Sunday, November 22, 2015

The best day of my life...thus far

I know, I haven't posted on my blog in forever.  I say that every time I re-visit my blog after a long absence.  However, this time, I feel like my long absence is warranted.  My life has been too exciting to even think of sitting down at a computer to chronicle my life experiences. 
It is time to chronicle now though.  On October 30th 2015, the school where I work celebrated a special day.  We had a grandparents day celebration with a program and carnival booths and everything.  I spent my morning playing the piano for the program and then tying those long, skinny balloons so that my boyfriend and a school student could form them into shapes for the children.  After two hours of tying off balloons, school was dismissed early at 12:30pm.  With raw fingers, me and my boyfriend Dan joyfully drove off to Cunningham Falls State Park in Emmitsburg MD.  We had been planning to go and see the remaining leaves while they were on the trees still. 
When we arrived at the park, I insisted on hiking to see an abandoned whiskey still back in the woods.  It was a nice little hike. Since we wanted to see the falls, I was expecting that next we would hike to a spot by the waterfalls, but Dan didn't express any particular interest in the falls.  He wanted to go on this certain hike called the Vista Point.  I wanted to argue and tell him that the falls were what we came to see, but I decided to go along with what he wanted, since he had done what I wanted when we went to see the historic still. 
We hiked up a hill, and I took this picture of the beautiful leaves. 
We kept finding beautiful leaves, and would take pictures of them.  We even kept five or six of them.

We hiked up a sort of mountain and came upon this vista point with a beautiful view of the valley.  Dan wanted to go out to the edge to take a picture, but there was another couple sitting on a rock, eating a snack. 
Normally, I am the one who never wants to take pictures when other people are around. 
But today I said,
 "Who cares?  They won't mind if we take a few pictures.  They might even take a picture of us!"
Dan reluctantly followed and took a few pictures.

We sat on this wooden bench and looked over the valley.  The other couple sat close by as well, still eating.  After a few minutes, they got up and left. 

Dan suggested that he take a picture of me with the background.  I posed for his picture.  Then after this picture was taken, I turned around and looked at the valley, trying to see if I could find route 15.  I was thinking about the times I would drive to markets on route 15 when all of a sudden, Dan came up behind me.  I turned and smiled just as he got down on one knee. 

Of course, the rest is history.  Dan asked me to marry him, and I said yes after being so excited I could hardly talk.  Here I am with the gorgeous little box he put the ring in. 

We posed for a few after-pictures with his self-timer camera. 
So now you know about the best day of my life!

The love of my life asked me to marry him and I happily said yes. 

Prepare yourselves for coming posts about wedding plans and lots of pictures of me and Dan. 
I'm going to be a Mrs!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fort McHenry

It has been altogether too long since I have posted on my blog. Thank you to those faithful readers who have continued to check for updates in spite of my inconsistency. 

My job as a teacher began on August 31st and I have been going non stop ever since then.  I have so many things on my mind that I want to post about, but they will need to wait for another time.  

This post will be about my recent visit to Fort McHenry and to the Dudley Chapel.  
I was driving down the road a few weeks ago and saw a sign reading "historic chapel" with an arrow. Of course, my curiosity took over and I followed the arrow.  It lead me to this adorable, old chapel out in the middle of a field.  

I enjoyed walking around and reading the little old gravestones. 

Then the other weekend, we decided that we needed to visit Fort McHenry, since we haven't been able to go there since being here.  
The day we decided to go just "happened" to be earth day, and they were letting everyone into all Natinonal Parks for free that day only.  So four adults got in for $0 when it would have normally been $44! :) that made me pretty happy.  

There were a lot of neat things about the fort.  It was neat to be able to get the perspective of the battle from inside the fort.  It was also great to see the very place where the Star Spangled Banner was penned.  
This was one of the many arms and powder storehouses.  

This man was walking around inside the fort, but I don't think he was an employee. :) there was also a group of fifes and drums playing common marches from the day.  

It was crazy to think of how this was the very place where the flag still stood after a night of bombardment from the British fleets. 

A view of the bay. 

It was a wonderful day! After visiting Rita's for some gelati, we went to one more park where we were able to watch the sun set over the bay.  

This was a fun day for me on a Saturday.  Like I said before, I have so so much to say about my teaching, my philosophy on learning, my newfound future parenting resolve, as well as a few life lessons I am currently learning.  But I will save that for another post! I'll try to not stay away for so long this time!! Until later!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Road trip across the USA part 3

 I realized yesterday night that I never posted up Day three of my long journey!  So here it is, the third and fourth and final day of my journey. 
I drove through McLean and saw that it was a historical town.  I stopped at this old museum and wanted to explore a little bit, but then saw that it was closed...:( 
I jumped back on the road and came driving up to an old fort called Reno.  This was in  Oklahoma.  I quickly pulled over and drove back a very very long lane in the middle of nowhere to this fort.  Upon entering it and exploring it a bit, I learned that this fort was in operation from early 1800's the whole way until WWII when it became a POW camp.  When it was a POW camp, it held many German and Italian prisoners.  In the very back of the fort, this large cemetery is set up under some shady trees. 

I really enjoyed being able to take an hour or so and just relax and enjoy some good history. 

The fort had its own chapel and everything!

I continued driving for hours until I passed St. Louis.  By that time, it was dark, so of course, I was unable to take any good pictures of the arch or anything. I slept the night just past St. Louis and then woke up early to continue my final day of travel. 
I found the next few states much easier to drive through.  Driving through Illinois and Indiana were nothing like Oklahoma or New Mexico!  I stopped once more in Vandalia, IL.  This was the city in which Abraham Lincoln had his first job in politics. 
This is the building where Lincoln worked.

I drove passed the worlds largest windchime 
And the worlds largest rocking chair 
I drove and drove for hours until it was nearly 4am on Sunday morning.  It was such a beautiful sight to see this Welcome to Pennsylvania sign.   
So that concludes my road trip across country!   Until next time when there is news of my move to Maryland!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Road trip across the USA part 2

If you hate ghost towns, you may as well not bother to read this post...because my second day stops across New Mexico and Texas consisted of fuel stops and ghost towns. 
I became the expert at looking ahead on my gps to which little obscure towns were coming next and then googling them, seeing if there was any old interesting history or if the town looked pretty blah. 

Each of the ones I stopped at had something interesting about it. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of this town. It could have been Moriarty or Milan. 

I read about this ghost town on Google, got off at the exit, and nothing was there except this little bridge. I followed this road for probably ten miles and nothing was there. I kept seeing little trailers where people were living, but no abandoned town. Eventually I just turned around and went back to the freeway because I didn't want to waste too much time. 

I took this picture on my way back to the freeway. You can't really see it in this picture, but perhaps in the next picture it's a little clearer.  Between the two sets of railroad tracks (in amongst the greenery), there was a horse standing there, eating grass and not tied up or penned in or anything! I considered stuffing it into my car and bringing it home with me...

This was when I was almost to Albuquerque  

I kept seeing small signs for an old historic bridge. I didn't know what bridge they meant, but I love history, so I followed the signs.  Here it is, the Rio Puerco Bridge, which used to be THE bridge when old Route 66 was thriving. 

I wanted to get a picture by it, but there was nobody nearby to take a picture for me...

I once again looked ahead on my GPS and saw that the next town was Cuervo, NM. When I looked this town up, LOTS of news articles and blogs popped up. After reading them all, I was only slightly frightened too stop there...and wondered whether I should. But then my adventurous side won and reminded myself that I might not be back this way for a lonnnnnng time.  I know you all might be curious now. If you care to, do the same thing I did, and just google the town name.  You can read the articles for yourself. 

By far, this ghost town was the most fascinating because it's literally still there. It's not like walking up to a pile of rubble and thinking "this used to be a building!!!!!" Like I typically end up doing.  This is still a town, still fIrly intact...and even had sort of creepy people living there not long ago.  (Google the town)

You don't know how badly I wanted to get out of my car and walk into these buildings and explore.  But my better judgement said that since I am a 23 year old girl, alone, in an abandoned town where there has recently been found suspicious and nasty activity...I better not.  

So I enjoyed the view of this town from my drivers seat

I drove up a bit further on the 40 and saw another town called Newkirk which is yet another ghost town.  I even read a nice story about a girl who lived there with her family.  This store was owned by her relative I think....

As you can probably tell, I was having the time of my life exploring these ghosttowns.  I got back on the road at just the right time because the storm darkened and the lightning started flashing before there was a terrible storm.  I was even able to get a few pictures of the lightning! 

That was the end of my second day on the road.  I stopped in Amarillo Texas for the night and then resumed my drive the next morning.  :)  Check back for Day 3!