Joined: 05 Nov 2002
|Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:36 pm Post subject: Week 27: Ending 5/18/2003
|Week 27: Ending May 18, 2003
Last minute details completed before we depart for another 5 months again.
We (really Ron) hauls butt and drives from Southborough to College Park, MD, to a favorite campground of ours, Cherry Hill Park, just outside of Washington, D.C. We reserve for two nights, figuring we would get in late tonight and see part of our nation’s capitol on Wednesday. Joan calls our friends Marilyn & George in Bowie and makes arrangements to get together for dinner afterwards.
The Metro seems an intelligent choice for travel into D.C. It takes about an hour between bus and subway train and we arrive only about two blocks from the National Gallery of Art. No parking hassles (trying to find a public lot, fees, etc).It is a beautiful spring day in D.C which makes for an enjoyable walk. The National Gallery is immense in size, occupying two buildings. We enter the West Wing first, the original building built in the 1800s. A new sculpture gallery invites us to peruse its varied offerings encompassing over 22 rooms. We’re not sure we saw all of them. Original works of Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Whistler, Sargeant and even Van Gogh drew our attention in another complex of rooms. Amazingly, flash photography is allowed in most of the exhibits and upholstered seating is available in most rooms for extended viewing.
We walked into a beautiful courtyard encircled by immense green marble columns and returned to it several more times to admire its components.
The East Wing of Contemporary Art is accessible by crossing a couple of courtyards outside the West Wing, or, as we discovered upon our return, via an indoor corridor. An exhibit of Frederic Remington paintings from is later years is featured here, which we enjoyed. Another exhibit introduced us to early works by Picasso, Matisse and other modern artists whom we had not experienced before. The National Gallery of Art is truly a national treasure for which there is no admission fee.
We cut our visit short to catch the Metro to get ready for dinner. We were planning on taking our friends out for dinner but Marilyn surprised us with a delicious home-cooked meal. Yum! We enjoy a short but wonderful visit before they have to leave for an appointment. First, though, they guide us to a nearby Trader Joe’s so we can stock up on some essentials like roasted nuts.
When we return to the campground, we find we have a new neighbor. There is a large gas-powered Newmar bus fully painted with www.ultimatesportsadventure.com. Further explanation is given in their logo: “2 guys in a monster RV on the greatest road trip in Sports History.” All to benefit the Cancer Research & Prevention Foundation, with a goal of collecting $100,000. Logos of other dot.coms, all sponsors, decorate the rest of the bus. Pretty wild.
Ron checks out their website and learns they are traveling around the country visiting key sports events. They started at the Super Bowl in January, are in Maryland for the Preakness and will end the trip at the Super Bowl in 2004. Neat idea.
As we ready the motorhome for departure, we meet one of the two guys on the ultimate sports adventure, Rafe. Ron had emailed their website the night before. We enjoy comparing notes about life on the road and promise to check on each other’s website.
Onwards to Myrtle Beach, SC!
For those who have traveled the I-95 corridor to Florida, you are already familiar with the ubiquitous Pedro billboards which dot the landscape from Virginia to South Carolina. It is now official: we counted 57 Pedro billboards en route to South Carolina! They are amusing and brightly colored. If we were not in such a hurry to get to Myrtle Beach, we would stop again at Pedro’s for old time’s sake.
It is Spring Rally Bike Week in Myrtle Beach. The town is packed with motorcycles. Our friend Sharon, whom we will be visiting, along with her Sheepie, Sampson, had forewarned us of the event. We were able to nab one of the last remaining campsites. We expected a lot of bikers camping in tents. But there were a lot of motorhomes with motorcycle trailers, open and enclosed, at KOA also. Thankfully, the KOA is open until 10 pm. We pull around 9 pm and settle in for the night to the roar of Harleys revving their engines.
We drive up Route 17 North in the Tahoe. The multi-lane highway and its side streets are packed with motorcycles. There is no way around it so we check out the bikes as we crawl northward.
Sharon and Sampson are waiting for us with lots of hugs. Sampson is a very excitable 4-year old Sheepie, full of wet licks and wigglebutts. We haven’t experiencing so much canine love since we lost our dear Jakie. Sampson is a great dog.
After romps lots of rubs and a long walk, Sampson settles down to enjoy his dinner. Sharon suggests Twin Lakes Seafood for dinner for the uprights in the party. It is a good choice with good American fare and a beautiful view of the Intercoastal Waterway. The sun does not really set here until after 8:30 pm.
Sharon, her son Dave and his wife, Debbie and Sharon’s friend Patty, are going to the IMAX theatre to see the film, “Alaska”. We decide to wait until we see it all in person, but will join everyone for dinner afterwards. Dave & Debbie are taking a cruise through Alaska in June and are taking in everything they can about the state. The IMAX is located in the Broadway at the Beach complex, so we arrive early to check it out.
There is a large man-made lake throughout the complex inhabited by a variety of large fish. There are little vending machines nearby which offers fish food for $0.25. The fish are well-trained, because if one simply leans over a bridge railing, the fishes’ mouths open wide in anticipation of being fed. Of course, we feed them. They are comical to observe.
Bike Week has overtaken the mall, as well, as vendors of bike apparel, accessories, custom motorcycles and trailers, hawk their wares. We can even get custom flames painted on our motorhome, all for a large fee! We decide to stick with just our flame decals for now. We meet our friends and walk to Tony Roma’s for good food and even better conversation.
We catch up on laundry, housework and computer chores in the morning and arrange to meet Sharon and Sampson up north for the afternoon. We have another visit filled with good conversation and doggie rubs.