We started our trip heading to Charlottesville and the campus of the University of Virginia, historic in itself, but our real purpose was food, specifically bread ends and House Dressing, a specialty of the Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, Virginia where I went to college. I knew a sandwich shop near the UVA campus, the Take It Away Sandwich Shop, also had this “delicacy,” a tangy tub of mayonnaise and bread. After securing our tub of mayonaissey goodness, Julie and I proceeded UVA’s famous lawn (in the shadow of Mr. Jefferson’s Rotunda) for a picnic and preparation for our three days of “nerdvana.”Read More
“Mt. Vernon is not nerdy!” insisted my friend Susan B. when she first heard about the concept of Nerd Trips. Apparently, not everyone is comfortable with the idea that somewhere they’ve visited has been labeled as nerdy. Susan grew up in Washington, D.C. and visited Mt. Vernon nearly every year, often on a school field trip.
Her declaration was the first salvo in what I call “the Great Nerd Debate.” What exactly makes something nerdy?
When people first hear about Nerd Trips, they often ask about the name and how it all got started. Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed visiting historic sites, particularly the homes of famous people, but these excursions were never an official hobby, nor did they have an official title.Read More
As I wrote in my previous post, the folks at the Poe House seem to know that they are going to get some odd questions. In fact, they hand out a sheet listing some of the unusual questions visitors have asked. They include: Why is the paint peeling, why does the Poe House have that “old” smell and is the house haunted? (Poe’s grandmother died in the house, he did not). I think some (many?) visitors to the Poe House are hoping to discover something a little creepy; I suppose we all have a somewhat morbid curiosity when it comes to Poe. Another sample on the curator’s question list asks about the basement. The sheet reassures you that the basement is mostly used for storage and that “there is nothing mysterious or weird in the basement.”Read More
Our take on a TV show about the White House.Read More
Even though I’ve lived in Baltimore for years, I never seemed to find time to visit to the Poe house. Labor Day weekend 2010, my friend Nancy was visiting from Ohio. She had never been on a nerd trip, and I thought the Poe house would be an easy introductionRead More