Can we fit in there

Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2013

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Where I stayed
Knoll Homestead

Flag of United States  , Maryland
Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Before we depart from Ocean City, we have to recommend a couple of outstanding restaurants - 'Just Hooked' in Fenwick, Delaware and Ristorante Antipasti in O.C. 'Just Hooked' is unpretentiously located in a small strip center on the ocean highway next door to the Duron Paints store but the food is worthy of pretentiousness. Perhaps the best seafood dinners we have ever been served - we had tuna steaks and the mahi mahi special - cooked perfectly, fresh as the name would imply and served with unique combinations of vegetables, sausage and rice flavored with signature sauces. Thanks again to Yost for the great dining experience. 'Ristorante Antipasti' is a bit more precocious, and they are very fond of their Italian red wines as witnessed by the prices, but their pasta dishes are once again unique and award winning. They profess to be one of the top five restaurants in the country. Whatever ..... it's really good.    

    So we're headed back down Rte. 50 towards D.C. and we have another "oh shit' moment about an hour into the drive when a construction vehicle pulls over onto the side of a bridge with single lane traffic and suddenly brings 50 mph traffic to an abrupt halt. I don't do abrupt halts. I was literally standing on the break pedal, head on the ceiling and somehow managed to stop inches short of pushing numerous vehicles over the guard rail. Shortly after that near disaster I pulled into a gas station and cut the turn to the pumps a little tight, wedging the trailer up against the steel pipe protecting the pumps. I tried like hell to find someone to blame for all of my ineptness [ or would that be ineptitude ], but no one would listen. 

    We made it back to the old Knoll homestead in Brookmont, a small community of about 200 homes perched above the C&O Canal and the Potomac River, about 5 minutes from the White House as the crow flies and yet very isolated from the urban insanity. Sister Teri and the professor, Mike, have raised their three children in the same house that we grew up in, but now it's hard to believe that eight of us even fit in here. We would have to eat dinner in two shifts because the kitchen table only sat six, so we were constantly remanded to "shut up and eat " the countless meals of hungarian goulash or fish sticks with the occaisional gross vegetable forced down despite the gagging and there was no guarantee your dinner would still be there if you got up from the table. Mike immediately dispelled those memories the first night with an incredible shrimp and sausage combo over turmeric rice accompanied with a lovely bottle of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout. We're not eating like this every night, but you'll understand if we appear to be somewhat larger than you remember - it was worth it.
    Mary and I revisited the place where it all began, the tavern in Glen Echo now known as the Irish Inn but will forever be known to us as Trav's, the place my uncle owned and then sold to Mary's dad. We bellied up to the bar to reminisce a little with the bartender, although all she knew about Trav's was that it was a biker bar, that there had been a stabbing and that there were ghosts. There was a lot she didn't know about the bar that was not only famous for it's chili and pork BBQ but for the countless characters that found themselves daily in the old wooden booths, including some well-known congressmen who tried to remain anonymous. The cast of past employees would make for a story stranger than fiction, let alone the regulars whose wives would bring pajamas and slippers to the husbands that preferred Trav's to home. I ran into an old friend from those days who recanted a story of standing at the bar with nothing on but a t-shirt, chatting with uncle Trav's sister. " That was my mother !!!" I informed him. Just another day. Incidentally, No one ever saw any ghosts back then that I know of, but no ghost could possibly haved turned a head in that place anyway.

    Maryland has been a whirlwind of reunions as one might imagine, but none more bizarre than the afternoon spent with an old friend and business associate who has been through a hell of surgeries, disc fusions and constant pain for the past two years, all from tripping over a bush on the first tee of a golf tournament. And after years of mind numbing drugs to get through the days, she finally found relief through cannabis. We were invited over to quite an informed and intelligent seminar and demonstration of all the products available, everything from the common leaf to waxes and oils, vaporizers, $400 blown glass apparati and the science behind it all. We were kind of hoping that cannabis might be a good alternative for Mary's RA meds, and in fact, after sampling some  she did find almost immediate relief from an aching hip, but I don't know about all that giggling .....
    Weather's coming, time to get outta here and head south. 
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Connie on

The Knoll-bergs: Teri looks EXACTLY the same; hasn't aged at all. Beautiful! And Uncle Mike ain't so bad either :) Congratulations to Christy on her teacher of the year. Makes us all proud. Great to see all the cousins together too. Speaking of beautiful - does Ann and Bill Potts. Wow!

Excited for the next part of your journey and a little jealous of the warm weather you're destined for. Love you tons.

pete on

if anything is going to happen, it's gonna happen to old willy....another in a long line of unique stories from the master himself....everybody looks great, as usual and I can't wait the next 'happening '...

Teri on

It was great spending some time with you guys. Just like old times, Come back and visit anytime. I wish I was going with you! its so cold and dark and cold and cold here. Happy trails, cant wait to hear how North Carolina was.....................

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