Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy {belated} Valentines

*Engagements pictures by Hailey Erickson

Annapolis, MD

This past Sunday, we decided to take a quick trip down the road to Annapolis, MD. We spent most of our time walking around the waterfront near the Naval Academy and the historic downtown area. It was a small, quaint area with a serene, calming effect {despite too many tourist shops displaying Navy sweatshirts and shot glass with dancing crabs} . We enjoyed just sitting by the water as we did actually exploring the town. We will definitely be going back when the weather warms up a bit and the sun is shining more.

Fredericksburg, VA

On a cold, overcast MLK holiday, Chris and I drove the 45 miles down I-95 to Fredericksburg, VA. Our expectations of the small, historic town were set a little too high {maybe part of it was that the dreary, blustery day did not lend quaintness and charm to the town} ; nevertheless, the afternoon road trip had its worthwhile moments.

While walking around downtown, we came upon a church graveyard with headstones dating back to the 1700s. Many of the stones were so weathered that the names and dates were not even decipherable.

After half an hour of walking {and a quick stop into a local wine shop which resulted in us lugging out 4 bottles of wine}, we had seen most of downtown and were too frozen to continue exploring the rest by foot. We ate lunch at a local bar & grill, ducked in a local coffee shop for mochas, and proceeded to the battleground.

The battleground was located about 1 mile outside of the historic downtown area. Over the course of several days in late 1862, Union forces {futile} assaults against a Confederate stronghold proved that the South was able to hold ground in the war. Sections of the stone wall that Confederate forces shielded themselves behind as Union soldiers attempted frontal attacks were still in place.

It was somewhat eerie to think that at one time the land that was now spotted with gas stations and doctors offices was once littered with 15,000+ bodies of dead and wounded. In the cemetery, over 15,000 Union soldiers, mostly unknown, are buried, marked by a simple row/plot number. There are other various Civil War-era structures standing, such as house that was converted into a hospital during the war; it is now the house of the President of Mary Washington University.