Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 1: Blackbirds, Canals and Poison Ivy

We made our ungodly early flight and arrived perfectly well. It took us an hour to get the rental car, but we had left the airport by noon and were on our way.

First stop: the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

This was a big hit with Team Danger. I liked seeing some of the historical planes. And the Concorde was cool - much smaller than I would have thought, though. They also had a space shuttle. Oh, and an SR-71. Pretty much as soon as Carl read that they had one, we had to go here. I know WAY more than I ever wanted to know about SR-71s.

 And a LOT of other planes.


The part I liked the best was the Observation tower - you can see the planes take off and land at Dulles airport, as well as beautiful vistas for 40 miles.

Then we had about an hour's drive to our hotel. I had picked Frederick, Maryland as our civil war sites base, since its in the middle of a triangle of some big places, and I didn't want us moving hotels too much.
The drive was absolutely lovely, taking us on quaint, pastoral roads, past Southern mansions, and rolling farms.

 We stopped along the way in a part of the C&O Canal National Park, to stretch our legs. It was right after we had crossed this lovely bridge along the Potomac, with Virginia on one side, and Maryland on the other.

So naturally I manage to trip just a teensy little bit, and I reach out to steady myself by touching a tree with some greenery on it. A few seconds later, I'm screaming in pain. "Is this poison ivy?" Carl, Scout leader, assures me it is not. Since its big and on a tree, how could it be? Alex, my little Webelo Scout, looks at the plant and says, 'that furry part is not good. That's poisonous. They told us to always avoid furry plants.' Greeeaat.
 So I sit out the geocaching adventure the boys are heading on, and google my pain away. (above photo taken before tree attacked me)

 Ryan found the geocache - look at his happy face!

 And, it has LOTS of goodies, including the boys current favorite thing in the world, DC Dollars. (Not really DC dollars, but play money that is exactly the same size as the boys DC dollars).

 Since you have to leave something when you take something, Ryan left one of HIS DC dollars behind.

 By this time, my arm was starting to have welts from my point of contact with the deadly bush.

 Maryland, perhaps the last state I will enter if my arm and fingers don't get better.

 Did I mention I loved the drive? When I wasn't crying with my tingling pain, that is.

 Finally: Frederick. This town was way more adorably perfect than I had thought. I'll have to do more exploring and take more pictures over the next few days, because we didn't really get here until it was almost dark.

 But I think I'm ready to move. I love it here!

 Our dinner spot tonight. I had an apple and Marlyand ham pizza - yum!

And lest you feel that death is coming my way soon, Google has since confirmed that it was, in fact, poison ivy. Maryland Poison Ivy. Which looks a lot different than Texas poison ivy.

Day 1: Blackbirds, Canals, and Poison Ivy
Day 2: Antietam and Monocacy National Battlefields

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