Family searching, Philly, countryside to May 14

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
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Trip End Mar 15, 2007


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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Louisa called just as I was paying the bill at the hotel (which was reduced due to the problems I reported) and suggested we meet at about noon. Morning was cloudy and cool.

I spent the morning down at the library copying just about anything I could lay hands on including obituary notices for Anthony, the father as well as John's son Anthony. Also copies of portions of: Alexandria deed book extracts, "Husbands and Wives" in Early Alexandria (more than just marriages noted), Alexandria Minister returns and Marriage Bonds 1801 - 1852, Early church records of Alexandria and County, Portrait of a Town Alexandria 1820 - 1830, Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, VA 1780 - 1820 Volumes 1 and 2,

About noon, Louisa came in to pick me up and we went to a deli place for lunch. We talked up a storm. She is interested (though not obsessed) with Crease family stuff. Wonders, as I do, what took Anthony to America from England and how John got to Little Rock if he had been bankrupt. Has a theory about him knowing someone in Little Rock who had family in Alexandria. She helped me to get the tree updated with her family information as well. It was absolutely super to meet her and I think we would find we have a lot in common if we lived closer.

Alexandria is a fascinating and beautiful place nature wise, architecturally, historically and family wise. I believe I will have to come back again one day to carry on with the research and meeting family members.

My first task on leaving Alexandria was to try and NOT get caught in traffic. Unfortunately I managed to get lost initially and it took an extra hour just to get out of town. I think I was heading south instead of North on something called the Capital Beltway as I went over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge but I did not wind up in downtown Washington. This was a good thing as there was a huge funeral and procession in place for a DC police officer killed on the job. This bridge was finished in 1964, renovated in 1983, and has a steel grid deck roadway and a high-level draw span which allows large marine traffic to pass. It has been in renovation since 2000 and is scheduled to be finished in 2008. There were detours everywhere. I was in Interstate hell, I think.

Somehow, despite the best of mapping, I remained lost but heading in vaguely the right direction, which was Baltimore. I was then on something called the Baltimore Beltway. I am not sure what it was but I was on it. I stopped off at the Maryland tourist centre and obtained directions on avoiding Baltimore as well. I was told traffic was very much delayed just at that time because there was a ball game going on and I was encouraged to avoid the exits relating to those. I did so by simply keeping to the left.

Eventually I got off I-95 (which was very welcome at that point) and began to follow route 152, highway 1 and related roads. It was really quite lovely as I passed by rolling country hills, rivers, villages (Mountain, Harmony, Jerusalem, old homes and churches (lovely one near Joppa). It was rather like taking a breath of fresh air after being in a polluted city for a while. Up and down over the hills I went admiring the agricultural lay of the land as I went. Crossed over the Susquehanna River at Amos Falls (lovely rocky area of the river - rather like at Richmond) and Stafford Bridge. There was a bit of a forest fire hazard and controlled burn going on at the time. Shortly after that we were delayed for about an hour by a motor vehicle accident; which blocked both lanes of highway 1 and route 273 at a community called Rising Sun. I believe I turned off at highway 10 at that point and wound my way up to Route 30 (the Lincoln Highway). I became completely lost looking for Highway 30, Bypass 30 and Business route 30; however, eventually found my way to their place.

BJ (an online friend) and Seth, her husband, were wonderful hosts over my stay. She wrote in her note that I very graciously agreed to stay with she, Seth and their aging kitty cat, Jezebel; however, the truth is that they were the MOST gracious hosts. In fact, they moved their sleeping quarters to their computer room and gave me the main bedroom (and mystery books to read). I was amazed.

There are loads and loads of communities in the area and over the course of the next day or so we visited about all of them. The night I arrived we went out for pizza slices. As we arrived there, the heavens opened and it rained hugely. After our meal we got very wet on the way back to the car and from the car back to the house. I was able to do my laundry which I have needed to do for a while.

Many of my following notes are taken from BJ's report of my stay. I enjoyed myself enormously. We talked about parents and families, genealogy, spirituality, history and, as usual, books. The following day (Sunday, May 14) Seth made me some lovely oatmeal (not porridge) with sugar and cinnamon put in the bottom of the bowl one eats from before putting in the oatmeal rather than the way I used to do it (with the cinnamon and sugar on top); I like his way better.

BJ then drove me into Philadelphia, where we saw the Liberty Bell (and had my picture taken there), Independence Hall, statue of "the signer" (of the Declaration of Independence), a couple beautiful old churches and parks, several blocks of old row houses, a house a possible relative (Orlando Crease) may have lived in (which interestingly enough was just around the corner from where BJ was raised), and the different world of South Street (with its condom stores, 'retro' fashion shops and alternative music stores - one is actually called Noise Pollution!). We stopped for lunch at the Rangoon, a Burmese restaurant (after discovering a similar outlook on food choices: go for the unusual!); we stopped off at Borders to pick up a new book on Plymouth & the Mayflower and she fondled yarn at a shop while I fondled two lovely cats. We went out for a meal and ice cream for dinner at Friendly's (part of a restaurant chain) and left quite stuffed.
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