Gettysburg, PA

Dog at Little Round Top, Gettysburg

As a history buff and Army veteran, I am interested in Civil War battlefields. There is probably no other city in the country better situated than Washington, DC for touring the battlefields of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Most are within a 2 hour drive away. Having seen Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Antietam, I figured I drive up to Gettysburg, PA to see the big one. Trip Logistics:From DC, Gettysburg is a nice drive up I270 through Frederick, MD and Route 15 […]

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West Point, NY

West Point The Plain

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point (USMA), my alma mater, is one of the most impressive college campuses in the United States. The castle-like, neogothic buildings that stand over the wide parade ground project an image of martial power and tradition going back to the early 1800s. While I was a student there, I definitely appreciated he beauty of the campus and its natural setting on the Hudson River, but I think I was too busy to really understand […]

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New York City: Roosevelt Island

Four Freedoms Park Roosevelt Island

On a recent visit to New York City, I took a side trip to Roosevelt Island, the slender, two mile long island between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though the island is only a short tram ride away from the Upper East Side, the island’s neighborhood feel and less dense development make it a perfect oasis for those seeking a break from the noise and bustle of the city. From 59th Street, I took the Roosevelt Island Tramway (featured in the Stallone […]

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Assateague Island National Seashore

Assateauge sunrise virginia

When my friends asked  if I wanted to go camping on the beach at Assateague, I was a little skeptical. I’m not a big camper–in fact, the last time I “camped,” I was in the Army. And that was for weeks at a time in a camouflage tent with a potbelly stove in the dead of winter in Germany. Not that fun. But this would be different: beers, a beach, good food, good weather, and a bunch of friends. And […]

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Chestertown, MD

Reenactors for the Battle of Caulk's Field, War of 1812,

Before we were invited to spend the weekend at our friend’s house in Chestertown, Maryland, I hadn’t heard of the town. It’s not very easy to get to from Washington, DC. It’s on the other side of the Bay Bridge, which I have always associated with traffic jams. Despite this physical and psychological barrier to the serene Eastern Shore, my fiancĂ© and I made the trip on a Saturday morning and spent about 36 hours there, and only have good […]

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Montauk Point Lighthouse

Eastern Long Island is a world away from hectic New York City. Gorgeous beaches, stretches of preserved forest, idyllic farmland, and quintessentially American small town main streets all make this area a perennial attraction for the well-heeled and tourists alike. Sag Harbor, NY We used the village of Sag Harbor, NY, as a base. The town was a whaling port in its early days, but I don’t think folks here are doing too much whaling anymore–I did not see any […]

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New York City: Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza New York City

Continuing with my New York City posts, I wanted to post an article about Grand Army Plaza, the plaza that lies at the intersection of Central Park South and 5th Avenue at 59th Street. This Plaza evokes an Old World grandeur unmatched in Manhattan, with the possible exception of the Helmsley Building framed against the MetLife Building viewed down Park Avenue. The beautiful buildings on this major intersection have impressed tourists and residents alike for over a hundred years. The […]

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The Berkshires (Massachusetts)

Mt. Greylock Berksires

The Berkshires is a beautiful area of the country that I had never really thought of visiting until my fiance invited me along to visit her childhood summer camp. The region combines beautiful scenery with a string of historic towns in varying states of economic well-being, from the post-industrial towns of North Adams and Pittsfield to the fancier old Massachusetts blueblood towns of Lenox and Stockbridge. Lenox, MA We used Lenox, MA as a base. This small town retains a […]

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Annapolis photo tour

Annapolis sailboats

I received a gift certificate for Washington Photo Safari a company that offers photo tours of DC and the surrounding region. Out of many options, I chose the photography tour of Annapolis. I had never taken a photography lesson so my hope was to learn more about the different functions of my camera, such as shutter speed, F-stops, and ISO adjustments. Steven Rosenbach, the photographer who led the tour, met us and a few others at Starbucks and gave a […]

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I-95 (Philadelphia and New Castle, DE)

I-95 I’ve been driving up and down I-95 between Washington, DC and northern New Jersey since 2008. The 240 mile trip lasts about 5 hours with normal traffic, but at peak rush hour times and especially on Thanksgiving eve, the drive becomes intolerable. This is the most densely populated stretch of highway in the nation, I believe, so driving anywhere on this highway the night before Thanksgiving is not a good idea. I’ve learned my lesson; I now take Amtrak […]

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