Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Greeeaaat Escape!

Recently my sister and I took a road trip to Frederick, MD. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to that beautiful area! We saw the sights, met interesting people, stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast, shopped in lovely stores, purchased great finds in antique stores, shopped on the curb (explanation forthcoming), and came away with an even stronger bond as sisters.

There's something that is just freeing about being on the open road with no schedule and the only item on the agenda is to relax and enjoy your great escape from the norm.We are good travel partners as we encourage each other to stop and experience whatever we see, even if we have to turn the van around and go back to see something that caught our eye.

We had made reservations at the Hollerstown Hill B&B for 2 nights which is a Victorian "painted lady" near the historic downtown area of Frederick. What prompted this trip was various articles in several magazines touting Paul's Warehouse in Frederick for antiques. The store sounded interesting and large so why not plan a trip! Right! After reading online about Frederick, I was convinced it would make for an adventure.

We took our first break in Ashland, VA (center of the universe) as I was familiar with that small town and I knew my sister would enjoy seeing it. Even though it is just outside Richmond, VA, it has maintained it's quaint, small town atmosphere. There is a train depot with a B&B just across the street, a college campus, and nice eateries from a coffee shop to a bakery/deli, to a more refined restaurant all within a block of each other! In May, they have a really fun Strawberry Festival (street fair) on the college campus. In years past, my younger daughter and I have found some good buys there. We had our snack and respite, including a short stroll by the local library where a statue sitting on a bench looked so life-like that I had to take pictures of my sister sitting with him. What a hoot!

We arrived in Frederick before check-in time, so after locating the inn we drove downtown. We were blown away with the gorgeous architecture and the way things the downtown has been maintained. We parked and found a sidewalk cafe with plenty of ambiance which is very important to us as part of any dining experience. Our seating was just across from Carroll's Creek which meanders through town.

After recharging with lunch, we made our way a few blocks to the B&B. Mr. Innkeeper met us at the door and ushered us into a lovely and inviting first floor complete with foyer, ladies' parlor, gentlemen's parlor, dining room, and kitchen. He led us upstairs to the second floor and showed us our splendid room complete with private bath. Our bank of windows looked out on the side/back yard and another Victorian next door.

After settling in and freshening up, we explored more of the historic district. Much to our delight it was trash day and everyone had moved lots of items to the curb. We spotted 2 motel chairs that needed some TLC. My sister said she could use those at her new home outside, so we stopped, examined the chairs, and spoke to their previous owner. She was a lady of some age and said she could no longer refurbish the chairs. We assured her my sister would give them a good home and she was thrilled to know someone would get more years of use out of them.
This was painted on the side of a store downtown.

The next day we went in many stores looking to see whatever might strike our fancy. We found spring items half off at the Grapevine Wreath, striking French items at Evangeline's, and a bounty of antiques at The Emporium--all downtown without moving the car until we needed to load a third chair my sister found covered in white chenille and with lovely turned legs!

Our breakfast each day, was a delightful repast! We were so spoiled each morning with a different and delicious menu, lovely dishes, and a beautifully set table with some very unique antiques and collectibles. There was wonderful music in the background while we savored each morsel. When you are the cook at home, a few mornings like these make you feel so pampered.

We took lots of pictures of steeples and architectural features to document our trip. We tried to soak in all that we were seeing, but alas time was too short. On the scenic route home, we had lunch in Leesburg, VA where we found loads of places to go back on another jaunt!

Here's a smoothie recipe that was the beginning of our first breakfast that Mrs. Innkeeper was kind enough to share with us--Delish! Enjoy!

Orange Creamy

1 Can (6 oz.) Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
2 1/4 C. Vanilla Soy Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Flavoring
1/3 C. Sugar/Splenda
1 1/2-2 Cups of Ice

Blend until thick and creamy. YUM!!!!!!

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