Monday, June 22, 2009


What a whirlwind weekend! I attended Operafest at UMW on Friday night; that was a real treat: a good exposure to opera with some incredible talent, not the least of which was my co-worker AJ, who belted out some major high Cs. Truly a pleasure to have experienced this. Saturday held a trip to Frederick, MD, chronicled below, and Sunday evening I attended the wedding of two very dear friends.

I spent a leisurely morning on Saturday with Rebecca, topped off mid-day by an impulsive trip to get pedicures...nice! All morning, though, I was trying to get a companion for my trip to Frederick, MD, to hear Bob Sima at Frederick Cellars. A folk musician with insightful, soulful, and upbeat lyrics and a beautifully smooth voice, I had first heard Bob at a Songwriters' Showcase at Pickers. Several house concerts later, I'm a huge fan and plan to have Bob with a full band at my 50th celebration. All attempts at finding a travel companion failed, and I must admit my heart wasn't really in the trip when I set out. It didn't help that traffic 2/3 of the way was virtually stopped. I finally checked into my room at about 5:30, which gave me very little time to take the nap I had so been hoping for. Deciding that I needed to get my bearings in town, I checked in with Rebecca and then headed into town.

Coming into Frederick from the direction I did was kind of like coming into Fredericksburg from R0ute 2/Mayfair area. You see the signs for Historic Frederick and Frederick Fairgrounds. Pretty uneventful. It soon became apparent to me, however, that this was a special little town. Now, anyone who knows me knows I don't like favorites/bests/superlatives in general. I know we have a great little town, but I know there are thousands just as special all over the country. Frederick is one of these. Like Fredericksburg/Savannah/Carytown all rolled into one, Frederick is a wonderful blend of diverse shopping, restaurants, and people, with a unique history and an obvious sense of pride in the town. But more than anything, it was a feast for the eyes.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I located Frederick Cellars, where I planned to hear Bob Sima play. Since I was early, I wandered about town, cursing myself for not bringing my camera: it was apparent to me that there were so many things to take pictures of, and I determined to come back in the morning to do just that.

Anyhow, back at the Cellars, I ordered a glass of wine and sat at the wine bar. Almost immediately, Bob pulled up. He brought his equipment in, and we chatted for a bit. Folks began coming in, and of course Bob knew many of them from previous engagements. Since I was alone, he introduced me to several folks, and they promptly had me join them. Helen, Ralph, Janis, and Don were very open and friendly; we were soon joined by Nancy and Mike. The music ensued, and it was fun and beautiful. Bob is very engaging and interacts well with his audience. He played from 7:30 to 10, and all too soon it was over. Bob mixed with everyone for a few minutes, and we all said our goodbyes, since Frederick Cellars closed at 10. I met four other long-time fans of Bob's, and they were making plans for a late dinner. Bob invited me along, so the six of us set out for Brewers' Alley.
Housed in what was the old city hall building, this three story all brick establishment was obviously a popular night spot. Fortunately, we were able to get a table on the patio, and were quickly ordering pizza (white and hawaiin) and beers. The evening was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the company was great. We wandered back to our cars, and the entire time I was making mental notes hoping to remember where we were so I could come back and take pictures. We all said our goodbyes, and I went back to the hotel and crashed. I determined I would skip the continental breakfast and sleep in. I did just that, and woke up smiling and hungry, ready to explore.

It was a nice morning, not sunny but also not hot, with a good breeze blowing. Although I was very hungry, I found myself wandering and taking pictures...I'd know the right place when I found it. Scene after scene jumped out in front of me, and I had to delete pictures several times in order to get other shots. At least four different times I would find myself, quite by accident, exactly where I wanted to be for the next shot.

This wandering landed me in front of Pretzel and Pizza Creations, where I ended up having the best (yes, I said best!) breakfast sandwich I have ever experienced.

It was perfect. The entire morning was perfect. Serendipitous, I dare say. I realized that I was supposed to come to Frederick alone. It just wouldn't have been the same had I been accompanied. It truly was one of the best outings I have had in a long time, and Frederick now holds special memories for me, as well as the promise of future trips and visits to shops and restaurants yet unexplored. I highly recommend Frederick for a weekend outing, I don't think you'll be disappointed!


  1. Sometimes the best places are those travelled alone. Your pictures are worth more than words. I can see how rejuvenating this trip was for you. What a great find.

  2. I agree with Amy. Whether I've traveled a state away or an ocean away by myself, those trips are extra special because I could wholly immerse myself in my environment. Sounds like you did just that on your weekend jaunt. Good for you.

  3. Yes, I'm no stranger to doing things alone and meeting new people, this just wasn't planned. My dog Crosby and I took many a trip together, including back and forth between Houston and Norfolk more than once, by car.

    I would never go so far as to say I'm glad Amy didn't go with me, though, cuz she would've enjoyed it too! Still, moving every two to three years for a good part of my life taught me to be very independent, so I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure.