Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Plan B

Anuenue was supposed to fly back to DC on Monday, but her flight, and every other flight into the area was cancelled on Saturday night. Uh-oh!

On Sunday night, Anuenue checks out the current progress of Sandy...not looking good for airplanes!

Time for Plan B. Step 1: Fly to Denver! Anuenue checks out the snow-capped Rockies from the airport terminal. She also sent some postcards home from the airport mailbox.

Step 2. Fly to Atlanta and rent a car. It is a little windy in Atlanta but not bad otherwise! She drives through downtown Atlanta to stay on the outskirts of town overnight.

The hotel has a pancake machine for breakfast. Anuenue watches pancakes emerge and has breakfast before starting on Step 3: driving!

The next state is South Carolina, where she stops to get a map at the visitor center.
 The town of Gaffney, SC has a giant peach water tower! Sadly, all the peach farms are closed for the season.

Next state, North Carolina, where there is a giant traffic jam. Anuenue gets an unexpected tour of Salisbury, NC while taking a detour.

Finally (almost), Virginia. It becomes darker approaching the remnants of Sandy, and starts to rain. Anuenue gets a trip through Richmond with looming clouds.

Finally, home in Maryland! After all that travel, Anuenue will stick closer to home for the next few weeks.

Anuenue in Albuquerque

Anuenue went on a trip to Albuquerque NM!

Leaving from Dulles airport...

 Morning in Old Town Albuquerque! The sun comes up behind the Sandia mountains.

In the morning, lots of people like to go ballooning. Anuenue spots a bunch
of balloons over east Albuquerque.
 She takes a short trip into Old Town to get breakfast. It is very cold outside! 
Can you find Anuenue near the statue of Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, the founder of Albuquerque.

It is Sunday morning, and lots of people are headed to services at the San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church, built in 1793.
 Most of the shops are closed in the early morning, including this cute adobe shop with chile peppers. But the cafe next door was open for pudding!

After it warms up in the afternoon, Anuenue went on a hike in the foothills of the Sandias. The city of Albuquerque is visible below, and there are lots of boulders strewn about.

 She saw lots of cacti - this one still had blooms.

This cactus had long sharp spines.

Anuenue bravely climbed into this churro cactus.

Finally in the evening, there was a nice sunset.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn in Greenbelt

Yesterday, Anuenue explored some of the areas around Greenbelt. This is the 75th anniversary of the city, which was built during the New Deal by the federal government.

 First, she stopped by the community gardens for a quick visit. There is not much left in the gardens at this point, but she got to climb around in the leek bed.

The newly sprouted garlic was a bit closer in scale for Anuenue.

She learned how to read the rain gauge - 0.53". 

Then she headed over to the farmers market in the center of town. The market will run through mid-November and then shut down for the season.

This vendor had a big trailer of different squash! Anuenue helped pick out a big squash to eat later.

After lunch, Anuenue took a stroll around Greenbelt Lake. The lake was dug out by hand in the center of town. Although it looks rural, the beltway runs adjacent to the lake and the sound of cars is always audible in the park.

A gravel trail winds around the lake, a little more than a mile long. There are lots of joggers, families, and people fishing along the lake edge.

There were a few trees in full color in the park around the lake.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Visit to Blackistone Island

Today Anuenue headed south to St. Mary's county. It was a long drive in the car, past DC and into rural Maryland. She even drove by some buggies at the Mennonite farmer's market. 

Finally she reached Oakley, Maryland - previously an area of tobacco farms, there are now corn and soybean farms and commuters from Washington.

Down at the dock is the ship - the Sae Hrafn, a replica Viking longship! The Sae Hrafn is waiting for the crew to arrive, and so is Anuenue.
 While the ship was being readied, Anuenue checked out the oyster floats near the dock. She also investigated this empty crab pot. Most of the crabs were in hiding today, as they start to move to warmer waters in the fall.

The crew arrives and the Sae Hrafn gets underway! There is a bit of a headwind, and Anuenue wishes she had brought a hairband. She meets some Vikings (mostly not in costume) and some other guests, but since the oars are too big, she is exempt from rowing.

The Sae Hrafn rows and rows from Canoe Neck Creek out to St. Clements Bay. There are so many people on board that the ship sits low in the water and starts to leak a bit in places. But there is a bilge pump so everyone stays dry. 
After getting a push from a motorboat, the ship reaches Blackistone Island, now called St. Clements Island. The island is in the lower tidal Potomac River, and is the site where the first Maryland colonists landed in 1634. There is a dock, so the ship stops for a quick visit.

Anuenue checks out the "beach" on the island - we're not in Hawaii any more!

There is a lighthouse on the island, the original lighthouse was built in 1851 but destroyed in the 20th century. It has recently been rebuilt as a replica of the original. The gigantic cross commemorates the site of the first Catholic mass in English North America. There is also a black-eyed susan garden, the state flower, but only a few blossoms are left.

After wrapping up the visit, she headed back onto the ship for the return voyage. The sail was used for part of the trip back home!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cooking for autumn

Anuenue helped with some fall cooking this week. First, she checked out the pie pumpkins from the farmers market:
The pumpkins got cut open, then roasted in the oven and pureed.
Finally, the pumpkin is turned into pie! Perfect for breakfast.