Luray Caverns in Virginia

Luray Caverns in Virginia
Luray Caverns in Virginia

Friday, June 30, 2017

Wings Etc Marietta- Marietta Ohio

I wanted to give a huge endorsement to Wings Etc. Grill and Pub in Marietta Ohio.

I know, wing and bar places are pretty common, but I love it when I find one that is exceptional.

AND this place is.  We stopped here for lunch one day on our last road trip and we loved it. 

Wings Etc. in Marietta had a very local feel.  Jerseys from local teams were on the walls.  A lot of people in the place (staff and customers) seemed to know each other.  We saw a lot of families here too.

We had a great waitress who was very sweet and on the ball.  I didn't catch her name but she was everywhere, and she kept our cups full.

I had a buffalo chicken wrap and slaw.  My wife had a chicken sandwich and tots. 

You never know what to expect when you order at a new place.  Some places really go all out on presentation.  You might have a little flag or something sticking out of your sandwich.  I've had small toys brought out with my food before too.  I always worry that these gimmicks are to distract from the food and possible food flaws.

Well, check out the photos!  Our food was brought out in a very simple presentation.  No need for flashy displays......

But it all tasted great!  My wife said that her chicken sandwich was possibly the best she has ever had.  My wrap and slaw were perfect too.  Also, it was not too messy- I have had a lot of buffalo wraps fall apart on me.  Not this time!

This is a nice sports bar too.  There were several ball games on, and I was distracted by some MMA fights.  All their bases were covered.

Like I said, we love this area, and Wings Etc. will be a must stop on future trips.....





Music: Eugenia- Stories and Rhymes

I know this is random, but I was hoping someone might be able to help me out with this one......  YEARS ago, when living in Cleveland, I picked up this CD- Northcoast Buzzard Tracks Vol. II.  I think I bought it used at a Record Exchange for less than a buck.

It came out in the mid 90s....  And it has regional musicians and acts on it.  I am sure this was something of a showcase for local bands hoping to get a little farther.

Anyway...  There is one song on this CD that I REALLY love.  It is called "Stories and Rhymes" by Eugenia.  Its a very melodic song that is poppy but still very original and unique.

I could go on and on about how much I like this song.....  But obviously, this one was never a radio hit... and Eugenia is not a household name. 

And even more sadly, this song and CD came out before most of the facebook/myspace type of pages for bands went up.  I can't find anything out about this band/singer at all anywhere.

Anyway, I am hoping there might be others out there that google about this act and song.....  that might be able to give me more info on them.  If you have any info at all, I would love to hear from ya!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Old Meigs County Court House in Chester Ohio

Here are a few photos from another unplanned side trip recently.  We found a marker noting Meig County's first court house.  It was built in 1823, and is one of three extant Federal style courthouse structures in Ohio.

It seems that a community museum is there now, and the building, along with an old schoolhouse, are the source of some pride in the area.


The marker also notes that John Hunt Morgan was through this area during the Civil War!



Monday, June 26, 2017

Fort Frye High School in Beverly Ohio

Beverly Ohio has one of the all time coolest schools I can think of- Fort Frye.

There are no middle schools in the area, so kids in Beverly go here from elementary school.

I think this is a cool school for one big reason though- Its named after an actual fort that was in the area!  The FORT known as Fort Frye was built in 1791, and obviously now no longer exists.

Here are some photos I took of the outside of the school.






Saturday, June 24, 2017

Marietta Ohio

Hey, remember a couple of years ago when we stopped by Marietta Ohio and did their ghost trek?

Well, I have been itching to get back to this great little town for some time, and we finally got back there and were able to spend more quality time in the general area!

I mentioned on another post that my wife grew up nearby.  She actually grew up in a lot of areas, as her dad was a Methodist Minister and the family moved every few years.  I grew up in a Methodist church, and I remember how the preachers were shuffled around a lot.

BUT, she spent a lot of time in this area specifically, so she is also excited about any opportunities to return here.

I like Marietta too.  Lots of history and lots of small town charm.  There are several great little river communities peppered through this neck of the woods.  I absolutely get the appeal of Marietta.

Check out my pictures.  I took them around a several block area on Front Street.  I love those old buildings that are so perfectly preserved, but some great color has been added.  AND, right here in Marietta, you can see these beautiful buildings, THEN take a short walk, and you can see where the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers meet.  PLUS, you are straddling the state lines in small town/rural Ohio and West Virginia.  That pretty much makes Marietta a perfect little river town!








Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History- Parkersburg, West Virginia

OK, I have already gone on and on about how amazing our trip to Blennerhassett Island/State Park was...... 

Well, after we saw the island we spent some time in it's companion museum.  This great museum has THREE FLOORS of mostly regional artifacts.

There are a lot of things from the island on display.  I was most impressed with pieces of the foundation of the original Mansion from the island.

They also had an incredible collection of Native American artifacts.

Here are some photos!
















Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park- Parkersburg, West Virginia

Let me just say that if you live within a 5 hour drive of Parkersburg West Virginia, you have no excuse for yourself if you have never been to Blennerhassett Island.  I feel pretty guilty that it has taken me this long to make it to the island myself.

I mentioned before that my wife grew up near this area, and she has been saying that we needed to visit for some time.  The place sounded cool and interesting, but it is the sort of place that you really don't get it until you actually visit.

So, we finally made the trip.

You can buy tickets from the Blennerhassett Museum of Natural History in Parkersburg.  We swung by at about 10 minutes to the hour, and the boat to the island goes out every hour.  I asked if we would have time to make the boat ride, and the very sweet lady at the counter said it was worth a try.... she helped us get the process moving.

It was $10 each for the boat ride to the island.  We paid in cash and ran the two short blocks to the riverboat landing as the boat was loading passengers.

It was a very relaxing 25 minute or so ride to the island.  The captain allowed us to get a photo at the wheel which was very cool.  I think everyone on the boat took advantage of this offer.

We got off the boat and went to the easy to find ticket area to buy tickets for the buggy ride, and the home tours.  We could have purchased a combo ticket at the museum, but, as we needed to rush to catch the boat, we just paid for the boat ride.


Anyway, I think it is about $10 a person for each attraction, if I remember correctly.

So, we were able to catch one of the buggy rides around the island right after that.

The horse drawn buggy ride was a lot of fun.  Our driver/guide Jarod told us about the island, the Mansion, and it's history.  Jarod was funny and informative, and we really liked him.  He totally looked the part, and some casting agent needs to sign this guy to play a stage coach driver in a western movie.

After our ride around the island, Jarod told everyone about his horses, who are siblings.  They were very sweet, and we all got to pet them and thank them at the end of the ride.

Many people took a moment to get their photo with the horses, and with the entire buggy.  There were several young children there who obviously loved the experience.

There are other buildings on the island besides the mansion.  Jarod pointed one out specifically that was in ruins.  It was an old brick building.  We were told that Walt Whitman had stayed there at one time, and he wrote a poem about the island!

Oddly, the island is named for the family who built a mansion on it, but only lived there for a short period of time. 

Herman Blennerhassett bought part of the island in the late 1790s, and constructed his impressive pad there in 1798.  Herman would pretty much be forced from the island in 1806, and his home would be destroyed in 1811.


The story is a fascinating one that gets a bit complicated, and is centered around US Vice President #3, Aaron Burr.  Yeah, the same Aaron Burr who seems to pop up in history and cause all sorts of bad things to happen (just ask Alexander Hamilton).

VERY long story short- Aaron Burr convinces Herman Blennerhassett to support his military expedition which probably involves a plot to take over Spanish ruled Texas.  Burr's rival Thomas Jefferson seems to think the plot involves trying to take some of the West from the US, and he goes after Burr for this treasonous plan.

Aaron and Herman spend some time in jail, and Blennerhassett's fortune and reputation were damaged forever.  He would never return to the island, and he would die decades later after working different jobs here and there.  He would never again have the kind of upper class life style he once knew.

After leaving the island, the Virginia Militia (West Virginia was still part of Virginia at this time) would loot and destroy the Blennerhassett home.

Fast forward to the 1980s, and the state of West Virginia decided to reconstruct the mansion.  As photography was still a few decades from being invented when the house was destroyed, they had no photos of the original.  There were written descriptions though, and foundation remains.  Still, some guessing was involved in the reconstruction.


After the horse and buggy ride, we did the tour of the home.  Impressively costumed guides told us about the home, and its history.

From there, we casually walked around the island some.  There is a snack bar near the ticket area.  There is also a very nice and well stocked gift shop.  I had to get a patch and some postcards. 

Luckily, several interesting books about the island were available.  I picked up a nice, small book (50 or so pages) called, "An Island Called Eden" by historian Ray Swick.  It is a very easy to read volume about the island.  The book was only $5 and I am glad I made that purchase!

Boat rides back off of the island go out on the half hour.  After we felt like we had really experience everything, we took the ride back to Parkersburg.