Welcome to my blog!

This is blog is about me dabbling with a little bit of everything, and not being particularly good at anything. And about the places I've been either on vacation or SAG:ing my husbands bicycle trips.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trip to Maryland for bicycling reunion

On Thursday 10/17/13 we headed out to Maryland for a small ABB bicycling reunion ride. Mark and Karen were very nice to organize this and let us and Joe and Karen stay at their lovely house in Braddock Heights. Other riders who joined us the next day were Leo, Barb and John, Mark and Susan, Garry and Karen's brother Dave.

We arrived there after a long trip, there was a truck fire on I-84 in Danbury, CT that slowed us down, and "the Geldings" headed out for a ride right away. While they were riding us ladies went to check out the downtown Frederick area. Frederick is an old town, with cute little stores and restaurants and a canal/park area.

Mighty happy looking Joe and Jeff 

Mark, Mark, Jeff and Joe . . . and the Geldings ride again . . . 

. . . and off they go . . . 

Carroll Creek, Frederick, MD

Carroll Creek, Frederick, MD

After their ride the rest of the gang had arrived and we all met at one of the hotels some of them were staying at and then headed out to a restaurant for dinner. I think it was called Alexander's  in Buckeystown.

at Alexander's Restaurant
Next morning, Friday 10/18/13, all the other riders came to Idlewhile and they headed out right from there. I don't know exactly which way they went since we ladies were the official SAG team and we had to get to the first SAG stop. We left soon after them and drove more or less straight to the first SAG stop. We went past Burkittsville, where "the Blair Witch Project" was filmed. It did look a bit spooky, bus is  a cute, old small town. Our SAG was set up by the War Correspondents Memorial in Gathland State Park . Some of the Civil War Battle sites are close by and the Appalachian Trail  runs right through it.

Official Group Picture @ Idlewhile, Braddock Heights
back row: Gary , Joe , Leo
middle row: David , Mark , Mark , Jeff
front row: John, Barb , Susan 

getting ready

still getting ready 
War Correspondents Memorial at Gathland State Park, MD 
@ Gathland State Park

@ Gathland State Park
From there the cyclists headed out and we drove towards the Antietam Battlefields where we caught up with them again. We followed them through some of the fields and then headed towards Shepherstown  in West Virginia and our lunch place. While we were waiting for them to arrive we looked around a little bit and found the Little House . It is a two story building that is only 9 1/2 feet (2,9 m) wide and 10 feet (3 m) high. We had lunch close by at the Blue Moon Cafe , highly recommend it.

Getting close to Antietam 

Contemplating the battlefields

Cornfield Battlefield at Antietam

The Watchtower at Antietam

Mark, Gary, Leo, Karen and David at Antietam
The Little House at Shepherdstown, WV
Blue Moon Cafe at Shepherdstown, WV
After our relaxing lunch break the cyclists headed back home, except Susan and John who decided to take a ride in the car instead. We didn't have to do any other SAG stops so we headed home also, via Boonsboro. Author Nora Roberts had bought an old hotel and renovated it and is operating it now. It is called Inn BoonsBoro and looks absolutely lovely. I wouldn't mind staying there sometime.
Inn BoonsBoro, owned by Nora Roberts

Inn BoonsBoro, owned by Nora Roberts

We arrived home before the cyclists. Susan and John headed to their hotels for some relaxation. Both Karens and I met the rest of the cyclists at the house of the self-proclaimed "the queen of f'ing everything" and her husband. She is an artist, mostly mosaic and he seems to be a bit of an inventor. We had a private tour of their house and studio. Their house and yard had a lot of interesting and neat stuff.

The artist, Karen and the inventor. I think he might have made that bike.
It sure is different.

Kitchen mirror mosaic 
Bathroom mosaic

Leo goofing with the big chicken

Staircase mosaic
Later in that day, after everyone had showered and rested from their ride, we gathered at Idlewhile for some appetizers and drinks. Then we walked to the Home at Braddock Inn  for dinner.

Get-together before dinner 
On Saturday, 10/19/13, we all met at the Utica Park just north of Frederick. From there the cyclists headed out for the day, but they didn't even get out off the park before Susan's chain broke. Jeff was able to fix it for now. Karen and her sister-in-law Molly, who had joined us for the day took Gary's car since he would be leaving us after lunch.
Saturday's group picture
Leo, Barb, Dave, John, Mark, Joe, Gary, Jeff, Susan & Mark

Gary and Jeff contemplating something . . . 

Karen, Joe and Susan

There they go again . . . 
. . . but not for long . . .

Susan's chain broke before they even got out off the park

We set up our first SAG stop at a park by the Loy's Station Covered Bridge . There were several artists meeting for a day of plein air painting. After a quick snack we all headed out again.

An artist trying to decide where to set up for her plein air painting
@ Loy's Station Covered Bridge

Loy's Station Covered Bridge
The riders were on their way so we drove towards the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton . We had a lot of time to look around, both at the Basilica, the museum, we even saw a short movie about her life and the Cemetery by the Mortuary Chapel. Soon we got a call that the riders were close by so we set up lunch by some picnic tables. All the other riders arrived, except Susan and Mark and Jeff told us that Susan's chain broke again. Mark had stayed with  her, but she would have to walk back. Jeff and I hopped in the SAG wagon and went to pick her up while Mark rode back. Karen had prepared an outstanding lunch for everybody and if the weather would not have looked a bit iffy, we would have stayed even longer. We did have to say goodbye to Gary who was heading back to Connecticut from there. Susan of course couldn't ride anymore due to the chain and took a ride form us back to Utica Park.

 The Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

The Basilica 

Altar of Relics 

Mortuary Chapel and St.Joseph's Cemetery, resting place of many Sisters

The White House (. .  no not THE White House. . )
or the original St. Joseph's House
Lunch on the grounds of the National Shrine

Lunch on the grounds of the National Shrine
The riders headed out but opted not to do some extra hills due to possible rain. Us ladies headed up towards the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg. It is part of Mount St Mary's University. We walked around a little bit and the grounds were really beautiful.

Gardens at the Grotto of Lourdes - Our Lady of Esplanade

Corpus Christi Chapel

John Hughes Cabin

We all met again at the Utica Park. We didn't even have to wait for them too long. The riders did see two other covered bridges which we didn't see. For dinner we went to downtown Frederick to the Brewer's Alley . After dinner we said goodbye to Susan and Mark who were heading out early the next morning and Dave and Molly who were driving back home that evening.

Mark and Karen's dog Mason

Mark & Karen's dog Rocky
Sunday morning, 10/20/13, everybody who was still around came to Mark and Karen's for brunch. Karen had outdone herself again and provided us with a very lovely brunch. John and Barb were heading out soon after, same with Joe and Karen. Leo was staying an extra night and he and Mark had planned on doing another ride that day. Jeff was heading to Raleigh NC and we went to a car rental place to pick up his car. He headed out straight from there and I drove back home.

I had some problems getting on the highway (Joe had the same problem the night before while driving us back from the restaurant), apparently Garmin's maps are not quite up to date. The GPS said there was an entry to the highway but there was only an entry to COSTCO parking lot. I had to circle around a bit to find another entry. Otherwise the trip back home was uneventful, as was Jeff's, except a lot of traffic around Washington DC.

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