By Don and Linda Freedman

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Argentina, Buenos Aires - Jan-Mar 2010
Argentina, Buenos Aires - Jan-Mar 2009
Argentina, Buenos Aires - Jan-Mar 2008
Austria - Fall 2005
Belgium, Brussels - Fall 2000
Canada - Summer 2002
Canada - Summer 2001
Canada - Summer 2000
Czech Republic - Spring 2000
France - Fall 2002
France, Paris - Fall 2000
France, Paris - Spring 1999
France, Lyon - Spring 1999
Germany, Berlin - Fall 2009
Germany - Fall 2002
Germany - Spring 2000
Germany - Fall 1999
Greece - Fall 2012
Greece - Fall 1999
Greece - Fall 1997
Hungary - Spring 2000
Israel - Fall 1999
Italy - Winter 2007
Italy - Winter 2006
Italy - Winter 2005
Italy - Winter 2004
Italy - Winter 2003
Italy - Winter 2001
Italy - Fall 1998
Italy - Fall 1996
Netherlands - Spring 2000
Portugal, Azores - 2019
Portugal, Azores - 2018
Portugal, Sao Miguel & Lisbon - 2017
Portugal, Azores - 2017
Portugal, Azores - 2016
Portugal, Azores - 2015
Portugal, Azores - 2014
Portugal, Azores - 2013
Portugal, Azores - 2012
Portugal, Azores - 2011
Portugal, Lisbon - 2011
Portugal - Fall 2006
Portugal - Fall 2004
Portugal - Fall 2003
Portugal - Fall 2001
Portugal - Spring 1999
Portugal - Spring 1997
Slovakia - Spring 2000
Slovenia - Spring 1999
Slovenia - Fall 1996
Spain, Barcelona - Winter 2006
Switzerland - Fall 2002
Switzerland - Spring 2000
Switzerland - Spring 1999
Switzerland - Fall 1998
Switzerland - Fall 1997
Switzerland - Spring 1996
U.S. Florida, Key West - Fall 2006
U.S. Florida - Spring 2001
U.S. Maine - Summer 2002
U.S. Massachusetts - Summer 2003
U.S. Massachusetts - Summer 2002
U.S. Massachusetts - Summer 2001
U.S. New York State - Fall 2005
U.S. New York State - Summer 2004
U.S. New York State - Summer 2003
U.S. New York State - Summer 2001
U.S. Washington,DC - Spring 2000


WASHINGTON, D.C. Spring 2000 (1)

A car trip from Toronto via Pennsylvania
With return via New York State

Until now, we've written about our travels to Europe. We have frequently agreed that we wanted to include some North American content for our readers and the opportunity presented itself shortly after arriving in Florida to spend the winter months. We received an invitation to a family wedding on Long Island in New York. Destiny! A visit to Washington, D.C. was high on our list and here was our chance!

We called the local office of C.W. Bill Young, Congressman for the 10th Congressional District of Florida, to inquire as to what help was available to make our visit to D.C. as productive as possible. We were told what could and couldn't be done and within a few days received a follow-up letter from the Congressman confirming what we had been told along with a package containing many helpful brochures, leaflets and maps.

The three major tours which members of Congress can arrange are the White House, The Capitol and The Kennedy Center plus passes to the visitors galleries of the House of Representatives and the Senate. As we later discovered, these passes can save hours of waiting in line.

The President and his staff schedule White House tours and members of Congress, who may submit tour requests no further than a month in advance, are allotted a limited number of tickets per week. Arrangements for tours of the Capitol follow a similar procedure.

Passes for visitors' galleries can only be obtained in person from your Congressman's office. Congressman Young invited us to come to his office when we arrived, which we did, and we were warmly greeted by Jane Porter, who had previously bent over backwards to be sure we had our tour passes in time.

It was neat walking through the corridors of the Rayburn Building, nodding to the familiar faces. Best was discovering the lower level and taking a small subway car from the congressional offices to The Capitol, the very way that the Congressmen go to and fro for easy access when it's time for a vote.

The President, Congress and all branches of the Federal government work diligently to make a visit to the nation's capital an enjoyable and memorable experience. As a White House guide told us, "This place belongs to you".

We planned that our drive to Washington from Toronto would be a very comfortable and enjoyable one, quite different from the let's-get-this-over-with attitude of our drives to and from Florida. The first night we stayed in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, about thirty miles east of Pittsburgh, at the Mountain View Inn. This is a classic American inn built in 1924, a busy place frequented by locals and tourists with large, comfortable public areas for lounging, enjoying a drink, dining or having a meeting.

Our room was in the newest addition, The Loyalhanna Wing, an updated version of the traditional inn. The room was spacious with good quality furnishings and accessories along with a coffee maker, mineral water and chocolates. The large bathroom was well equipped with a nice selection of bath amenities. As you would expect, the grounds are beautifully landscaped with Victorian gazebos and a swimming pool.

Since we arrived late on Sunday, the dining room was getting ready to close. The staff recommended the Sunset Cafe at 302 S. Urania Avenue and they called to check that it was open. An obvious favorite of the locals, this busting place is simply designed, the walls adorned with scenes of Italy. The menu consists of reasonably priced pasta and pizza.

The house salad was quite good with crisp greens, radicchio, salami, provolone and beets dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The pasta was cooked just right and the Alfredo and marinara sauces were excellent. The service was very good and the experience was pleasant after a day on the road. go to top of page

The queen-size bed was firm, as we like it, and before we knew it, it was time for a splendid continental breakfast buffet. If you're in the vicinity, we recommend the Mountain View Inn as a comfortable, good value choice.

Our next stop was Frederick, Maryland, about an hour from D.C. The drive along Route 30 to 711 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike was lovely with farms, forests, rolling hills, which were turning green. Picturesque historical sites and parks invited a return visit some day.

Exit 31B off I-270 took us to the Fairfield Inn, Frederick, always a good value choice with excellent service and standards from good size rooms, recreational and health facilities to an excellent continental breakfast, everything clean and well-maintained.

Getting back to the morning of our arrival, we settled into our room and after brief stops for a light lunch and some shopping, headed into the historic district of Frederick. The original town was laid out by an Irishman and was first settled by Germans and then the English arrived (thus the "Germans meet English" description in the guides). The streets are lined with wonderful old buildings and homes of both influences that have been very well maintained and restored. The area is an antique-lover's dream and Civil War history abounds. There are museums, galleries, theater and art and after taking it all in, there are plenty of restaurants and bed and breakfast places and lovely inns in which to stay. The Visitor's Center on Church Street offers free walking tours.

On our drive from the shopping area to downtown Frederick, Linda spotted a little restaurant called May's at 5640 Urbana Pike that she declared looked like a winner. While chatting with the Director of the Visitor's Center, he confirmed that May's is a favorite of the locals so we headed back there for an early dinner. It is not a pretty place outside or in, a few tables up front and a large bar in the rear. But the magic word was crab cakes, which Linda adores, and she confirmed that these, of 100% fresh lump crabmeat with secret seasonings, were superb. My sirloin steak was very good and the waitress was very helpful in guiding us and making suggestions. The loud chorus of guys at the bar shouting the praises of their favorite football team and players added a touch of local culture in this down-to-earth eatery.

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