Thursday, July 19, 2018

Road Trip To Maryland

The road trip to Maryland was great!

Of course I didn't sleep well the night before we left, but that's me. I made lists, and then updated lists, and tried to rest, but sometimes there's only so much you can do. And, I ended up feeling pretty good about leaving the kitties. Ten year old Clara from across the street, who seems like an old soul and wise beyond her years, was delighted at the prospect of taking care of them. So I made up several days of pumpkin pate for Minnie Mouse and we were ready to go!

We were a little surprised about the toll roads that started around Chicago. Luckily we had some cash for the smaller tolls, and then the stretches of road became longer and we were able to use a credit card. I think all in all it was close to $100 that we paid for tolls, both ways. I started to think about when we took road trips to Pennsylvania when I was little, and had a memory of my dad tossing coins into the bin as we travelled the Pennsylvania Turnpike. That was a good memory. 😊

Once we passed through Chicago and Gary Indiana, the scenery got better. We ended up staying at the Hampton Inn in Fremont, Ohio and ate supper at a Bob Evans restaurant. Our room was nice and cool with the air conditioner, and we found a true crime show to watch on TV before turning off the lights. The bed and pillows were quite nice, and I slept well. Our breakfast at the Inn was tasty ... a mini Denver omelet and roasted potatoes with fresh fruit for me, and a bowl of oatmeal loaded with dried fruit, nuts, and brown sugar for Bruce.

Pennsylvania is such a pretty state. I kept trying to capture it on my phone camera, but just couldn't. I finally gave up and soaked it all in with my eyes. We went through the Allegany Mountain Tunnel, and again I remembered traveling through that same tunnel with my family as we drove to see Dad's parents, Grandma and Pop Pop, in the 1960's.

And then we got to Maryland!

Avi had planned A LOT of things for us to see and do, and we did it all!

After bringing up the wedding gifts to their apartment (a big reason for the road trip in the first place, but also an excellent excuse to visit), we went to a Korean market and had authentic Korean food (bibimbap for me), followed by a Baltimore Orioles/Texas Rangers ballgame.

Saturday morning we drove to DC and spent most of the day seeing the sites (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Pollinators Garden, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial). It was steamy hot, too, and Katie's tracker said we walked over 6 miles that day! The walk to the monuments was long, and towards the end there was a fountain pool where we could take off our shoes and soak our feet. That was heaven. We then drove to Annapolis to walk along the waterfront pier and had supper at the Iron Rooster (chicken and waffles for me, crab cakes for Bruce). Both DC and Annapolis have an abundance of colorful Row Houses, and close to the pier where we were, was a Bed and Breakfast that used to be owned by a guy in Bruce's writer's group and so, of course, we had to stop by there, too.

It was after 10pm by the time we got back to their place, and Katie wanted to make homemade apple pie for a work picnic Avi was going to the next day ... in the end, apple crisp was made instead as Grandma Joyce's homemade pie crust can be tricky to make even when you're not tired from walking miles in the steamy heat! The apple crisp was very delicious, too.

On Sunday morning while Katie went to work, and Avi left to go to his work picnic, Bruce and I went to explore Historic Ellicott City. We got lost along the way, but finally found it only to discover that the main road was blocked off and couldn't be accessed. I asked the guy guarding the road if it was because of recent flooding in the area, and he said it was. It was sad to see that there was so much damage done to all the cute shops and buildings there, and it was disappointing that we couldn't see more. But there was a little restaurant there that was open, and I was able to have some tasty cream of crab soup.

In the afternoon, we drove to Gettysburg, PA to see the Civil War Historic Site and Museum. We stopped at an orchard along the way, and found some apple butter to buy although I wonder if it will be as good as the homemade apple butter my Grandma and Pop Pop used to make ... In the evening, we found a little colonial style pub/restaurant for supper before driving back.

For the short amount of time that we were actually there, we saw a lot. And got to spend a lot of time with them. But then it was Monday morning, and after some toast with peanut butter and coffee in our travel mugs, it was time to go.

We handled the toll booths better this time around, and as we got through Chicago, a decision was made to just drive straight home and skip finding a motel to spend the night. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as the evening passed, I started to think maybe not. We stopped for more coffee around midnight, which really didn't help much. It was 2:30 am by the time we got home and then we had been on the road for 19 hours! I'm thinking that maybe we won't do that again...

The cats were calm when we walked into the kitchen which meant that Clara had taken good care of them.

Thanks for sticking with the story for so long! I wanted to get all the details down before they were forgotten. 😌 And I decided that I like road trips. Perhaps a trip to Albuquerque will be next!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July Updates

Almost the middle of July already, and I don't know how time passes by so quickly!

We've been keeping busy with weekly overnight trips to the lake, fishing, grilling, eating, walking, reading, sudoku, and taking mom to see dad. Oh, and a few guitar/singing gigs for Bruce (I feel a little bit like a groupie). We had bookclub here last week, but decided not to sit in the hot tub because the weather has been so steamy hot, and sitting in a cool house just felt so much better. Nick came home for a visit on the 4th, and we grilled chicken and went to see Jurassic World, which was just so so, but it's always fun to watch a movie in the theatre. I then wondered if I could see any fireworks from our yard now that the big tree is gone, but no such luck.

Mark turns 60 this week! We had a birthday supper for him, and put 60 candles on his chocolate orange poke cake ... Bruce didn't think it was a good idea, and brought out a little fire extinguisher to have close by just in case ... 😏 ...  it was fine, though, all good. I also made a pork roast in the slow cooker along with mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, an asian salad, and sliced watermelon. Mom said her favorite vegetable was corn, so that worked out well, too.

But, the biggest news of all is that we are planning a road trip out to Maryland to visit with Katie and Avi! I've already talked to the neighbors across the street, and they said they would take care of our fur babies while we are gone. This is huge for us, it's been many years since we've traveled anywhere. And we'll drive so we can bring their wedding gifts out to them.

Lots to do to get ready, but it should be a grand adventure.