Archive for the ‘Maryland’ Category

Maryland Drive By

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

When we travel I have many forms of technology available to help guide us to the best route and insure we don’t run into any problems for a vehicle as large as we are.  I use software on the computer to map our whole route which began in Mesa AZ and will end in San Jose sometime in October; I have my iPhone and Ipad to help guide us to what is ahead like campgrounds, fuel, bridges or toll roads; and then we have a GPS which always seems to disagree with all the other technology.  Since we are traveling with another couple I have added information to guide me along.  We have radios so we can communicate information to each other or more importantly they can share that their GPS, smartphone, atlas, etc.  disagrees with what I am doing!!!

Most of the time all this information is very helpful like when we are traveling through Virginia and we see a sign that says there is a bridge/tunnel ahead and we have to stop and be inspected before entering.  What?  That is what all 3 of my travelers are asking as we past the sign!  We were not suppose to be taking any tunnels, we routed ourselves around the Chesapeak Bay Bridge Tunnel.  Well, sometimes your technology fails you.  The good news is it was a quick stop, get out turn off the propane and the nice lady lets us proceed.  The really good news is the tunnel was very short and Paul now can say he has taken his RV underwater.

The other great thing about all this technology is you can find things you thought you were going to miss.  Traveling through Maryland I get a call on the radio that we need to stop and go see where Pat’s mom grew up.  We had discussed this but thought we were not going close enough and she wasn’t even sure she had the right information.  As we are traveling around the outside of Baltimore Pat has been on the cell phone with her family in CA and gets new information that indicates we are passing right thru the small town that her mom had grown up in.

“Exit here” is what I get on the radio.  Wait, we have two rigs that are over 50 feet long and we are exiting before I can access all my APPS that tell me what is ahead!  What about low wires, skinny streets, no where to turn around!  We take the exit and are now dumped into a commercial area with lots of stores and cars wizzing by.  My drivers are pretty good, Paul spots an empty lot about a 1/2 mile up on the left and it looks perfect for us to manuever.

We get stopped, Kip unhooks the tow vehicle and three of us take off for Ellicott City to look for a house on Rest Lane that Pat had been to when she was 5!!!  What a great adventure this is and is only 5 miles off of our path.  Ellicott City is a very old community outside of Baltimore which now looks like a thriving tourist destination with lots of cute shops and that charm of a century ago.  Using GPS technology we find Rest Lane but we don’t have an address that agrees with the ones on the houses.  Pat’s five year old memory is not matching what we are seeing in 2012 however we take photos of several houses that might be it.

This is it!

It has been decided that this was the house her mother grew up in.  On our way into this neighborhood we passed a neighborhood market so I suggest we return there and maybe someone knows something.  It was only 2 blocks away from here.  The Market was perfect.

Oella Market

This place has been here a 100 years so I am sure Pat’s mom also stood in front of the steps years ago.   The current owner has only been there 30 years but his mission is to learn the history of the area and he has books and all kinds of pictures from the past.  Pat got to see her mom’s home village and I got to see another spot that might be on my radar for a future visit!

Historic Towns and Battlefields

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

We woke up to a rainy day and we were planning to visit the Historic Town of Shepherdstown, and the battlefields of Harpers Ferry and Antietam Battlefield.  Even if you are not a history buff (like me) you will still be touched by the vast amount of information there is about the American Civil War. Just thinking about this war and the lives lost and how hard it was fought gives you chills!

After dropping our friend Tom off at the VA Hospital for an appointment, Paul, Karen and I headed to the town of Shepherdstown, the oldest town in West Virginia where during the war most of the buildings were turned into hospitals during the battle of Antietam.  The town is now mostly a tourist location with many quaint shops and places to eat.  We chose a wonderful bakery and had lunch while waiting for the weather to improve.  Shopping was a must do for me as I have seen way to many gift shops with items of historical value and needed some real boutique finds – SUCCESS!

Shepherdstown Museum

Teachers College

Built in the town of Shepherdstown is The Little House, a miniature house built in 1929 as a project that teachers could watch children in a “Direct Experience Method”.  The house is a 5 room, 2 story complete house that is made child size.  The detail was amazing.  When it was original built it was a farm with a barn and field crops. 

The Little House

Finally Tom was done with his appointments and we headed to Harpers Ferry National Park.  Harpers Ferry is where the Civil War essentially started when John Brown raided the armory to steal guns and arm the slaves.  The raid failed, but the damage was done.  The town of Harpers Ferry is located where the Shenandoa and the Potomac Rivers meet.  A section of the Appalachian Trail runs along the river here so I walked a short distance to say we walked the Appalachian Trial!  Way more history here and a walk across the Potomac river before heading to our next Battlefield.

Bridge over the Potomac River

Thomas Jefferson Rock

Appalachian Trail

Harpers Ferry on the hillside where the two rivers meet

Harpers Ferry Catholic - high upon the hill

Intricate stained glass

Our last stop for the day was Antietam Battlefield which is the largest one we have seen so far and it covers miles of farmland in Maryland.  There is a driving tour and everywhere you turn there is a memorial to a regiment that fought during this battle.   The battlefields are now covered in corn and wheat which deer are really enjoying. We drove most of it and ran out of time as it was getting dark!

This concludes our Civil War tour for now as we are heading north and won’t have much time for site-seeing until we get to New York.

Washington DC

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Next stop is Williamsport Maryland to see our friends, Tom & Karen who worked with us this winter at Val Vista Village and the Angels Baseball Stadium.  They are working at a Jellystone Park this summer which is about 60 miles from Washington DC.  We have 3 nights here and only one day to do Washington DC!  This is basically impossible but we take what we can get.

We drove the 50 miles to the first Metro Station and hopped on the train for the City arriving about 12 noon.  Paul loves museums and what better place than Washington DC for museums; they are all free and amazing.  Our last trip to DC in 1984 gave us the tour of the monuments and the Air & Space Museum so this time Paul wanted to start with the Museum of American History since we have been seeing so much civil war history this was a natural choice for him.  I thought a couple of hours here and maybe we could hit the The National Art Gallery.  That didn’t happen!  Paul spent 5 hours in the History Museum and didn’t see the whole thing – we did stop for lunch BUT….  The Smithsonian Museums are beyond compare to other museums and there is a lot to see.  The highlight of my day was I got to see A purple Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Dorthy’s Red Slippers, the Greensboro Lunch Counter from the 19 60 sit ins and Julia Child’s Kitchen!  Paul learned all about transportation, civil war, and electricity (I think)!

Anyway the museums close at 5:30 so plenty of time to see the major monuments however it was pretty hot & humid and this was the most walking I had done since I fell so I was beat!  We tried to find a spot to eat and rest but I was just too exhausted so we found the subway and made our way back to the suburbs! 

We did get a few photos of our day of the major sites on THE MALL.

looking toward the Capitol Building

The Whitehouse

The Washington Monument

Lunch Wagon

This was all we could find nearby for food after spending the day in the museum however once we got back to our car and on our way we found a great sports bar to have dinner in, The Green Turtle.  A great place, probably a chain but we had never heard of it and the French Onion Soup was some of the best I have had.  It was such an interesting name I bought myself the Shirt!  Someday I will wear it and take a photo!!!