Sunday, November 8, 2009

NYC to Baltimore

          We will miss the grandeur and worldliness of New York. There is so much in a city this amazing to sink your teeth into that in order to even get a good taste, you need a good solid month to explore. In our short time we were able to do a sizable amount of exploration, although more experiences there would have been fantastic. The journey continues with the meat of the East coast ahead of us.
      After our stay we left NYC via bike path from Roosevelt Island over the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey. Most sane people riding bikes on a trip would know that the safest approach to Jersey City and the Newark area would be planing a way out and making sure that you have a place to stay come night fall. We don't fit into a category of solid planing methods on most occasions. Rolling with the punches is one thing, but Jersey City is another. The later it got, the more questionable our sleeping arrangements were going to be. To avoid theft of any of our belongings, or possibly other terrible situations, we decided that it would be a sleepless night of wondering around and keeping guard.
     As we rode on through Jersey city with the sun setting a man and his buddy flagged us down from their car while driving through an intersection. The driver shouted over traffic that we should bike over to his house a couple a blocks down the street to have some refreshments and to talk to him and his family about what we were up to. To our wonderful surprise they let us camp out in they're backyard for the night. That evening we talked with Matt, who invited us over, his wife, two kids, and friends of there's. The house was full of life and excitement. Kids were running around and playing, dogs sat stationed for attention around the room and puppies yipped in their kennels.( Matt and his wife Melissa sell and breed puppies.) Everyone ate apple pie and drank cider while exchanging stories. 
     Matt gave us a pile of helpful maps for future use in other states. The following morning he drove us in his van out of Jersey City and into the Pennsylvania countryside out to Lancaster county. Without the help of Matt and his family we would have had a terrible time getting out of that part of New Jersey. It's all industry and freeways near New York and virtually no bikeable roads in the direction that we needed to head in. Outside of Jersey City is beautiful and entirely different from its industry choked areas.
     Lancaster Pennsylvania is Amish and Mennonite country. The farms are traditional and amazingly well kept. There are frequent wagons on the roads with travelers. Matt took us to an Amish Market where we picked up some home made snakes for our journey down to Baltimore. 
      Two days later we arrived at our friend Rob's house who we met at Yellowstone back in July. We were spoiled rotten by Rob and his family. Rob took us to downtown Baltimore and showed us the inner harbor area and Federal Hill neighborhood. We also went out with Rob and friends to a couple of awesome bars in downtown Baltimore. Rob and his parents bought us steamed crabs one night for dinner! And Katie, Rob's sister, made us lasagna another night. 
    Two days before Halloween a group of us went out to a downtown bar for a couple of beers. To our surprise there was a pumpkin carving contest that night with gift certificates available to the first, second, an third place winners. We opted not to carve pumpkins but Rob, a friend Katie, and a few other people in our group carved amazing pumpkins.
    On Halloween Rob, his friend Mark, Ryan and I all went out to Gettysburg for the day. We had a great time walking around the battlefields, the town, and famous sights. Considering the bloody history there, Halloween was a great night to experience it on.  
         After a week or less we departed onward toward Washington DC. We have been staying with my uncle Trey while we visit the city. More on DC soon. 

    Thank you so much to the Serio and Aichroth families for their wonderful hospitality. You are all amazing people that we loved meeting and spending time with.

Ryan and Allegra

Our last glimpse of New York as we headed over the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey.
The wonderful Serio family, who saved us from New Jersey.
Here we are in front of an Amish food market in Lancaster county, PA.
A nice covered bridge in Lancaster county, PA.
We arrived in Maryland on a rainy, cold day. This is our 17th state visited so far.
Baltimore, MD. This is the view of Inner Harbor from the top of Federal Hill Park.
Row houses in Baltimore, MD. Most of the dwellings in Baltimore are row houses.
A nice fire station in Baltimore.
The USS Constellation. The last tall ship from the civil war still afloat.
The view from the other side of Inner Harbor looking at Federal Hill.
More row houses in Baltimore.
Katie and Rob having a good time at a bar in Baltimore.
Gettysburg, PA. This is the house that General Meade used as his command post during the battle of Gettysburg.
This is the monument to all Pennsylvania soldiers who perished during the battle.
Mark doing his best Lincoln impersonation and Rob laughing at Mark.
Another view of one of the battlefields.

Our great hosts in Baltimore the Aichroth family, who let us crash at their house for a week, stuffed us with crabs, lasagna and candy, and treated us like part of the family.
Rob, Legs and Ryan. The three amigos.

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