Eastern Vacation Journal, Monday, July 16 July 24, 2007

Note: The following entries are by Amber, who lent her voice and perspective to the next few days of the trip.

When I think of a destination I would like to relax in, I’m not sure Virginia has ever been on that list. As we entered the (not sure what they are known for) state, I felt as if we were coming into a town that hadn’t seen visitors for quite some time. First impressions are most often incorrect. The sleepy town of Luray, Virginia was very welcoming and held a secret under it’s pine swept streets. The night we arrived we enjoyed a low priced fare of half chicken, beans and potato salad. A little runny yet very similar to the type my grandmother has made. Our fine dinning experience was thanks to Uncle Bucks Kitchen, a small hole in the wall joint that was the only thing open in town after 9:00 p.m. A comfortable stay in the old reliable Best Western, led us into another day.

img

At breakfast, as it was now Monday morning, we sampled the standard life of the locals – at least the women. A group of them shared a dining room with us over breakfast – all in their mid to late 50’s with too much time on their hands and too much to talk about. Small town……thats all I really need to say.

The reason we were in Luray was because it held the sights of the Luray Caverns. We spent about two hours mist these stalagtights and stalagmites, words I hadn’t heard since elementary school. The tour also made me feel like I was in elementary school. Taken back to a time when the eagerness of standing in lines made me fidgety. Our tour guide was a 16 year old girl, lanky with rusty brown hair. She looked to be the type that was anxiously awaiting the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The fact that I know the title and all ready have it pre_ordered, also puts me in this category. Lanky was in a completely different category. The category which includes the girls that have a crush on….not Harry, but maybe Neville. Someone who has posters hanging on her walls of her colonial home and knows the complete recipe for the truth serum.

img

She was a very interesting tour guide to say the least. Neither of us could place her accent, which sounded normal other than the vowels, which rolled out at 1/5th speed. Our tour went off without a hitch. The beauty of what lies below the ground we walk on every day was astonishing, like the hidden caverns you expect to see in movies. The smell was musky and wet and so were the floors. Josh managed to “gracefully” loose footing at one point and …… knock his noggin at the same time. I have to give him credit, he did not fall…. nor did he drop our camera. Which worked out well since the pictures below do a better job at depicting the beauty than my words do. We continued heading northeast to Baltimore, Maryland.

Ahh the not so beautiful city of Baltimore. I can’t say I would ever visit again. Our little family is in agreement on this matter. Baltimore should have more to boast about, city on the harbor coastal setting, a cool baseball stadium, decent mall, buildings and….okay I really can’t find anything they should boast about. img One person we met there suggested that it’s close enough to DC that all the good stuff “drains” that way. Our hotel was on the harbor and upscale, freshly pressed linens, internet connection and helpful staff. The food we had for dinner was okay, but, all in all, not going back. We had planned to eat at a famous crab place, but as luck would have it, they were most known for the unusual “black pepper crust” on the crabs – the one flavor I’m probably least fond of. Had a nice enough time in Baltimore, but i’ve come to the conclusion that when I’m with Josh I could have fun in a padded room….maybe a little too much fun. So next…. off to Mystic Connecticut. - Amber