Accidental Tourist: How Playing a Game Brought Me to New Places

My husband and I recently discovered Ingress, a game we can play on our phones, either during a day trip or as the goal of a day trip. We first started it while biking along the C&O Canal. For those of you not familiar with Ingress, it’s an augmented reality massively multiplayer online role playing […]

Enjoying the Holiday Sights at Longwood Gardens

There is something about holiday lights and decorations that beckons to the kid in us. Toy trains, Christmas ornaments, colorful lights — the Christmas season definitely speaks to my inner child. I like bright colors and shiny things, so last year I’d added seeing Longwood Gardens to my 2014 wishlist. Longwood Gardens offers everything your […]

Two Days and Eleven Lights: Day Two

This is part two of Chesapeake Lighthouses, Southern Expedition, a two-day excursion to 11 lighthouses around the Chesapeake Bay. From Tangier Island, we headed straight over to Onancock, VA, arriving around 5:30 p.m. We unloaded our bags, and headed up the street to our respective inns (Captain Jack arranged rides for those in the group […]

Two Days and Eleven Lights: Day One

My sister and I had been on the shorter “Passage to Five” excursion offered by Chesapeake Lights in May; before we’d even gotten off the boat that day, we’d signed up for the once annual 2-day trip that takes place every August. Update May 2021: Unfortunately, Chesapeake Lights no longer offers lighthouse tours. The lighthouses […]

The Famous and the Blameless at Laurel Hill Cemetery

If you are at all interested in exploring a cemetery, then Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, is the one you should start out with — especially if you think it’ll be the ONLY one you decide to tour. Laurel Hill’s creators and organizers intended the cemetery to serve as a civic institution designed for public […]

Retracing a Veteran Ancestor’s Steps in Cold Harbor National Battlefield

When my husband and I had visited Richmond last June, my sister reminded me that our ancestor, George Washington Spertzel, the second generation of Spertzels in the United States, had fought at Cold Harbor. I’m pretty proud of his story and his service to our country, and that’s why I’m writing about our visit to […]

Remembering Our Dead

The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat  The soldier’s last tattoo;  No more on life’s parade shall meet  The brave and daring few.  On Fame’s eternal camping-ground  Their silent tents are spread,  And Glory guards with solemn round  The bivouac of the dead. The Confederate graves at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA. In honor of Veterans […]

Autumn Glory in Swallow Falls State Park

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees”  ~ Faith Baldwin, American Family We went on a weekend getaway in search of some romance, my husband and I. And in search of autumn’s exquisite show. And maybe along the way, we’d visit some places we’d never been to […]