Monday, May 20, 2013

#543 Vacation Virginia #4 - Fort McHenry, National Air and Space Museum

To be precise, Vacation Virginia #4 takes us just outside our state borders into Maryland.

Our goals are to eat some crab cakes, see the movie "42" at a drive-in theater, and tour Fort McHenry.  We succeed in all these things and so much more!

O! say can you see that giant flag flying over the star-shaped Fort McHenry?  On the gorgeous morning of May 4, the winds are calm enough that the largest flag is flying proudly against a brilliant blue sky.  Yea for Baltimore's citizen soldiers nearly 200 years ago in 1814 and yea for Francis Scott Key!

After yummy crab cakes at G & M restaurant, we walk the mill race alongside Little Gunpowder Falls at Jerusalem Mill, a reassembled mill village that looks a lot like it did in 1772. 

The highlight of our evening is an outdoor movie, "42" about Jackie Robinson.  Drive-in theaters are a fragile business, with only 357 remaining in operation today - according to the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association.  And the move to digital may put many more out of business.  So while every drive-in theater in Virginia is showing Iron Man 3, we see this terrific movie at Bengie's Drive-In, on the biggest movie theater screen in the US, 52' x 120'. 

For more fun on the way home, we stop at Green Acres Elementary School in Fairfax, VA.  Never heard of it, you say?  Though it is now a community center, Green Acres is where I kick-started my education. Gina, a proud Green Acres graduate who now works in the center, showed me around and let me peek in the classrooms and the old library a few decades after I'd last seen it! 

Finally, we opted for one more fun event - a visit to the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles.  In preparation for our fall adventure with astronaut Kathy Thornton, we want to check out her typical ride, the space shuttle Discovery.

Yours in crossing the border into Mary-land and back again,

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