Already we’re behind.

Sorry to leave our readers hanging after just one entry! The following we hope will bring you up to date.

Saturday night at the Lickdale Campground, we camped without unhitching or unpacking: things still last-minute-stashed in every nook and cranny. Sunday we were on the road again._BRG7753

Sunday, December 13
Discovered the list of broken devices needing attention now includes the truck CD player, so Léna had to sing “On the Road Again” instead of Willie Nelson. Willie’s a close second. We never embark without it!

Did a bit of touring. Just so happens the campground is just a couple of miles from Indiantown Gap where Bruce spent two weeks of seven summers for Army Reserves summer camp. Just out of curiosity, had to take a look.

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Not much has changed, same old rows and rows of dusty white barracks. Somehow the Army managed to create a desert in lush, green PA!

Then we drove South through Lebanon and Lancaster where we lost a hubcap via a pothole. Narrow roads–no place to stop; no photos. The run was a bit intense, with road repairs making narrow lanes (never comfortable with a trailer just a bit narrower than the Jersey barriers) and in pretty heavy I-95 traffic.

Arrived at the Cherry Hill Campground in College Park, MD before nightfall. A kindly neighbor named Caroline advised us to not accept the first site we’d been assigned so, we got another which was easier to back into and nicer in terms of space, view and drainage! Unhooked, had dinner and collapsed.

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Monday, December 14
Monday a.m. slept late, started to sort the miscellany into where it truly belongs. Still WAAAAY overtired, and irritable. Gravity does what gravity likes to do on the road. If something can fall and roll under something else, it will. We finally ventured out after noon, for groceries then to nearby IKEA, yes, IKEA, Home Depot, and Best Buy are just a short drive away. For county folk, IKEA is a treat. Had our usual Swedish meatballs and bought some practical gizmos and containers that we’ve needed and heavenly chocolate cake which we didn’t.

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Came out of IKEA to blowing rain and dashed back to the Airstream. Sprocket was frantically joyful because he’d done a poop in his bin, earning some cheese! He loves travel, sniffing the landscape for the local news.

We’re booked here at Cherry Hill for a week, hoping to catch some of D.C that we missed last time. May add on another week to include Christmas: not sure yet. Weather is a factor but for it’s now 70 degrees and sunny. This is December, right?

Tuesday, December 15
The DC metro stop is a couple of miles from the campground and with a Senior discount (it pays to be old), not a bad way to get into the city. We refreshed our sketchy memories of getting Metro cards, finding proper routes, etc. without too much stress.

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Turned up at the Smithsonian Castle stop only to find that the Renwick building there WASN’T the one with the “Wonder: What You’ll See” show we were looking for–it was at the OTHER Renwick.

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Following the recommendations of a kindly National Park guide from Alabama, we went to the nearby USDA building cafeteria for a great lunch, then Metroed to the proper, newly-restored Renwick by the White House and thoroughly enjoyed the installations.

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Walked back past the White House to the Metro. The weather was glorious: 60s, sunny, and a brisk breeze blowing leaves in giddy circles.

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Wednesday, December 16
We once again got off the METRO at the Smithsonian ‘Castle’ whose gardens are still full of abundant pansy beds and fragrant roses. Lunched in the castle and decided to peek into the Sackler-Freer galleries next door, which will close for renovation next year. Saw a small show of Iranian chased and repoussé silver/gilt artifacts.

In the next room some exquisite drawings and paintings by James McNeil Whistler led us to a curious show called “Filthy Lucre”. Waterston, a modern artist/historian, had built a recreation of James McNeil Whistler’s famous Peacock room made for Leyland, a wealthy patron who ultimately refused to pay Whistler’s price (the age-old artist/patron divide) and even forbade his entering the home again. Fading in and out on an adjacent wall was the entire correspondence between the two men. Waterston’s recreation, or rather, interpretation followed the room’s dimensions and details, but all the gold bric-a-brac shelving was smashed, its objects d’art broken, great resinous puddles of gold on the floor and two peacocks trying to kill each other on the largest blue panel.

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Well, it killed enough time for us to stroll up to the Washington Monument (restored after the earthquake) to use our 2:00 tickets. Took the one-minute elevator up to the pyramid at the top where each side has two small windows, and we gazed and photographed (through many nose or finger smears) at the four directions of D.C..

The sun sparkled on the Potomac and the Tidal Basin. The elevator trip down was TWO minutes, slowing to show us the countless carved donor stones from states, fraternal orders, etc. that went into the monument’s construction. On the ellipse at the base, plantings of confused plum trees were blooming. The guide said that plums can bloom twice a year, fortunately, while cherry trees can only blossom once.

Headed back to the Smithsonian Metro, we went a block beyond to the Hirshhorn Museum, hearing that there was a show on Surrealism. Photography wasn’t permitted. Sigh. The usual Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp pieces of everyday objects seen as art gave way to the Biomorphism movement of Arp, Noguchi, Miro, and suddenly, wonderfully, came a whole room of Joseph Cornell boxes, toys, and games, then a vast space of Calders! I furtively blew from a distance at a Calder piece, for the air was still, and a tiny movement enlivened the piece. I asked the guard if that was OK and he said he’d guarded four other Calder shows, and the first one had more moving air and every time he looked the pieces were altered. I told him he was lucky to be in this art-rich environment, knowing he really appreciated the works there. He smiled and said that years before, he’d been a guard in a prison! What a story he could tell!

Thursday, December 17
A good day for blog writing. Today began with gentle lullaby of rain on the Airstream about 5:30 a.m. and the day’s plans to excavate the back of the truck for supplements and other necessaries will have to wait for a clearing. Of Lena’s health routines: loading pill-trays, making kefir, brewing Kombucha, generating colloidal silver, one has been (perhaps mercifully) terminated. Coconut palm sugar instead of raw sugar was a bad idea, making a Kombucha tea that was almost undrinkable. Bruce gave the SCOBY a proper repose in the woods and Léna’s Kombucha addiction is ended. For now.

Tried to find someone to fix the jammed CD player without luck, so Sirius radio will have to do. The beginning of a trip is always more of a shakedown than a vacation, and, of course, we’re pushing to get South. The fridge is beginning to be not quite so crowded, and at some point we’ll ship some things home, making the truck just a bit less like the Beverly Hillbillies’.

Today
Weather changed! Sky cleared, temperatures dropped, and wind picked up. Hung out in the Airstream. Léna finished her pill trays, I replaced a drawer catch, and  finished up this blog entry. Finally getting up to speed with the new WordPress software.

We hope this entry will satisfy our eager readers!

 

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