Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Day Trip to Havre de Grace

Geri and I signed up for a day trip to Havre de Grace, Md. The natives call it "Hava de Grass". "Ya know Hon, up ere in northern Merrylin". This was part of a program sponsored by the Roland Park Country School called Kaleidoscope.

We met the bus in a parking lot of a Baptist Church in Towson. I considered going to the morning service but the bus was ready to go. As we entered the bus I viewed a sea of gray. This was no spring chicken get-a-way. I knew this group was elderly when two different ladies sitting near me were discussing their husbands' recent demise.... both of them were WW2 brides. The conversation in the bus was getting louder and louder because there was definitely a hearing loss problem among the octogenarians. While the bus was en route to Havre de Grace the same two matrons kept heading for the co-ed bathroom. I guess their anticholinergic medications (medications for incontinence) weren't kicking in yet.

First stop in the itinerary was the Visitor's Center in Havre de Grace. It was closed! 2nd stop was the boat dock. We were told to be ready to board a paddle-boat (Mississippi River Boat clone) at 11:15 for a 2-hour ride on the Susquehanna River with lunch served aboard. We were told this 6 times. Apparently the elderly ladies did not hear it the 1st 5 times so when the leader said it for the 6th time I also yelled out "11:15 is the time to board ship"!! At lunch we sat across from two retirees at a table for 4. We were yelling at them because they could not hear. It was a fun time.

The ride on the Susquehanna was pleasant and informative. We traveled under several bridges on our way upstream. We didn't know that the Susquehanna is 400+ miles long but only navigable for 5 miles. Can you imagine a 400+ mile trip with table-mates who could not hear and asked you to repeat what you said 3 times before they got the message?

Anyway, after the boat came back and docked. We had an hour or so to "schmier" around the quaint little town. Did you know there are no stoplights in Havre de Grace? They want you to trust their drivers. The only problem was that many of their drivers are elderly retirees and if our table-mates were any indication of how the rest of them drive I'm frightened to walk down the street!

It was a lovely day and we were glad to take a break from the busy schedules we have. You should try a day trip to Havre de Grace. Just watch out for the silver-haired drivers in their Buicks!

1 comment:

David Ettlin said...

My favorite memory of Havre de Grace was covering the all-night manhunt for Frank Green after he shot four cops on the old Susquehanna River Bridge, one fatally, and fled on foot into town. He was spotted about dawn and suffered a minor cut as he fell, running, to avoid a barrage of police gunfire at him. The bullets tore through nearby houses, including one where a slug shattered a vase, but miraculously did no damage to any other human being, either. Wonderfully, the bridge is now called the Hatem Bridge (named for Tom, a former state transportation secretary), and a good mate for the Nice Bridge (for former Gov. Harry) in southern Merlin.