Thursday, September 15, 2011


Hi everyone.  When you hear about my day Tuesday, you will understand why I am just now posting.  It was one of those days where you try to get out of the house, but there is always one more thing to do before you leave.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has those days.  So instead of leaving around 10:00 a.m., we ended up leaving at 1:30 p.m.  But it's only 4 hours to Williamsburg so we will be OK.  Won't we?

We set the GPS and started out.  No problems at all.  There wasn't much traffic since almost everyone was at work.  We zipped right along.  Took pictures from the car too.  Here is the Schuylkill River.  (Yes, I can actually spell it.  For those not from the Philly area it's pronounced "School Kill".)

We were passed by the Acela -- a super fast train that runs between New York and Washington, DC.

We crossed into Delaware with no problems.  We are on our way!  But it is taking longer than we expected.  Now we're in Maryland.  My right knee (my bad one) starts hurting and swelling up.  OK.  I've left my knee brace at home thinking I wouldn't need it.  I have to stop somewhere and take a break.

We finally find a rest stop.  They are few and far between.  It's called the Chesapeake House Rest Area. 

Very, very nice.  Clean.  Restaurants, stores, information.  There's even a smashed penny machine, so I make one to add to my collection.  We use the facilities, Joe buys a pair of sunglasses and we talk to the information lady and get a map.  It was good to take a break.  When I got out of the car I could hardly walk, after a rest I am walking a little better, but my knee is terribly swollen.

We continue on.  We cross the Susquehanna River.  This river is special to me.  In the 1870s my great-great grandfather was a logger and he used to tie his logs together into a raft and float them down the Susquehanna from upstate Pennsylvania to Baltimore to sell them.  It was a dangerous job.  You have to admire a man who did that to raise a family.

We had to drive through the Fort McHenry tunnel under the Chesapeake Bay.  I do not like tunnels.  Especially underwater tunnels.  But I made it.

At 4:00 p.m. we made it to Baltimore.  We expected to be past Washington, DC by this time.  The traffic is picking up because it's rush hour in the big city.  So we find a parking lot and walk around trying to find someplace to have an early dinner.

 This is Jones Falls Bridge.  It was the site of a skirmish during the Civil War.  Some wounded union soldiers were being evacuated over this bridge when a pro-Confederate mob attacked them.  The mob tried to push the wagon of wounded men off the bridge to drown them.  Shots were fired by both sides.  The wounded men were told to "lay low" in the wagon and fire if they could.  One of the wounded men had his finger shot off.  The skirmish ended when the union forces were able to bring a cannon to the site and threatened to fire it into the mob.

The man sitting there was fishing for striped bass.  We talked to him for awhile.  He was very friendly and he pointed us in the direction of the restaurants.

We walked along the Inner Harbor for several blocks and by now my knee is hurting big time and I can hardly walk.  We saw a bench and sat down.  I took a few pictures while I was waiting for the pain to ease up.

We thought about going to Dirty Dick's for the $5.10 roast beef sandwich....

...but ended up at Hard Rock for one of the best burgers and best blackened salmon we had ever had.

We went out and sat by the harbor again before walking back to the car.

This guy in the kayak was very good.  He came out of the harbor and paddled into a canal.  We were crossing a bridge over the canal and he went right under us.  Cool!

We passed the National Aquarium on the way back to the car.

We took a little detour on the way back to the garage to see the USCGC Taney, the last surviving ship of Pearl Harbor.


It was closed for the evening so we couldn't take a tour, but I hope to come back one day and actually go onto it.

We get back to the garage.  By now it is 6:00 p.m.  We turn on the GPS to get directions out of Baltimore and back on our way.  Joe looks at the estimated arrival time and it is 9:58 p.m.!  So he calls the hotel and tells them we will be very late arriving.  I start freaking out (yes, me) because I have four more hours of driving.  My leg is killing me and I hate driving in the dark, especially when I don't know where I am going.

We follow the GPS directions, but get lost.  Why?  There is a Baltimore Orioles baseball game that night and some of the streets around Camden Yards is closed off.  I've been to lots of Phillies games so I know how that is.  But the GPS keeps saying "turn left", a pause, then "recalculating" when I can't and have to go straight.  We finally make it out of the city and head on down to Washington, DC.

For some reason the GPS does not take us on the beltway around the city.  It takes us right through the heart of it.  And what a city it is.  There are lots of beautiful houses.  And a woman with a handgun and some kind of drugs surrounded by police and being arrested right in front of one of them.  A block away is a field with some little kids being coached in playing football.  Hopefully they will do better for themselves than that woman did.

We get out of Washington and enter Arlington, VA.  Hooray, at least we are in Virginia now.  We pass the Pentagon.  Joe tried to take some pictures of it, but we were moving too quickly and they all turned out a blurred streak.  Maybe going back we can get some.

Now the sun is setting.  Virginia is beautiful... what we can see of it.  We drive on and on and on.  Fortunately, it being this time of night I am able to use the cruise control a lot of the time and this saves my knee some.

We had to stop for gas.  We found a Valero station where the gas was only $3.42.  We paid $3.67 at home before we left so that was really nice.  And our car runs well on Valero gas.  So now our arrival time is 10:16.

I guess that GPS is pretty good, because we actually arrived at the hotel at 10:18 p.m.  Eight hours after we left our house!  I have never driven over 2 1/2 hours before.  I will never complain about the trip to my sister's house again!  

I was never so glad to see anywhere in my life.  It is a nice room.  It has a little lounge area...

...but most importantly a very comfortable king-sized bed that we made good use of.

We went to Colonial Williamsburg on Wednesday.  It was wonderful.  I will post about that later.  I tried to download my pictures but for some reason the computer will not recognize my camera.  Joe says we have the original software at home, so I have to wait until then to show you things.

It's home today with another 6 hour drive in front of me.  I am not looking forward to it, but I am looking forward to being home.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a way to start your vacation! Or should it be called adventure? The pictures are super(as always). I love Inner Harbor but not been there in years..... Hope even with all the excitement you both had a great time.


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