Wednesday, December 23, 2009

9 Weeks In Alaska - Weekend 4

Kenai Peninsula

The next weekend was leading up to our week off for Christmas, so we hung around town. It wasn't fun to be away from family for the holiday but we made the best of it by renting a car and heading south. We left out on a Monday morning with plans to visit the Kenai Peninsula. In the summer months this is where the action is for sport fishing of salmon and halibut. It also sees a number of tourists who come for whale watching and glacier gazing.

Once again we had to travel around Turnagin arm and then travel through the Chugach Mountains.

Our first stop was at an animal refuge. Injured animals are brought here to recuperate and leave, or sometimes live out the remainder of their days. We saw caribou, musk ox, elk, bison, sitka deer, and an actual wild eagle that landed in a nearby tree. Along the way we saw dog skiing and ice fishing.

Our first stop (other than picture taking) was at a little cafe called the Sunrise Inn in Cooper Landing. We had buffalo chili which was excellent. We're finding that Alaskans know how to make chili. Cooper Landing is home to about 250 people 8 months out of the year, but in the summer months it is home to thousands who come to fish the glacier formed Lake Kenai. What a beautiful spot. The water is the color of water you see might see in the Caribbean.

As a side note, the car we rented was a Dodge Caliber. I haven't driven one before, but it did quite well on the slushy roads.

Entering Kenai Peninsula

After leaving Cooper Landing we worked our way out of the mountains onto the flat marsh land. We stopped at a little shop in Sterling and saw some really interesting work done by Alaskan artists. Robin also found a great deal on some black cultured pearls.

We visited St. Elias brewery, a small micro-brew/restaurant in Soldotna. They have a great oatmeal stout and a red for Robin.

Then it was on to our bed and breakfast. We stayed at the Log Cabin Inn in Kenai. It was very affordable, the breakfast was great, and our hostess Teresa made us feel right at home. We made that our home base for the two days we would stay on the peninsula.

Next morning we woke early, had breakfast and began the trip to Homer, which is at the south tip of Kenai peninsula. Almost immediately we saw a mama moose and her calf by the side of the road.

En route to Homer we made several photo stops along the way. A small fishing community, Cook inlet, the most western road in the US, and others.

The drive into Homer was nothing short of spectacular. As we pulled into the turn out overlooking the town and the bay the play of light and clouds was truly amazing. We both jumped out and shot pictures for close to half an hour. Here are a few.

Overlooking Homer

Part of Homer is located on what is known as a spit. It's an outcropping of land that juts out into the water. We drove out on the spit for two see eagles and visit The Salty Dawg Tavern. We were successful on both counts.


Salty Dawg

The Salty Dawg was seen on the Deadliest Catch, which is a show about Alaskan Crab fishermen. Mike Rowe interviewed the captains here.

Homer Panoramic

I took an 11 shot panoramic overlooking Homer. Enjoy.

After a few hours in Homer we headed back to a warm bed and a good night's sleep. Robin held a beading class for the family when we got back and I sat around and played guitar with the oldest son. A great evening.

Too soon it's time to go, so we loaded up and headed for Anchorage. Other than stopping in again at the Sunrise Inn for chili and crab cakes, the trip "home" was uneventful.

Next post I'll share the company Christmas party.

Take care...Tony

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nine Weeks In Alaska - Weekend 3

Talkeetna & Mount McKinley

The next weekend we traveled north and stopped at the small town of Talkeetna. It is a little community about 125 miles north of Anchorage and just south of Denali National Park.

We ate at a small restaurant/tavern/lodging spot called the Roadhouse. I ate the lasagna and Robin had the reindeer chili. The food was awesome and the service was as well. Here are a few photos from our stop in Talkeetna. The most fun was getting photos of Mount McKinley which was still 125 miles away.

Friday, December 4, 2009

9 Weeks In Alaska - Weekend 2

Girdwood & First View of Turnagain Arm

The first weekend excursion was to Girdwood, which is about 45 miles east of Anchorage. Girdwood is a quaint little town with a post office, a couple of little restaurant/bars, and a few service businesses that support the ski lodge, Alyeska Lodge, close by.

On the way to Girdwood you have to follow the Turnagin Arm, which is an inlet that has a large tidal swing resulting in extreme low tides and what is known as mud flats. The next set of pictures are photos we caught on the way to and around Girdwood. Dall sheep frequent the mountains around the Turnagin arm, and the sky and clouds change by the second.

Monday, November 30, 2009

9 Weeks In Alaska - Weekend 1

We arrived in Alaska the weekend after Thanksgiving. What an incredible place. We're staying at Extended Stay America in Anchorage. We've stayed at Extended Stays several times and really enjoy having kitchen facilities. It saves money and allows us to eat our own cooking.

The first weekend we walked around downtown Anchorage, which is a few blocks from the hotel. Robin loves to do I.

Each week I'll update what we've done and seen.

Downtown Anchorage

There are some great shopping spots in downtown Anchorage as well as eating establishments. So far our favorite spots for eating are Humpy's, The Brewhouse, and F Street Station. Humpy's serves up some great halibut, the Brewhouse some excellent micro-brew, and F Street has the best eggs Benedict on the planet according to Robin and countless others.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tavern on the Lake

We traveled to New Jersey again in November for a 3 week lighting set. We had spent 4 months there earlier in the year, but knew we could still find something of interest.

We found a great little tavern in Hightstown called Tavern on the Lake. Great selection of beer and their soups and sandwiches were excellent. Here are a couple of pics from that day.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Bridges of Ashtabula County

In route to New Jersey for the third time, we stopped to visit a great friend in Ohio. After learning about a neighboring county having over 20 covered bridges Tony couldn't help trekking out to take some pics.

Cell service is non-existent there so finding the bridges using his iPhone became a problem. He found some maps after stopping by a bar and a winery. Weather and time only permitted him to photo 3 of the bridges, but the last one became an opportunity for some long exposures and a really cool bridge.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

River Views in Toledo

In search of a micro-brewery in downtown Toledo, we stumbled on a small park in downtown Toledo that fronted the river. The brewery didn't open until much later in the day, and since we had to work, we skipped the beer and settled for some picture taking instead.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Glass Bowl Made by Mary Lane of Toledo Glass Pavilion

We enjoyed the Toledo Glass Pavilion immensely. Toledo is know for glass making, and we thought we'd drop by and look around and take in one of the exhibitions. It was done by Mary Lane. She was very informative, entertaining, and talented.

After the demonstration Robin wished that we had asked her to see about purchasing the bowl she made. We didn't so we forgot about it.

A few weeks later we went by a bead shop (go figure), and next door there was a glass gallery. I wandered around in there and began visiting with the owner, Les, and asked if the glass was done by local artists, and he said many of the pieces were his, and some were by Mary Lane. Small world.

After some discussion, Les suggested he contact Mary and see if she could make a piece just for us. He had time rented, and if our schedules would work we would do it.

We had to stay up after working all night, but we met Les and Mary and you can view the pictures of the process. It was a thrill and we love the bowl.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Branson, MO with family

We got to go home for a few days and took the family to Branson. Had a great time. The grand kids are really fun to spend time with. As well as my son and daughter-in-law.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

MMA Bout in Pocahontas, AR

We don't get to be home much so when we are we try to squeeze as much in as possible. We got home on Friday night and my son, Bobby, told me he was going to an MMA training in Pocahontas, and asked me to tag along.

Cool, I smelled a photo opp.

Well we were both surprised. Upon arriving we found out they were actually going to be having regular bouts of sorts. Three, 3 minute rounds in your weight class, they said. Ohh boy.

Well, Bobby had been doing this a grand total of 2 days, so I was a little concerned. This wasn't like watching basketball or little league baseball. These boys were trying to hurt each other.

Anyway, Bobby fought and won. The fight was called early in the 3rd round due to knock down. He was pretty sore, but learned a lot. And I got some great pics and video. Check out the YouTube video below as well.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Toledo Squirrel

When visiting the Toledo Museum of Arts and the Toledo Glass Pavilion we were greeted out front by a friendly squirrel. He ran from tree to tree and stopped to pose on several occasions.

This was my favorite.

From Toledo Squirrel

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oak Openings Park - Toledo, OH

We are currently working in the Toledo, OH area remodeling the Lowe's store in Holland, OH.

Something we've learned about Toledo is that it has a host of wonderful parks. One of them is a 3,000+ acre park called Oak Openings.

We spent a couple of hours there one morning after work, and here are some pics.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Toledo Zoo

We love zoos. It's just that simple. But when you have a chance to visit one of the top 10 zoos in the world, that's even better.

Wonderful day at the zoo. The most excitement was Robin getting charged by the gorilla. Him sitting down is the before shot, and the profile pic is just after. I guess he was contemplating his evil ways. Luckily there was Plexiglas separating them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Put-In-Bay, Ohio

When trying to think of a way to describe Put-In-Bay, Ohio only one thing comes to mind. It's the Key West of Lake Erie.

It's located about 3 miles out in the lake from shore. We took Miller's Ferry, which has been operating since the early 1900's. There's only two ways to get to and from the boat and by plane. Makes sense to me.

We asked a local what the best thing to do while on the island. His response...get drunk. We then asked what we should see while on the island. Again...get drunk. We asked how the winters were on the island. Response...don't know...usually drunk.

Anyway, life is a little slower at the "bay".

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fulton County Fair

We were having dinner at a great restaurant in Toledo (Mancy's) and asked the waitress what she thought would be a fun thing to do that weekend. She immediately suggested we attend the Fulton County Fair just west of Toledo.

We did, and had a marvelous time. We especially enjoyed the corn. I know Robin did.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Washington, DC

We had a wonderful time in Washington, DC.

It was fabulous visiting our "nation's capital" as Forrest Gump would say. We only had one day and night, but we packed a lot into the time.

Our good friend and co-worker Stevie went along with us.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Our Visit To Talbott Tavern

We visited Talbott Tavern in Kentucky on our way to New Jersey.

After being seated in the dining room (Robin didn't want to sit there) we struck up conversation with the wait staff. I also looked it up on my iPhone.

Our conversation and my looking on the internet indicated that Talbott Tavern is considered one of the most haunted sites in North America. I won't bore you with all the details here but suffice it to say that we had a very interesting visit.

It's hard to tell from these photos but two of them have orbs in them. One has one orb, and one has 5. It's interesting that the room that had 5 orbs made Robin very uncomfortable. She wanted out.

We hope to go back and spend the night there at the tavern. If we do we'll report back on our stay there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tour of Flying Fish Brewery

Our tour guide, Drew, took us on a tour of Flying Fish Brewery in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Great way to spend part of a Saturday. Flying Fish brews up about 24,000 barrels of beer each year and distributes in a 100 mile radius. They are looking to expand but slow and steady wins the race.

Very tasty beer and great staff. Stop in and give it a look. They're located at 1940 Olney Ave #100 in Cherry Hill, NJ. You can purchase 2 six packs per person and the tours take place from 1-4 on Saturdays. Their web site is

Tell them Robin & Tony sent you.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Video Clip of Our Trip To New York City

Created this video of pictures taken in New York City using the new Picasa 3 photo/video program. Was really simple to use. Hope you enjoy. By the way Robin is singing and playing harmonica on the tune and I'm playing drums.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Best Buffalo Wings Ever

Friday night we ventured out looking for a good pint and some buffalo wings. We found both.

Ott's Tavern located at 3112 Bridgeboro Road in Delran, NJ was able to accomodate. I started with a pint of Guinness and Robin elected for a Yuengling Black & Tan, and decided we'd give the hot wings a try.

When they arrived we knew we were in for a treat. The wings were crisp like we like and plenty of gooey sauce laying in the bottom of the basket. Wow! Robin said they were probably the best she'd ever had. I'm not a big fan of chicken so I'm not usually happy with wings anyway. These were great.

We followed that up with a New York style pizza and what a great way to start the evening. 

From there we took in  a movie... "Yes Man" with Jim Carey. What a hoot. We laughed a lot so that's the making of a good movie for us. Really opens your mind to the thoughts of what would happen if we said yes more in our lives.  Especially to opportunities that come our way.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Just Ask For Mom!

Had to add this. While staying in Hagerstown, MD we looked around for someplace close to eat and grab a beer.

I have to admit I (Tony) am addicted to my iPhone. Just look at it and you can find anything anytime. I use a couple of free apps, one is called Around Me and the other is Good Rec. Using them and Google Maps it's impossible to get lost or not find something you're looking for.

Anyway, we found this local establishment called the Woodpoint Bar & Grill. Great spaghetti and meatballs, and a great pint of Yuengling (which you can't get west of the Mississippi).

If you stop by ask for Mom.

Our Night In Lexington, KY

Great little neighborhood pub just up the street from the University of Kentucky. Great cross section of people. We were there the night they played in the Liberty Bowl so there was a good and excited crowd.

We had the Irish Cabbage Soup. Really good on a cool evening. And of course they served up a great pint of Guinness.

Located in a little strip center at 384 Woodland Ave. right next to a Subway.

Plenty of TV's and fun.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Baltimore's Inner Harbor & Tir Na Nog

Not a great pic but a good time. Great pint and excellent fish &
chips. Beautiful setting with the USS Constellation in the background.

Heading to Hard Rock Plant. We'll update from there.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Microtel Beats The 6's & 8's

With our extended traveling right now we are staying at a lot of different hotels. One has stuck out as being above average. That is Microtel.

After staying at 3 in the past 3 weeks (I'm writing this sitting at the desk in one right now) we will stay in one whenever possible in the future.

We also learned that they have received awards for the past 7 years in customer satisfaction for budget hotels. The only thing budget about Microtel, in our opinion, is the price. Super affordable and always clean. We just joined the Micropass program which allows us to get a free night stay after 9 stays.

Only minor complaint. If you're going to have a free continental breakfast make it full enough to be enjoyable. From one site to the next they aren't consistent in what is served. But that's minor considering the price.

Our room last night in Kentucky was $49 and tonight in Maryland (near Baltimore) it's $64 and we have 2 queen size beds in the room.

Anyway, if you haven't tried them...give it a try and tell them Robin & Tony sent you. LOL. That won't do you a bit of good, but that's funny I don't care who you are.

Robin wanted me to add, free high-speed internet, free local AND long distance phone calls, and it's a euro-style hotel if you know what that means.

New Year's Resolution

Everyone is doing it, but we're not all about that. We're just updating our goals.

We each have a list of 25 things we want to do or have, and as we do one we simply add back to keep the list at 25. 

One of the ones we were able to check off this past year was a trip to Yellowstone. It was remarkable.  The picture shows us in front of Old Faithful.

An ongoing goal we have is to lose weight. We've found a product, or should we say a group of products, that will help us do just that. We've always been interested in nutritional supplements, and we've found some that are truly cutting edge, and as Robin says, "cute". 

Check out our post on another of our blogs. --> Lose Weight

Friday, January 2, 2009

Denny's Diner?

Stopped to use the facilities and next door was a diner. 

Not seen a Denny's Diner before. We're in Western Kentucky on our way to New Jersey.

On the road

Crossing the Ohio River. Looks like sunny skies and a beautiful day to
daydream. Robin

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Our Travels In 2008

We counted up the states we were in and the final count was 26. As merchandisers we travel from place to place and set up new, or remodel existing Lowe's stores.

Highlights of last year was travel in the mountains and plains of Wyoming and Montana. We had never been to the northwest and truly enjoyed our time there.

We're now spending time in the northeast and leave tomorrow to head back to Jersey.

We'll keep you posted.


Central Park

This is from our second trip into the city. I can tell this blog is
going to have a lot of pics.

Happy New Year

This is the first post for our new blog and first post of the new year. We have a wordpress blog but I haven't learned how to post to it from my iPhone.

We're gearing up to head back to New Jersey for our next job there.

We'll keep you posted.

Check out one our other blogs Spray Adaptogens