Nevada Restaurant

The lovely Robin and I enjoyed another fine meal with friends today, this time at the Nevada Diner in Bloomfield, NJ.

Robin and I both ordered one of their salad selections, and enjoyed it immensely.

With a raspberry vinaigrette and capable, friendly service (and first-rate company), it couldn't have been better!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

The Shannon Rose

What a fine meal the lovely Robin and I enjoyed tonight, thanks to the kindness of our friends and hosts this weekend, Larry and Janet Ashcraft, and our friends Vernon and Dorothy Post, at the Shannon Rose Irish pub in Woodbridge, NJ.

The Shannon Rose holds four bars and several beautifully appointed dining rooms. The six of us--teetotalers all--ordered none of the nineteen beers on tap. But five of us ordered the same entree: the Chicken O'Henry, which was delightful (below):

And Dorothy, the lone dissenter from the Chicken O'Henry consensus, said she enjoyed her Lemon Artichoke Chicken.

The portions were ample, perfectly prepared, and quickly served. It was in every respect a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Eagle Rock Reservation

After a fine day of teaching and fellowship at today's marriage and family seminar at the Montclair (NJ) Salvation Army corps, our friends Larry and Janet Ashcraft took me and the lovely Robin for a quick visit to Eagle Rock Reservation and its amazing view of The Big Apple:

Eagle Rock Reservation is 400+ acres of hills, streams, and valleys located on the borders of West Orange, Verona, and Montclair, New Jersey. During our years of living in the area (roughly a bajillion years ago), Robin and I several times visited this spot for Easter morning sunrise services.

Since then, several moving 9/11 memorials have been added to the site, including the above. The waist-high wall in two of the photos above is inscribed with names of the victims of that terrible day. And in the NY skyline can be seen the under-construction Freedom Tower that is being built on the site of the World Trade Center.

It's a beautiful spot filled with fond memories...and great significance.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Bob's Stores

The lovely Robin and I arrived in our old stomping grounds in northern New Jersey this afternoon for a weekend of fun and ministry.

On our way to the Montclair Corps for dinner and this evening's program, we passed Bob's Stores. No time to stop but I'm sure they'd have given me free stuff if we had.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunset at Luxor

I didn't take this photo of sunset on the Nile, at Luxor. But one of my favorite co-travelers took it. It is the work of Willa Patterson, one of our 2010 Holy Land/Egypt group who always seemed to get the best shots. Thanks, Willa.

A Walk on the Beach

It was a beautiful day yesterday afternoon to take a walk.

I headed out around 2, local time, and followed the eastern shore of the inlet of Dale Hollow Lake that ripples to and from Camp Paradise Valley.

Sunshine. Shale. Sand. Minnows. Bluegill. Little yellow butterflies. Darning needles. Redtail feather.

Trees. Grass. Shells. Roots. Clear clean blue water. Cloudless sky.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Dinner at Dale Hollow Lake State Park Resort

Tonight the lovely Robin and I drove the dozen or so miles to Dale Hollow Lake State Park Resort, where we heard there was a restaurant (it's slim pickin's around here on a Monday night, otherwise).

We weren't disappointed. The beautiful lodge at the resort includes a sizeable, well staffed restaurant overlooking the lake.

Our meal, very reasonably priced, included a well-stocked soup and salad bar, and the ribeye special was delicious (though Robin's was overdone, more's the pity).

But it was otherwise a splendid meal in an absolutely gorgeous location.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Flexibility in Burkesville, KY

Last evening the lovely Robin and I took a long driving tour of Burkesville, KY (quite an accomplishment in itself, in a small town). One of the highlights of the tour, believe it or not, was the sign for Hamilton's BBQ in town:

The eatery's posted hours are "USUALLY open at 9 am Thur-Fri-Sat." Refreshingly honest, flexible, and unpretentious.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Evening Walk in Paradise Valley

Today was the first full day of Fall, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to take a walk this evening, though the day was fading fast.

So, with everyone gone from a busy weekend and the lovely Robin and I back on the camp grounds after dinner, I ventured out as the sun set and the moon rose. Chilly but pleasant. I heard an owl call (but didn't hear my name). A squirrel warned every creature in the woods of my progress, seemingly step by step. A brisk walk. A vespers prayer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Camp Paradise Valley on Dale Hollow Lake

I spoke this weekend at the Asbury University Salvation Army Student Fellowship (SASF) retreat, held at the SA's KY/TN Division's camp--Camp Paradise Valley--near Burkesville, Kentucky.

It is a beautiful camp, deep in a valley (maybe that's where they got the name) straddling the KY/TN border (the state line runs through mid court on the basketball court, as shown in the photo above).

The camp also enjoys access to the area's sprawling Dale Hollow Lake, which only adds to the beauty of the place.

The weekend was blessed with beautiful weather, too. Saturday afternoon gave the students a chance to play dodgeball and other games. No injuries were reported, probably because I didn't play.

The campfire circle on Saturday night provided opportunity for singing, sharing, and s'mores. With all that, really, who could ask for s'more?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Hot Rod BBQ, Burkesville, KY

On the recommendation of a local, our friends Doug and Debbie Burr hosted me and the lovely Robin for a meal at Hot Rod BBQ in Burkesville, Kentucky.

Hot Rod BBQ is only open for business Thursday through Sunday...and a sign inside the eatery said they would soon be closed Thursdays as well. Must be the economy.

Never one to pass up a chance to eat barbecue ribs, I ordered a half rack with baked beans and (a new addition to the menu) green beans.

The ribs were nicely cooked, tender and tasty. The "mild" sauce, which I tried on half the slab, was vinegary rather than sweet. Not my taste, but the ribs really didn't need the sauce, so my enjoyment wasn't hindered at all.

Cleanup was a cinch, as everything was served in and with disposable items. The service was quick and polite...though when someone (don't worry, Doug, I won't mention who) started to exit without paying, our server was right behind. We might have escaped but decided not to chance it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

On the Border

The lovely Robin and I arrived this afternoon at The Salvation Army's beautiful Camp Paradise Valley, on scenic Dale Hollow Lake.

The camp is situated in a valley (maybe that's where they got the name!) that straddles the Kentucky/Tennessee border.

We are here for the weekend with a group of students and volunteers from Asbury University and the Salvation Army Student Fellowship, under the leadership of our friends, Majors Doug and Debbie Burr.

I'll be speaking tonight (Friday), tomorrow, and Sunday in the camp chapel (though the lack of phone and Internet service may mean this post won't appear until later, perhaps after the weekend).

But we're so blessed to be a part of this lively group in this lovely setting. We are praying for and expecting God to show up in the beauty and splendor of his holiness.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Old Mission Peninsula

A couple summers ago, my kids and grandkids vacationed with us on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, Michigan. This photo, of my son and his son walking together in the lake near the Old Mission lighthouse, is one of my all-time favorites.

An iPhone-as-Camera Downside

One of the many reasons I love my iPhone is that it takes excellent pictures, eliminating the need when I travel to pack a camera. Less weight, less baggage, less to remember, less to think about...especially compared to the Nikon camera and lenses I carried each day on our 1987 trip to Israel (the photo above, taken by the lovely Robin--using yet ANOTHER camera--gives only a glimpse of the camera and bag, both hanging by straps from my neck).

So on our most recent travels, it has been a delight to use our iPhones as cameras (though we remove the SIM cards to be sure we don't incur any unexpected charges from incoming texts, calls, etc., while in a foreign country).

Still, we did discover one disadvantage on our 2010 trip to Jordan, Israel, and Egypt, which we have kept in mind ever since. While I was actually exploring INSIDE one of the ancient pyramids at Giza, Robin wandered around the amazing site with friends. At one point, however, she wanted a photo of just her with the pyramids in the background, and our friends were off doing something else. But that's not a problem, as there are numerous young boys at the site, eager to perform nearly any task for tourists, in the hopes of getting a tip for their efforts. She started to ask one of the boys to take her picture with her iPhone, when it dawned on her...the device (unlike many conventional cameras) may just have been too tempting for the kid. He could have run off with it and disappeared into the crowd, losing not only the phone itself, but all the pictures she had taken in the previous days of our tour.

To date, I think that may be the only disadvantage we've discovered in using the iPhone as our small-but-high-quality travel camera: you can't hand it to just anyone to take your picture.