Saturday, July 7, 2012

Home sweet home

Katie and her friend Napoleon outside her home in Columbia, Md.
We rolled home last night at about 2:00 in the morning.  It was a wonderful trip.  Except for the heat, I have nothing to complain about, and even at that, I was in an air conditioned environment most of the time. Except, of course, for my amazing outdoor adventures, and there were plenty of those.

Let me just recount this trip for a moment.  Lorri and I left on the 26th for a family vacation that had three parts.  1) Spend three days in Baltimore on the inner harbor, 2) travel to Charlottesville, Virginia for niece Katie Valliere's wedding and share a house for three days with brother in law Paul Miller and Pat and Michelle, 3) wrap up with three days with friends John Valliere and Shirley Hottot in northern Virginia.  Sounds like fun, right?  A bit of travel with the family element included.
Son Patrick, bride Katie, and brother in law Paul Miller share smiles on Katie's big night
Daughter in law Michelle and niece Alex laugh it up at the wedding.
First, let's talk about the wedding.  Katie is my wife's niece.  A 23 year old beauty, marrying an amusing 26 year old cop, Dan, who clearly loves her.  Funny, smart, driven to be successful, and owners of an awesome pug named Napoleon, they are meant to be together.  The wedding was scheduled for outdoors in the Charlottesville piedmont.  Katie contacted me a year ago about officiating at the ceremony, something I haven't done since this blog began.  Unfortunately, Virginia law simply made it impossible, so I became the official reader.  Despite the fact the venue lost all power because of the massive storm that passed rapidly through the area the night before the big doings, the wedding was a huge success, and the kids and their many attending friends and family will always remember it.
A look at the Md. Rte 1 bridge across the Anacostia, the likely crossing place for the British at Bladensburg.

Memorial to the Marines at Bladensburg inside Fort Lincoln Cemetery

Battle of North Point state parkland near Baltimore.

The masts of the USS Constellation at historic Baltimore seaport.

USS Torsk, WWII submarine
My goal was always to be a good soldier and do whatever was required of me, but to sneak in some history adventures when possible.  When we rolled into Baltimore on Tuesday the 26th, we had few plans, but I had already talked Lorri into letting me take Wednesday on the road to visit War of 1812 sites.  I've explained that day on my companion blog.  It was a wonderful day, and really stoked the fire to see more battlefields if at all possible.  During our Charlottesville stay, I made it out to New Market in the Shenandoah Valley.  When we made it to John and Shirley's it was Chancellorsville and Manassas (First Bull Run.)
Frank Robinson statue in Camden Yards
Greeting fans at Pfitzner Park, home of the Peninsula Pilots
Baseball is baseball, and the 4th of July game between the Fredrick Keys and Peninsula Nationals was no different
Yours truly and Lorri outside Phillips on Baltimore's inner harbor.
My other great love, baseball, was also remembered.  I've recounted my trip to Camden Yards, which was truly wonderful.  It's a great park.  John is from New Hampshire and a huge Red Sox fan.  I respect his love for his home town team, which is far more genuine than the bandwagon fans of Puget Sound.  He's also become attached to the Nationals, and on the fourth of July we went off to see the Peninsula Nationals, a high A team, with my nieces Alex and Beth Anne.  Despite the ridiculous weather, it was a lot of fun.  Very much a classic minor league environment and really enjoyable.  Nats lost 6-4 after allowing two late three run rallies, and being shut down by a couple of talented relievers.

I really appreciated those that indulged my goofy obsessions-John, Shirley, Paul, my nieces, and, of course my wonderful wife, who understands that transporting me to a history-rich land is about like supplying cocaine to an addict.

1 comment:

Dave S. said...

It looks like you had a fun trip, without too many troubles from the power outage/heat. I look forward to hearing about it in person.