Well, a couple of quick weeks back in the old MD homestead has come and gone. I was staying at Ramblin’ Pines campground in Woodbine, MD. It’s a good landing place, and allowed me to get to lots of familiar areas within MD. While there, it was nice catching up with family and some regular friends, and also getting together with friends that I’ve not seen in a while. I also visited my old home in Randallstown, and saw some of the good, and all the bad things that have happened to it since I sold it.
Visit with Family & Friends
It was great to catch up with daughters Sam and Ashley, and to enjoy some wonderful sushi at one of our favorite places in Towson (free plug: San Sushi Too). We ordered lots of different rolls and sashimi – and Sam got to take leftovers with her for a snack later. Both girls are extremely busy working multiple jobs these days, so I was fairly limited in my available time with them. But, I’ll take whatever I can get. Also in Towson, I got to share lunch with two former coworkers Judi and Jenn (sorry, forgot to get a picture). Once again, it was nice catching up, while also solidifying my retirement decision based on feedback they shared with me regarding current working situations. Also had a nice dinner with longtime friends Mary Ann and Tom – checking out a new restaurant at a swanky golf course in a ritzy neighborhood. Dinner was great, and the company more so. Lastly, I had breakfast with Wayne and Deacon Monti – whom I’ve not seen in many years. Deacon Monti was affiliated with the church/school that my kids attended in elementary years. In fact, Deacon Monti baptized both girls back in the day. He has since retired and is now enjoying life – including giving the poor waitresses a hard time. Was really nice catching up with them. After breakfast, I raced to my next appointment – lunch with longtime business associate Pete (sorry – no picture here either!). Pete, now retired, is a master electrician and was my go-to guy for anything electrical when I ran and managed computer data centers. Was nice catching up with him!
As luck would have it, my Brother-in-law Mike and sister-in-law Helen were hosting one of their client appreciation dinners, and were kind enough to invite me to join them. It was catered at their home in Ellicott City and included a fabulously crafted multi-course meal, prepared by a local renowned chef, with exquisite wine pairings for each course featuring a variety of many rare wines from Mike’s extensive basement collection. Much of what I consumed I would not be able to identify (see menu at right), including such delicacies as Foie Gras, Rabbit Stew, a 24-hour sous-vide’d fillet, and a dessert featuring home made ice cream covered with honey and caviar. These are not eats that I have often (ever?) but I can say every course was amazing and provided a host of incredible flavors my palate has never tasted. I also got to enjoy the company of friends Molly and Fred who also scored an invite. It was an outstanding evening that I enjoyed tremendously. Thanks again Mike & Helen for the invite!
I did a bit of sightseeing while I was in MD. This included visiting the old home where I lived and raised a family for 20+ years. I sold the house to a reality company who intended to make much needed updates, then flip it. It was about a year after I had sold it that the house was complete and had found its way to a new family. Some of the updates were nicely done such as a new roof, front door, light pole and mailbox. There were other changes however, that left me scratching my head wondering what they were thinking. First, they changed the color of the house from a nice blue to a crappy brown. Also they removed all of the mature, nicely trimmed front landscaping and flower areas, and replaced them with miniature and boring basic plants or grass. Lastly, they cut down the large pine tree and mature Japanese Maple that adorned the front yard. Well, it’s not my house anymore, so they certainly could do with it as they pleased. But not all the changes were good ones in my opinion. See before (top) and after (bottom) pictures at left.
I also got a chance to visit one of my long time favorite flea markets on Mountain Rd in Pasadena, MD. I’ve been going to that market, both as a buyer and seller, for many, many years. Not much has changed thankfully and it remains a wonderful place to get a variety of goods on the cheap.
Not Me, But Had To Share
As you might imagine, I follow a number of various RV-centric blogs, vlogs, and Facebook groups. Just the other day, a fellow RVer posted a story along with some pictures of what happened to their RV while they were out for a couple of hours having dinner. It was both way too sad and way too funny not to share. Apparently, their high energy and high anxiety Australian Cattle Dog did not like being cooped up in the RV alone while they were gone. So, the dog took it upon itself to install a doggy door in the middle of the RV door. I can’t imagine the words that went through their heads when they returned to see this, let alone what may have ultimately happened to the dog. At least the damage was limited to the door which is relatively easy to replace. Had the dog instead tunneled through the middle of the RV wall, that would have been lots more in repairs. In any event, it’s a good lesson that this particular breed of dog is probably not well suited to the RV lifestyle.
I’m spending the next two weeks back in the my old VA neighborhood, catching up with my former co-workers, seeing all my doctors, and doing some more projects on the RV. I’m basically killing some time before I head back up to MD for two final weeks, where I’ll be staying at the Yogi Bear campground and enjoying their spectacular Halloween festivities. I’m hoping to have lots of friends and family join me at the Yogi campground to participate in these wonderful events. After Yogi, it will be time to start heading south which I’m looking forward to. It’s starting to get a bit chilly here in the mid-Atlantic, so I need to get out of dodge. Till next time, safe travels!