Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weems, VA

Location: Weems, Virginia, USA
Date Visited: November 2014

I spent Veterans Day in the Northern Neck of Virginia. After some meandering, I ended up in Weems at Christ Church, one of the oldest original colonial churches in the state.

Built in 1735 by horrible people (sorry, but when you successfully petition the colonial government for permission to cut off your slaves' toes, you don't get any praise from me, regardless of your other accomplishments), Christ Church is a simple but very lovely little Anglican chapel. I was raised Catholic, so having the pulpit in the exact center of the church and pews in little cubicles, facing all directions, is foreign to me.

The docents were marvelous. I appreciate anyone who thinks of me as "young," but given that these women were easily twice my age, that's their prerogative. The one who gave me the tour of the church was especially funny. She mentioned that the Carsons - the folks who built the church - had their own special cubicle of pews directly across from the pulpit, within which the pews were two inches deeper than the rest of the church. The docent whispered to me, "We think the Carsons had big butts."

She also kept asking me where I was staying for the night, and didn't seem to understand that driving home that night wasn't a big deal. I was roughly two hours from home, and it was only midafternoon. But I guess when you're older that becomes a very long drive.

It was getting pretty gloomy and rainy by that point, so I drove out to Windmill Point, snapped a quick photo, then headed across the bridge on Route 3 (shown in the second page above). Oi, Virginia river bridges are terrifying. I don't generally have issues with heights, and this wasn't nearly as scary as the Bay Bridge, but the two-way, no-median traffic was a touch unnerving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Colonial Beach, VA

Location: Colonial Beach, Virginia, USA
Date visited: November 2014

I spent Veterans Day exploring the Northern Neck of Virginia. My first real tourism stop of the day was the George Washington Birthplace National Monument. The houses were closed due to some kind of mechanical failure, rendering them unsafe, but I learned a lot at the visitor center and got to see the graves and the obelisk. I also stopped by the beach, where I picked up an oyster shell, one of the eleventy billion collected in the sand. Where I grew up, rivers don't have sandy beaches, so it's still novel. (Okay, where I grew up we didn't have any river, but I certainly spent more time by them than the ocean.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Montross and Lancaster, VA

Location: Montross and Lancaster, Virginia, USA
Date Visited: November 2014

I spent Veterans Day exploring the Northern Neck of Virginia, the peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. I'd never been, which is apparently a strange reason for visiting somewhere, but that's what exploring is all about, right? The first page above is my entire route; the next couple days will be some pages dedicated to some specific stops.

The second stage comprises a few stops, including the Westmoreland County Historical Museum and Lancaster Tavern, where I stopped for lunch. The Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library was closed, but I wandered around the buildings outside a bit.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wardensville and Lost River, WV

Location: Wardensville and Lost River, West Virginia, USA
Date Visited: June 2014

My car was done for, so I sold it to the nice people at Tim's Garage in Wardensville, on whose lot it had been sitting since they towed it from the spot where it died on the side of the road. Afterward, my friend and I explored the area a bit, including lunch at Star Mercantile, where I had homemade macaroni and cheese with Little Smokies. Delicious! Good thing it's in the middle of nowhere or I'd eat there all the time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Moorefield, WV

Location: Moorefield, West Virginia, USA
Date Visited: June 2014

When my car overheated and refused to start up again, I found myself stranded in Moorefield for the night at the South Branch Inn. All the rooms were themed; mine was called The Ride the High Five Room, which is apparently a brochure of motorcycle routes through five nearby counties. The room itself was fine, if a bit overrun with ants, and the staff were quite friendly. Lucky for me, Wal-Mart was an easy walk down the road so I could pick up toiletries and other necessities for an unexpected overnight stay. Ordinarily I wouldn't devote a GST spread to a hotel, but it certainly counts as part of my adventures.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Romney, WV

Location: Romney, West Virginia, USA
Date Visited: June 2014

Fort Mill Ridge is a quiet, out-of-the-way park up in the mountains south of Romney. I enjoyed the short interpretive trail. I also appreciated how many of the pamphlets for this part of the world included pictures of historical markers, since that's pretty much the entire point of my visit in the first place.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Baltimore, MD

Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date Visited: April 2014

In celebration of a friend's birthday, we wandered about Baltimore, including Mother Seton House, Baltimore Basilica, Phoenix Shot Tower, and the surprisingly thorough little Maryland Historical Society museum. A lovely day all around.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Shenandoah County, VA

Location: Strasburg, Mount Jackson, New Market, Edinburg, Toms Brook, and Woodstock, Virginia, USA
Date Visited: March 2014

I started my day at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Park and spent most of my day exploring this picturesque county. I was pleased to find some more Civil War trading cards, as I like to call them.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Glen Echo, MD

Location: Glen Echo, Maryland, USA
Date Visited: March 2014

I may have gone a little bit overboard with my spreads, but I really liked the photos in the pamphlets. Glen Echo Park is a semi-abandoned amusement park from the early 1900s. I say semi-abandoned because clearly a national park isn't abandoned, but it's no longer an amusement park and most of the buildings have been left more or less untouched on the outside. It's a center for the arts now, with the carousel the only still-functioning attraction. It's a lot smaller than I'd realized, and while it was interesting to look at, I think a gifted photographer like my husband would have a field day there. Maybe sometime in the summer I might go back to see the carousel, which was closed for the season.

Nearby is the Clara Barton National Historic Site, which offers hourly tours. Unfortunately I arrived ten minutes after the hour and was too tired to try again after wandering around the park. Still, I enjoyed reading about her and seeing her house.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Frederick County, VA

Location: Middletown and Stephens City, Virginia, USA
Visited: January 2014

Admittedly, I only visited these towns on my way to Winchester, but they were quite nice all the same. You really can't beat the scenery: one of my favorite sights is the Appalachian mountains at dawn.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winchester, VA

Location: Winchester, Virginia, USA
Visited: January 2014

First Glue Stick Tourism of the new year! This was another one of my "pick a place and go" trips. I made a detailed snarf map, started first thing in the morning, and continued from sunrise to sunset. I logged some 180 markers over the course of the day and had a fine time. I think my favorite stop was Mt. Hebron Cemetery, but I'm partial to graveyards to begin with. I also took a tour of the Old Court House Civil War Museum, though it didn't hold the answer to my more burning question: how did they get those cannons up to the second floor?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dubuque, IA

Location:Dubuque, Iowa, USA
Date visited: December 2013

While visiting my family over Christmas, my aunt, my cousin, and I went tooling around town, looking at all the old buildings. It's a beautiful old river town, one my family's lived in for generations. We even watched some bald eagles fishing on the partly-frozen Mississippi River. Oh yeah, and the Killer Bee shots were pretty delicious. :)