A few years ago Tammy met a girl at Uni called Elise. She was on a student exchange from the States and the two of them got on from the get go. Naturally when she heard about our visas she immediately extended an invitation for us to come and visit her in her home state of Maryland. More than happy to see a new slice of the USA and spend some time with a friend, we gladly accepted.
On May 6th Tammy and I met at 34th street, Penn Station after work excited and ready to catch a train to visit Elise. Our train ended up being delayed by a couple of hours due to a power outage on a bridge somewhere on the line so we had a bit of a wait. As you can see from the pics below, Tam had no issue keeping busy, spending her time applying snapchat filters from afar!
Eventually we were rattling along on the train and we decided we would jump off the train each time it stopped in a new state, touch the sign indicating the state we were in, and hop back on board so as to say we had “set foot” in: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Washington DC, all in one night! (Tammy didn’t even have shoes on for 3 of those and ended up with wet socks!). We actually caught the train in to Washington DC where Elise picked us up and drove us back to her home in Adamstown, Maryland. After an hour’s car ride full of laughs, girly catch ups and me sound asleep in the back, we arrived at her house. We met her two gorgeous dogs Lucy and Cooper, got our clothes covered in both hair and slobber, and had a brief tour of the house (a mansion compared to NYC apartments) before turning in for the night at 3 am.
The next day we woke up at 8.30 which was relatively early all things considered. We met Elise’s parents (who were super friendly), had some coffee and bagels and hashed out what we were going to do for the day. Our first stop was Tootsie. Tootsie is Elise’s mother’s horse. Apparently owning a horse had always been a childhood dream of hers and one day she finally took the plunge and bought one. She knew a good friend that was involved with horses, who not only had space for it but could also tend to it regularly, so she decided to make the most of this opportunity to realize a dream. Tootsie was more than willing to stretch her legs and do a few laps of the barn with us on her back. After bustling around NYC catching trains less than 24 hours before, horseback in the countryside was a great change of pace.
After this we hopped back in the car and headed to downtown Frederick to walk around the old streets and see what was there. Being in small town America was nice for us as up until this point it’d been non-stop stimulation in the big apple! It was a quaint little town with lots of little stores selling trinkets and gifts. We found nice little spot called Brewer’s Alley for some lunch where we tried some famous Maryland crab dip. It was de-lis-cious!
After a couple of gift shops and a few purchases for the family back home, we were once again back on the road, heading in to Baltimore to meet up one of Elise’s friends and watch a baseball game at Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles Vs Oakland Athletics. The food, the company and the atmosphere was great, and while we enjoyed watching the game, we had absolutely no clue what was going on as we’re about as clued up on the rules of baseball as we are the personal lives of the players themselves! As far as were were concerned, if someone hit the ball and started running this was a good sign and so we cheered (regardless of team – whoops!).
Once the game had finished (I don’t remember the score or even who won!) we took a brief stroll down to the harbor in Baltimore before returning to the car and making our way back to Adamstown. On the way home Elise remembered she still hadn’t bought a birthday gift for her mother so we stopped off at the local Walmart and had a wee browse. (The gift was a nice plant but somehow it ended up getting snapped in half before we even made it back to the house!)
The next day was Sunday and the day of our departure. After a nice cooked breakfast we were once again back in the car, on the road and heading into Washington DC for a look around before catching the train back to NYC. We stopped off on the way to pick up Kelsi, another of Elise’s friends, who came along for the ride. On route to Washington DC I spotted a fast food joint called “Sonic Drive-In” where you drive up, park, look at the menu and then make your order into the voice box beside your car. Shortly after this a Sonic employee on roller skates comes wheeling out to your car with your order, takes your payment and zooms back off to the restaurant. I’d heard about their extensive selection of milkshakes and with this being one of my favorite foods I simply could not pass up the opportunity. I went with an Oreo Cheesecake shake and it was as good as it sounds! We then proceeded on to DC.
In DC we parked up and walked down to the Washington monument. From here we made our along past the reflection pool and up to the Lincoln memorial. I’d always seen him in movies, sitting up there, and I actually thought he would be a lot bigger than he is but I’m still glad I finally got to see it in person. We didn’t have that long before our train so we strolled on back to the car and drove on to the station. The rest of the story is pretty standard, we waited for the train, we boarded the train and we rode the train, arriving back in New York City around 9pm Sunday night.
We had a fantastic time visiting these 2 new places. It was great seeing a familiar face and meeting Elise’s friends and family. We must’ve made a good impression because we even got invited back to stay for the Christmas holidays, at which time Elise wouldn’t even be there! I’d say the greatest thing about this weekend was that we left feeling like we had been away for so long and done so much. We managed to feel like we’d had a week long vacation without even taking a single day off work!
All in all our Maryland/DC trip was a great success and we definitely made some deposits to the memory bank.