Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for October, 2010

Valley Gem

On this beautiful sunshiny day, passengers cross the walkway to step onto the Valley Gem, a beautiful sternwheeler on the Muskingum River in Marietta, OH.  Then everyone has to find their favorite spot to view the river.  A few stay below in the enclosed cabin watching through the windows.  Most however climb to the upper deck where they can view the river and its banks quite easily in the open air.

Round tables on the upper deck create a friendly atmosphere for visiting while waiting for everyone to get on board. Or perhaps you would rather stand at the railing and watch the world go by.

Sit back and relax as the captain of the sternwheeler gives a great descriptive discourse as we head down the Muskingum River and join up with the Ohio River.

He tells history of many places along the banks and also some stories of happenings long ago on the small islands that we pass by.

If you are thirsty or just want a snack, there is a snack bar on the first deck.  It is managed today by the friendliest young lady, who also doubles as a caterer on the evening dinner cruises.

Drifting along the river is a great time to relax with friends and share life adventures.  This is a pleasant time so everyone is in a good mood.

One of the great spots for viewing is standing at the rear of the boat so you can watch the large paddle wheel as it works its way through the river.  You might get splashed or sprayed now and then, but on a warm day that can be quite enjoyable.

When walking down the steps to the main cabin area, there is a roped off section where you can stand and the river is just a short distance below. This really gives you the feeling of being on the river.

Valley Gem also rents the boat for private parties, even weddings.  Take a dinner cruise some evening and taste their great buffet. The lights along the river make the trip extra beautiful.

When the cruise came to an end, that pleasant young lady in the gift shop was right there tying the boat to the dock.  Then she, along with the captain, thanked everyone as they left the boat.  She was a multi talented young person and made a great impression on the guests.  Great day for a cruise down the Ohio River.

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Marietta Trolley

On the banks of the Ohio River, climb aboard the Marietta Trolley for a ride back in history through the brick streets of Marietta, Ohio.  The one hour tour is narrated today by a lady who has lived in the area all her life so knows the history quite well. Interesting stories of famous people who have visited the area were part of the adventure.  It is a beautiful day so push open the windows and get some great pictures of the landmarks as we have frequent stops for narratives.

Marietta is the oldest city in Ohio founded in 1788 and named for the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.  LaFayette Hotel is its oldest hotel opened in  1918.  Located where the Muskingum River meets the Ohio River, this hotel is our starting point and will be our lunch stop later in the day.

An interesting sidelight of the tour are the flood markings on many of the downtown buildings showing how high the flood waters came.  1913 looked like the year of a very high flood.  Many times the flood marks were up to the second story of the old brick buildings.

Religion played a large role in the early days of Marietta thus there are many old churches of various religions throughout the town.  The St Mary’s Catholic Church originally housed the  College for Women in its present day parish.

The Great Mound in Mound Cemetery was part of the tour.  The large mound is thought to be the burial place for largest number of  Revolutionary War officers buried in one location. Wonder if their spirits still dwell on the hillside?

Meigs House was built in 1802 (before Ohio became a state in 1803) for Jonathan Meigs, Ohio’s first postmaster, governor and US senator. This beautiful restored brick dwelling that has been used as a home and office, but appears to be a perfect place for a bed and breakfast.

The trolley ride ended with a ride through Historic Harmar Village where you can see the Coca Cola Museum as well as the Children’s Toy and Doll Museum. Gives you lots of interesting places perhaps for another day.

Bouncing back to the Ohio River, our ride ends with lunch in the Gun Room of the LaFayette Hotel.  Maybe you can come back again with some friends and enjoy another trip through Marietta. What an interesting ride!

Schnormeier Gardens

Garden Time again!  Have just received word that these tranquil gardens will be open from June 1-5. 2011 from 10-4 daily.  The owner has added two days to the schedule to accommodate the growing number of annual visitors.  Hope you can find the time to enjoy their beauty.

Tranquility and serenity are two words describing the Schnormeier Gardens near the village of  Gambier, Ohio.  Once a year, usually in June, these beautiful gardens are open to the public. They are also open by appointment for groups during the year.  Take a walk with me and experience their beauty.

Each year the gardens have additions that catch the eye and provide a spirit of peace over fifty gently rolling acres in central Ohio.  As you walk down the grassy hillside to the lake, you breathe in the natural beauty of your surroundings.  In the distance you hear the sound of a waterfall dashing over rocks at a thousand gallons per minute.  Getting closer, you find a seat on a nearby rock and soak in the ambiance of your surroundings.

Walk over the red Chinese bridge to Swan Island and isolate yourself from the cares of the world.  Everywhere the plants have been chosen carefully to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Nearby is the Japanese Tea House, one of my favorite places for inspiration. Here you can hear the waterfalls as it bubbles over the rocks and view the lake through the tea house doors.  Outside there is a stone water basin with a long handled dipper.  Traditionally, this was the place to purify yourself by pouring water over your hands before entering the tea house. Wash away the impurities of the temporal world.

Their home inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright is the central point of the property.  While it is not open to the public, the patio area has several chairs and benches where you can rest and let the peace of the gardens surround you.

There are many paths through quiet woodlands with original sculptures surprising you along the way.  This is a place for meditation and peace.

One pond has a zig zag bridge which is a challenge to your balance.  The swans watch as you pass by and the beautiful water lilies are plentiful.

Words alone can not describe the beauty of the gardens.  This is a place you need to experience first hand. If you enjoy the beauties of nature and want a day of tranquility, take a stroll through the Schnormeier Gardens.

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