It is the little things in life that make it so special and sometimes it just takes a nice Sunday drive to make the day a slam dunk! My grandparents used to go on Sunday drives all the time – they really enjoyed just getting in the car and going for a drive! Sometimes my brother and I would get to go with them when we were kids – it created many, many fond memories of time spent with them! We’d go to the lake or just ride around the country side looking at the scenery – quite often we’d drive down Rt. 18 to pick up brown eggs from the farmer that Grandpa liked – and we’d almost always get to stop for an ice cream or maybe lunch somewhere! Then, when I got married and moved to NC, we would get in the car just about every Sunday to drive around and scout out the surrounding area – we had to learn where things were and what the area had to offer. Every Sunday, we’d take a different road and just see where it took us……and, yes, just about every time the ride would include stopping for ice cream or lunch somewhere and quite often finding something really cook to do or see along the way! So, it wasn’t surprising when I moved back home and decided to use Sunday drives as my way to reacquaint myself with my home town and surrounding areas……but, I didn’t confine myself to Sundays! hehehe Taking a drive around just to see what you can find and looking for cool stuff to look at can make for the most enjoyable day……and it only costs a little gas and maybe the price of a treat along the way!
Today, my Mom and I shared just such a day. After church, we met for breakfast – as we do most Sunday mornings. I mentioned that I thought I might take a drive to the lake to check out the Oak Orchard On The Lake community……I’ve heard a lot about it and knew it was across the river from Point Breeze, but wasn’t sure how to get there (without jumping in the river and swimming to the other shore – LOL). I was talking to someone who lives there in church this morning and she told me how to get there. So, I wanted to check it out and asked Mom if she wanted to go for a ride and find it with me! She did, so off we went!!!
I am so very glad we did…….first, it was a gorgeous day and a real joy to share it with Mom…….second, the Oak Orchard On The Lake community is incredible — a lovely setting with beautiful homes overlooking the lake with tons of trees and foliage making everything look so inviting! And, the lake was breathtaking, today – calm and a dark, vivid blue to contrast against the gorgeous sky! It was all just so perfect!!! So, here’s how the day went and a few of the photos I took along the way:
We started out by going to Medina for gas — I had 40 cents a gallon off the cost of gas accumulated on my TOPS card, so wanted to use it to fill my tank! As I was pumping my gas, I noticed this stunning golden locust tree – the colors of the leaves against the sky begged me to take a photo!
Then, we cut up Culvert Road to the Ridge and down Kenyonville Road to Rt. 18. We turned onto Archibald Road and took it to Oak Orchard On The Lake! It was like stepping into a painting of a wonderful summer scene from yesteryear……so many lovely homes and stunning views of the lake! I stopped to take a few photos of the lake…..you know I can’t resist the lake!!!
Those barely visible white dots on the horizon are a bunch of yachts and sailboats out enjoying the lake!
In the distance, you see the area extended out into the lake? That is the west side of the Oak Orchard River at Point Breeze – that is the break wall and lighthouse that I have photographed so many times from the other side…..now I have seen it from this side!!!
The following photo is a zoomed in shot so that the lighthouse and break wall are visible:
See the lighthouse just to the left of the trees at the opening of the river into the lake?
Then, we left to take a drive through Sunset Beach – just down the road a ways. My grandparents owned a cottage in Sunset Beach for many years and I spent a ton of time there as a child and teenager. We drove through the community and found a few changes, but mostly were sad that a large part of it hadn’t been kept up as it was when we were a part of the community! I also thought that it felt much smaller than it did when I was younger……of course, it wasn’t, really! I used to walk all over the little roadways and play with the other regular kids who spent their summers there – the Cottons and Taylors from Batavia and others……we covered every inch of the community on a daily basis and had bon fires at night as we played hide and seek, kick the can, and other games after dark and roasted marshmallows and made little campfire pies and smores around the fire. I also remember walking to the little common area at the ledge that overlooked the lake after dark to sit on the park benches and just listen to the water crashing up onto the shore below. Later in life – in my early 20s, I rented my grandparents cottage with a friend one summer – we had a great summer that year with friends and parties at the lake just about every weekend! I have so many incredible memories of Sunset Beach that I decided to NOT take any photos of it, today — I chose to keep my memories intact!
There is a little road that connects Sunset Beach with Lakeside Beach (not the state park, a little cottage community beside Sunset). We took that road and drove through Lakeside. We used to visit friends there. I remember one time visiting friends and me, my brother, and some other kids went down the bank to wade and throw stones in Johnson’s Creek…..when I stepped out of the creek and looked down at my legs, they were covered with blood suckers!!! EEEWWW!!! I’ll never forget that —– and I NEVER put my feet or any other body part in Johnson’s Creek again – not even when I went late night catfish fishing at the creek with my then boyfriend (later husband) and his sons!!! I snapped the next two photos along the drive in Lakeside — many of the cottages there are along the right side of the road and the lake with just a small patch of land across the street from each cottage – those cottage owners put chairs and picnic tables across the road so they can enjoy the lake view! One photo is one such sitting area and the other is a gorgeous hibiscus bush with the lake in the background.
As we went further down the road in Lakeside, we found ourselves on a VERY narrow winding road (no, scratch that and replace it with the word “PATH”) that was just barely wide enough for the car…..there was a ditch on the right side and the left side was an extremely steep drop off to the creek below – and NO shoulder or anything to keep you from sliding right off to disaster!!! I was getting sick to my stomach, so we found a somewhat safe place to get turned around and got out of there!!!
We commented on how there used to be little ice cream stands around both Sunset and Lakeside Beaches back in the day – all within a short walking distance! But, there were none to be found anywhere anymore! So, I said, “well, we can always stop in at Brown’s Berry Patch and get an ice cream”! It was settled – that would be our next stop!
We ordered a couple of cones and sat in the little dining area to enjoy our treats! Then, we headed back to Mom’s!
After I dropped Mom off at her house, I swung by the cemetery to water our crocks…..they are still blooming and looking amazing!!! One tree caught my eye near my Great Grandmother’s grave – I just loved the variation of colors and the way the sun and sky made it look – I had to capture it in a photo…….I am disappointed, though, that the photo doesn’t do it justice at all – it just looks like an ordinary tree and it looks quite extraordinary in person!!!
So…….our day is done, but we had such a great time and made a few new memories and shared a few old ones!!! Can’t beat that!!!