Author Archives: Dianne

About Dianne

Domestic goddess, wife, mom, gardener, paper and collage artist, geocacher, local traveler, cross stitcher, baker, crafter, Facebooker, blogger, decorator and photographer.

White Clay Creek and then Tyler Arboretum

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Ringing Rocks County Park-hammer time!

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Before we headed to Ocean City, the three of us went about 70 miles to Ringing Rock County Park in Bucks County. A hammer was found and loaded in the car! Sean had just gotten his new car and wanted to take it for a test drive. It was one of those places that you have heard about and needed to see in real life. Plus it was an earth cache! We got there a little late, but the parking was close to the big field of rocks. Apparently their content of aluminum and iron makes them have a bell like sound when struck! Brian and I stated on the perimeter while Sean climbed a bit more into the main area. Brian didn’t have flexible shoes on and I just can’t climb that well. I got to hit a few rocks though. The field of boulders is in 7-8 acres of the 128 acre park. Apparently there is a waterfall too. We all agreed to go, not knowing it was 70 miles. I guess we travel enough to think that isn’t too far.

This is what we saw after a short hike!

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I was hamming it up for the camera knowing I needed to post a photo for geocaching.com

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Sean getting into the field

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Brian had a rough time in his work boots.

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No one is sure why these rocks are here, but it’s been forever!

We later went to Pizzeria Uno and grabbed a few caches. Just a fun different thing to see.

Shame on the park for having one, stinky porta potty! We couldn’t get within a few feet of it.

Some late summer shots from Ocean City, MD

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Sean had a meet up group on Sunday, the 9th, so I tagged along. He didn’t spend the entire time at Seacrets! We went out to dinner after the afternoon meet up and had a yummy dinner at Peaky’s, a restaurant on the 8th floor of Fenwick Inn a few miles down the road. I love meal coupons (thanks to entertainment.com) and had $15 toward my dinner. I had prime rib and lobster tail and Sean had two lobster tails! We hadn’t eaten for a while (brought BLT to stop and eat) and we dove into our meals. I also thank Trip Advisor for their reviews. The prime rib was perfect! The lobster was good, but a little dry. Sean said both of his were fine.

Here are a few nice shots of mainly our view from the top floor.

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View from our table. The ocean changed as the sun set from that medium blue to steely gray.

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Bay view

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Please ask for permission if you want to use my photos. Thanks!

We headed to the boardwalk to see a laser show, but couldn’t find parking. We didn’t want to park in the inlet, which proved an unwise choice as that’s where the sphere on the beach with the laser show was!

We enjoyed watching this fellow make bubbles.

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And some other scenes from the boards

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The next day we did some geocaching. Actually we stopped in a few spots and got 5 Sunday and 5 Monday. We had stopped in Milton, DE for lunch and a few caches. First we found the Doghead Brewery and a cache was near there. Sean was interested in that. Then we located the historic society where another cache was.

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Tree house at the Dogfish Brewery

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Where we ate our Sunday lunch.

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Milton Historical Society

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Bethany Nature Center. We didn’t go in this one either.

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Goodbye seashore. Our visit was brief, but we know we’ll be back to explore other new places nearby.

Earth caching on a beach trip

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The second week in July, Sean and I climbed in his ‘old’ hot car (the a/c had gone on it last month) to visit the Cape May, NJ area on a day trip. I did a little research so we could snap up a few earth caches. With these, you usually have to answer a few questions or take a photo of where you are. We headed down to Sunset Beach, the beach furthest south. It’s part of Cape May, but a beach where you can collect  ‘Cape May Diamonds’. a clear quartz that can be cut to look like diamonds. The tiny ones on the top are the ‘diamonds’.

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We indeed found some. We wrote our names in the sand too, but there, and not up the beach where the coords were on the cache page-oops. The sand was actually better to write in where we were. We did eventually go up in the area and find a physical cache.

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Sean standing near the sign. Behind him is the wreck of the S.S. Atlantus.

After a storm, this cement ship got stuck there for good!

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Looking up the beach where the real sand earth cache should have been written.

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An old bath house

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You can’t go any further than this in NJ

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Outside the nice gift shop. They have Cape May diamonds that look like real diamonds here.

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Look how much of the shipwreck is in this photo!

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Look out/fire patrol tower near Sunset beach. Also a cache here at the Vet’s memorial.

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Pretty Queen’s Anne Lace

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We sat on Sunset beach a while, though it was warm and I was in a skirt. I really didn’t plan on sitting on the beach at all!

We headed up to the beach near the town of Cape May, but didn’t go shopping there. We then hit Wildwood and Sean wanted to get a Wildwood t-shirt for his collection. Someday I’ll be making him a t-shirt bed cover!

We were getting hungry for dinner and found a place on Yelp! in Ocean City. We sat at a picnic table and Sean treated me to a lobster dinner. As it wasn’t fancy, it was cheaper, but most of the meat was in the tail anyway.

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Ocean City, NJ scenes Love the mansion!

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Sean signing the Vet’s memorial cache and the memorial itself.

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We looked for a lot of caches that day! We didn’t know it would be our last little trip in his 2005 Taurus. He was waiting to see how he fared in his new job before he looked at another vehicle. A few days ago, we all went car shopping. We stopped at one place and got ignored. We started to drive past another place and I pointed out a model he was interested in. Well, after test driving about 6 or more Hyundai makes, he picked a 2013 Elantra  in bronze, the last test drive he did! He liked the added features of blue tooth and heated seats. It had low mileage too. So happy for him. We took a day trip yesterday to a cool park in Bucks County. That will be my next post!

Caching on the way to Ocean City, MD

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Right after we came back from Boonsboro, MD, we went back to Ocean City, MD the next weekend! Brian couldn’t go this time, so it was just mom and son. We stayed at a place we stayed in last year. It was nice, but we had ants in the sink in the morning on the third floor! Nothing sweet was left out or poured in it as far as I remember.

We got our act together and brought lunch. We decided to grab some caches on the way. I believe the first place we stopped was Dover. The town is mostly a pretty college town. We saw this pretty sight:

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This is Silver Lake. It has the perfect name!

Then we stopped at Slaughter Beach to eat lunch. They had a nice pavilion there and some people were enjoying the beach. The septic tanks were getting pumped out too. But we did get a cache!

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The hotel is very close to the beach, so we went down for a bit and Sean got his feet wet. I changed my top to a thin t-shirt, but I was freezing!  For Sean paying for the room, I looked through Trip Advisor and found a top rated restaurant in West Ocean City. It was about 20 minutes from our hotel and very crowded. We had to sit outside on the roof and it was chilly, but we had nice dinners! Sunset Grille lived up to its recommendations. I think I had Maui maui and Sean had a seafood pasta. We had brie, fruit and crackers for an appetizer. I just checked the menu and I think what we had were specials.

What a neat view of the inlet area at Ocean City

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The next day we checked out and got breakfast at Dumsters and looked for some caches. We decided to look around the Assateague and Berlin, MD area.

This is very rare to see a wild pony this close. I am thinking he was getting nibbles from tourists!

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We stopped at the visitor center that was new to us. We had been to one years ago. Very nice here!

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Loved this mural!

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We found a few caches in the area. There was one on the door of an old outhouse, the kind with the half moon!

We stopped at a little western theme park place for a cache. Saw this pretty horse.

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We headed home and right now forget what we had for lunch or dinner, perhaps pizza! LOL

We did stop at the cemetery on the way home and grabbed a cache.

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I remember we did stop in Smyrna, DE for a multi cache and were pleasantly surprised how cute the town is. The first part of the cache was at the opera house there!

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So we always have a few days filled to the brim. We just did that for a day trip on the 6th of July, but we went to the Cape May to Ocean City, NJ area. That will be another day.

Geo Woodstock XIII

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I am still attempting to update my blog. I have the laptop open now to upload a few photos, so there is no better time then the present!  This event happened the 3rd weekend in May.

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So you may know that one of my hobbies is geocaching. People hide caches that are all shapes and sizes and get them published on http://www.geocaching.com. We then take our phones or GPSr devices and try to find them. Brian and I have a joint account and have close to 950 finds in a little over 3 years. Sean has gotten more into caching in the last year and has about 650 finds. There are things you do other than just find caches. You get to go to events and meet other people with a passion for geocaching like you! The mega event of the year is Geo Woodstock and it was held in Boonsboro, Maryland this year, so we went! It’s about 2.5 hours and we got to see a bit of West Virginia too. In fact, we went right to Harper’s Ferry, WV so we could look around and grab the West Virginia souvenir. It’s pretty neat to get state souvenirs. We have about 12 out of 50, but hope to add at least Ohio by the end of the year.

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The first cache we located in Harper’s Ferry had this scenery to enjoy! I thought of the John Denver song ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’. This must have been what he saw too!

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Signing the log.

We drove around this town on the hill a bit and found a pizza joint to have dinner in.

We then went to the meet and greet in Boonsboro. We saw a few local cachers who we knew, then we saw Joshua Johnston from Minnesota who is a energetic, fun video blogger who takes us to caches that he finds! He took a selfie (click to see) of the two of us.

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. But that is Joshua in the middle. A married dad of three with a cool. Vlog.

Sean and I are in this video…about at 33 seconds near the big satellite dish!

We stayed at a nice hotel thanks to Sean. On our way back to the event, we looked for a cache near the hotel.

We ran into more pals and went looking for a few lab caches. They we listened to a local cacher from Rehoboth Beach talk about how to do puzzle caches. We were waiting to hear West Virginia Tim who does fun gadget caches in his retirement. He is pretty funny and presents himself like Jeff Foxworthy.

We ate a light lunch which happened to be catered by the guy who owns the Brandywine Picnic Park. He is also a cacher!

We went back to West Virginia to look for a few of WVTim’s gadget caches. We found one at a rest stop and at a Chick-Fil-a one. The one at the rest stop had a whole bunch of people trying to open it. A guy who had opened it came along and helped us. We then went driving around and stopped at Antietam Battlefield. We were about to  grab a cache in the visitor center and they had just closed.

We headed home and stopped first at an Olive Garden and had a little trouble with our meal. I complained and got a discount on my meal.

Here are a few more photos.

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We posed with the geocaching mascot Signal the first night we were there.

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Sean and me posing near the direction signs.

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Wendy’s geocaching car! Everyone was signing it!

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Antietam cannons

All in all, we had a fun time seeing a new state, gorgeous scenery, a few strange people, but mostly friendly folks with the same interest. I would recommend caching to anyone! It’s a fun family activity too.

Stinking onion trip pt 2

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Seeing Chicago like a typical tourist! Part 1

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A few weeks ago, the three of us caught a 6 am flight out to Chicago. Yep, the night owls got up at 2 am to make that flight. We all tried to hit the hay around 8 pm, like babies. I think I actually slept for a bit. Anyway, we parked at a place, got driven to the first let off and slept sitting up like most of our fellow passengers were at 6 in the morning. We had a bit of a walk to luggage and then we took the train to Chicago. I thought for sure I could figure out where to go once we got off the train, but we were dragging 3 suitcases and carry ons around the windy, cold and unknown city. It was blasted cold for late April. Sean said the 50s and it was the 40s. I had a cozy big sweater, not a coat. I did bring long sleeves and one sweater. We got a taxi to drive us like a block and a half-$5-it was worth it.

Our hotel, the Wyndham was beautiful. Brian and I appreciated this fact while Sean was at his geography meetings in the hotel up the road. We could lounge on the chaise (I want one!) and watch tv. After we checked in, we decided to look for a place I had a coupon for from restaurant.com. We headed up the wrong way, then turned around and headed down Michigan Ave. I had done a lot of walking already and I was hurting. We finally found Waffles Cafe! No sign over the place, just a sidewalk sign. We had green tea and fancy chocolate waffles and a few ‘Wonuts’-a little donut waffle. We explored a little more, got a virtual geocache and checked out a Dylan’s Candy Bar as we had in NYC 3 years ago.

Here are a few photos of our first day in Chicago!

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Trump Tower was across from our hotel

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Near the bridge on Michigan Ave.

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The Chicago River where we would take a boat ride a few days later.

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Nathan Hale memorial

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Sean on Michigan Ave.

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These pretty platters were along the way to breakfast. The pussy willows were a nice touch.

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Flags displayed at a hotel

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The virtual cache was to find this building with relics from dozens of different places like the above.

Also had Independence Hall and Swedes Church among many others!

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Fun lollipop display at the new Dylan’s Candy Bar.

We finally went back to our room and slept like babies. Sean went to his conference and we vegged until we went to Morton’s Steakhouse for dinner. That is a fancy restaurant with fancy prices. They give you a ton of their onion bread and food! Sean got a shrimp and pasta dish while Brian and I had braised beef on wide noodles. Our waiter was great. We split the Caesar salad on the suggestion of the waiter. It was delicious like all the food! We got mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts that we didn’t need as our plates were overflowing!

We took a little walk (no not a little walk, and there I was testing the limits again) to Millennium Park. I really wanted to see ‘The bean’ which is really called ‘Cloudgate’. I almost crawled the last few feet, but it is an amazing sculpture! You can walk under it too!

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Springtime near the bean

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Us doing the virtual for geocaching.

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Us under the bean.

So it was hard for me to walk back to the hotel and the remaining couple of days, we used taxis.

Part 2

Art Museum of Chicago and the Willis Tower!

Part 2 Flower Show- Beauties and Butterflies

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