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Real Millennium Trip - December 26, 2000-January 1, 2001

This page contains more information than you wanted to know about the Real Millennium road trip from December 26, 2000 through January 1, 2001 - a trip spanning two months, two years, two centuries, and two millennia, but less than a week of actual travel time. Standard warnings: Most of the information is useless and many pictures are redundant. You have been warned. Most people will probably be bored pretty quickly, especially when we have page after page of highway signs. Not only does this collection seem to have an unusually large number of highway sign pictures, but it has quite a few poor quality pictures of highway signs. Again, you have been warned.

Most pictures were taken with my Sony Mavica FD-7 digital camera. All images are 24-bit JPEGs and should be viewed on a 24-bit display. Quality is likely to be very poor when viewed on an 8-bit display.

I have arranged the actual images on a number of smaller pages, linked from the text below. Some links are to a single image, while others link to a page containing a number of related pictures.

The Plan

The plan for this trip started as a thought that we should get away somewhere a little warmer during the week between Christmas and New Years, when all the ski areas are too expensive and too crowded. Flights during the holidays are too expensive, and Florida is too long a drive for the time available, so something on a smaller scale was planned. Amitha Perera and Rob Foulis were convinced to come along. As you will see, the warm part never happened (I bet we didn't experience a temperature higher than the low 40's the whole time), but it was fun nonetheless.

Tuesday, December 26

My trip started in Williamstown around 11 AM [2 Pictures]. First was a stop to pick up a new road atlas [Picture] at the Williams Newsroom, then on to Troy [9 Pictures] to pick up Amitha and Rob. After lunch, we headed out, still before 1 PM. The start of the trip [Picture] was uneventful, taking us down the Thruway, into New Jersey [2 Pictures] and Pennsylvania [8 Pictures]. Amitha realized that he had friends he would like to visit in Philadelphia, so he called ahead and we arranged a short visit at their house just before dinner. We nearly lost Rob when he stepped out of the car and slipped on a patch of ice, but he was fine. There were no further injuries in Philadelphia. We entered Delaware [4 Pictures] and stopped for dinner at Boston Market in Newark, Delaware, where Rob was very amused by an apple pie. Our goal for the night was somewhere South of Washington, and after passing by Baltimore and DC [7 Pictures], we arrived for the night in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at a Super 8.

Wednesday, December 28, 2000

We got on our way from the motel in Fredericksburg [Picture] around 9 AM and headed South on I-95 [Picture]. Just before arrival in Richmond, we stopped to call ahead [Picture] to the Haravays to make sure they were home and ready for a visit. We got going again [Picture], and around 10, we made it to Josh and Julie's (and Jessica's) house for a short visit [3 Pictures], followed by lunch with Josh at the Memphis BBQ restaurant in Richmond. We continued down I-95 to I-85 and US 1 to Raleigh, North Carolina [11 Pictures]. Our main tasks were to find the arena where we'd be watching a hockey game, and find a place to stay for the night. After coming across the arena [2 Pictures], purchasing game tickets, and finding another Super 8 on the East side of town, we had a little time to look around. We drove into downtown Raleigh and parked to walk around a bit. To avoid the expense of arena food for dinner, we decided to get some food at a very neat old restaurant called the Mecca [2 Pictures]. It was opened in 1930 and still looked like 1930. The food was good too. From there we drove back to the Entertainment and Sports Arena (just begging for a corporate sponsor, isn't it?) to see an NHL game between the New York Rangers and the Carolina Hurricanes [36 Pictures]. The Hurricanes won an exciting game, 4-3. After a grocery store stop to get some ice cream, we returned to the motel for the night.

Thursday, December 28, 2000

Thursday started in Raleigh with a trip to the local Krispy Kreme doughnut shop for breakfast. Regular readers of these trip reports know I got hooked on these earlier this year in Los Angeles, and I had to go when I found out they had a shop in the area. We decided to take a ride over to Durham and Chapel Hill in the morning, and saw the Duke [2 Pictures] and UNC [5 Pictures] campuses briefly. We made it back to Raleigh around noon, and after a number of wrong turns, we met up with Candy Hetzler for lunch at a Houlihan's restaurant in Cary [2 Pictures]. I hadn't seen Candy in years, and it was great to catch up if only for a short time. From there, it was off to our destination for the day - the Outer Banks. We drove US 64 to Nags Head [4 Pictures], arriving just after dark [Picture]. We picked out a Quality Inn in Kill Devil Hills and checked in. A place right on the ocean for $35/night. It's just a little more expensive during the summer. Although it was dark, we took a walk to the cold, windy beach. The next task was to find a place to eat dinner. A lot of places close for the Winter around here, and even some of those which stay open during the Winter close for the holiday week. Our first choice was very crowded and had an hour wait, so we continued up to Kitty Hawk where we picked a Bavarian restaurant called the Weeping Radish. Back at the motel, we checked up on the weather, and it's not looking good in the mid-Atlantic later this week with a snowstorm predicted from Richmond to Boston over the weekend. So we decided it would be a good idea to shoot for Washington tomorrow, and ride out the storm there until things clear up all the way home. We made a reservation in the city for the next three nights to make sure we are all set.

Friday, December 29, 2000

The snowstorm was scheduled to be forming soon off the North Carolina coast, but the morning was bright and sunny in Kill Devil Hills. We took a morning walk by the ocean in the daylight, but it was still cold and windy [10 Pictures]. After checking out and cleaning some sand and salt off the car's windshield, we headed South to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. First, we stopped at the Bodie Island Lighthouse [5 Pictures]. The visitor's center was open, but this lighthouse isn't open to the public like the others in the area. Next, we crossed the Oregon Inlet on NC 12 and parked and walked around. Again, it was very windy and here there was a lot of blowing sand to make it even tougher. Still, it was a very nice place to be, as long as you were dressed more for skiing than for the beach [10 Pictures]. We crossed back to the populated part of the Outer Banks [Picture], and then the next stop was Jockey's Ridge [12 Pictures], where we had the dunes just about all to ourselves. Of course it was even more windy up on the ridge, but we climbed anyway. Our final tourist stop was at the Wright Brothers National Monument, where we looked around the visitors center but did not climb the hill to the monument itself [8 Pictures]. We stopped for lunch at the Jolly Roger restaurant [2 Pictures] in Kitty Hawk, then headed North and off the Outer Banks [14 Pictures]. Our destination for the day was Washington, but since we had the rest of the day to get there, we chose the scenic route, taking the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel [23 Pictures] onto the Delmarva Peninsula, then up US 13 and US 50 through the Eastern shore areas of Virginia and Maryland [3 Pictures]. We stopped for some pictures on the Bridge-Tunnel, but didn't stop again until after crossing the US 50 Bay Bridge. It was dark by then, but this still looked like a very impressive bridge. We stopped in Annapolis [5 Pictures] to look around near the harbor a bit and got dinner at a mediocre Mexican place called Armadillo. We then moved along to Washington, where we checked into a Red Roof Inn right near the MCI Center in Chinatown, ready for the snowstorm to come along to turn the city white.

Saturday, December 30, 2000

We woke up to bright sunshine and no snow. The snowstorm formed, but far enough North and East to keep DC dry. This was pretty disappointing for us, but at least it dumped plenty of snow in the mountains of the Northeast to ski on when we get home. We left the hotel and after a stop for Amitha's coffee at the neighborhood Starbucks, we headed toward the Mall. We took a short walk through the sculpture garden on the way to the National Air and Space Museum [7 Pictures]. We spent much of the day there, and saw just about the whole thing, including the Einstein Planetarium show "And a Star to Steer Her By." We walked back toward the hotel [Picture], as Rob and I were planning to see the Philadelphia Flyers play the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center, but there weren't any groups of seats left, so we decided not to bother. Amitha was already planning to see a show at the Kennedy Center, so Rob and I decided to go along. First, we went to dinner near the hotel in Chinatown at a place called Tai Shan, and just beat the pre-hockey crowd. After dinner, we took the Metro to Foggy Bottom and a shuttle bus to Kennedy Center [2 Pictures], where we bought tickets for the 9:00 show of "Shear Madness". It was only 7:30, so we walked around a bit, stopping for coffee and hot chocolate at the "Cup'a Cup'a" shop in the Watergate hotel. We returned to the Kennedy Center for an entertaining show. We made it back to our hotel around midnight.

Sunday, December 31, 2000

With the snowstorm well off to the North (30 inches in parts of New Jersey), Neil Grodsky was able to make the trip down from Delaware to join us for the day. He met up with us at the Red Roof in before 10, and we headed out for the day. We started with a walk [4 Pictures] to the Washington Monument (which seemed to be closed), then down to the frozen reflecting pool in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial. We continued over toward the White House and the Christmas tree in the Ellipse then started a search for lunch [12 pictures]. We ended up at a sports bar called Fanatics. No pictures at this point, because by camera battery was drained (should have recharged). We next headed for the Mall again and spent much of the afternoon at the Museum of Natural History, including a 3D IMAX movie, Galapagos. Now it was time to consider dinner options and make some plans for midnight. We decided to take the Metro to Bethesda to find dinner, and ended up at a French place called La Madeliene's which was very good [2 Pictures]. We took the Metro [Picture] back to the hotel and Neil continued on to head home. We stuck around and figured out where the fireworks could be seen. We decided that we'd look on the Mall then if that didn't look good, we'd head across the Potomac to Virginia and find a spot. We did know that there would be fireworks launched at the Naval Observatory. When we got to the Mall, we saw plenty of people heading toward the Washington Monument, and decided it might be a good place to try to watch. We got a parking spot right there and walked up by around 11:40. A relatively large group gathered, but with no clock, no one was really sure when 2001 actually arrived. We did get to see the fireworks a bit, but not all that well [9 Pictures]. We started our way out by 12:05 and were back at the hotel by 12:30. Amitha said it was one of the least exciting New Years gatherings he'd been to.

Monday, January 1, 2001

We got going fairly early on this first day of 2001 [3 Pictures], and were ready to get on the road by around 10. After a walk down the block to get something to eat. While my last meal of the previous millennium was the good dinner in Bethesda, my first of this (unless you're reading this after 3001) millennium was a Starbuck's chocolate croissant and a pint of OJ from the CVS across the street. How exciting. We got going a little after 10 and made our way to the Baltimore Washington Parkway. From there it was back through the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore and on up I-95. A gas stop in Northeastern Maryland and a lunch stop at Arby's in Delaware were the only ones until a late gas stop at the New Baltimore service area near Albany. We saw the remains of the snowstorm which hit northen New Jersey so hard [4 Pictures]. We hit no traffic, but saw plenty of skiers and other holiday travellers stuck on I-87 South. Traffic was slow and sometimes stopped on the other side for much of the stretch between the Harriman toll barrier and Exit 20 or 21 [Picture]. It makes me very happy to live somewhere not equal to the NYC Metro area. We got back to the Albany area around dinner time and decided to cap the trip off with dinner from the Wolf Road Diner. I left Amitha and Rob in Troy and returned home to Williamstown before 8:00.

Stats

This was a very small trip, but did include 7 states for Amitha, 8 for Rob (since he started Tuesday in Massachusetts) and 9 for me (since I started in Mass. and passed through Vermont both ways between Williamstown and Troy). My car went over 1900 miles, passing the 118,000 mile mark and approaching 119,000. Another successful trip, including visits to some new places for me, all fit into a very limited schedule.
E-mail domain: teresco.org, username: terescoj+pics - Thu Jan 4 21:00:12 EST 2001

Copyright notice: All images are copyright © James D. Teresco unless otherwise specified. Unauthorized use is prohibited.