6. West Virginia – The ladies visiting

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This is after our excursion to Washington, DC, and we are in West Virginia.  I am actually leaving for work, and they are getting ready to head back to NC.  This is the second time they have visited me in WV since I have been here.  They don’t care for it too much.  They like living down by the beach, too.

They think the drive is too long, and it may be too long for them.  I think it takes them 8 hours to get up here, maybe more.  I don’t think it would take so long if they didn’t stop at every craft and fabric store they pass on way.  It is a given with them.

I’m usually the one who travels to see them.  I get in my “90’s concert in the car” mode, and jam away while I drive.

This will count for our visiting of WV, slowly filling up our 50-states map.  After the DC trip, I need a vacation for myself.

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DC trip and my spreadsheet

I am a fly by the seat of my pants planner.

I love adventures, but I will make sure I am prepared-or at least as much as I can be given time. For the DC trip, this included a spreadsheet covering each day. Mom and Aunt Thelma laughed at me, but it came in handy. Here is mom shaking her head at my color coded spreadsheet for our trip.
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I dislike sitting around, waiting for plans to be made. I planned each day around the prearranged tours, and had musuems listed that were nearby. This was to cut out unnecessary walking back and forth. I also color coded the pre-arranged tours and museums differently so they would be able to figure out where we had set in stone timed-tours and just drop-in trips to museums.

I made sure to list places to eat that would be around us that I knew they would like, which meant Coke products for my aunt.  They laughed, but they were very happy when I would pull it out of my purse to find that Diet Coke my aunt wanted.

DC Trip-day four, Maryland on our 50-states map

This was our last day in DC, and a travel day.  Our drive back to WV goes through Maryland, so we made a few stops along the way.

We drove to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was only about 30 minutes north of Washington, DC.  This museum was specifically for me.  They wanted no part of it, so they waited for me in the car.  Mom read her book, and Aunt Thelma worked on her knitting.  It was for the best.  It is really aggravating to constantly hear how gross everything is when you are thoroughly enchanted by it.  This is the building, and the words to the right of the door are really difficult to read.  Also, it was really cold in the museum, maybe colder than usual in museums.

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It is mostly Civil War medical treasures, which is cool to look over.

The part that made me stop and sit to reflect was the floor of Trauma Bay II from Balad, Iraq.  I sat and stared at that piece of flooring for quite a while.

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Once I was finished at the Health and Medicine museum we continued our road trip west, and took another stop in Frostburg, MD.

About a month ago, I went with the Swing Dancing Club to a show across the street from the hotel in the picture below.  The show was awesome, and swing dancing everywhere!  As we were leaving, a worker of the venue said for us to try to go to the basement of the hotel because they have a really cool “museum”.  Most of the artifacts were the owner’s personal items, and he passed away recently.  We walked across the street to go check it out, and were stopped by the front desk.  I guess midnight was after operating hours of the museum!  It didn’t even dawn on me that it would be closed, or that it was so late.  Swing dancing makes everything an awesome rose-colored reality.

I planned to make a trip just to see this basement, but since the DC road trip had us driving right past….I made it a stop!

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The Failingers Hotel Gunter basement didn’t disappoint at all!  It had some amazing vintage items, but they need to preserve and have them in climate controlled rooms.  I would hate to see see all these beautiful things become messed up due to humidity.  My camera on my phone is terrible in low lighting (HTC One, otherwise great phone), so my pictures always have a red tint to them.  Sorry about that.  Only a few pictures came out of the museum.

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I took this picture because I adore the tile floor!  wpid-imag4129.jpg

The kind woman at the front desk told us a little about the history of the hotel, and let us go throughout the hotel.  The entire hotel is beautiful.  I would call the Hotel and the museum collection…”turn of the century vintage, heavily peppered with 1980’s grandmother”.  Also, if you collect dolls, you would enjoy a few rooms they have displaying the owner’s collection.

I failed to get a picture of us at the hotel.  We had to stop to get my aunt a Diet Coke before we hit the interstate, so here we are in the drive through getting her “Large Diet Coke with extra ice”.  Yes, I have told her many times about the extra ice making it less drink, but it doesn’t do any good.

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Another cool note about Frostburg, MD, the parking meters downtown are $0.25 for an hour!  I’m used to the same quarter only being good for 20 minutes.

DC trip- day three, Virginia in our 50-States Tour

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Day three of the Austin Ladies exploring Washington, DC.  Today, we visited Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  We were looking forward to this, as our families are ones who served our country. Not just spout out “I support the troops”, with a yellow ribbon magnet on their SUV.  I get a bit irritated with people who are like that, as I want to say, “GREAT, When are you or your kids enlisting? Oh, just other families should send their loved ones, but yours are off limits?”

Before I go too far on that soapbox, I will get back to Arlington.   We took the trolley tour, of course.  The cemetery is very beautiful.  I have always felt calm in cemeteries, and never been one to be afraid of death.  We arrived at the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb, and I was happy to see an Honor Flight attending the changing of the guard.

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The Honor Flight members I met were from upstate New York, and they said 84 were on this flight.  They were adorable, and all reminded me of my grandfather.  The gentleman in the above picture (standing next to me taking the picture) was a Korean War veteran said he goes on the flight all the time, and he just bebop-ed around. Spunky little guy.

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Arlington Cemetery was just beautiful.  We didn’t get to see JFK’s grave, as the changing of the guard at the Unknown Soldier’s is only once an hour.  We wouldn’t have made the trolley stop, so we decided to see the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb.  My mom is a huge fan of President John F. Kennedy, even with his “charming and charismatic way with women”.

This will be on my list to visit again.  Mom and Thelma didn’t want to walk much, so I saved my on-foot exploring for another day.  Mom and Aunt Thelma really enjoy riding the trolleys while the tour guide gives facts over the speakers.

This trip will count for our visiting the state of Virginia for our 50-states tour.