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Khirad On November - 24 - 2010

After the Historic Triangle went down to Virginia Beach for a view of the Atlantic, my first.

Went through Norfolk but came back to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

I was incredibly impressed. This is an engineering marvel every bit as deserving as the Hoover Dam, in my opinion. The Lake Washington floating bridge must feel mighty inadequate. The ships in the distance were the largest I’ve seen anywhere save San Diego, and I must say I felt palpable pity for the motorist whose car was broken down on one of the intermittent shoulders in the middle of the expanse.

Drove up the Delmarva Peninsula and through the Eastern Shore. It was very pastoral and quite pretty. It dispelled all my childhood prejudices concerning a dense, overpopulated east coast. After hundreds of years of European settlement, some faith was restored in humankind that even such a historic region should be left relatively unspoiled – though undoubtedly helped in part by geography as it was. It was also, as I found out from a rest stop where Harriet Tubman came from, had divided sympathies during the Civil War and was in the latter part of the war where many escaped slaves found refuge in a region which was protected by such ships as the USS Constellation from Confederate encroachment.

For a quiet lunch, stopped by on a chilly spring day to a harbor front seafood restaurant in St. Michaels, where both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld keep residences. Nevertheless, though one might expect such a place to look like Mordor, it was very charming. Here was the view.

After alighting for lunch, got back in the car up to Annapolis. Annapolis was everything Baltimore was not. Has to be one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to, although had I stayed more than one night, it might have been difficult to find things to do. In any case, it and St. Michaels must be wonderful weekend getaways for people in the region.

After parking the trusty steed across the street from the capitol (many spaces being reserved for government offices), and taking in the view from the hotel room, I hoofed it, to take in the harbor and get a bite to eat.

Somehow the charm of even the side streets doesn’t exactly translate well here.

I loved the houses.

Suck it, beige! Should we ever get this housing mess cleaned up in America, next target: home owners associations, I say. Live out loud!

The evening light was conspiring against my shots. Here’s the capitol in the background.

Okay, so I was taken by the capitol. The Maryland State House was the capitol of the United States from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784. General Washington resigned his commission here, the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War was ratified here (thank God Senator Kyl wasn’t around in those days) and on September 14, 1786 the Annapolis Convention held here called for a Constitutional Convention. I’m sure every kid who grows up in Maryland knows this, but I must admit I was ignorant to these facts, or at least had never registered them.

Justice Thurgood Marshall.

If you scroll up a couple you might be able to spy the glint of pinwheels in the courtyard.

From pinwheels to pinheads, John McCain’s old haunt. Nearby was a cozy bookshop with coffee and desserts with many naval titles, but a decidedly alternative staff. Quite the juxtaposition with all the uniformed men and women traipsing the streets from the academy just a stone’s throw away. Private admission, I should have enlisted in the Navy. I do regret not thinking about going next door after turning down the Army (this was a couple years before 9/11 – remember what peace time was like?).

In spite of the poor light, not too horrible. The ever-present dome of the capitol in the background.

Again, photo doesn’t do it justice, but the bay is in the background here.

This might as well be a postcard, all in Maryland colors.

Governor’s Mansion May Day basket contest invitation.

And with that concludes the main excursion from DC. I will be returning there before I (finally) wrap this series up.

23 Responses so far.

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  1. PatsyT says:

    Khirad, I hope things for you and your Grandma are going well.
    As for the Pics?
    Excellent! Again, I wonder how you remove all the people in the photos?
    I am with you on the refreshing style and variety of buildings and YES can we dump the HOA!
    I’ll show these to my kids, we really learn a lot from your pics and perspective.

  2. kesmarn says:

    I learn something every time you present another part of this trip, Khirad. Thanks so much for this latest installment.

    I had no idea, either, that the U.S. capitol was in Maryland for a short while.

    Love the colors of the houses, too. One Lake Erie waterfront cottage owner near here painted his place a fabulous shade of raspberry and was told by the neighborhood association that it looked “trashy.” Shows how much they know… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Last detail: why were all those pinwheels there? (Loved the “pinwheels to pinheads” intro, btw… :-) )

    • Khirad says:

      I have no clue why the pinwheels were there. It was a sort of art installation with some sort of message I forget. :-)

      We must rise up against these fascists! Trashy? Trashy is never taking your Christmas lights down, not a quirky paint color.

      • AlphaBitch says:

        Hey Khirad. Thinking of you and hoping things are going well for your grandmother. I love your travelogues. But I’m going to have to dispute what tacky Christmas lights are: we OWN that title in my hometown. I’ll have the Blov paste you a photo that will set you and Mightywoof’s teeth on edge. An old man (and I mean, like in his late 80s) has transformed his little subdivision non-descript home into a psychodelic Christmas cornucopia. Will post tonight in O/T for your viewing pleasure. Thanks for the trip notes -- I’ve saved them all for my east coast trip someday. Give your grandmother some love from the Planet, and know she is in our prayers.

      • Mightywoof says:

        *nodding head vigourously* I agree with your christmas light trashy thing!! Especially those icicle lights -- not to gross anybody out, but up here they are referred to as whale snot dangling from the eaves ๐Ÿ˜†

  3. choicelady says:

    Oh thank you, Khirad -- and everyone with such beautiful photos! Annapolis reminds me of Newburyport, MA -- I think the early federal period probbly looked similar all up and down the seaboard. I’ve never been to anyplace in MD other than Baltimore, but now I’m drooling to go! Beautiful. Thank you so much for posting so many of your photos of that magnificent trip. You’ve brought back good memories of things I’ve seen before and a desire to see the places I’ve never visited. I’m an easterner and midwesterner at heart and someday would like to return. There is just such atmosphere there -- the history is ever present. You have captured so much of that it’s almost tangible from your photography. Thank you for sharing it all with us!

  4. AdLib says:

    What a wonderful mood-setter for Thanksgiving this edition is. And our knowledgeable and enjoyable guide once again makes it all come alive.

    It’s been a while since I was out that way but your journey brings it all back and makes me look forward to returning.

    Thanks so much, Khirad, looking forward to the next editiion but not the last edition.

  5. Kalima says:

    Nice pictures Khirad. I’m always surprised by the still strong European influence in the buildings, even though I know that I shouldn’t be. iI’s nice to see that it has lasted through the centuries.

  6. bitohistory says:

    Again, very nice, Khirad. Seeing a body water makes me feel homesick.

  7. Questinia says:

    I’m under the impression you like our Ct capitol bldg.

    [img][/img]

    :)

    • bitohistory says:

      Fit for King George.

      [img][/img]

      • Khirad says:

        God, I love that capitol building. But, I also love this one:

        [img][/img]

        They’re each so absolutely fabulous in their own way!

        I’ll have to see Hartford in person before I can say it’s better than the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

  8. Questinia says:

    Living out loud was the norm in the East. Houses were not painted white until the 19th C. Before then, reds, pumpkins, deep blues and yellows were standard.

    Yes. Our forefathers were hippies.

    • Khirad says:

      Or Ireland,

      [img][/img]

      Or Denmark,

      [img][/img]

      And throughout the British coasts and Scandinavia -- even Greenland,

      [img][/img]

      Seriously, Americans have just become conformist, manila bores.

      • AdLib says:

        Whereas in Barcelona, Gaudi had a different perspective on the idea of conformity in architecture:

        [img][/img]

        • escribacat says:

          I am also a huge Gaudi fan. I once did a Gaudi tour of Barcelona. We found every Gaudi building we could. Fantastic. Did you know that’s where we got the word “gaudy?”

          • AdLib says:

            Yes, we too roamed Barcelona seeking all of Gaudi’s buildings we could find.

            And what struck me about Barcelona was that concept of diversity in architecture, the free expression of art in its architecture.

            As Khirad said, this is something so sadly lacking in American architecture. Nothing too unique or too creative and our cities and society are less richer for it.

        • kesmarn says:

          I’m a huge fan of Gaudi, AdLib!

          His name probably could equally appropriately be “Gaude!” or (delightfully) “Gaudy.” Exuberant!

          His cathedral is still a work in progress, isn’t it?

          • AdLib says:

            Very cool! He is kind of polarizing, people seem to either really like his work or really dislike it. That’s the way it is with artists that have unique and distinct vision.

            Kind of like a certain president that comes to mind.

            There’s also a Dali Museum along the route heading west towards France.

            I wish art was considered much more a staple of life here in the U.S..

            • escribacat says:

              No kidding. Seems like a lot of Americans think art is nothing more than a liberal conspiracy to undermine America.

          • Khirad says:

            Yes, the Sagrada Familia.

            And now you’re just making me think forward to Christmas songs, like Gaudete. ๐Ÿ˜›


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