Philadelphia, Annapolis, Manassas, Appomattox

Saturday, Philadelphia

I flew into Philadelphia, where I met Dad and David (they’d driven across from Illinois the day before, stopping in at Jenny’s in New Jersey). Jenny was meant to be with them, but my poor sister was still recovering from an awful cough that came on three days before. We drove on into Philadelphia with the intention of staying maybe two hours.

We walked up to Elfreth’s Alley, which is very sweet. Of course we spent much of our time talking about how much it would suck to have tourists roaming in front of your house at all hours.

After the requisite cheese steak in Reading Terminal Market, we located the car (with much swearing) and headed south again on 95. On the way, traffic came to a complete stop as the poor old USS JFK lumbered up the river and toward Philadelphia (it’s going to be “mothballed” there ’til someone finally makes the decision to scrap it – it was here in Boston last summer, remember?).

Sunday, Annapolis

We stayed in Annapolis, but spent Sunday (Easter, I guess) on Assateauge and in Ocean City trying to find somewhere to eat among all the mini golf places.

Last time I was at Assateague, I think we saw exactly one horse, and it was off in the distance. Of course, it was July and about 300 degrees, and the roundup was scheduled for the next week (maybe they sensed it and were hidden). This time, they were everywhere, including near a swingset and wandering along the road.

We had some nice, sunny weather, which was 95% of the reason for taking the trip.

Here’s the MD state capital, which Dad admired muchly, and insisted we take many photos of.

The good news is that Jenny felt much better Monday, and ended up taking the train down to meet us. I will not speak here of the horrible journey into DC to fetch her. Dad was never meant to be a city driver.

Monday, Calvert Cliffs

After we fetched Jenny, we made a beeline for Calvert Cliffs State Park, not to be confused with Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant). It’s supposed to be a good place to find fossils, only the fossil-laden area is currently closed.

Nice walk, though. Sunny. The turtles were out enjoying the day.

David did find a few fossils in the sand, mostly shells. In thisp hoto, you can see Dad cursing the fact that if we’d all had wading boots, we could have walked farther down the beach.

Much of the walk went by a swamp, which was clearly beaver-rich.


David, obviously, was in his element.

Tuesday, Manassas

I misspoke before, actually. The major reason for the trip was for David to see a few Civil War sites. In the end, we got to Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Cold Harbor. It makes such a difference in understanding how the battles played out when you get to walk the actual area. This was particularly true of Cold Harbor. You can still see the Confederate trenches up on the hill, and when you walk down below to where the Union was, it’s no wonder it was such a complete decimation.

Another very pretty day.

Wednesday, Charlottesville

We continued on south next, stopping in Charlottesville, VA. It’s a pretty town with a stunning campus.

Apparently this is graduate student housing. Poe’s room (13) was boarded up, naturally.

Dad’s a big fan of UVA. We’ve been hearing all about how great Charlottesville is since we were small monkeys. I believe it’s still on his short list for retirement.

We stayed at Charlottesville a few days, driving over on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and over to Lexington, home of the very beautiful Washington & Lee University.

Thursday, Appomattox

We ended our trip driving to Richmond so I could fly home, stopping at Appomattox along the way. It’s been beautifully restored and it was 75 and sunny that day.

Here David and Dad pose on the porch of the McLean house.

Another of them on the porch, me standing below. I do love a porch ceiling painted blue.

I know you can’t tell it by their faces, but they had a good time.

Yes, David is now taller than I am. It had to happen eventually.

I thought this house was so odd (but interesting).

See? Very pretty spot.