Planning the road trips of summer

Some spots to hit include Chincoteague and Jersey City

July 01, 2011|Jacques Kelly

A friend gave me some honest advice: Summer starts to go by more quickly after the Fourth of July celebration. I've learned this to be true, and now I've got to get moving on a lot of stuff I plan to accomplish before Labor Day — or maybe Oct. 1. Or perhaps Thanksgiving. My plans are fluid, and if I don't achieve them all, at least I've set down a list.

I've never been to Chincoteague, Va., or Assateague Island, despite spending weeks each summer in nearby Delaware. I've never been south of Salisbury, and I want to make it to Princess Anne and Pocomoke City, as well as the Eastern Shore towns of Virginia.

This is a trip I've postponed for too many years. I missed a couple of field trips to Crisfield because I elected to remain on the beach and skip the interior visits. Most of my family took off to Crisfield on the promise of a good seafood lunch. I am not a Maryland seafood fancier, so that part of the draw never excited me.

A little farther afield, but also on my summer visiting list, is Asbury Park, N.J. I love old, preserved coastal resorts, and I hear there have been some amazing restorations here. I'm a nondriver, but I have no excuses not to go; the railroad serves it. I just need to make sure that when I change trains at Newark, I don't have a change of mind and head to Broadway. I'll confess that one year I did make it all the way to Spring Lake and Bay Head, N.J. I was amazed.

In the New York area, I am also committed to lead another summer pilgrimage to the Statue of Liberty, always one of my favorite destinations. This year I want to revisit the Jersey Central train terminal in Jersey City. I was reminded of this the other evening as a group of friends watched the 1968 film "Funny Girl," where this station was used to portray Baltimore's Mount Royal or Camden stations in scenes featuring Barbra Streisand. The Jersey City station is now the spot where you catch the boat to Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty.

This promises to be a busy summer because I've also got the Bronx on my travel agenda. As a child in the 1950s, I was taught never, never to speak to strangers lest I wind up kidnapped, like the Lindbergh baby. Years later, I read several of the books about what was called the crime of the century and now I want to visit certain places associated with this 1933 news story.

I want to see St. Raymond's Cemetery, where the Lindbergh ransom was paid, and a bakery shop associated with the wife of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, the German immigrant who was charged and punished for the crime. In the neighborhood, I'd also love to gain entry to Loew's Paradise movie theater, just because I read about it in a book I bought at a Hochschild Kohn remainder table 45 years ago.

Not all my travel destinations are so far away. Closer to home, I am going to make it to Carroll Park and its Mount Clare mansion for lessons in Baltimore Civil War history. The Union army occupied Baltimore, and Carroll Park was once Camp Carroll. On that day, I also plan to take in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum's Civil War show. And on my truly ambitious list is walking the entire Gwynns Falls Trail, perhaps making it all the way from Dickeyville to the Middle Branch of the Patapsco.

I also want to have the French toast at the Blue Moon Cafe in Fells Point and sample peach cakes at every old-fashioned Baltimore bakery that still makes them. This assignment has a shorter termination point. Local peaches don't last much beyond September, and apple pie just isn't the same thing.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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