Category Archives: Maryland

Potomac and DC area exploring-pt 1

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The three of us went down to National Harbor, MD on Saturday the 1st for  Abbey Road on the River, the musical tribute to the Beatles. We went last year and stayed at the Gaylord and had a fun time. I changed the room this year to the atrium area so we wouldn’t have as far to walk. That helped,  as did bringing foods for a few meals, but that’s about it.  It was very humid and just standing in the sun for a few minutes was miserable.  We purchased ‘general admission’ tickets and not ‘preferred seating’. Even though it was suppose to be half price for two days, it was still $70 and we had a hard time just standing and finding a place to stand. Last year they had seats open and we usually got to sit down, almost at every venue. Many times  this year, there were empty seats for the P.A. and people standing elbow to elbow everywhere even up and down the walkways for G.A.. To me that isn’t too safe and not very organized. Saturday night we sat in a little area  for hotel guests near the pool with tables-we could barely see the singers, but we could hear them fine. That isn’t right.

We took a few shots of the bands-I have to ID them by looking at the schedule later, but I think we saw maybe 4-5 bands and last year twice that many.

See all the empty seats for the preferred seats? Behind this fence it was jammed.

That evening we did have a nice dinner at McCormick and Schmicks Seafood right on the waterfront. Sean and I had their McCormick Seafood trio of salmon with grilled shrimp and stuffed shrimp with green beans (under cooked-ugh) and cheesy kind of potatoes.

Brian had Mahi Mahi with  a corn bisque. We also got a huge, delectable piece of  carrot cake to share.

We took a little walk to find a cache. It was about 1/4 mile away and we had to cross over 4 roads, two which had a lot of traffic on them. It was near an interesting rock formation:

This is my early 1970s look.

The hint for the cache made it a little too easy to find. I ‘always’ look at the hint since I have gone to the trouble to go and look for the cache in the first place. It was down from this area behind a rock. Not in good shape. I forgot to bring my bag with my geocaching stuff, so I had no travel bug or swag to drop (really didn’t want to take it to the restaurant). The pen was between another rock which I didn’t see right away, so I used a crayon from the swag-lol.

So we walked on back up through the town to listen to more music and I started to have a coughing attack. It happened when we drove into the place a few hours earlier.  I think my sinuses decided to act up. I was okay after I got into the hotel’s air to revive. I am spoiled by a/c. So we ventured out to ‘good ol’ general admission and right smack in the middle were 4 hotel chairs-with papers on them. I had seen them earlier with papers on them. I watched those chairs for 10-15 minutes and then decided to go sit down. You don’t save hotel chairs in this area. I was the only brave person to do so and another 10-15 minutes went by and sure enough a woman came back and said they were their chairs because they put papers on them. I said you don’t save chairs in this area and I needed to sit for a few minutes. She had a chair next to Brian and her hubby was very nice and said to stay. I said we will leave in a few songs anyway which we did. (We did see her later at another concert and she decided to sit in the 1st or 2nd row-now that’s not a good idea in a closed room with big booming speakers).

Look at the nice view they were stealing from other people. If they wanted preferred seats, they should have paid for them.

On the pier

It felt like about 94-that fan with the mist was worth every penny I paid. I seemed to be the only person with one-crazy!

So after the above fiasco (this was at the night show) Sean took a water taxi over to Alexandria like he did last year. Brian and I walked along the river and still heard the band and saw them from the back. And then…

the lightning show began….

in all my years I have never seen lightning like that-truly spectacular and scary at the same time! We decided to go in as the rain began and they cancelled the show!  Inside everyone was going upstairs, so we did also. They did the firework show anyway which was pretty awesome.

‘Fire and Rain’

Not a fun way really to watch fireworks

We sat and waited for an indoor concert and listened to a few songs, but we had Sean on our mind as the rain was coming down in buckets and the power had gone out in the bar he was in. He asked the bartender how often that happens and he said about once a year! The roads in those old towns tend to flood out and Sean had to wait a bit to come back on the water taxi. We could have driven over to get him, but thank goodness that worked out well.

DC tomorrow!

One of my favorite beaches on earth

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After we went to the aquarium (on the 20th), we headed to the island of Chincoteague. We had gone last year and loved the hotel (alas it was booked solid this year) and the beach in the park. We stayed in America’s Best which had the door that opened right up to the outside. This isn’t good in Chincoteague as it is known for it’s mosquitoes. The room was a bit tight also. We went right to the beach at around 6 pm.

You drive a few miles through the park, a national preserve where the wild horses and other wildlife live. We saw lots of herons and a few turtles too.

Got to love that a gorgeous beach is at the other end. Of course when you are driving to the island, there are stretches and stretches of marsh and wet land.

I think Sean got a few shots of the ponies, but it takes him a while to upload his pictures….I’ll share if it’s good.

Look at this sunset-that’s their library

Here’s Misty!

The next morning we got on the road to Ocean City, MD and ended up in a little town called Pocamoke City, MD. We went into the museum there and it was like $10 each, so we passed on that. Little did I know there was a big cache right in the lobby! I use my phone a lot for caching and saw this several miles later.

We also went to Snow Hill, MD. We  actually back tracked! Sean knew I wanted to see the buildings and look for a cache there.

We ate lunch here-very nice.

Snow Hill it one of the only intact Victorian towns left (I think that is what the brochure said).

We went to this little museum to find a nano cache. It was kind of funny seeing three adults looking in crevices and tapping bolts to see if they were fake. We had no luck. A nice side story is that the cache owner (part of a family of 8 who geocaches) answered my email to where it may be. She told me exactly where it was (I had logged it as a didn’t find already) and she said to message her anytime if I am stuck on a cache. Cool.

After we got to Ocean City, I did a virtual cache (photo), a small cache (near the old life saving station) and a web cam one-that last one was too hard to do as it was really bright and you were suppose to save the shot of you to show the person who did the challenge. We walked several blocks in the heat and I think we at least tried to do it! : )

We then headed to Rehoboth and grabbed a hotdog at Nathan’s and tried to do a web cam challenge there-not easy again. We weren’t there long as it’s a pain with the 30 minute parking meters you have to run back to again and again.

That was about the extent of our trip and now it’s time to weed the gardens and get that bathroom finished.

We are going to see the Bacon Brothers (Kevin) on July 10th at Longwood Gardens. We also want to see the night light display there, but we have until September. I’d rather wait a few weeks as the crowds there have been crazy. I made Sean drive past there a few night ago and they were parking in the grass near the parking lot as overflow.

Tomorrow-cache collecting-up to 20!

Maryland’s Northern shores

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Blog post 3,330!!

I just had Sean help me with the title of my post. He said that the Ocean City area is on the eastern shores.

Saturday we went downstairs at the inn to a nice quiche, fresh fruit and strained tea (I had to pick out tea and use a tea strainer-they sell a lot of it there at the inn) breakfast and headed to the town of Elkton. There wasn’t much going on, but we found a cute wedding chapel there to admire from the outside. Elkton was famous for being the place on the east coast where you could get married without a waiting period. My maternal grandparents Alan and Ruth got married there in 1921 at the ages of 20 and 18. My sister-in-law’s mom and dad got married there. I thought for sure we had found the chapel were my grandparents got married. When I got home I read the historic marker in my photo and the entire Main Street was dotted with chapels! So if they got married here, it was a hit or miss thing.
Wedding Chapel in Elkton, MD

Historic marker for Elkton, MD
I would have liked to see the Cecil County Historic Society, but we found out they are open only one Saturday a month and we missed it. There were ‘corner stones’ in the side yard, so I’m thinking they were just saved from demolitions and put here.
Cecil County house with historic society

Historic cornerstones of Elkton, MD buildings

I’m not surprised by this:
George Washington traveled through Elkton, Md

This was interesting too:
Historic marker for Mitchell house in Elkton, MD

Mitchell House in Elkton, MD

I bought a lovely handmade purple beaded necklace with an ‘silver’ loop that had an Irish saying on it from a shop in Elkton to remember that I visited here and that I just found out how Irish I was with my DNA test!

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.”
– Irish Blessing

Our next stop was Chesapeake City where we grabbed a bite in a place called The Bohemia Cafe. The area use to be called that and I’m pretty sure my Mom-mom Ruth’s 1st cousin had a house in the general area. I loved this little area! The homes were so quaint. The vision of the steel bridge over their roof mixed old with new.
Modern bridge, historic homes

This was a gift shop, but they kept the original store’s wording.
Use to be  grocery/hardware store-now gift shop

This use to be the town bank-another gift shop! The boats can dock and come to town and shop a bit.
Old Chesapeake City Bank, now gift shop

Bridge and Bay

Road to the Chesapeake Bay

Easter is near!
Easter decorations in Chesapeake City

The lady in the above ‘bank’ shop said North East was a nice little town, so we headed down to there. I didn’t take photos here. We went in a few shops and a really neat antique place-it sold other things too, like some Phillies baseball t-shirts that I had picked out of a case and the lady forgot to ring them up! I got a clear glass Easter egg that is etched with violets for mom, a trio of Snowbaby Bunnies and a water pitcher. We’ll have to ride down in a few weeks to actually buy the shirts.
Our next stop was Port Deposit, a little town right up smack up to the Susquehanna River. We didn’t see the restaurant we were looking for, but again, it’s not that far and we can drive down some other time. The restaurant was a Colonial style one.
It was raining, but I at least got a shot of the town clock!
Port Deposit, MD town clock

They had terrible flooding there last summer and you can tell that they are still recovering. We did notice some newer townhouses right on the river. Guess they were built to withstand flooding.
We headed down the road, less than a mile to the Hollywood Casino. We had driven by here several times and we thought we’d try our luck with $20 and leave. There were 1 and 2 cent machines-you put $1 in and it gave you 90 bids with one push of the button. We never came close to winning, so we left, true to our promise, about 1/2 hour later.
I had a $20 postcard gift card I had gotten in the mail for a place in Newark, DE. You had to go on your birthday, so we went there and I guess we broke even doing that! We had pasta dishes and I had their trademark gelato. You know when things ‘bug’ you about a place and you just need to complain? Well they had coarse pepper in a shaker with little holes-we unscrewed the lid to get to the pepper. I told the waitress. Then at the end of the meal, I used the restroom and there was a squooshed roach on the floor. Our waitress happen to be going by and I pointed it out. She went in and got it up with a piece of tissue!  Hope she washed her hands. I guess she was told to watch for them? She was a bit snooty with me saying we’ll take care of that and the pepper shaker. She had just gotten a good tip on the full cost of the meal, not with the $20 taken off! It was a pretty place and the manager ran out and put more quarters in the meter for us. Too bad I had to see the last thing.  We walked around this town. Sean goes here to a few bars once in a while. I found a bookstore and got a few good reads for $5. We headed back to the hotel and they had a small wedding reception going on in the conservatory. They were singing a bit and having fun, but not enough to really bother us.
On Sunday we headed home a little before 11 am and went to church. It was great to go away with the birthday boy. I love to learn about towns and see their historic homes and museums. I hope to keep venturing further away in all directions in the future.

Weekend in Maryland

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It was nice to get away with the birthday boy from Friday afternoon until Sunday. Just look at this lovely room. I have more photos to share and will do so. This was called ‘The Philadelphia Room’ (pretty funny-we can’t seem to not get something related to where we live). The ‘water closet’ is through those doors there.

Last August, a Livingsocial.com deal came in the email for the Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast in Elkton, MD. Though not far away, under 20 miles, I thought it would make a great birthday getaway for me. As you may have remembered, Brian was sick with pneumonia and I cancelled it the day we were suppose to check in. I had to use the deal  soon, so we went for his birthday this past Friday. Here is the birthday boy under the lovely Magnolia next to the inn. The warm weather was making it fall.
Brian under the Magnolia tree at the B&B
What a lovely place! The original is from the late 1700s and they added on, so they have 14 rooms now.
Front of Elk Forge B&B

Longshot of Elk Forge B&B
The ‘back’ of it is really pretty, we didn’t venture around to take a shot-this is from their website:

Our room was spacious and relaxing. Only two complaints-the big window behind the fireplace was back lit all night as there are steps right in that area. They need to camouflage that with something. The water was scalding hot and I did burn the toe I dipped in the tub!

Pretty mural in the dining room
Elk Forge B&B mural

Lovely conservatory
Lovely door and windows of Elk Forge Conservatory

Dove couple-they had a baby!
Sweet dove couple

Baby dove at the B&B

Sweet common area near our room
Desk and doll on 2nd floor common area

Down the hallway
Looking down the hall on 2nd floor

We left this on all night-it threw out heat too!
Electric fireplace across from the bed

It surely was the Philadelphia room!
Signing of Declaration of Independence plate in our room

Pretty front door
Front door long shot of Elk Forge B&B

Gnarly tree out back
Gnarly Tree in backyard of Elk Forge

Our trip to different Maryland towns tomorrow!

Spring has sprung, but it’s like summer too!

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I’ve heard that my pals up in Canada and Michigan and getting nice 70 degree temps like we are down here in Pennsylvania! Tomorrow it will hover around 80! We haven’t had much rain lately and the ground is cracking. I had a circle of daffodils out where we planted the tomatoes and zucchinis and I guess us working the earth made them bloom ever so nicely this year. They look like this:

The forsythia are blooming and my PT looks pretty near them. Brian gave her a wash for me this week.

My friend Rachel had a little girl on the 15th of this month and I sent her a few gifts. I couldn’t believe I found an outfit that had a cross stitched bear on it! We met through cross stitching! I said I’d give her one of my passes if she wants to bring her two year old son and newborn for a walk in Longwood sometime. She lives closer to Philly, but to the north more.

Brian and I are off for our trip tomorrow afternoon. It’s about 25 miles or so, but a B&B. I have plans to see a few little towns and there is a casino not that far away. We’ll keep busy! I have to wrap up his gifts after I get off from here. I have only a few, but one was a little pricier than the others. He should like the main gift (from Sean and me). Speaking of Sean, he did Turbo Tax and got his refund in less than a week! How lucky is that? We probably won’t get a refund, but we hope to use the program also.

And to live up to my blog name, the person I sent the poppy ATC scanned it when it got to The Netherlands as I forgot:

2011 in retrospect

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I’ve been a bit busy with work on New Year’s day (12-6, very boring) and running around to after Christmas sales with Brian on Monday. He goes back to work today. I was thinking though 2011 didn’t start out that great, we still got the nice 2005 Mariner at the end of January:

It was my vehicle for a few months until we spotted this one on the internet in July:

Yikes….it’s not a Ford/Mercury (my family loves Fords) and now we have two car payments a month for the next several years. I do love my little Ina who just turned 10. I’ve only seen two other gold PT Cruisers since July. She’s a rare one in these parts.

We decided we needed to take a few trips, not a week…but usually one or two nights.

First we went to Baltimore, MD and loved it there!

Neat shot against mirrors of Sean

Baltimore’s World Trade Center
Baltimore Aquarium in background
And we took the ‘side trip’ from Baltimore to Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write our national anthem ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.
Brian-watch out!
(Opps-that’s my funny shot)
Sean and Dianne with harbor in background

We got to see Chincoteague Island and really loved the place too!

Dianne on Chincoteague beach

Chincoteague wild horses zoom

Because we had the Mariner, we got to travel more than we had in previous years.

Sean and I saw the taping of a local Philly talk show and one of the guests was ace Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee!

Us in the audience!

We went to the tribute band event ‘Beatlemania’ down in National Harbor, MD

Heading for concerts
Dianne posing at the Gaylord fountain

We took a little time to see Alexandria, VA. and liked it there as well.
Flag draped city hall

At the end of September, we finally got to go to a mini reunion for my high school class in Ocean City, NJ! It was fun and we enjoyed seeing the town of OC and Cape May, NJ also. My mom was along for that trip.

Some of the gang from the class of 77
My mom Jeanne in front of the Virginia Hotel

Brian took me up to York, PA again in October so I could attend the rubber stamp and scrapbooking show and we looked around the town a bit, not as much as I would have liked. But we went over to Mount Joy so we could eat at Bubbe’s Pub.

Brian at Bube's Brewery

I got to see my little pal Nick and his mom Jenn on his second birthday when we spent the day at Longwood Gardens:

Playing with Pumpkins
And oh Longwood…I really went there so many more times than I have in the past and hope to do so this year too!

And the Sugarloaf Craft Festival in November up in Oaks, PA was fun too-never been to that either. I found some nice gifts for people there.

So, it was a good year that we got to go places and see new things. We got to spend time with old and new friends and our family. I always like spending time with Brian and Sean, but this group-my ‘almost’ children (and mom too). : )

I want to get back on the weight loss track, one reason I posted photos of me at different angles. I plan to keep walking in the lovely local park and Longwood too!

And I can’t forget about getting the job. I’m wondering if I’ll still be there next week, only time will tell! If not, I’ll be taking a break for a month or so to get the house in shape and do some art.