Category Archives: Historical

Trotting through Turkey Run Park and Checking out the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in Mclean, Virginia

About the Trip

On Saturday, we at the last minute decided to go to…wait for it….it’s epic…..Turkey Run Park. I pass it every day on the way to/from work, but had never been and it was only a hop, skip, and jump away from home. It’s a cute little park and you’d never know that it ran alongside a major highway. We parked in the C-1 section and walked down the very steep hill and were given the choice to go west or east on the Potomac Heritage Trail. You know us, we chose the longer trail that offered more solitude…so we headed east. The trail runs alongside the Potomac River, making it a very serene hike. Most of the leaves were just barely hanging onto the trees…but some trees were still showing off their bold colors. The part of the trail that we were hiking takes you all the way down to the Theodore Roosevelt Island and it’s not a straight and narrow path..it’s actually pretty rocky and with the newly fallen and damp leaves on the rocks it made it extra slippery, so we recommend hiking boots or shoes with ankle support (Dave wished that he could have worn his hiking boots, but he’s working with Merrell on getting a new pair.) Ladies, I’d also recommend to double check that you are wearing your hiking socks and not your husband’s. I was wondering the whole time why I had to keep stopping and yanking up my socks. It wasn’t until I got home that it dawned on me that these weren’t even my socks! Dave took a look at them and confirmed that they were indeed his and wondered how they ended up in my sock drawer. As an aside, socks seem to have a mind of their own don’t they? They’re so fickle as they always wander off and abandon their mate to be with the irresistible sock monster.

[warning]At Turkey Run, be on the alert for unruly jumping and drooling dogs not kept on leashes.[/warning]

Anyway, after our little hike, our curiosity got the best of us and we wanted to go to the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, which is right down the road from the Turkey Run Park. “What was this place all about?” we muttured to ourselves as we followed the signs to the farm. This is when I infamously chimed in to say, “See, if we had an IPhone, then we would know!” Well, we are here to tell you that if you like farm animals and have an interest in the 18th century, then you should visit this place if you’re ever in the area. Claude Moore is a living history farm that takes you back to the year 1771. You will meet the Bradley family (volunteers who dress up in colonial costumes) and they actually run the farm as it was run long ago. The admission is $3.00 for adults and it takes about an hour to go through. The farm has annual events that you can attend, and they host an 18th century market fair about 6 times a year.

So, after we paid our way and browsed through the cozy gift shop, we walked down the dirt path which led us to Mr. Bradley. His tobacco was drying in the shed. We had obviously missed the recent harvest, which Dave was pretty bummed about. We were greeted by two very curious gray and white geese, who followed each other everywhere and were just the best of friends. We also met the turkey and his two lady turkey friends. We asked Mr. Bradley the tough questions such as, “Is this turkey going to end up on your table for Thanksgiving?” to which he responded, “Why would we eat our family gardener?” We paused at that….how ignorant of us to only think of a turkey as an annual food source. We met the Bradley sisters and I helped them make beeswax candles while sitting in front of a fire. I didn’t realize how long this candle-making process was going to take. It was quite the monotonous process. So, to save some time, I gave my nicely developing candle to a little girl, who was grossed out by the farm animals and the nipping geese. (Perhaps it was best that she was born in the 21st century.) Next, we followed the path to meet the snorting and dozing hogs, the playful cows, the ruling roosters and the pecking hens, as well as Mrs. Bradley.

[warning]Mr. Bradley explained that turkey nips are much worse than goose nips…so maintain your distance from the turkeys.[/warning]

And that about sums up our day at the farm. We ended the afternoon by picking up pizza at Pizza Boli’s. You can’t get a better pizza for less than $10.00.

[info] Lesson of the day: Curiosity does not always kill the cat. [/info]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

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  • Panasonic FZ-8
  • Water bottle
  • Hiking pants and fleece jackets
  • Hiking boots and sneakers, which we do not recommend)
  • Sunglasses
  • Visors/hats

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HIGHLIGHTS

Our favorite part was…drum roll….the geese! I know, you see geese everywhere, but these are known as the “domestic” geese and they’re so cool when you see them up close. And they really liked Dave too as you can see in the pictures…I swear he’s the animal whisperer. All he said was, “Come on guys”, and they hypnotically followed him down the dirt path. I felt so left out! So I just hung back and documented the event. Dave’s mom used to have a pet goose, so perhaps there’s just something about their personalities that the geese like.

LIVE AND LEARN

Now that we know more about the farm, we might check out some of its events throughout the year and maybe even go to the market fair (Perhaps I can improve upon my currently horrendous bartering skills……see failed bartering experience story here.


Show me the dough

Round trip=28 miles=~ $3.00
Claude Moore admission fee X 2 adults =$6.00
Pizza= $9.80

GRAND TOTAL: $18.80


PHOTOS

Boston, Massachusetts

DETOUR TRIP

WHEN:

February 11th-13th, 2011

CONDITIONS:

High 30s….Windy….and FREEZING! (Don’t mind my ridiculous garb)

ABOUT THE TRIP:

Our very good friend Jeremie lives in Boston. Dave and his friends from college went to visit him the year before and I had never been and really wanted to visit. So we coordinated our schedules and were able to get a great flight deal and so off we went for a brief weekend getaway. After touching down, Jeremie picked us up at the airport. On our first night, we just relaxed and caught up on each others’ lives. We ordered pizza and drank some vino before retiring for the evening. The next morning, we ate a delicious and hearty breakfast at the house before venturing out to walk……The Freedom Trail!!! The weather was freezing cold and the wind was fierce, but hey, you can’t let the weather stop you from having fun! We parked outside of the Boston Common, the starting point for the trail. We pretty much hit all of the major sites on this trail…except for a few. From the Boston Common, we visited the following:
[listcheck]

  • The State House (the building with the gold dome)
  • Park Street Church
  • Granary Burying Ground (Here lies Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Sam Adams; it was covered in snow, so we couldn’t walk through the cemetery)
  • King’s Chapel (*Note—we quickly learned on this tour that to see the extra and interesting stuff, you have to cough up the cash. Example, we really wanted to see the crypt and bell tower, but it was $8.00 each.)
  • King’s Chapel Burying Ground (Covered in snow…unable to walk through)
  • Boston Latin School and Old Corner Book Store (somehow we missed these, but we did see the Old City Hall building!
  • The Old South Meeting House (which is where there was heavy discussion as to what to do with the hundreds of barrels of tea!)
  • Old State House (the Boston Massacre occurred right outside of this building)
    Faneuil Hall
  • Paul Revere House (our favorite!) It was such a small and humble house. Hard to believe that he had 16 children! He left that very house to make his legendary ride to Lexington to warn the colonists that the British were coming.
  • Old North Church-Before riding to Lexington, Paul Revere stopped here to notify the church how many lanterns to hang in the steeple; they hung 2 to indicate that the British were arriving from the sea.
  • Copp’s Hill-a burying ground that we could not tour due to snow.
  • Bunker Hill-The British won this battle, but not by much. It gave the colonists hope that they could succeed. The monument was closed because there was ice on the steps!!! What a disappointment!!! So, we went across the street to the Bunker Hill Museum instead.
  • USS Constitution-We ran out of time. Jeremie volunteers his time to a local basketball team and they had a game that afternoon and we all went to that instead. Oh well…there’s always next time.
  • At one point during the day we stopped at Mike’s Pastry. I ordered a chocolate cupcake. Why I didn’t order the Boston Cream Pie, I couldn’t tell you. Why no one else asked me why I didn’t order the Boston Cream Pie…again, I just couldn’t tell you. Although the word is that the “Ricotta Pie” is one of the desserts that they are most famous for.

    We also walked through the local market. Funny story: There was this guy who kept going to every vendor and was haggling and lying and saying that the other vendors were offering their produce for cheaper in hopes of getting a bargain. The vendors totally knew what he was doing and well..let’s just say that they collectively called him out on it and there’s was lots of jeering and profanities that were exchanged between both parties. We got a kick out of it.

    After arriving home, we got ready and went out to dinner and then though exhausted, we headed out to a local bar. The next morning, we had a lovely brunch before heading back to the airport.

    WHAT WE BROUGHT:

    • Canon Powershot SD1000
    • 1 bottle of H2O
    • 2 Cliff Bars
    • Sunglasses
    • Warm clothing
    • Cash
    • Sneakers

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    HIGHLIGHTS:

    Paul Revere’s House hands down. It’s just so much better to learn about history in the place where the events actually occurred. Reading about it in a book just doesn’t bring it to life.

    LIVE AND LEARN:

    We’d get the Boston Cream Pie! And see the USS Constitution. Had we traveled to the city at any time besides winter, it would have been fun to take the Duck Boat or Swan Boat Tour. And tour Fenway Park too! We made the best of it despite the weather and the short amount of time that we had.


    SHOW ME THE DOUGH:

    Plane tickets: ~$220.00
    1 magnet= ~$3.14
    Paul Revere Tour=$3.50 X 2= $7.00
    Mike’s Pastry cupcake and cookie= ~7.00
    Dinner and drinks not included!

    GRAND TOTAL: $237.14


    PHOTOS:

Gettysburg

Gettysburg

About the Trip

Originally, Dave and I had plans to go to the beach.  Then we had plans to go hiking, then mountain biking, and then we finally settled on a day trip to Gettysburg.  It is approximately 1.5 hours away from the DC area.  Upon arrival, we entered the Visitor’s Center via a walking path that was surrounded by beautiful wildflowers and berry trees.  We opted to take the auto tour so that we could go at our own pace and do our own thing, so we purchased the “Travel Brains-Gettysburg Field Guide.   The guide came with 2 CDs and a guidebook, which was great for me because I am very visual and it provided excellent sketches of the battlefield formations that occurred during July 1st through July 3, 1863.  We followed the CD, which took us to 17 different stops, which included—McPherson Ridge, Oak Hill, Oak Ridge, North Carolina Memorial, Virginia Memorial, Pitzer Woods, Warfield Ridge, Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, The Wheatfield, The Peach Orchard, Trostle Farm, Father Corby, Pennsylvania Memorial, Spangler’s Spring, Culp’s Hill, and High Water Mark.  At the end of our tour, we parked at the old Visitor’s Center and walked through the Gettysburg National Cemetery, which is where Abraham Lincoln made his famous “Gettysburg Address.”

It took us approximately 5 hours to complete the tour and this is because we stopped at every single stop to take pictures and tour the area.  On our way home, we splurged and stopped at a highly recommended BBQ joint, “Chubby’s BBQ,” which is located in Emmitsburg, MD.

WHAT WE BROUGHT

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  • Camelbak (3 liters)
  • CyberShot SD 1000
  • Credit card
  • Cell phones
  • Comfy clothes
  • Sneakers
  • Sunscreen
  • Sandwiches and snacks
  • GPS
  • Sunglasses

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HIGHLIGHTS

Throughout the tour, there were a handful of observation towers and the views of the battlefield from above the trees were extraordinary.  After descending from the Observation Tower right outside of Pitzer Woods, we saw a truck drive by that was carrying an army of soldiers!  We have to say that it was hilarious to see Civil War soldiers hitching a ride in a pick up truck.  We drove behind them and pulled over and watched them get out of the truck.  I stuck my head out of the car and asked them where they were going.  They told me that they were hiking to Little Round Top and asked if I wanted to go with them.  I asked the leader of the group if I could take a picture of him.  As I was fumbling with the camera, he told me to hurry up because if he had to stand still any longer he was going to charge me $5.00 for his photograph.  I had a good laugh, then snapped a charming picture of him as seen below.

Upon our arrival to Spangler’s Spring, we were surprised to see a reenactment camp set up!  These particular reenactors were a part of the 21st Georgia Volunteer Infantry and are invited to travel to historical parks to educate the public about life during the Civil War.

I have to give props to all of the reenactors.  They do a superb job of bringing history to life.  As you gaze out at the barren open field, the reenactors really help you to envision the events that unfolded 147 years ago.

LIVE AND LEARN

Next time, we are going to visit the Visitor’s Center and see the Cyclorama and the museum, AND we want to hike the trail that runs through the park.  AND we are going to bring more water because towards the end of our trip, we had depleted our water supply…and that was 3 liters of water!
[info]When traveling in the summer, be sure to bring extra water![/info]


Show me the dough

“Travel Brains-Gettysburg Field Guide = $26.49 (tax included)

Chubby’s BBQ= $36.00

Fuel Cost:  Round trip of 164 miles = $16.40

GRAND TOTAL: $78.89


PHOTOS: