Barn 'n' Bunk

After church this morning, the lovely Robin and I joined Kevin, Aubrey and Calleigh for a buffet lunch at Barn 'n' Bunk in Trenton.

There was no waiting and a good spread. The noodles were especially good.

All the time we've lived in this area, I'd never eaten or even stopped in there (though, of course, Robin had).

The gift shop and ice cream shop (above) was quite extensive.

And the produce section (below) was a lot of fun, too.

What a pleasant way to spend part of a Summer Sunday afternoon.

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The Torrey House

A signature feature of the Montrose Bible Conference grounds is the Torrey House.

Once the home of preacher R. A. Torrey, it serves today as a conference facility.

The home's interior still holds some fine furniture and decor.

The first floor rooms function as lecture rooms and offices.

The woodwork throughout the home is beautiful.

A narrow winding staircase leads to the third floor prayer room.

Currently furnished with just a throw rug and two chairs, the tiny room is a great place to pray.

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Horizon Books, Traverse City, MI

I meant to blog about Horizon Books in Traverse City, Michigan, soon after our return from a family vacation in the area, but...well, you know, life happened.

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new place is to track down any bookstores--especially old ones--in the area and pay a visit. So, when we came across Horizon Books in Traverse City, the game was afoot! It's a magnificent bookstore, three stories of books (see the quilts hanging from the balcony in the photo above?) and more. It is very well organized, the staff is pleasant and knowledgeable, and I could easily have spent the day there!

From the sign to the lower level you can get a sense of the extensive selection in the place. And the cafe in the lower level happened to be hosting a writer's group (see them on the far right in the photo below), which of course did my writer's heart good.

Horizon Books was established in 1961 and is still family owned and operated. They actually have three locations in Northern Michigan: this former JC Penney building in Traverse City, the Milliken’s department store in downtown Cadillac, and a store in downtown Petoskey (which I think I visited a few years ago!). Each store has cozy fireplaces, coffee bars, long hours and a lot going on. A bookstore worth remembering.

Another Walk in Montrose

This evening was another pleasant night for a walk around the historic (established 1799) town of Montrose, Pennsylvania (where I'm speaking this week at a writers conference).

The town is replete with stately old homes, like the sprawling manse above.

Many homes feature stacked stone walls like that above.

The home above wasn't large, but it is very nicely cared for.

The structure above, next door to the conference center, is no longer a private home (it houses the Community Foundation, from all appearances). But it is striking, nonetheless.

And these are just a few. There are many more, making a walk in the neighborhood a true pleasure.

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Location:Lake Ave,Montrose,United States

A Hill You Want to Climb

I posted some time ago on this blog about our family's memorable visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (here). But my latest article on offers even more information about that place. It's a great place to visit. Check it out here. (And, in case you're wondering, you really hafta go to the Examiner article to understand the title of this post).

A Walk in Montrose

I took a walk tonight in Montrose, Pennsylvania.

It's a lovely town here in the "Endless Mountains" of Pennsylvania.

The business area, closed up tight for the night, featured this thrift store (above) among CPA and law firms (Montrose is the Susquehanna County seat; that's the county courthouse below).

I was glad also to see the old-timey Montrose theater still showing films five nights a week.

Well-kept, stately homes proliferate throughout the town. The Rosemont Inn, below, is an example.

It was a fine night for a walk, cool and pleasant after several downpours today. I hope to get in a couple more walks before leaving at week's end.

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Location:Locust St,Montrose,United States

Where You Want to Stay on Old Mission Peninsula

As a followup to yesterday's post, "Why You Want to Visit Old Mission Peninsula," I offer another link to one of my articles, highlighting the amazing accommodations we enjoyed while there on our recent family vacation. Check it out here.

Montrose Christian Writers Conference

After a pleasant ten-hour drive (no, really) I arrived tonight in Montrose, Pennsylvania, for the annual Montrose Christian Writers Conference.

The conference is held every year on the grounds of Montrose Bible Conference, which began in the first years of the twentieth century by R. A. Torrey (that's the Torrey Home, now used for conference purposes, above).

Montrose is a unique place, and an appealing venue for a conference.

After checking into my room and freshening up (which for me consists of mainly looking in the mirror and deciding there are some things that are beyond hope), I headed to the chapel in Dreyer Hall (above and below) for the opening session.

Author Jennifer Sands, the speaker for tonight, did a marvelous job. Afterward, the faculty gathered for the annual dessert at the gorgeous Victorian home of conference director Patti .

So here I am, for the week. I hope to post more this week... between all the speaking and meetings and work of the week.

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Location:Locust St,Montrose,United States

Why You Want to Visit Old Mission Peninsula

One of my recent articles on draws from the great time we had on our recent family vacation on Old Mission Peninsula. Check it out here.

Flub's Saturday Night

The lovely Robin and I enjoyed a refreshing evening tonight with our friends, Scott and Julie Sellers.

Scott and Julie hosted us for dinner at Texas Roadhouse, after which we took ourselves to Flub's, a Hamilton tradition.

The place was crowded, as usual, but the line moved pretty quickly.

Scott had a boysenberry sherbet with cherry coating.

And practically next door, the new Flub's location looks practically complete (with a drive thru).

We enjoyed every minute, and could have gone on talking all night...but we eventually pried ourselves away from each other...until next time!

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Shooting the Hooch

On our recent visit to Atlanta, the lovely Robin and I got to witness firsthand what locals call "shooting the Hooch"--rafting, tubing, or otherwise floating down the Chattahoochee River through Atlanta. We didn't partake ourselves, but after a spectacular Sunday brunch at Ray's on the River, we walked beside the river and saw people floating happily along on a toasty Summer day (as well as a couple guys fly-fishing from a canoe).

Twenty or thirty years ago, “shooting the Hooch” was a hugely popular way to beat the summer heat in metro Atlanta. As the city grew, however, pollution in the river deterred would-be "shooters." But now that the river is reportedly cleaner than it has been in decades, people have returned to the tradition in recent years.

It's possible to float a six-mile stretch of river from the Morgan Falls Dam to the Powers Island unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Maybe on a future visit, we'll join in the fun.

American Shakespeare Tavern

This evening the lovely Robin, Glen, Rick and I shared a wonderful evening at the New American Shakespeare Tavern here in Atlanta.

We had fine seats on the main floor for the show "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)."

We couldn't take pictures during the show, of course, so I contented myself with a photo of the stage.

The hilarious show was ably performed by three actors--and was made even better when they called Rick onstage to play the part of Ophelia's ego.

Such an enjoyable time in a memorable venue.

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Location:Argo Rd SE,Smyrna,United States

Ray's On the River, Atlanta

For brunch today, our hosts Rick and Glen took us to Ray's On the River, on the Chattahootchee River.

I asked our server to take a photo before we started:

They serve an extensive brunch buffet, one of the most extensive I've ever enjoyed:

After a few dozen platefuls, we strolled the gardens behind the restaurant. Beautiful.

Before leaving, we posed for a pic way down yonder on the Chattahooch.

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Location:Durley Ln SE,Smyrna,United States

South City Kitchen, Atlanta

Saturday evening, after concluding the ACW conference in Atlanta, I joined the lovely Robin and her brother Rick for dinner at South City Kitchen.

We were seated quickly and enjoyed outstanding expert service.

The crab cake appetizer (accompanied by pickled okra) was delicious, as was the fried green tomato appetizer (below):

I ordered the trout, and they substituted the mashed potatoes at my request...didn't seem to harm the presentation a bit:

Robin enjoyed her spring chicken entree, and Rick his pork chop as well.

For dessert, I devoured pecan pie a la mode, with a cup of decaf, while Robin and Rick each had banana cream pudding.

It was a lovely meal of fancified southern cuisine with first-class company.

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