Christmas & New Years Blessings

GE DIGITAL CAMERAAll my best laid plans to do a weekly advent devotion for Christmas were dashed when I came down with a sinus infection and eventually a bad case of the flu.

After starting antibiotics for my sinus infection I was elated when I felt normal and energetic. That lasted for 3 days. When wham – I was hit – bulls-eye, with the flu. So for the past two weeks minus a few days I have been sick. But as I say, “tis the season to be jolly, to be merry and to be sick”!

Alas, we must all take the good with the bad. Yes, I have been sick for nearly 2 weeks and in bed for 4 days, that is the bad, but the good is I have a great family doctor, a job that I can take adequate time off to recuperate, family and friends that care for me and brought me not chicken soup but Christmas cookies – now those are friends! My daughter was even in the kitchen doing most of the Christmas meal preparation while I rested and enjoyed the sounds of Christmas music playing or watching the Hallmark Christmas movies.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAI even had time to put together a puzzle – anyone recognize it?  Yep, I admit it I am a “A Christmas Story” watcher.  We watch it every year on Christmas Eve after church and then again Christmas morning as we open our presents. 

So, at this time I would like to wish all of you and your families, a joyous and wonder-filled Christmas season of the birth of our Savior and a healthy and God inspired New Year.




Carnival Cruise ~ Day 6 Nova Scotia

Day 6 had us sailing into Nova Scotia.  This was the port I was most anxious to visit.  I have always loved the books by Lucy M. Montgomery “Anne of Green Gables”, and now I will be in Anne country, the books take place at Prince Edward Island (PEI) as well as Halifax.  I was not prepared to get a glimpse of the most beautiful part of the world.

Again we were greeted by the beautiful people of Canada.  If there was an award for the friendliest people, Canada would win every year.  The New England and Canadian coast  offer the beauty of rocky beaches and breathtaking lakes and forests.  With scenery like this I could give up my mountains to live along the rocky coast of Nova Scotia.

Our visit consisted of driving by bus to Peggy’s Cove.  It was an hours drive from the port and along the way we enjoyed a scenic tour of Halifax.  Halifax is famous for making movies and as our tour guide stated, “Halifax is the Canadian Hollywood”.  Among the many stories he told us we learned that about 75% of the movie Titanic was filmed there and we saw the stage where Jack drowned in a large pool.  He took us to the park where Tom Selleck filmed one of his Jesse Stone movies and where Anne Murray got her start in singing.  We also learned that no matter who makes what or where, Nova Scotia has it bigger and better!  Sorry Texas, I think you have competition with Nova Scotia. 🙂 One story we were told took place in 1977 when the worlds largest lobster was caught off the shore in Nova Scotia at 44.4 pounds.  I wish I could remember more of the stories he told us, but towards the end of the tour, our bus driver did tell us that our guide was famous for his “fishing tales”!

There are so many interesting facts about Peggy’s Cove, so click on the link and learn all about this magical place.

Sunrise over Halifax
At Peggy’s Cove here is Tom holding Larry and Laverne & our tour guide in the back who taught us all there is to know about lobsters.
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse
Scenic picture of Peggy’s Cove
View of Peggy’s Cove
Another view of Peggy’s Cove
Fisherman Memorial
A picture of me with the bagpiper at Peggy’s Cove. New Brunswick and Halifax proudly displayed their Scottish pride.  Notice my “Peggy’s Cove – hair style” I was told it is all the rage…called “windblown”! 😉
Back on board we enjoyed another afternoon on our balcony. This was our view as we enjoyed all sizes of sail boats and ships pass us. The highlight was watching a seal playing in the harbor.

Carnival Glory Day 4 ~ Maine

As we awoke that morning we were sailing towards Maine.  As the sun came up we ventured out on the balcony to see if we could get a glimpse of the Maine coast line.  Instead, what greeted us was a spectacular sunrise.  The day only got better from there.

This is only one of many shots of the sunrise as we were heading into Maine
I have never seen such a brilliant sunrise until that day…the next few days I would see God’s artistic touch greet me each morning.
Our first glimpse of Maine
The first stop on our lighthouse tour ~ The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse – also called a Bug Light.
A view of our ship from the Breakwater Lighthouse
The memorial for the Victory Ships that were built in South Portland. Interesting display inside of the WWII years.
The Rocky Coast of Maine – notice the whale fin of our ship in the background.
The Portland Head Light – it was awesome and the view of the harbor and bay was unbelievable. For this girl who lives in the mountains in Pennsylvania it was a sight to behold.
Another shot of the Portland Head Light

After a lovely day visiting these two Lighthouses and the Spring Point Ledge Light along with a scenic drive through Portland and its beautiful old buildings we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon on our balcony.  We read and relaxed while watching the sailboat traffic coming and going into the harbor.  Then all too soon we were on our way once again. 

Carnival Glory Day 3 ~ Boston

On Monday we docked in Boston Harbor.  As we were sailing in, we had time to reflect on everything that happened in this harbor.  We just stood in silence as we watched Boston come into view in the morning sunrise.  It was a solemn moment as we thought of the patriots who created treason with England to build this country.

We were spent only one day in Boston, not really enough time to explore all the historical places.  We booked an excursion that we thought would take us to many historical places.  We could not get into the early one so we were booked for the afternoon and it was a rushed bus trip.   The only time we got off the bus was for a few minutes to walk around the outside of the Trinity Church and Boston Library before getting on the boat that would take us on a scenic view of Boston from the harbor. The bus did take us to many historical places: the site of the Boston Massacre; the oldest cemetery in Boston – Kings Chapel Burial Ground; we drove around Beacon Hill, Cambridge, the site of the Boston Tea party, Boston Common, Boston Gardens, Cheers bar, and many old churches and stately homes.

We did venture out on our own, but had no idea where to go so we just walked around.  The pier where the ships are docked are not tourist friendly.  We thought of taking a cab but instead opted to walk around and enjoy the sights around us thinking the excursion would take us where we wanted to go.  Live and learn….but we still had a wonderful time in the great city of Boston.

Boston Sunrise
Granary Cemetery – the third oldest cemetery, 7 people who were killed at the Boston Massacre are buried here – picture taken from the bus
Site of the Boston Massacre – I was unable to take a picture since the bus could not stop. Picture courtesy Wikipedia.
Trinity Church
The USS Constitution from the harbor
North Church Steeple – view from the harbor
A view of Boston from the harbor
A view of our ship while on the harbor cruise

Carnival Glory Day 2 ~ Fun Day At Sea

This past week has been a busy one of getting caught up at work, at home and getting back to my normal routine.  My mindset is not necessarily still on the cruise but on relaxation.   So my house is not cleaned and I am not completely caught up around the house but by staying in a relaxed mood I have accomplished plenty more; enjoying a brisk autumn morning with a cup of tea, lunch with friends, a visit to someone long gone but through her precious granddaughter I have the privilege to know, and a relaxing Sunday afternoon of watching movies.  These are only a few of the things that have filled my days since I have been back.  So although I have not been productive but I have been enjoying that relaxed feeling that comes from a good vacation.

Day 2 and 7 took us out to sea.  We don’t gamble but we did get to one of the shows and enjoyed piano music in the main atrium lounge. Our fun days at sea mainly consisted of beautiful walks on the top deck enjoying the view.  It was also spent dozing off on the lido deck with the sun shining down on us and sea air being swept over us.

The pictures show our first relaxing day on vacation.  The first night was formal night, so we enjoyed a delicious dinner with fun dinner companions and wonderful waiters who not only serve the food but offer great entertainment! Before heading back the cabin we enjoyed the music from the different lounges as we strolled around the main lobby. 

These pictures show our view from our cabin and our walks.  I will post pictures of the cruise ship on day 7, since day 7 was much like day 2.  Two days of doing whatever we wanted to do with no time schedule – that is the making of a memorable vacation.

One of our lifeboats in our area..always important to know where they are.
The front view from the Serenity Deck . It was not raining but had a shield around the balcony.
View from the rear of the ship –
View from our cabin
View from our balcony, perfect for reading and napping.
Ocean so blue….
A stroll on the Lido Deck
The Captains Dinner ~ Formal Night

Day 1 ~ New York Harbor

Almost a week after we returned home I am still recuperating, it takes us old folks a bit longer to bounce back, of course a part of me is still on the cruise and who wants to do housework after a vacation?  I am not ready yet to focus on housecleaning after being pampered and spoiled for 6 days, so I am still putting my laundry away, and I can also start writing love notes in my dust around the house.  If only I could have brought home my cabin steward from the cruise!

So here I sit back in the reality of every day life getting motivated into my normal routine.  The memories of last week are not fading, instead I am re-energized from the wonderful time we had.

Not even a week ago we arrived at Pier 90 in New York Harbor and boarded the Carnival Cruise Ship Glory.   Although the decor was not our taste, the ship is indeed clean and colorful and like the ad states – fun.  I cannot say enough of the staff, they made our trip comfortable and treated us like royalty.

Our first day we enjoyed the view from the Lido deck and as luck would have it we were docked next to the USS Intrepid.  We also enjoyed the views of the Manhattan Skyline and God’s magnificent creation with a delightful display of clouds over the Hudson River.  That would only be one day of many witnessing God’s creation at its best.

Our time in NYC consisted of getting off the bus, being herded up to the area to be processed and onto the cruise.  It all took about 3o minutes and no time to dig out the camera to take pictures of the long lines behind us or entering the cruise.  Everything was well laid out and plenty of people on hand to get the line moving. 

But once on board and on the Lido deck I had plenty of photo opportunities…

Picture taken from the Lido deck, but we also had a nice view from our cabin.

We are on our way and saying good bye to the Statue of Liberty…
Our cabin – decorated for our wedding anniversary

Home Again

We are back from our wonderful trip.  I feel as if I could write about it for weeks to come.  It was a beautiful trip.  We left New York Harbor Sept 29 and sailed to Boston, MA; Portland, Maine; St John New Brunswick, Canada; Halifax, Nova Scotia.  There are no words to describe the New England Coast.  Breathtaking is the first word to come to mind.  We were blessed to see some wonderful sunrises of bright reds and oranges.  Our trip was made even more perfect by having a sunny and warm Indian Summer.  The leaves had not quite started to turn color but with all the other sites the fall foliage was not missed.  But, God did indeed bless our last day of vacation, as we arrived back to the mountains in Pennsylvania we were greeted with a fall foliage show along the interstate.

Unfortunately we were not given much time in Boston to really explore.  The historic sites are not close together like we had hoped.  But, that said we did visit places where important historical events took place.  Some of the highlights of our tour were visiting the place of the Boston Massacre, driving around Beacon Hill, Trinity Church, the first official public library, the commons, and saw where John Adams was buried, also the oldest cemetery in our country.  The view by harbor was impressive.  We learned both new and old historical facts and stories.  On a more modern note, we did stop in front of the Cheers Bar and Restaurant. 

We are planning a second trip to Maine, by car to explore this beautiful state from sea to land. The lighthouses around Maine are beautiful and the view of the ocean is unbelievable.   No matter where we went in St John, we were greeted by all the friendliest and kindest Canadians you would ever meet.  St John is the home of the Bay of Fundy and the Reversing Falls, we took a boat ride before the tide rose and enjoyed the viewed at an observation deck overlooking the bay as the river was pushed back from the rising ocean tide.  Our guide informed us that it goes back 15 miles.  And you know the old song “I left my heart in San Francisco”?, well I should write a new song “I left my heart in Nova Scotia”! Halifax was probably my favorite port.  I am already planning a trip to fly out and explore Halifax to the fullest and traveling on to Prince Edward Island.  This trip included a very scenic drive out to Peggy’s Cove, a must see.  I did notice a B & B for sale on Peggy’s Cove and if I had the money I would be moving there ready to welcome visitors to that beautiful cove.  I had been telling people I am so thankful we have Canada as our neighbor.  We have been to Canada often and have never been disappointed by her people or her scenic beauty.

I will post the most scenic of my pictures from our trip.  I had met a few people who have been on 40 cruises!! This is only our second one, so I have many more to go on in order to catch up to 40!

Blessings ~ Patty

One of many beautiful sunrises, this one was off the coast of Maine

Autumn in Wellsboro

These fall pictures were taken in Wellsboro, PA a few years ago.  Wellsboro is the home of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.  It doesn’t matter what season when you visit Wellsboro in Northern Pennsylvania, you will experience nature at its best.

Cowanesque Lake
Autumn Harvest
Lake View Lodge
Eagle sighting from our train through Tioga County
Tioga County – picture taken from our train window
Ye old country church

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Since I mentioned the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in my last article I thought I would post some pictures of this fascinating place.  We first went to the Canyon 30 years ago and we hiked to the bottom and hiked back up enjoying the trails and the beauty of Northern Pennsylvania.  When we went a few years ago, we drove to the scenic spots and took a Conestoga Wagon to the bottom.  The only thing that changed in 30 years was us! 

The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is located near Wellsboro, PA and is in the area we call “God’s Country”, which is basically all of the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania.  We stayed at a hotel near the Canyon in Pennsylvania but had to drive into NY State and turn around to go back into Pennsylvania to access the hotel. 

We are blessed to live where we do, we are centrally located to some of the beautiful spots of Pennsylvania.  Close to home yet far enough to escape the daily grind and enjoy nature in all its glory no matter what the season.  Autumn is our favorite time of year and in the fall the PA Grand Canyon is a spectacular with its show of autumn colors.

Sit back and enjoy a touch of God’s creation.

Watkins Glen

A sweet friend of mine Roseann Bump – whom I have not seen for ages {hint, hint ~ if she is reading this!} recently took a trip to Watkins Glen and graciously allowed me to post a few of her photos on my site.  Watkins Glen is a New York State Park and is one of the famous parks of the Finger Lakes State Parks.   We have never had to pleasure to visit Watkins Glen but now that we are traveling closer to home, I think Watkins Glen will become one of our destinations, and although I doubt we can make the hike to the gorge, (it is safe to say we are no longer 29 and limber!) we will still be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of driving up from Pennsylvania and to view nature as God intended through the peaceful beauty of  the Finger Lakes.