April Daily Photos – Week Three

Continuing on with the Daily Photo Challenge topics for April — the “FOOD” month!

HEALTHY

INDULGENT

A RED FOOD

SAVORY

SWEET

April Daily Photos – Week Two

Why is April flying by??? I like April – the budding trees and bushes, the sprouting flower, the birds chirping, the greens becoming vibrant……it is the promise of new life and warmth and sunshine brought with the cleansing rains! I want to cherish and enjoy it……

In the mean time…..here is my next set of April Daily Photos……hahahah!

Reminder – April is “FOOD” month — I’m a bit sick of photographing food and finding creative ways to photograph food and finding food that is interesting enough to try to photograph…..but, I have a mission and this is it…..and I get it done! LOL

COOKED

IN MY PANTRY

DESSERT

GREEN FOOD

SNACK

A FAVE RECIPE

INGREDIENT

KITCHEN

TWO THINGS

A DRINK

WHITE FOOD

That’s all……a tad more than a week’s worth cause I got all wrapped up in Easter weekend and forgot to post! But…..that’s how I roll, sometimes!

Next week……more food…..YAY!!!!

Lenten Daily Photo Challenge – Week Six

And, so, we come to the end of Lent. I had a lovely Easter and hope you all did, as well. I missed a couple topic days this round, but here is what I ended up capturing to round out the last of the 2022 Lenten Daily Photos:

BREAD

SELF-PORTRAIT

PALMS

A MORNING MOMENT

SPIRITUAL SPACE

FLAME

GOOD NEWS

These special lists are always a fun way to enhance my daily photo creativity. Lent and Advent are the normal ones, but others sometimes pop up during the year, as well. Maybe I’ll find another one to do in the coming months. If not, I’ll be back with Advent……..

Riverdance Adventure – 04-09-22

So…..today, I got on a bus with my adventure buddy and 40+ other people and went to see Riverdance at the beautiful historic Shea’s Theater in Buffalo. The day trip was put together by the Busy Buddies group I belong to…..always great trips and fun things to do!

All I can say is WOW……

I always wanted to see this performance and now that I have, I can say it was worth the wait! Absolutely fabulous!!! This was the 25th anniversary performance.

I thought it was just about the dance, but it is so much more — it is dance and song and music and story and emotion with beautiful backdrops and so much talent and energy and excitement…..and, yes, it’s about the dance, too!

Shea’s Theater is incredible – such a beautiful work of art and architecture and history. This was my second time seeing a show at Shea’s. I saw Jersey Boys there a few years ago with the same adventure buddy that went with me, today. You get a special feeling sitting in the seats and looking around at the ornate arches, balconies, and architecture. Simply stunning!

Don’t let the empty seats fool you……we got there a bit early and I took these photos before it filled in! My friend and I were lucky, though – the seats on each side of us were empty, so we had some nice elbow room – lucky for me because the girl in front of me was very tall and would have almost totally blocked my view if I wasn’t able to lean onto my arm rest to comfortably look around her.

It was great to go on a group bus trip – yeah, we could have driven ourselves and got our own tickets….and spent less in the long run…..but, we would have had to drive, find a place to park, pay for parking, deal with city traffic……this way, we got on a bus right here in town, someone else did the driving, they dropped us off right at the door and picked us up at the door after…..AND…..the day trip cost included dinner, too!!!

After the show, we went to Sean Patrick’s restaurant. I’d never been there, but had heard it was very nice. Well…..that’s an understatement! It is a very ornately decorated restaurant. We had a banquet room with just our group at several large round tables. The waiters were wonderful.

THE LOBBY

You know I can’t resist taking a selfie when I see something like this…..hehehe

The meal choices were chicken french or strip steak…..I chose the strip steak.

The meal began with delicious warm rolls and a cup of Italian Wedding Soup — so good!!! Then a very nice salad. Then, the main course – the entree’s were served with mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley of broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, summer squash, zucchini, and carrots and the steaks also had an onion ring on top. Then, the meal was capped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and whipped cream….perfection!!!

I have to say I was concerned about the steak — NY Strip isn’t a very fatty cut, so not so forgiving if it is cooked too much (unlike, say, a ribeye that has more fat and can take a little longer cook) and they didn’t ask us how we wanted it cooked and they were cooking a large group all to be served at the same time – not easy……I’m pretty picky about my steaks – I like it medium rare and if it is slightly more rare, that’s OK, too! I was sure it was going to be cooked too much for my liking — and, when I cut into it, it was definitely a tad over medium……I don’t know how they did it, but it was amazing — tender, juicy, and had incredible flavor!!! They did a GREAT job….it was absolutely delicious and very enjoyable to eat!!!

It was a wonderful day……fabulous show……great meal……good friends……fun conversations……and someone else drove!!! We left town at noon and returned at 8:00.

Another great adventure in the memory banks!!!

April Daily Photos – Week One

Hello April!!! Woo Hoo!!! On with the first week of April Daily Photos….reminder…..April is FOOD month!

ON MY PLATE

(Memories of a great pulled pork sandwich and onion rings….)

A VEGETABLE

A FRUIT

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

RAW

Check next week to see what other delectable food items I’ll have to share……

Lenten Daily Photos – Week Five

Here are the Daily Photos for the Fifth Week of Lent…..as we approach Holy Week, this challenge is winding down…..I’ll be sad to see it end.

KITCHEN TABLE

CATHOLIC POP-CULTURE

GIVING BACK

STRENGTH

TRYING SOMETHING NEW

(She never liked peas, before…..but, all she ever tried were pureed…..)

ANIMAL FRIENDS

OLD FRIENDS

That’s all for now…..

Sight and Sound Adventure – Lancaster, PA

March 2022 – I took a two day bus trip to Lancaster, PA with the Busy Buddies and Eastern Star groups to attend the production of “David” at the Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster. We left early Monday morning and returned late Tuesday evening. It was a really nice trip. Here’s how it went:

We got on the bus operated by Grand Tours Monday at 7:00 am.

This was our bus – the photo was taken at the hotel in Lancaster

It was a full bus…..so many of us were just happy to be going on an adventure after so long

About 2:30, we arrived at the Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA. This is a family run “village” with 40+ shops, eateries, a working canning kitchen, and an Inn right in the midst of Lancaster farmlands and Amish country. The weather wasn’t cooperating, though…..it was about 30 degrees, damp, and VERY windy and I was in quite a bit of pain from sitting so long on the bus with a bit of sciatica. So, it kind of put a damper on the “joy of shopping” for my friend and I. Some of the others felt the same, but there were quite a few who weren’t deterred by the weather at all – they still visited as many shops as they could….LOL. As for my friend and I, we started out with lunch at the Harvest Cafe. I chose the soup and 1/2 sandwich – an open faced chicken salad topped with a cranberry/orange marmalade and chicken corn soup…..soooooo good!!! this was the only meal that was “on our own” – the rest of the meals on the trip were included in our tour price. We did a bit of browsing at a few of the shops – mainly in the Jam & Relish Kitchen and a couple of artsy type shops. I also strolled through a Christmas shop. All the shops were just lovely! I really wish it had been a better day so we could have done more browsing – such a nice place with lots of outdoor seating that I would have LOVED if it was a bit warmer and sunny. Maybe I’ll get another chance to visit it.

We spent about 2 1/5 or 3 hours there and then went on to check into our hotel. We stayed at the Country Inn of Lancaster. It was a lovely hotel – nicely decorated and very comfortable rooms. the beds and pillows were so comfortable and the room was very quiet…..I slept like a baby! They had free coffee, tea, and popcorn available at all hours in the lobby and a limited continental breakfast offered in the morning. I would stay there, again.

Dinner was at 7:00 that evening at the restaurant on the hotel property – just across the parking lot. It was a buffet style dinner with several options. Everyone gathered there just before 7:00. It was a bit late to be eating, for me, and I wasn’t very hungry after the delicious late lunch, so I didn’t eat much. We went back to the room, watched a little TV, and was snoring shortly after 10:00! That put an end to Day One!

After having a muffin, an orange, and a cup of tea at the continental breakfast in the lobby, the bus was loaded and we all headed out to the Sight and Sound Theater.

This is a wonderful theater! It opened in its current state in 1998 – the productions began with “on the road slideshows” in the 1960s and the first Sight & Sound physical location opened in 1976, the second larger Entertainment Center opened in 1991 – that location was destroyed by fire in 1997. So — what millions of people visit in Lancaster, now opened in 1998. Then, in 2008, they expanded to a second location in Branson, MO. They remain a family-owned business to this day and bring the Bible to life through the most amazing productions.

The theater seats 2000 people, but it feels surprisingly small. I’ve attended three productions there and each time, the seats were very good – twice I sat on the main floor and once in the balcony (which I didn’t like, at first, and likely would never choose to sit there, again – but only because of the steep steps I had to descend to get to the row my seat was in – I don’t like heights – but once I was seated, it was really amazing for viewing) – so, I’m confident there isn’t really any “BAD” seats.

The productions are a mix of live performance, animatronics, special effects, and lighting that surrounds the audience. The main part of the production is on the stage to the front of the theater. But, the actors enter from the wings and the aisles from the back of the theater, and there is projected images and some live actors on the side walls, as well. The audience truly feels like they are a part of the performance – part of the crowds – part of the action. AND — they use live animals that can be on stage or in the aisles — if someone is doing something that requires them to ride in on a horse – they ride in on a horse!!! Shepherds tend REAL sheep!!! Flocks of doves fly overhead!!! It is truly amazing!!! The announcer provided some instructions before the show started – he said that there will be live animals and actors in the aisles, so cautioned the audience to stay seated and said “we don’t want you to be swept away by a flock of sheep”……my thought was “why not – I think I’d enjoy that”!!! hahahaha

You are not permitted to take photos in the theater, so no pictures beyond the ones I took at the hotel and outside the theater.

They have done several productions that represent various stories of the Bible and tend to have one each “season”. This trip, we saw “David“. I have to admit, I wasn’t that familiar with the entirety of David’s story – I knew some and realized I knew more than I thought I knew, but I still learned a lot that I was not that familiar with during this extremely emotional production. David was a master poet and musician – he wrote the Psalms. He was a fearless warrior – he slayed Goliath and lead armies into battle to take back the holy land. He was anointed King and favored by God. He also had a dark side and did some things that he, himself, was not proud of and struggled to seek forgiveness for his sins. From the brochure: “Today, as you prepare to see giants fall and the Psalms come to life, it is our hope that one message resounds from the stage: throughout our victories and defeats, God is with us, always.”

I loved how they used original music to bring the Psalms to live through song. Each song took David’s poetic Psalms and turned them into stunning lyrics. Also, each show I see at the Sight & Sound has at least one powerful scene that literally takes my breath away and brings me to tears. This one had two…..both in the second Act. First, was the scene about Psalm 51, written by David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and he seeks forgiveness and cleansing. In particular, it reflects the line that reads “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” In this scene, the theater goes dark with stars all around the room – ceiling, walls, surrounding the stage and the audience – and David is raised on a platform that you can not see, so it looks like he is ascending into the stars and snow begins to fall all around him. I was overcome with emotion! The second was the finale with David’s silhouette on his death bed behind a white curtain – I won’t give away how this was an emotional powerhouse for me because I am not an “ending spoiler”, but I can say it drives home the message of forgiveness and love and really touched my heart. It was also really cool to see the giants fall – first Goliath and then later others – through animatronics – WOW!!!

It was a spectacular show — if you’ve never been to a show at Sight & Sound – either in Lancaster or Branson – you really should treat yourself to an amazing experience and spiritual enlightenment.

After the show, we were taken to the Bird-In-Hand Family Restaurant in Bird-In-Hand, PA – about 15 minutes from the theater. We had an awesome buffet lunch that had so much to choose from – from soup and salads to hot foods of every kind to a wide variety of desserts. It was sooooooo good – everything I took – and I took WAY too much – was absolutely delicious!!! Definitely hope to eat there again someday, for sure! And….after we stuffed ourselves, we started out on the long drive back home.

I really enjoyed this trip…..I recommend doing these trips, if you get the chance. The group I went with usually offers it once a year. Also – First Choice Travel in Batavia is offering pretty close to the same trip (different hotel and some dining options) to see “David” July 13-14, 2022 – check them out. I’m sure there are other groups who offer it, too, but I am not aware of them to add here…..and, of course, you could go on your own, too.

In addition to “David“, the other two shows I’ve seen were: “Moses” in fall 2014 and “Jesus” in spring 2018. All three were incredible!!! All three were very emotional!!! I think “Moses” is still my personal favorite, though. The “take your breath away” moment in “Moses” was when Moses parted the sea – the waves of the parting of the water was projected on the sides of the theater and the sound of the water rushing was so loud and the wind was blowing over the audience and the actors were running up the aisles to get to the other side…..I literally felt like I was in that path created by the parting waters – WOW – what an experience!!! There were a couple of those moments in “Jesus” – definitely the crucifixion scene, for sure, but the one that sticks in my mind most of all was mostly because that show was the one where we sat in the balcony seats — when Jesus ascended into heaven after he was crucified, it seemed like he rose right in front of me – like I could reach out and touch him, if I wanted to!

Other points of interest we did on the other two trips:

On the “Moses” trip: A local guide got on our bus one morning to take us on a driving tour of the Amish communities and gave us a TON of information about the Amish people and their culture – it was fascinating!!! We also had a shopping stop at the Intercourse Canning Company – a great place to shop for jams, jellies, pickles, stuff like that! Link to my blog post about that trip:

https://thoughtsbykim.com/2014/11/04/bus-adventure-to-lancaster-pa/

On the “Jesus” trip: We saw another smaller production in an experiential theater at the Amish Experience called “Jacob’s Choice” – the story of a teen-aged Amish boy who is at the age where he must choose to stay in the Amish community or leave for the English world. In an attempt to help his struggle, his grandfather tells him the story of how the Amish were persecuted in their home land and had to flee to America to start new communities. It was very enlightening and emotional. I wrote a small post on that trip, but didn’t take any photos and didn’t write much, so won’t link it here.

On BOTH trips, we ate at two awesome places: The Amish Experience in Bird-In-Hand, PA and Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, PA – both were great! And, on the first trip, we also had a wonderful meal at an Amish family owned restaurant called Hometown Kitchen in Lancaster. They put on a full Sunday Dinner type meal – turkey and filling (they call dressing/stuffing “filling”), roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttered noodles, peas and carrots, a salad, homemade cranberry jam and strawberry jam, rolls, and dessert! IT….WAS….AMAZING!!!!

So……all three wonderful trips! I am hoping they do “Noah“, again – I’d love to see that one – many of my friends say it was their favorite and they all saw it before I started going.

March Daily Photos – Week Four

Here we go……ending March and getting ready to begin April……woo hoo!!!

I missed the first photo for this group – the 22nd – “A Garden”

A LEAF

A SUNBEAM

GRAFFITI

EMPTY ROAD

A TREE

A SHOP WINDOW

AN OLD BUILDING

A STRANGER

UNDER A TREE

One photo for two topic days……

So – that’s March…..and here are the topics for April – it’s “Food” month!!!

Lenten Daily Photos – Week Four

Today we say goodbye to March…..and the last of the fourth week of Lenten Daily Photos…..here you go:

I actually missed getting the first photo of this week – the 21st – “Transition”

PRAYER JOURNAL

WALK OUTSIDE

MARY

PUZZLE

ALMSGIVING

CHECK-IN

I missed this one, too — the 28th — “Community”

QUIET TIME

WHERE I FIND HOPE

(in the children in our lives)

Still more Lenten topics to go…..the list continues on through Easter Sunday! So, watch for “Week Five”!

March Daily Photos – Week Three

This week brought the First Day of Spring, some gorgeous weather days, and daffodils peeking out of the earth. Soon, we can put our winter coats away and start to get out and enjoy warmer temps and sunny days! Woo Hoo!!!

Here is the next set of Daily Photos for March……can not believe it is the third week of March already – we’ll be in April in the blink of an eye…..and, that’s no April Fool Joke!!!

A PLAYGROUND

A LOCAL CAFE

SOMETHING BORING

(watching grass grow and waiting for buds to appear)

FLOWERS

A GROCERY STORE

SOMETHING WEIRD

Taken in the Haight Ashury District in San Francisco a couple years ago……

A COLORFUL PLACE

So, that’s the topics for the third week in March…….