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Showing posts from 2009

Gettysburg National Battlefield Park

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Two weeks ago today myself, Amanda, and her friend Darci spent the day touring one of my very favorite places in the country - the Gettysburg National Military Park. As I've previously mentioned, I've been to Gettysburg a pretty good number of times but no matter how many times I go I am in awe of the history that occurred in the fields and streets of this small town in Pennsylvania. It's been called hallowed ground on more than on occasion and it most certainly is that.


The girls and I spent the night at the Quality Inn at General Lee's Headquarters which is located adjacent to a house that was built in 1833 and owned by the noted statesman Thaddeus Stevens at the time of the Civil War. During the three days of battle from July 1st to 3rd 1863, the house was used as the personal headquarters of the South's most beloved general - Robert E. Lee. In addition, the Lutheran Theological Seminary, site of some of the fighting on the first day of the battle, is in very…

On to Washington

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As part of our trip to Baltimore a couple weeks ago, Amanda, Darci, and I took the MARC train from Baltimore to Washington D.C. to spend a bit of time walking around our Nation's Capitol. I probably could have driven but I've always heard that driving in D.C. is a pain in the place you sit as well as parking being downright impossible to find so I decided that the MARC was definitely the way to go. The price is quite reasonable ($7 one way) and it's a rather relaxing ride, too, while you glide through about an hour's worth of Maryland countryside en route to the former swamp upon which our forefathers built the seat of our country's government.

We started our day by taking a taxi from our hotel to Pennsylvania Station in Baltimore. Darci had asked why it was called Penn Station when we were in Maryland and not Pennsylvania and the reason is actually pretty simple - the station was previously known as Union Station when it was owned by the Northern Central Railway…

A Pilgrimage to Poe

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If you're an Edgar Allan Poe fan - as is Amanda and her friend Darci - there are certain pilgrimages in life that you just have to make even if it requires having your mom do the driving! Our trip to Baltimore last week was to accomplish one of those pilgrimages ... to view the final resting place of one of the world's most macabre writers who also happens to be one of Baltimore's most famous former citizens.

Edgar Allan Poe - author of such works as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and The Pendulum, and - my personal favorite - The Raven - was born Edgar Poe on January 19th, 1909 in Boston. Following his parents death at a young age, he was taken in by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia and, though never formally adopted, took Allan as his middle name.

Following a term of enlistment in the Army, in 1829 Poe moved to Baltimore for a time to stay with his widowed aunt Maria Clemm, her daughter, Virginia Eliza Clemm (Poe's first cousin and his eventual wife), hi…

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

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Meanwhile, back in New York City ... after biking through Central Park, looking futilely for cupcakes near Bryant Park, and dining at the Hard Rock Cafe it was time for Jamie and I to move on to the next part of our New York City adventure - the Brooklyn Bridge!

Heading back down into the subway we grabbed the 'S' train from Times Square to Grand Central Terminal and then jumped on the '6' train to the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall stop; from there we just followed the crowds! Obviously I'm not the only person to think that walking across the Brooklyn Bridge would be fun!

You have to admit, though, it would be pretty cool, right? I mean, come on, it's the bridge people have been trying to sell each other for years ("yeah, and if you believe that I've got a bridge you can buy!") and the history is pretty neat, too. After all, we doesn't love stories of danger, death, and daring-do by we mere mortals who look to tame the land around us?

Stretching…

Biking Through New York's Central Park

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The girls and I couldn't have asked for a better day for our trip to New York City last Friday - the sky was blue, the clouds were puffy, the temperatures were in the low 80's, and the humidity was non-existent! A perfect day to head down to the Big Apple and do some touristy things ... or not.

The "or not" applied to Amanda as she was meeting up with Sami, aka Cyanide, who hails from Brooklyn and doesn't do the whole New York tourist thing but that's okay, I was more than happy to let them go do their thing while Jamie and I hopped on the subway and made our way down towards 57th Street where we picked up the two bikes I had reserved for three-hours and then made our way over to Central Park for the first part of our day.

I don't believe I had been on a bike since I moved back to Connecticut from California back in the late 80's but it turned out that it was extremely easy to remember how to do, though dodging other bicyclists and pedestrians who obv…

A Trip to Sleepy Hollow: Part Two

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After wandering through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and checking out The Old Dutch Church last Friday, Amy, the girls, and I grabbed lunch at The Headless Horseman restaurant then made one more stop before heading back to Connecticut.


This humble litte abode which was built from limestone quarried from up the river at Sing Sing is Lyndhurst Castle - one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in America. The house, if you can call it a house!, is located within a 67-acre park that also contains the cast iron structure of a once beautiful conservatory (the first in the United States) as well as gardenesque landscape that was originally designed by Ferdinand Mangold who was the landscaper at Lyndhurst for 40 years.

Some of you may recognize this castle-like structure as the setting of the 1970 MGM movie, "House of Dark Shadows" which was based on the 1966-1971 gothic soap opera Dark Shadows that featured the hottest vampire around at that time - Barnabas Collins.…