Saturday, 16 June 2012

June 2-10...Time with family in Annapolis

 We flew from a hot 44 degrees Celsius in Phoenix to a much cooler Baltimore on the east coast. Here we spent a week with my sister Gabe, husband Jeff and children Maddy and Brandon at the house they had rented for the summer holidays in Annapolis, Maryland. Having not seen my brother-inlaw Jeff for something like 18 years, I couldn't think of being in the US and not catching up.
Our first morning (Sunday) in Annapolis and a quick ride on the water taxi before church. Here we all are: Dave, Jonte, Anita, Jeff, Maddy, Gabe and Brandon.
Over the course of the week we ventured into downtown Annapolis several times to wander and explore.
Jonte celebrated his 12th birthday with his cousins while we were in the US. Aunty Gabe organized his favourite food 'T-bone' for tea!!
The boys enjoyed a spot of fishing and crabbing  from our jetty out the back. Not much luck in the fishing department but a few crabs were caught. It was interesting to see they were quite similar to the blue swimmers we catch here in SA although with shorter front claws.
Gabe drove us to Washington DC for a day of looking around Capitol Hill and the various monuments. First stop for the day was the White House.
Gabe, Dave & Jonte on Capitol Hill. Ths is the USA equivalent to our Parliament House in Canberra.
At the Washington Monument these people explained to us the significance of the United States Constitution.
National World War II Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background.
 Abraham Lincoln Memorial. This memorial is a 3km walk from the steps on Capitol Hill.
We completed our day with a visit to the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History before a ride on the subway to get back to our starting point. Lots of walking today!
Definitely a highlight of the week were our visits to the Amish Markets. The Amish people travel by bus from Pennsylvania (2 hours away) to run these markets each week. The markets are open from Thursday to Saturday and sell fresh produce - meat, fruit and veg. We were able to see a fantastic range of freshly baked breads, buns, cakes and all kinds of glorious foods being made onsite. We found this market inspirational and were highly impressed with  how this community of people, old and young, work together to run such an orderly, efficient, very popular market.
This week has been a great way to finish the USA leg of my study tour. It has been good to catch up with family, learn a little more of the USA political history and enjoy some time shopping, relaxing and visiting the Amish markets. My next destination is Paris, while Anita and Jonte head home to Australia.

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