September 23, 2013 Washington, DC - Solomon's - Annapolis - Baltimore - Upstate NY

Long ago when we were at Charleston's Ashley Marina for several years, we met sailors from Solomon's, Curt and Judy.  As we go to and fro, we make it a point to stop at their dock and have a catch-up visit over dinner.  They're preparing for a trip to India for a wedding and they are the bride's family.  It was fun to share their excitement as they related their research into customs and dress in India.  Their wedding clothes for the 3 day event are all laid out and ready to pack.  Eager for stories and pictures after their return.  I am thrilled for them and this marvelous experience.

Bill and Tom on the Baltimore to Annapolis Trail

Our Florida Keys sailor friends, Elinor and Tom, invite us to their dock as we cruise through Annapolis.  You may remember that Tom is our cycling guru. Even though we'd gone to Annapolis just a few weeks before to have dinner with several couples of our Keys group, we looked forward to visiting with them again and having Tom drag us one one of his bike rides.  That area has terrific bike ways and as we expected, it was a great cardiovascular workout.  Tom is such a strong cyclist. 

If you have any idea what this is, please let us know.
We were riding down the trail and I happened to glance up and saw this parasite (I suppose) growing/hanging in the pine tree.  The needles looked different than the tree's in texture and color.  I called Bill and Tom back and neither had any idea.  Would love to know what it is.

View from Tom and Elinor's deck
Their boat, Meridian, and our Kindred Spirit III

One night they prepared dinner and the next night it was my turn but Elinor met us after our ride and we had a more than filling late lunch/early dinner so I was absolved.  I really did feel bad for not holding up my end of the bargin and prepared the dish the morning we left that I'd intended to serve and left it for their dinner that night.  
Saying goodbye as we leave Elinor and Tom's dock

Our approach to Baltimore
View from our marina of Domino Sugar and Under Armor manufacturing plants
Baltimore Marine Center at Harborview
And another view....
I'm putting my bike to good use and am in yoga classes very nearby.  Everywhere we go feels like home.

I talked a Maryland Transportation agent on the phone asking about getting public transportation passes for us while we're here and the first thing she said to me was...pause..."how old art thou?" I cackled and told her. She said she was a Senior, too. Rode my bike to the office and she knew who I was when I walked in the door. She was fun to "do business with".  (Never end a sentence with a preposition!)

Seems as if I'd get used to it one of these days and with as many people as we come in contact---but total strangers' friendliness and helpfulness never ceases to blow me away. A few days ago Bill and I took several forms of public transportation and went far north of the city "to see what we could see". As unaccustomed to mass transit as we are, everyone who saw us looking bewildered or over-heard us wondering out loud which way we should go, would stop and very patiently give us directions. And it was EVERYBODY--well-dressed, shabby, representing many countries--who was eager to help without being asked. 
A view across the Baltimore Harbor from my Federal Hill walk one morning.

This morning on my walk I stopped at a store to buy 2 bananas. As I was digging for money in my phone pouch that fastens to my arm, the checker volunteered info on sox with small zippered pockets sold by Avon. She asked if I wanted "a little bag" for my small purchase and I told her I planned to eat them on the way home. Then she praised my imagined potassium level but told me when I got home, I'd better have more to eat than that. I grinned all the way home---and she didn't know me from a hole in the wall--but she got my day off to a great start!!! I just love our lives!!!

Bill's ridden trains in Europe but never have I so we've been planning to do a little train trip. We took 2 buses to Baltimore's Penn Station and boarded Amtrak for Rochester, NY.
Penn Station, Baltimore
We visited Bill's sister, Doris, and lots of family. She is a kitchen magician and at every meal the table's sagging. Our first morning there, she was up early ready to serve light and fluffy pancakes with fresh blueberries and peaches!

Sodus Bay in foreground and Lake Ontario beyond

We're Amtraking back to Baltimore after a fun visit with Bill's sister (Cook Extraordinare) and 11 nieces and nephews. Seems we slept little but ate, laughed, and talked MUCH. Our return train trip is far better than the one on Friday. We actually have leg room and not a single crying child nor screaming parent. Doris sent us on our way with enough food to last us for the 12 hour journey. The day is exquisite and the fall colors are slowly revealing themselves, granting us a return trip treat.

Bill and Laura
Nearing Baltimore on Amtrak
23 September 2013


Pam and Dave said…
It's hard to say from the photo, but do you think it might be a squirrel's nest? They're nesting now, and their nests can be very large.

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