This old cabin is at the entrance.
The place is full of vintage and antique memorabilia. The pie was great!   
We arrived back in Plainville late in the afternoon.  

Megan made pulled pork for supper.   The kids and I played a few card games that evening.

DAY TWO: Trip to Michigan TUESDAY APRIL 7, 2015

This was basically our GEOCACHING DAY!

We headed out in the morning.  Our first stop was at a Plainwell Cemetery where we found two geocaches pretty quickly.  The first one was near BABYLAND, I think Cassy found this one first.
The second one was a short ways away.  
The third one was in or on a bridge (I think over the Kalamazoo River) but we were not successful.  We then went to THURL COOK PARK and after a walk in the woods, Tyler found this one.  AFTER finding the cache, we found the trail.  We found a geocache behind a PULLMAN CAR RESTAURANT (that is now closed) 
Then we went to a large antique shop right next door to the pullman car.  Both Megan and I made a few purchases.  

Tyler found THE MILLERS WIFE.  The hint said crawling might be necessary, but I think because the trees and bushes are bare, that was not necessary.  The geocache I liked best was in an old cemetery. IVES CORNERS: 
All in all we found seven out of eight geocaches that we looked for and that is pretty good!
We found several geocaches in and around Plainwell, and then went to Kalamazoo to TEN TEN CHINESE BUFFET.  It was great!!!!We also went into an antique "mall" right next door to the old Pullman Car restaurant (closed).

We had lunch at TEN TEN, which is a Chinese Buffet that also has a Mongolian Grill.  It was the best grill I ever had.  The chef seasoned the chosen ingredients very well.

Leftovers for supper.  I made myself a ham sandwich!

DAY ONE: Trip to Michigan: MONDAY April 6. 2015

Mary Ann drove me to the airport for my ten a.m. flight to Grand Rapids.  The layover was in Detroit and I had plenty of time for a nice lunch (spinach salad) at one of the airport restaurants.  The Detroit airport has this colorful, lighted tunnel:

Megan and the kids met me at the airport in Grand Rapids right around three p.m.  We headed towards Plainwell, where we stopped and had ice cream at PLAINWELL ICE CREAM, (their ice cream is almost as good as Lake Effect).
and looked around town a bit.  We also stopped at a DOLLAR TREE where I bought a pair of sunglasses and we picked up a few snack items.

The kids and I played several card games that evening.    Megan made stuffed shells and salad for supper,  both were very good.  I gave the kids the DAY AFTER EASTER BAGS that I had put together for them and brought with me.

I was really exhausted and I slept GREAT on the king sized air mattress!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter 2015

My sister and her husband decided to prepare a turkey dinner and invited me and our cousin Becky to their house.  I was in charge of deserts.

I picked Becky up and we headed to Peg and Davids house.    Becky gave me a lovely glass hummingbird as an Easter gift.  When we got to  Peg and Davids house, two of David's children (Scott and Catherine) were there already.   Peggy gave Becky and I bags of Easter candy.

I helped Peggy get things set up and we served ourselves buffet style:  turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, two vegetables, and fruit salad.  David's stuffing was very very good.  For desert we had sponge candy, muffins, pumpkin pie with real whipped cream and a strawberry/angel food cake/ jello desert that I prepared.

When I dropped Becky off, I stopped to take a picture of a sign she made and put up.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Geocaching and Donuts Adventure: 4/2/15

It was the first really nice weather day this year...with a high of 62 predicted, so Chickie and I decided we HAD to go geocaching.  I met up with her at Mel's Auto Repair on West Avenue, where she was leaving her car for an inspection.

Our first geocache was CRACKER JACKS, which was at Outwater Park. I had looked for this one a few years ago without success, so it was good to go back and find it.  Our second geocache was in a parking lot next to the Erie Canal.  After we found that one, we explored the area a  bit. I thing we found an area that I used to hang out in when I was a teen.  Kind of a tunnel/walkway on Gooding Street.  It looked a bit different from what I remember.

#3 was in what used to be called Willow Park.  While signing the log, some local geocachers (dickie  donuts, Neurotic Terror and Timbits were walking by and they called out to us and we had a nice chat.

#4 was a DNF, in a small park at the intersection of Willow and Locust Streets.  We looked for about twenty minutes without any success.

I asked Chick if she wanted to go out to lunch and she did.  I suggested Bill Gray's in Williamsville.  We both had cheeseburgers.  They were very good!  Then we went to Paula's Donuts.  Chickie bought a dozen donuts and we sat and each had one.  My cream filled peanut donut was as delicious (and as messy) as it always is.  Chick loved her white cream filled, chocolate frosted donut.

We headed back to Lockport, taking a back road part of the way.  I dropped Chick off at Mel's and headed for home.