Thursday, February 19, 2015

SKYWATCH FRIDAY AND WILLY-NILLY FRIDAY FIVE

These are sky photos from our road trip down south to see family last weekend.  The first photo was going down and almost towards the end of our journey as we were about to enter the Hampton-Roads Tunnel.  I didn't take any more because to tell you the truth I slept for most of the journey, even though I struggled to stay awake.  I was up late, I got up early. I also take extra pillows with us for the trip and they were very comfortable.  


On the way home it was a different story.  The following photo shows one of the many lakes in the area that was frozen over, not thick enough for ice-skating.  There was a story while we were visiting, of a young teen who had fallen through ice.  Thankfully he was rescued safely, though feeling chilled to the bone no doubt after his unexpected dip.  Well done to his rescuers who take their lives in their hands while saving others.


I am glad to say that the roads were light of traffic, and though getting out of the neighborhood was a bit tricky, once we were on the freeway all was clear.  However, there were warning signs as you can see in the photo below.



At this point we are approaching the Hampton-Roads Tunnel where we can see navy ships in the distance on our left.  There were a few carriers in today.


This is the view on our right.



In the distance we saw a large ship making its way towards the sea.


We had a big surprise when we saw that it was one of the Staten Island Ferries.  It was heading back to New York after being in dry-dock for maintenance.  Neither of us realized that they came to Norfolk. You can click on this link to read about them.  From an article here I read that this particular boat was The Senator John J. Marchi.  Each ferry in service goes to the Colonna Shipyard in Norfolk every two-and-a-half years, to comply with Coast Guard regulations.  The trip to New York Harbor will take about 30 hours.


On our right we pass Fort Monroe, which is now owned by the Park Service.  Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, was imprisoned here following the Civil War for two years.  He was eventually granted amnesty.


The following three photos were taken on the other side of the tunnel....







We are on the freeway and always pass this huge sign for Chick-fil-A.  It has the cows painting the sign.  The design changes every time we see it.  


When the Kings Dominion signs comes up I always know we are an hour-and-a-half away from home, that is unless we get heavy traffic.  Kings Dominion, for those who don't know, is an amusement park.  The last time we were there was when my niece from Germany visited at 13 years of age.  


I spotted this water tower which I know quite well.  It looks like it has had a new paint job and is very pretty against that clear blue sky.  I can't tell you how many times I have made this journey in the 40 years I have been married.


Often I would spot a tree with its branches dusted with snow.  Always love that!


We are coming into Fredericksburg and I know when we get here, barring traffic, that we are about an hour away from home.





Fredericksburg is always a welcome sight.  I feel the older I get the more my homing pigeon instincts are kicking in.


Salt trucks, what would be do without them?  We owe them a great debt for keeping our roads free and clear in all kinds of weather and nasty road conditions, and they do this at all hours of the day and night.  


There are always plenty of restaurant and gas signs on the freeway.


When we reach this church we are about 40 minutes away from home.


I am starting to get tired again.  Gregg always drives and those pillows are beckoning.


Not too far away from home now.


It wasn't long after we took this photo.....  


that we were rolling in our snow covered driveway.  Gregg is picking up our mail. 



And now for Willy-Nilly Friday 5, in the order that they happened.

1) As I mentioned at the start of this post we have been out of town for the last few days.  We visited family 200 miles south, and it takes us about four hours to get there.  On our way down our niece in Germany texted us and asked us what we were doing.  I told her we were heading south and sent her this photo.  I looked wide awake but that is what sunglasses are for.  



2) On Sunday I attended one of our niece's baby shower.  I thought the invite was so cute. 


I had a fun time and had a chance to catch up with not only family but a very dear friend that I have known since I have been in this family. And as I have said before, it is always good to get together with people you enjoy being with, and on this occasion to meet new people you have never met.  



Our niece whose baby we will all be welcoming in a couple of months is looking radiant.  When it was my turn to introduce myself I had no time to rehearse what I was going to say, and it was going to be just "Hello, I am Denise, this sweet young lady's aunty", but in a flash a memory came back, a very special memory for both Gregg and myself. The night she was born we were looking after her brother for the night, and when we got the good news we took him to the hospital to be with his mom and dad and to meet his brand new baby sister. I told her this and it made me very emotional, because here before me is that same sweet little baby girl about to have a sweet little baby of her own.  Oh my, you know how it goes.  



3) It snowed, quite a bit of snow.  It was not nearly as much as people who are living up north have had to contend with, but the day we were due to come home it was coming down pretty hard.  We decided it was safer to stay for another day and that worked out great because it gave us a chance to visit with my in-laws more, with pop-ins from our nephew, mentioned in the previous paragraph and his little girl, and later his mom and sister.  This was before and after the bad weather, so no one was caught out in it.  Celia fed us well and made some great meals..  



4) And there were birds, lots of birds!  They have this wonderful sun room that looks onto a deck and their back garden. There was a constant throwing out of bird seed and filling up feeders, and of course the squirrels were getting their fair share also.  I saw Cardinals, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmouses, Grey-slated Juncos, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens and White-throated Sparrows, all with big smiles on their faces for their full tummies in all that snow.






5) Also a very healthy looking opossum came by for scraps one night. 




I will have more photos from our time away on another post.



My thanks to our hosts of these two fun memes.  You can click on their names below to visit other participants, and their logo's are in my side-bar.

41 comments:

  1. That's why I would never trust ice on lakes/ponds.

    If the ice is thick enough, the best that could happen is that I would have fun.

    If it's thin, then there's the chance of dying or at least a lot of pain.

    I'd rather stick to an ice-skating rink with no body of water underneath me.

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  2. glad you were able to make the trip and help family celebrate. :) always good to be home again.

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  3. That baby shower invitation is just so cute. My granddaughter has a toy bin with that pattern.

    Hope you are having a great week Denise (-10 degrees here) with the wind chill.

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  4. You know when you are familiar with a route it doesn't seem so long.

    Nice to see all those aircraft carriers in port. Plus the State Island Ferry is quite a site, such a long ways to get home.

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  5. Denise thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. We are too old to do any travelling now and we are fortunate that our little family all live within a 40 minute drive.
    It is so strange to me to see snow on the side of the road or just any snow for that matter. Coming from England, of course, you would be used to it.
    America is very different from Australia in so many ways. It was wonderful to see the birds being looked after. I guess in Oz birds are more frequent visitors to gardens but here in Perth we don't see very many, more's the pity. Mostly they are parrots passing overhead on their way somewhere.
    I was moved by your story of your babysitting your nephew when his sister was being born and now here she is due to give birth herself. A wonderful family story. I often wish for a bigger family and so enjoy hearing of other people's families. Thank you.

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  6. The possum is particularly cute!

    A lot of history around Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. I'd love to visit the area.

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  7. Oh my goodness! Thank you for the road trip, much like so many I've taken - but not for YEARS (on this tiny island). Brought back so many memories. Yes, we love our home and pillows, we who are wise and no longer green.



    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    <3

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  8. Wonderful pictures! Everything looks so cold! And I see a possum there, he will be glad for the food. Thanks for taking us with you on the trip, I love seeing the sights! Doesn't Chick-Fil-a have the best ads? I love your shot of the ferry, it is lovely. I would like to go on one sometime.

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  9. Thanks for the tour! I like the Staten Island Ferry shot.

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  10. Denise, I am so glad that the guy got rescued from the ice. Your photos are gorgeous, I am so glad that you shared this journey.

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  11. Some great road-trip photos there. Taking photos must be a good way to make a long journey pass more quickly, though sleeping is a better way!

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  12. Wonderful photos, Denise. I felt like I was right there with you. Pillows, hunh? Hmmm... I'll have to remember that one.

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  13. Nice story, seems you do the same as me then, sleep while the other half drives, thing is I don't have pillows and get a creek in the neck

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  14. Wow! So many terrific shots! The tower looks cool against the blue sky.

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  15. Thanks for sharing your trip and your wonderful photographs. that snow is DEEP!

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  16. Uau! Quantas fotos lindas! Cada uma com uma história para contar. Gostei muito!

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  17. Good Morning, Denise. I enjoyed your road trip photos.. The Staten Island ferry is a surprise..The baby shower sounds like fun! I am glad you were able to visit with family, great photos. Enjoy your day and the weekend!

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  18. I've enjoyed being 'on the road' with you! I'm sure you had a good time with family - emotional moments at the baby shower due to flashback memories and so on - and I'm glad you got safely home. Stay safe in those snowy weather conditions.

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  19. It was fun following you on your trek home. I know the 'homing pigeon' feeling as we pass one landmark after another and get closer to home. Stay safe and cozy on the upcoming storm.

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  20. i enjoyed my ride along with you! i too get excited when i see landmarks that let me know we are close to home! so happy they got the boy out of the water, what a scare! how neat to see that staten island ferry, what a surprise! i'm happy you had such a nice visit with family and the snow kept you there a bit longer...and those are super cute invites!! thank you for linking and have a great weekend!!

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  21. I give you credit for enduring such a long car ride. It would have made me crazy as I hate to sit for long periods of time.

    Your story about the little girl who grew up to have a baby of her own was very touching.

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  22. I enjoyed all your traveling pics. we have not taken a trip since I got digital cameras. i have been on 3 by myself but can't drive and shoot.. glad you got there and back safely and had so much fun time with your family.. the baby shower invitation is adorable.

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  23. OOOOH, it looks COLD. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  24. Great photos! I would love to see carriers on the water.

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  25. Willy Nilly , I miss my mums Brit phrases . Lovely post and photos glad you had a good time . Thanks for sharing , have a good day !

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  26. I think that first sequence full of subtle grey shades are my favourites but what a lovely bunch. x

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  27. Norfolk Naval Base I guess Denise.
    There are more Carriers alongside there than we actually possess at the moment.

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  28. You passed through many places where I once lived, including Fredericksburg where I graduated from MWC now university. Sniff.

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  29. This has been a fun read from beginning to end, I really enjoyed the photos. And have to admit I got a little teary eyed myself about your introduction at the baby shower. What sweet memories.

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  30. Beautiful sequence of winter shots.

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  31. Cute Possum shot! I really liked viewing where you go on your trips. Great shots!

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  32. I enjoyed seeing all your photos, it sounds like you had a nice visit with family! Have a great weekend!

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  33. I loved taking this trip with you and seeing all the great sights and the sweet family stories. Seeing all the ships on the harbor, especially the ferry and those wonderful red sailboats was very nice. The homes on shore were also very beautiful. So nice to see you and hubby's sweet faces, too. There is nothing as special as spending time with those we love. Hugs xo Karen

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  34. Oh my Denise - I could follow you while you were in Hampton Roads - sights I haven't seen in awhile but I was right there with you. :)
    I used to always sleep and still do a little but my hubby gets tired easier than he used to so we have to try and keep each other awake. :)

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  35. Thanks for taking me on that trip. It is fun to drive in another country while sitting in Australia. it looks cold even though you missed the worst of it. You sounded like you were keen to get home. Bill is like that once we head home there is no stopping him. He even drives faster as we get nearer. Doh!

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  36. Hi Denise, Neat photos ... feel like I was right there going along for the journey. Nicely done. Love those pictures on the water. Thanks for sharing. John

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  37. A gorgeous journey! Thanks so much for taking us with you!
    Have a happy weekend!

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  38. Thanks for taking us along for the trip. I haven't had a long road trip since Christmas, it feels like ages ago. Like you, I like to know how long it will be before I am home. You take really good drive bys! I always feels sorry for those who don't enjoy their time with family, and uplifted by those that do.

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  39. How cool that you got a shot of the ferry! I'm so familiar with all those road signs between here and Fredericksburg. I didn't realize you were only an hour out from there. I spied an opossum under our feeders the other night, too. Great shot of you in the car.

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