Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Day Tripping to St. Mary's County, MD in Winter

Sun
Water 
Fishing 
Boating 
Sailing 
Crabbing 
Kayaking 
Swimming 
Fishing Charters 
Golf
UNLESS 
It's winter... 
Then what do you do when it's winter? 

St. Mary's County, MD

Clearly St. Mary's County in Maryland is a summer destination, 
but with the PAX River NAVAIR base drawing people in, 
you would think there would be more winter happenings. 

St. Mary's County, MD

Our soccer boy 
turned PSU Nittany Lion
is now a Maryland crab, 
so to speak. 
He lives in St. Mary's County. 

The Front Porch Restaurant, Leonardtown, St. Mary's County, MD

We visited one winter weekend - 
although it was almost 60 degrees! 
If you find yourself visiting in winter, 
here is what you need to know...
cause their tourist info is sadly lacking. 

St Mary's County is divided into 6 communities. 


Obviously being surrounded by water 
you can take advantage of the scenic views 
at any of the wharfs, landings, or marinas.  

And then visit...

South County

11175 Point Lookout Rd, Scotland, MD 20687

Civil War Museum, Ft Lincoln, Lighthouse, Confederate Cemetery and Memorial
All are small attractions and only open to walk around in winter.
As of 2/2020 the lighthouse is under renovations
 and is not accessible. 

Point Lookout, St. Mary's County, MD

18751 Hogaboom Lane, Visitor Center, St. Mary’s CityMD 20686 (240) 895-4990 or (800) 762-1634
You can walk the grounds in winter. 
17th c living history with building reproductions on 800 acres.

The Maryland Dove, Historic St Mary's City

Lower Potomac Area
Open Daily 12-4, when closed you can walk the 6 acre grounds and pier. 

Piney Point Lighthouse


18287 Cherryfield RoadDraydenMD 20630 (301) 994-1471
You can peek in the windows but to go inside you need to arrange a tour.
Drayden African American Schoolhouse

Patuxent-Chesapeake Corridor 
This is where the military base is located. 
We were able to get a tour by our son since he is employed there. 

Patuxent River Naval Air Museum and Visitor Center
22156 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, MD 20653 (301) 863-1900

Escape From the Past: Southern Maryland’s Orignal Escape Room
22595 Three Notch Road, California, MD 20619 (301) 247-1721

Historic Sotterley Grounds only Nov - Apr.
44300 Sotterley Lane, Hollywood, MD 20636 (301) 373-2280

Leonardtown Area
Leonardtown is a historic town and County Seat of St Mary's County
located around a town square just up from a public wharf. 
It seems to be leaning mostly toward the arts offering 
art classes and related shopping opportunities. 
It makes a nice place to walk around and have lunch. 
We enjoyed Sunday brunch at The Front Porch. 

Leonardtown Wharf Park

Leonardtown Wharf Park (free access)
22510 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650 (301) 475-9791 

Leonardtown Walking Tour Map

Tudor Hall
41680 Tudor Place, Leonardtown, MD 20650 (301) 475-2467

Old Jail Museum, Leonardtown, MD

Old Jail Museum (Closed winters but walk by this and the courthouse.)
11 Courthouse Drive, Leonardtown, MD 20650 (301) 475-2467

Escape Rooms Southern Maryland
22715 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650 (301) 690-0704

Seventh District Area
Hmmm...I couldn't find anything to do here.


North Country
Amish moved from Lancaster, PA to this region. 
You can take a scenic ride through the countryside
and watch for the Amish horse and buggies. 

Since we live near Lancaster, PA
I can see the Amish farms anytime. 
So we didn't venture into North Country. 

Really, that's all I can find. 
Let me know if you know of something more to do here in winter.  

Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge, Maryland

I'm saving the best for last. 
But you need to cross the bridge into Calvert County 
 onto Solomon's Island. 

The Pier Restaurant at Solomon's Island, Calvert County, MD

Solomon's Island, Calvert County 
This popular weekend destination is a happening spot even in winter, 
except for the tiki bar which I hear is the place to be in summer.
In winter about 75% of the parking spaces on Main Street were full. 

Drum Point Lighthouse, Solomon's Island, Maryland

Calvert Marine Museum and Drum Point Lighthouse  $
14200 Solomons Island Rd, Solomons, MD 20688 410-326-2042


We enjoyed dinner at The Pier Restaurant 
on the water as the sun was setting. 
We all had their delicious crab cakes, 
skip the side salad though, it was boring. 

We stayed at the Holiday Inn
since my husband had enough points for a free night. 
The HI is a 9 acre waterfront property with a marina. 

Hidden Harbor, Solomon's Island, Calvert Co, Maryland

Click here for more of my images from St Mary's County, MD.

If you go....
You may find this interactive map helpful in planning your trip. 

Image result for st mary’s county md map
Maryland Counties highlighting St. Mary's County. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Contrade in Italy

Contrada 
Contrade (plural) 


A contrada is simply an Italian district 
or what we might call a neighborhood, 
a tightly-knitted neighborhood proud of its communal history. 
Each contrada serves as the community in which its residents 
celebrate life events together. 

Contrada della Selva

Siena boasts the most well known of the contrade - 
there are 17 of them here. 
During celebrations,
streets are lined with the identifying flag of its contrada

Nobile Contrada dell’ Aquila

Twice yearly, representatives from 10 contrada 
participate in the Palio di Siena. 
(Other cities also have the Palio.)
The Palio is a bareback horserace 
in which the jockeys
attempt to beat their rival contrada. 
The Palio dates to medieval times 
and replaced bull fighting. 
(Yay to that.)
The streets fly their flags 
and the riders wear their respective colors. 

A contrada headquarters.  Horses enter below, people above. 

We just missed the Palio di Siena. 
But the excitement was still in the air 
with the flag lined streets 
and the residents still discussing the results.

Piazzo del Campo, where the Palio is held. 

Oh, and you aren't a member of a contrada by moving in to the neighborhood, 
you are born into membership. 
So the best you can do now is 'adopt' a contrade, 
which is exactly what our 
Rick Steves' tour guide, Tricia, did. 

Tricia shows the flag of her adopted contrada, Contrada della Torre

Until visiting Italy, 
I never heard of the Palio. 
But wow, how exciting would 
being an observer be?


Map of Siena showing the three terzi and the seventeen contrade
Siena's Contrade

Siena location on the Italy map

More of my photos from Siena are here.




Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Top Attractions of the City of Lancaster


Prince Street Garage 111 N. Prince Street
Prince Street Parking





















Lancaster County...
rolling hills dotted with Amish farms 
is what comes to most people's minds. 
But Lancaster has a city too, 
also named Lancaster. 

A Farm in Lancaster County

I have been to the county plenty of times, 
but never visited the city until now. 
As far as cities go...
well it isn't a very big city in size, 
but its colonial history makes up for that. 
Lancaster, named after the House of Lancaster, 
was part of the Penn's Woods Charter of 1681. 

N. Mulberry Street, Lancaster, PA

In 1777, during the American Revolution,
Lancaster served as the US Capital for one day. 
It also served as Pennsylvania's capital from 1799-1812 
until the state capital was moved to Harrisburg.


The top attraction in the city is the 
which boasts being 
the oldest continuously running market in the country. 
It is only open 3 days a week. 

Lancaster Central Market
Central Market

The market offers such things as 
 produce, meats, cheeses, breads, candies, and crafts. 
We bought cheeses and smoked pork chops. 
If you haven't tried smoked pork chops, 
they are delicious. 
(And I don't like pork chops.)

Fulton Theater

The second attraction is the Fulton Theater.
Similarly, the theatre is the oldest running theatre in the states. 

Wheatland, the home of President James Buchanan,
is also located nearby
and you can experience a guided tour. 
Admission is charged. 

Shops on Queen St. 

There is also quite a resurgence of small shops and eateries 
in the four blocks surrounding the visitor center 
located at King and Queen Streets. 
There you can pick up maps and information.
This area also marks the historic district. 

The Ecclesial Center of Lancaster

You could spend a weekend here 
and find plenty to do. 
I enjoyed the historic architecture. 


Click here for more images from this set. 


Map of Lancaster Pennsylvania PA