Monday, 2 June 2014

American Road Trip - Off towards the airport, discover Route 1 and Fredericksburg - Part 17 (the last one!)

Raine, our host at the little apartment gives us a tip.  She never uses the 95 between Richmond and Washington, but goes up on Route 1.  And so shall we!  We pack, strip the bed and put all whites in the shower as per instructions and off we go.  It's another glorious day, the trees are in full leaf, and we head north on this lovely, lovely highway.  What a surprise.  The 95 is full of traffic in both directions, and this one?  every now and again a vehicle passes us...... it's a slower maximum speed on here, but we have all day to tootle along, looking and enjoying.   The route is full of historic markers too.  This is the place to start your Civil War explorations! See what Wiki says. We see so many things that make us ooh! and aah!, and we pass this little dinner and takeaway.  It makes us smile and we drive on by.  The sign says "Pop's Dogs - Ma's Burgers".

We see, on the other side of the road, i.e. driving away from Washington, loads of yard sale signs, fleamarkets and barns marked 'Antiques'.  No room in our cases, and so sadly we drive past every one.  Next time, perhaps?  Then suddenly, we are approaching Fredericksburg Virginia - a small city but with huge Civil War connections that we missed on our way out on our road trip, because we came across from Charlottesville to Richmond.  We need a comfort break, and why not have lunch at the same time?  Lots of history here, and the town and surrounding countryside has enough interesting stuff to keep you going for quite a few days.  We had no time, so had a lovely lunch and moved on.  But if you'd like to know more, have a look at this.  Lunch eaten, we press on towards the airport to drop the car off and go home.
Sunken Road and Stone Wall at Fredericksburg
Fredricksburg Battlefield site -calm now

We are at the airport after a little blip when, on the road to Fairfax to drop the car off where we picked it up, we realise that we are going to be late because of huge traffic buildup in the area.  Calling the office we are told that it closes at 2.00pm and it's 1.35pm now.  "Take it to the Airport" - and so we have to do the one thing we least wanted - to rejoin the main roads, and get into Dulles  Airport.  But we make it.

Here is our trusty steed.... and hopefully Maccers is telling me he is not having another nosebleed! No, what he's saying, is "Look! No Noseplugs!"  Well, apart from getting inside the airport and onto the plane, it's over.  Holiday of a lifetime?  Yes, it was for us, and we'd do it all again tomorrow.  The kindness of strangers, the things we saw, the food we ate, and especially the people who opened their homes to us - thank you all - you made our holiday what it was.

And last - a few random thoughts.

  • How great to have known Hazel before she left the UK - a lovely three days of chatting and eating and getting to know Miss Hannah better - how tall she is now.  Thanks y'all!
  • The policeman at Union Station who stopped us using a public phone "because it makes you vulnerable - you look like out-of-towners!", and gave us the use of his own mobile/cell phone.
  • Finding (and finding out about) Jamestown and the island.
  • Pepsi Cola's birthplace in New Bern.
  • The surprise of Fredericksberg.
  • Wanting to hear from Kathleen in Charleston about how her plans are shaping up.
  • And of course anyone who hosted us who said they would look us up if they came over - Just do that!