Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

U.S. Naval Academy


I haven't been on a Vantage House "field trip" for a bit.  We've had a change in staff and organizing these has not been high on the priority list.  This trip to Annapolis was well done, however.


It was a lovely day, blue sky, light wind, low humidity.  Perfect for taking a tour of one of the service academies.  The others are the Army's West Point in NY and the Air Force academy in Colorado Springs.  

The campus is huge and we saw only a bit of it.


Our tour guide (yellow shirt below) was a retired Navy doctor and has been doing these tours for 15 years.  He was very knowledgeable.


The Academy mascot is a goat!


Heads of departments get some pretty fancy mansions to live in.  This is actually a duplex but each side is huge.


We didn't go in many buildings but the doors on this one were interesting as


was the light with the ship on top.


The top of the Navy Chapel peeks through the tree tops.



One of two buildings we entered was Dahlgren Hall.


One of the Wright Brothers' planes hangs in there.  The guide said it could still fly.


Two Japanese torpedoes are on display.  Here's one of them.


The nation's largest dormitory here at the Academy houses all the cadets and their huge dining room. Here's one corner.


Cadets assemble here before each noon meal time.  None until later this summer as all are off on assignments and training for the summer.


The architect modeled this building on French architecture.


Tecumseh statute.  Cadets flip a coin up to the arrow case before exams for good luck.


The chapel


And inside the chapel




This candle is lit at every service to honor the missing in action from the Viet Nam War.








We saw very few midshipmen when we were there.  The class is 1/3 women but I think they're all called midshipmen.


Here's the gate where we met our bus after lunching on campus.


I had toured the Academy before but with 4th graders in tow.  It was nice to go on an adult tour and learn other tidbits about the place.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Restaurant Recommendation

The Chesapeake Bay region is known for seafood.  If you come to Maryland you must experience it.

Sunday the 10th after church we drove an hour north to Havre de Grace, MD which is at the mouth of the Susquehanna River as it enters the Chesapeake Bay.  I remember reading somewhere that the bay is really the continuation of the river but an asteroid strike carved out a larger area forming what is now the bay.


It was lunch time so from the GPS I selected the Tidewater Grille right on the water.

We were seated outside, with a nice breeze that got cooler as we sat there.  Before our crab bite appetizer arrived the rain had started and all who were outside scurried into the bar area to complete our meals.






No photo of the crab bites, sorry!  But here are the salads we had.




We would have liked to explore the town more but the rain was too steady for walking along the water and through the streets.  See the rain on the windshield? We headed home after driving around.


We'll come back another day.









Monday, June 18, 2018

First Tuesday Hike

The first Tuesday of each month Vantage House fitness staff sponsors a hike.  For June the original destination was a wash out because of the heavy rain and flooding over the Memorial Day weekend.  [I'm sure you read or heard about the flooding in Ellicott City, MD.  We are very close to that though that wasn't the destination this time.]

The new location was a trail connecting one park to another.  It was a gorgeous day for a hike/walk.


From the parking lot we walked along soccer fields before reaching the woods.


The trail then went under the intra county connector rt 200 which is a fairly new toll road.


I was impressed by the design detail of the columns under the highway.





A trail sign confirmed the trail we were on, Little Paint Branch Trail.  Paint Branch is a creek in the area but I don't remember seeing it.  Our trail was paved but Viper wasn't.



The trail brought us out to another park with quite a large pond.


Lots of birds singing especially a mockingbird.


We returned the same way we came to our bus for the ride home.



On July 3rd we are headed to Annapolis and Quiet Waters Park.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Time to Think of the Children

The stories coming from our southern border are appalling.  This one especially in today's Washington Post that describes a pediatrician's visit to one of these holding places for the children taken from the parents.  How did we become such a heartless country? How do the border guards do this task they have been directed to do without saying "no, this isn't right"?

And look at this photo also from the Post and don't tell me your heart doesn't break for this little girl?


My brother sent me a link to sign a petition to stand up to Sessions.  At this point joining with others in signing the petition and prayer that the decision to separate children from their parents will change is all I can do.


Here is another one from Mom's Rising


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