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Where Have We Been?

Where Have We Been?

By on Oct 19, 2014 in Authors/Poets, Historic Persons, Presidents | 4 comments

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted about my Nerd Trips. Starting a new job has meant limited time for writing, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped traveling.  In fact, this summer and fall have been jam-packed with Nerd Trips. Here are some highlights:

In May, we ventured to Wheatland, home of President James Buchanan in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

 

This is original desk James Buchanan had in the Oval Office. It was donated to Wheatland only recently.

This is the original desk James Buchanan had in the Oval Office. It was only recently donated to Wheatland.

 

Wheatland, home of President James Buchanan in Lancaster, PA (June 2014)

Wheatland, home of President James Buchanan in Lancaster, PA (June 2014)

A return trip to Pennsylvania two months later featured a tour of the colonial complex in York where the Articles of Confederation were created. Some future presidents stayed here, and we also had a brief encounter with Lafayette.

Reconstructed colonial capitol in York, Pennsylvania

Reconstructed colonial capital building in York, Pennsylvania

Statue of Marquis de Lafayette in York, PA

Statue of Marquis de Lafayette in York, PA

 

Then, it was back to England where some friends and I set out to find presidential statutes in London. Some other nerdy highlights included a Dickens walking tour and visiting Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-on-Avon (or Stratford-upon-Avon as the Brits say).

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Hanging out with FDR and Churchill on our presidential statue hunt in London

Eisenhower statue out front of the U.S. embassy in London (July 2014)

Eisenhower statue out front of the U.S. embassy in London (July 2014)

 

Narrow streets of London on our Dickens tour - just like out of a novel!

Narrow streets of London on our Dickens tour – just like out of a novel!

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It’s the Old Curiosity Shop, it really does exist! I must have been excited because that’s two pictures with part of my finger in the frame.

 

Yes, even Shakespeare can be considered to be nerdy

Yes, even Shakespeare counts as a Nerd Trip.

Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon (July 2014)

Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon (July 2014)

Before I left my job in downtown Baltimore, I finally took a Nerd Trip of Davidge Hall, the oldest medical school building in continuous use in the United States. I passed Davidge Hall nearly every day for more than a decade, but never took the time to appreciate its architecture and history. It even has some spooky stories and a Lafayette connection.

 

Renovations are underway at Davidge Hall. Lafayette spoke in this very room.

Renovations are underway at Davidge Hall. Lafayette spoke in this very room.

Davide Hall, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore

Davide Hall, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore

A trip to Atlanta for a Bar Mitzvah offered the opportunity for a presidential library and museum – the Carter Center, which features our third Oval Office replica.  Of course, Atlanta is the home of “Gone With The Wind,” so we checked out the home of author Margaret Mitchell.

Carter Center, Atlanta, GA

Carter Center, Atlanta, GA

Oval Office at the Jimmy Carter museum and library, Atlanta (August 2014)

Oval Office at the Jimmy Carter museum and library, Atlanta (August 2014)

You can "try on" a dress like Scarlett O'Hara at the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta

You can “try on” a dress like Scarlett O’Hara at the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta

Margaret Mitchell house, Atlanta (August 2014)

Margaret Mitchell house, Atlanta (August 2014)

Our presidential quest also “took me out to the ballgame,” trying to get some pictures of the presidential mascots of the Washington Nationals. At first I had mixed feelings for these guys, but they have grown on me!

 

Taft and Jefferson mascots at the Nats game

Taft and Jefferson mascots at the Nats game

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George Washington is dancing at the Nats game (August 2014)

 

A few weeks later on a Girls Weekend in Virginia, some friends and I visited Belle Grove plantation, birthplace of President James Madison. It’s also the home of  Michelle Darnell whom I got to know through her blog A Virginia Plantation, which chronicles her family’s adventure turning the plantation into a Bed-and-Breakfast. After reading her blog for years, it was so nice to meet her in person and see Belle Grove for myself.

Belle Grove plantation, Fort Conway, Virginia (September 2014)

Belle Grove plantation, Fort Conway, Virginia (September 2014)

Belle Grove plantation with B&B owner and blogger Michelle Darnell

Belle Grove plantation with B&B owner and blogger Michelle Darnell

Finally, a day trip to New York City meant a return trip TR’s house.  When I first visited Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace, the museum gallery was undergoing renovations. This time we got to see the exhibits, which included the shirt, speech and glasses case TR had on him when he was shot in 1912. You can see the bullet holes and everything. I also walked away with a unique presidential souvenir.

Portrait of TR from Theodore Roosevelt birthplace (New York City, September 2014)

Portrait of TR from Theodore Roosevelt birthplace (New York City, September 2014)

You can see bullet holes in the shirt, speech and glasses case TR had on when he was shot in 1912

You can see bullet holes in the shirt, speech and glasses case TR had on when he was shot in 1912

If there is a presidential bobblehead series, I may be in trouble

If there is a presidential bobblehead series, I may be in trouble

 

As you can see, we’ve had a busy season of Nerd Trips travel. Now, I’m looking forward to writing these stories and sharing these adventures with you.

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    4 Comments

  1. Wow! You sure get around with your travels! Congrats on your new job!

    • Mike. Yes, I have been traveling a lot and not writing. Did you make it to Maryland in September? Sharon

  2. If I’ve read about it, it seems you’ve surely been there in person! I still need to get to Poplar Forest, Ash Lawn-Highland and Wheatland (how did you like it? Is it worth a 7 hr roundtrip drive for me?) Oh, and I still need to get to the Boston area to see so many historic sites associated with John, Abigail and John Quincy Adams. I should probably stop reading and get in the car…

    • Steve, your comment made me laugh! I liked Wheatland. Buchanan was more complex that I realized. I find that the more “obscure” presidents are where you learn the most. Of course, you usually get a good spin on a person’s home turf! I am definitely in need of New England trip. I should probably find time to read more! Sharon

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