This past weekend, I went out to Virginia to visit Charlie. We went to Shenandoah National Park on Friday, Saturday was spent hanging out with various friend which ended in a small dinner party at Brian’s house; and Sunday was spent eating seafood – crabs in Annapolis then sushi in Germantown. I flew back early Monday morning and from the airport went straight to work. I finally got to offload and upload the pictures I took from the trip and now a little post about the trip.
Taking the red eye out of LAX Thursday night, I arrived in the early morning darkness of 6 am. My flight left LAX around 10:30 and in the terminal, I took a full dose of Nyquil to help me sleep through the flight. I slept most of the flight so I had a little over four hours of sleep. On the ground, Charlie picked me up and we headed off to Shenandoah National Park to enjoy the fall colors, something that I don’t get out here in LA. It’s rainy and there a bit of fog, but we make the best of it. Driving into the National park the little pay station wasn’t open yet so we just drove in. We stopped at the visitor’s center that wasn’t quite open yet either. But I got a few good shots of the various hues of yellow, orange, red, brown, and some green that perfectly describe the essence of fall in ways words can never do; I only hope my pictures help convey this awe.
After our first stop in the park, I took over the driving. It was early, the park was virtually empty of anyone but the two of us. I drove slowly down the road stopping at various vistas and outlook points. At one place, I just stopped in the middle of the road. I saw this; and I just had to snap a few shots. For some reason this reminded me of Robert Frost poem, the road not taken – a poem that I have for many years held deep in my heart as a guide and rational for how I live my life.
As we traveled deeper into the park, the weather conditions got foggier and foggier. It drizzled consistently. We stopped at the 24 mile mark at a gift shop/cafe and had some breakfast and I picked up a few keepsakes; shot glasses. The park benches and tables were soaked so we conceded to eating our meal back in the car. The trip continued as we got down to the 40 mile marker; but the conditions never changed, everything was foggy with the exception of a few spots – so we turned around to leave the park. I had gotten some decent pictures, so I was satisfied. I would have liked to have seen the waterfall, but neither of us were properly dressed for any sort of hiking, especially in this weather.
We returned to Charlie’s house and I got to watch her take a nap, which is so much better than watching her sleep on google video chat. I ended up taking a short nap as well. Short because she had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon. The rest of the evening was spent having dinner with her family. I passed out while trying to watch the Laker’s game that started around 10:30 EST.
The next morning we woke up and headed out to meet Charlie’s highschool mate Angela. Walking into her house, we dodged spiderwebs, hanging skulls, severed fingers and various other Halloween related decorations strewn throughout her house. Ang had a party planned that night. Charlie and Ang chatted for a little while Ang showed her around. We then walked across the street to a sub shop and had lunch; before going our separate ways as Ang still had a bunch of errands to finish up before her party that night; and we needed to head up to Brian’s place.
Popping in “Germantown MD” into the gps got us set for our trip to Brian’s. The gps gave us the most direct route, which meant very narrow back roads. I enjoy such rides as they are fairly scenic, but every now and again, we’re hit with 25 mph zones that are on camera surveillance. The gps’s chosen path was 10 miles shorter than the round about highway path, but probably about the same amount of time. The back roads path led up right to the Potomac River bordering between Virginia and Maryland. The only way to cross was White’s Ferry.
This is a small ferry that fits about 3 cars across and about 5-7 cars deep. This was probably the highlight of the drive. I had been on bigger ferries that transported vehicles across larger bodies of water such as ocean channels, lakes, etc, but never one so small across a river. It was a very cool experience.
We got to Brian’s house and upon his return, we headed out to the local markets to pick up the raw ingredients for the night’s dinner. On the menu was my Creamy Chicken Marsala, Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, some salad and garlic bread. Standard fare that I couldn’t F up and Charlie’s favorite dish. Dinner at the Dunavants’ was relaxing as the night continued with trick or tr eaters braving the rain to get as much candy as they could. The night ended up drinking home made Mojitos and watching the Professional Bull Rider’s finals; yeah, definitely a little different from any usual night at my house..
The next morning we headed out to Annapolis for lunch. We drove by the Naval Academy while on our way to the restaurant.
We arrived at a well known crab shack, and proceeded to place an order for a dozen large crabs, 2 orders of a combo platter that included 3 addition crabs each, cherry clams, shrimp, and mussels. We also ordered a cup of the creamy crab soup, a dozen raw oysters, and 2 cans of Guinness. And as if almost on cue, as we poured our Guinness, Friends in Low Places came on over the speakers – live doesn’t get any better than this.
But back to the crabs, there are 5 of us, 2 gooks, a Kamun, Brian and me; there are 18 crabs on the table, along with shrimp, clams, mussels, and oysters. Oh and some random white girl that was sitting at another table playing with her crabs, she actually posed with it when I took my camera out to snap a spy picture.
Close up of the foods… and there goes my cholesterol…
After about an hour and a half, we get close to finishing everything. And somehow we actually finish everything we ordered. It is about 4pm, and we leave the place to head back towards Brian’s place.
Right near the crab shack is the Maryland WWII Memorial; so we stop by to check it out before heading out.
Found a Chinese name on the walls…
After leaving the Memorial, on our way back, Kamun is already on the phone with friend planning dinner. Sushi at Brian’s favorite local sushi restaurant. My mercury count is gonna sky rocket.
All the pictures from the trip are here: http://gamerabaenre.com/va_oct09.htm
In other news, Charlie and I had a decent amount of time to discuss the direction in which our relationship was heading. Both of us are utterly stubborn, and it is very unlikely that either of us will move. Time to call this what it is. Regardless of how we feel towards each other, we each have our reasons that hold us back from progressing in our relationship. At the very least, we are parting amicably and will be able to remain very good friends. Ignore what you may see or read read on facebook, this is the real truth. Perhaps one day, for one or both of us, the cement that holds us firmly in place will crumble – but such is only a dream, we all must wake up and face our daily reality.