Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Good Friends, Good Times

Our good friends and neighbors, Barbara & Larry Demaline, came to Clayton Park to spend a week with us. They arrived on Friday, July 24, late in the afternoon. I can't tell you how good it was to see them when they got here! They were a much needed ray of sunshine for us.

We all had a great dinner together after I got off work. Julian grilled brats that were so yummy. And being able to talk with our friends was SO terrific.

I worked my normal 11-6 shift in the store on Saturday. They spent the morning getting their campsite set up and comfortable. We had dinner together at their site, sharing steaks and all the trimmings.

The four of us went to Kay's Restaurant in Lake Ariel for Sunday buffet. I've mentioned it before - this is where you'll find the best French toast anywhere. I, for one, overdid it and ate way too much. No lunch was necessary.

Barb and Larry went to Bushkill Falls (see previous post for photos) for the afternoon. They loved it as much as we did. When they got back, we played cards and had dinner together.

With all our work commitments behind us, we all (including the dogs) went to Promised Land State Park on Monday. The weather was very cooperative - we had a great, warm day to enjoy the outdoors.

Julian and I tried to fish, but didn't have any luck (as always). Barb and Panda enjoyed the lake, as seen in this photo.

Heidi was just happy to be with us. She HATES water!

And here's everyone but Larry, who took the photo.

After enjoying our picnic lunch, we headed back home. We all really enjoyed the day out... with NO rain.

We had been talking to our friends about how much we enjoyed the Wii and played it nearly every evening. Barbara was skeptical, but we talked them into bowling that evening. They both REALLY enjoyed it and we played every evening after that. And both of them did really well at it. Julian and I are taking bets as to how long it will be until they have their own Wii system.

On Tuesday, the four of us went west to the Delaware River for a river rafting trip. We had tried last year in North Carolina, but the drought prevented rafting altogether. But that's not the case here this year, so we were psyched. We stopped in Matamoras for deli sandwiches, which turned out to be so delicious. Then it was out to the loading area to be bussed to the launch site.

We were in the water by about 11:30 for out six-mile adventure. Well, maybe not adventure as the water was very lazy. But it was something Julian and I had never done, so we were ready for anything.

The girls were in the front of the raft and the guys were in the back.

This was definitely NOT a white-water trip.

We found some good rocks and pulled over to dock the raft. The water was 72 degrees, which is very chilly at first. But having been in the sun working our way down the river, it felt great very quickly.

Here's Julian and Donna cooling off with Barbara in the background.

We ate our terrific sandwiches and then had another quick dip. Then it was back in the raft. It was a beautiful trip, in spite of our having to paddle so much in the VERY calm waters.

OK, we did have a few little rapids to deal with and lots of rocks to avoid. But believe me, it wasn't "Deliverance" by any stretch.

On Wednesday, we went into Scranton for lunch at a Thai restaurant. We were not disappointed - the food was great. From there we went to the Houdini Museum and Show. Calling it a museum might be an overstatement. They had lots of Houdini memorabilia stuffed into two rooms. The "tour" went through these two rooms pointing out various highlights, but left no time to just browse. Then we went into the theater area where the two owners put on a very good show.

A new restaurant opened in Scranton which touted authentic Philly cheese steaks on a TV promo that Barb saw one morning. So on Thursday, we headed to Cosmos to find out for ourselves how good they were. Yes, very good! Each couple shared one sandwich and it was plenty for all of us. I'm not a connoisseur, but it was a great sandwich.

From there it was time for shopping before our friends left on Friday. After a little rest period, we got together for our last bowling match. And then it was off to Cooper's Seafood House for a great dinner.

Friday dawned cloudy and muggy. Our friends finished packing up and were on the road (to Niagara Falls) by about 10. And then the rains came - yet again. Julian had to finish his mowing in the rain. I had finished the laundry just as the first drops were falling. Talk about a depressing day! Our friends leaving was bad enough, but the weather on top of that was just wrong!

It was a great week of fun with good friends. It just flew by. We were sad to see them go, but SO happy that we had the week together. We'll look forward to hearing about the rest of their summer RV trip when we are all back home in September.