around the countryside

Tall Ship Invasion

Sometimes referred to as a second war of independence, the War of 1812 was a two and a half year conflict between the United States and Great Britain. Key victories in the Mid-Atlantic region prevented the British from taking Baltimore, after gaining control of an abandoned Washington, D.C.

Commemorating this victory, tall ships sailed into Solomons Island for celebrations and battle reenactments. Four ships took part in this celebration in Calvert County; the Pride of Baltimore, the Kalmar Nyckel, the Sultana, and the Dove.

Pride Bow

Pride Bow

Kalmar Nyckel

Kalmar Nyckel from deck of Pride of Baltimore

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Visiting St. Michaels (wishing for warm weather)

Bucolic and quiet, St. Michaels is a beautiful waterfront destination, especially on sunny spring and summer days. Located in Talbot County, Maryland, this town was named for the Episcopal Parish located there in the 1600’s.

Initially a trading post for tobacco farmers and trappers, and a shipbuilding town, many of the homes date to the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. Incorporated in 1804, St. Michaels is laid out around a central square.

Home to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the town boasts a beautiful screw-pile lighthouse: the Hooper Strait Lighthouse (though this is not the lighthouse’s original home). This particular type of lighthouse was easy, inexpensive, and quick to construct. The screw-piles were used to form the foundation for the lighthouse in soft or sandy river or sea bottoms.

Restaurants, shops, and sailboats are just a few of the things to enjoy in St. Michaels. Visit the St. Michaels website for a calendar of events, and all the information you need for planning a trip to this beautiful spot on the Chesapeake.

St. Michaels, MD

St. Michaels, MD

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Chesapeake & Delaware Canal

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Bridge

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Bridge

Click on this image of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Bridge to view the Thinglink rich media image, with additional information and links embedded in the image.

Rich Media Image

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New York City Christmas Decorations

The unveiling of New York City department stores’ holiday-decorated windows and the wintry blast of cold air welcome the holiday season.

image

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The Beauty of the Water

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USS North Carolina

USS_NC_710

This behemoth reposing at the edge of the water is equal measures magnificent and intimidating. Retired to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1961, this impressive vessel was the most highly decorated American battleship in WWII.

Commissioned in New York City on April 9, 1941, the USS North Carolina was involved in every major naval offensive in the Pacific Theater during WWII. At nearly 729 feet long, it took 2,339 sailors to comprise a full wartime complement of the North Carolina.

Her top speed was 28 knots, and she was propelled by four electric steam turbines and eight boilers. Sporting a more streamlined silhouette than her battleship predecessors, the USS North Carolina was constructed using a new (welded construction) technique to reduce weight.

Decommissioned in 1947, and removed from the Naval Vessel Register in 1960, the ship was purchased for $330,000, money raised by North Carolina students’ Save Our Ship (SOS) campaign.

Touring this imposing ship, it is unsettling to imagine the crew’s life; spending long stretches of time trekking through the narrow corridors, windowless quarters, and stifling (and probably hot) depths of this huge ship. The close proximity of column after column of suspended metal beds certainly gives one pause.

If nothing else, this museum serves to remind us of the sacrifices members of our armed forces make every day to protect our lives and our country.

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Sachs Covered Bridge

Situated down a narrow country road, this beautiful covered bridge spans the waters of the Marsh Creek in Gettysburg. Sachs Covered Bridge was originally built before the Civil War in 1854, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. A flash flood in 1996 significantly damaged the bridge and washed it from one of its abutments. Now closed to vehicular traffic, this 100-foot bridge is one of less than 900 covered bridges (of more than 10,000) left in the United States.

Used by troops during the Civil War, there are rumors of ghosts haunting the bridge.

Sachs Covered Bridge

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Chesapeake City

Chesapeake City is a jewel along the Chesapeake waterway. Enveloped by the graceful curve of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Bridge, this town has charm and beauty in spades. 

bridge_HDR4

The little shops along the main streets of the town tempt visitors and shoppers with an assortment of wares including antiques, candles, artwork, and jewelry.  

Multiple lodging options and restaurants, not to mention the marina, make this historic locale a weekend destination option.  

Dug by hand, the 14-mile canal opened in 1829, and is a distance-saving route for ocean-going vessels. Named in 1839, Chesapeake City was a key commercial city along the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. 

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The Great Frederick Fair

September means cooler temperatures and the approach of autumn, but it also means time for the Great Frederick Fair. A multitude of food vendors, lots of carnival rides, and assorted livestock shows make this event one of the outstanding affairs of September.

A ride out Route 70, or around 270 will get you to the Frederick Fairgrounds. The Eventplex complex on Patrick Street provides an exceptional venue for the fair. (Think permanent restrooms!)

No matter what kind of lunch or dinner fare you’re craving, you will find it here. The sign on one food vendor’s trailer for Crabby Patties invites fair-goers to try the crab cakes. But pizza, sausage, pit beef, cinnamon rolls, and fresh-made ice cream are also on the menu, along with an almost infinite number of other options.

Ticket choices for the rides range from single tickets, sheets of tickets, and special promotions on certain days. When the sun goes down, the multi-colored lights on the wide variety of rides call to fair-goers.

ferris wheel Great Frederick Fair

A multitude of baby animals will delight fair-goers; piglets, calves, and ducklings are among recently birthed offspring at the fair. Visitors can follow new arrivals in the birthing center at the fair. Sheared sheep in colorful jackets talk as visitors walk through the barns; roosters crow, cows moo, and goats bah at guests.

The fair boasts an app, available in the App Store and the Google Play Store, to help visitors navigate the event. Users can follow the Twitter conversation by searching #2013gff or following @GrFrederickFair.

And the website url for the Great Frederick Fair website is http://thegreatfrederickfair.com/

The fair runs through September 21, 2013.

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Love New York

The city has many personalities, but the beauty and magnificence of the buildings in Manhattan take my breath away every time. An enduring symbol of New York, the Empire State Building reaches for the clouds.

Empire State Building

 

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One of the best things about summer . . .

One of the many fireman’s carnivals that characterize summer time in Carroll County, the Hampstead Carnival is one of the last of the season. The slight chill in the air after the sun sets, further announces summer’s pending conclusion, and autumn’s imminent arrival.

 

Hampstead Carnival 2013Hampstead Carnival 2013Hampstead Carnival 2013

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Contemplation

gorilla

 

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Keeping Cool

A rhinoceros uses the mud to stay cool in the summer heat.

rhino

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Sunbathing

Hippos enjoy the sunny weather and the cool water.

sunbathing hippos

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Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor

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The Carnivals

ferris wheelI love the lights and the smells of the carnivals that traverse Carroll County from one fire department to another, seemingly all summer long.

Taneytown carnival

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