September 16th we drove 88 miles to Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, MD for a one week stay. Here is our campsite:
Cherry Hill is the closest campground to Washington, DC. In October 2003 we stayed at Lake Fairfax County Park in Reston, VA to tour the area. Lake Fairfax was not as convenient and its nightly cost had about doubled to $32 so Cherry Hill didn't seem so expensive at $40.50.
Aside: Originally when we planned to drive across the country we were going to stop at some Elks lodges along the way. These Elks lodges either did not provide power (dry camping) or only a 15AMP circuit, which is fine in mild weather but will not run an air conditioner. Unfortunately the weather was not mild, it was mostly quite warm and we wanted our air conditioners. We did find some campgrounds under Coast to Coast for $8/night to stay in and through Coast to Coast we got a discount for Cherry Hill, which would have cost us $46.80/night otherwise.
We decided to start our touring with a bang. An all day tour of Washington, DC on a bus the next morning.
September 17 Tour, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
September 18th we shopped and looked around our local area. It was nice to visit a Trader Joe's again. In Maryland they can't sell wine, but they still have all their nice foods.
September 19 National Zoo Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
September 20th we decided to visit Baltimore, especially the Inner Harbor. It was close by and since we had to get on US1 anyway we decided to follow it into Baltimore. Bad move, it took us right into slums and the bad part of Baltimore. We were not comfortable driving past rundown buildings in need of repair with people living in them and milling about. It took us a while to find our way to the Inner Harbor and by then we were a bit spooked and didn't feel comfortable stopping. So we headed out and again went through a couple really bad areas including seeing someone who was just evicted talking to someone on a cell phone, or that is what it looked like to us. We decided it was not a good time to visit Baltimore and now know to come in I-95 instead of US1 or SR295.
It started to get hotter and more humid in the afternoon leading to an amazing sunset:
September 21st trip to The Mall, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
September 22nd we did some local touring and visited with friends, both old and new friends. The new friends we met since we thought their trailer was someone else's and we ended up visiting a while. They knew the person whose trailer we mistook for their own quite well. The old friends were Bill and Helen, who we met in Whitehorse, YT in June 2006.
It was hot on the 22nd, we were actually glad to be heading for the ocean the next day. We can only take so much of Washington, DC area and in hot and humid weather we can't take as much. We still have lots to see in the area.
We found two restaurants to list. We ate at the Afghani place Food Factory II in College Park twice. They had a buffet and the food was good, something like Indian, plus being a college town the price was good. We also had lunch in Washington, DC at Oyemal, a gourmet Mexican place. It was quite good, but cost real money. They specialize in Mexican tapas, or small plates.
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