Maria and Derek's Travels

Saturday, September 2, 2017

US Roadtrip - Washington DC, Maryland, Delaware, and a hint of Pennsylvania

August 30, 2017

States:  5 + DC (Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey)
Capitals:  2 (Annapolis, MD, Dover, DE)
Distance Traveled: 215 miles today / 990 miles total
Time Traveled: 5.5 hrs today / 20 hrs total

Moving on from the state capitals, we first took the opportunity to visit the nation's capital.  We had been up in DC a few weeks earlier at the end of our Blue Ridge Parkway trip, so we did most of our sightseeing then and simply went straight for the Capitol this time.  Beautiful blue skies and warm sun greeted us as we took pictures in front of the Capitol and then got back on the road, heading over to Maryland.

Annapolis was a surprisingly quaint and cute city.  Full of brick buildings of 2-3 stories, small traffic circles, small restaurants and manicured landscaping, the tiny city is great for strolling around the streets with some outdoor patios and flat, walkable streets.  At the end of the city is the Naval Academy, and the ever-present waters of Maryland, with harbors and inlets around every turn. 

Heading across the impressive Bay Bridge, we continued through Maryland and soon enough, we made it to the tiny state of Delaware, where we found lots of open spaces, cornfields and other crops and even a few Amish riding their horse carts down the small roads.  Dover, as with many of the original capitals, is now a small city without a huge business center, so it made for a very relaxing stop.  Just a few miles from the center, there was still very little development and a few neighborhoods, but the area around the capitol is very well-kept and has a historic feel to it.  With big, open grassy spaces, large trees and a few clusters of old brick buildings, the area feels like a college campus or a boarding school.  Just around the corner from the capitol is a little grass circle surrounded by a small road and beautiful old buildings and homes.  On the street corner, we saw a sign saying that it was the location where Delaware ratified the US Constitution, becoming the first state in 1787, so there's obviously great historical significance there.

Moving on after a nice picnic lunch in Dover, we continued up the road, passing into New Jersey and then crossing the Delaware River into Philadelphia.  We had never been to Philly, so we explored the historic center, checking out the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the stately buildings around this neighborhood.  The rest of the city wasn't as scenic or pleasant, but we enjoyed our time there, and we made an obligatory stop at both Pat's and Geno's cheesesteaks to try out the two most popular spots for the famous sandwiches.  Both were good, with Geno's having better bread, but we preferred Pat's overall.  Not wanting to stay in the city, we went back across the border to New Jersey to spend the night.


Apparently, I'm a little heavier than Maria.  Good thing she works out!

Standing in front of the cute capitol building of Maryland, in Annapolis.
Annapolis is a very small town, but it was really quaint and attractive.

The view from one of the traffic circles of Annapolis.

Cobbled streets, cute buildings and open spaces - what more could you ask for?

The waterfront restaurants of Annapolis actually reminded me a bit of Copenhagen, though far less Danish.

Crossing into Delaware, we were met with lots of farmland and not much else.

The beautiful area near Dover, Delaware called "The Green".  Just around the corner is the spot where Delaware ratified the Constitution in 1787, becoming the first state in the US. 

Trying to time our jumps to a ten second timer on a tripod is not always the easiest thing to do.  That's the capitol building of Dover behind us.

Not to be outdone by Philadelphia, Dover has it's own historic bell, and it doesn't even have a crack in it.  Take that, Pennsylvania.

The skyline of Philadelphia, skillfully shot while driving through rush hour traffic on the freeway.  Do not try this at home.

The entrance to Independence Hall in the scenic and historic area of downtown Philadelphia.

We arrived after hours, so we couldn't go into the museum, but you can still see the Liberty Bell through the glass around the back of the building. 

Independence Hall at dusk.  And yes, we realize Philadelphia isn't the capital of Pennsylvania, but we couldn't resist stopping by such a historic city along the way.  We'll be stopping by Harrisburg much later in the trip.


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Brief Bio

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Taking advantage of our laptop lifestyle and wandering this world together. Maria Renee is an online health and fitness coach, and Derek is an actuarial seminar instructor. Traveling together since 2015. Also see

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