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.



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