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S/V Si Bon
Small town USA
Steve
08/02/2011, Baltimore airport

I am currently at the Baltimore airport waiting for my flight to Hartford, CT to meet Shaybo. I REALLY enjoyed my stay with Ross and Carol, it was a very relaxing 2 weeks, which after nearly 6 months of cruising was just what the doctor ordered. It's kinda ironic that I left the Sea of Cortez to escape the heat and it has been close to 100 degrees here in the Washington area ever since I arrived. Although Ross and I did visit Mt. Vernon yesterday most of our time was spent in the Hancock area. We did lots of things that many people might find boring, but being a city boy I enjoy seeing small town USA. We visited some historical sites. We took meandering drives through the countryside, we ate at a truck stop, small local diners and exclusive resorts in the countryside.
There was one thing that I didn't get to do....I had seen an article in a local paper that there was a cheese craving contest in the neighboring town of Sharpsburg (cheddar?). In my opinion I can cut the cheese better that anyone I know, so I was very excited to compete in the cheese cutting contest. I begged my Uncle to take me to Sharpsburg to cut the cheese...but he refused. So we'll never know for sure if I am the king of cheese cutters or not....but I'm going to be practicing in preparation for next years event.

08/03/2011 | Shaybo
Trust me u don't need to spend he next year practicing...your a natural. And hands down the best cheese cutter in the land :-/
Life on the farm
Steve
07/29/2011, Hancock, Md. USA

After visiting Antietam, Ross and I continued on to Alexandria Va.. Ross has a rental in Alexandria that he is doing some work on before he rents it back out. Alexandria is a really cool suburb of Washington D.C., although we were mainly working on the townhouse, we were able to do a little exploring of some of the local restaurants and stores in Alexandria. I had agreed to help Ross tile a back porch in his townhouse and although neither one of us had ever done any tiling, we both worked together and I think we ended up doing a pretty damm good job.
So we're back in Hancock and life on the farm is busy (it's not really a farm), We have to tend to the garden, where Ross grows some of their veggies, we have to take care of the many farm animals (2 dogs and 15 cats), there are plenty of other miscellaneous repairs and gardening jobs to keep us (Ross) busy. Life on the farm sorta reminds me of life on the sailboat....there is ALWAYS something that you need to work on.
My favorite job is feeding the deer (pic), Ross and Carol are animal lovers that have been putting out feed for the local deer for several years now. Last night when we pulled into the road that leads to the main house, there at the end of the road were several of the deer giving us the evil eye. We were later than normal and you could tell that the deer were a little pissed having to wait for dinner. I love watching the deer feed, they are not particularly friendly to each other as they vie for a good place at the feeding trough...never the less they are fun to watch, they kinda of remind me of the dolphins that play in the bow wake of Si Bon.

Civil War
Steve
07/25/2011, Antietam Battlefield

One of the many places that I wanted to visit while on my summer visit to the East Coast was a Civil War battlefield. I wasn't really paying much attention in school the day they taught us about the Civil War, (or several other days for that matter), so I wasn't really sure about many of the finer details of this horrible war. It turns out that my Uncle's house in Western Maryland is in the middle of what was a hotbed of the Civil War.
Today Ross and myself drove to a place called Antietam Battlefield. Antietam is the sight of the bloodiest single day battle in the history of the United States of America. The 12 hour battle between the Union solders and the Confederate Army began at dawn on September 17, 1862. The armies fought several battles throughout the day. They fought through a cornfield, through woods and at one time the Confederate solders took cover on a farm road that was later renamed "Bloody Lane". The battle ended about 6:00 PM. In all 23,000 men....YES 23,000, were killed, wounded or missing....IN ONE DAY.
The thought of so many men being killed in one place and happening less than 150 years ago, gave the place a very surreal feeling. As you know I usually try to keep some humor in my blog...but there is nothing humorous about this very dark period in the history of our country. The only good thing that came out of this bloody day was that within a week of visiting Antietam battlefield, President Lincoln began penning the Emancipation Proclamation which would preserve the Union and end slavery.

07/26/2011 | Phil Anderson
Hope you make it to Mt. Vernon.....Geo.Washington was the kind of public servant we need in DC! Even the "landblog" is good reading,Steve...keep up the good work!
Hancock Md, USA
Steve
07/23/2011, mmmm...Hancock, Md

Soooo....here I am in Hancock, Md. visiting my Aunt and Uncle, Ross and Carol. Hancock is a small town in Western Maryland with a population of around 1,600. Hancock is struggling in the current economic climate as many towns and cities are. It didn't help Hancock that they lost 2 medium sized employers within the past 10 years. Ross and Carol live just outside the town limits on a beautiful estate with over 12 acres (more on that later). I always find Ross and Carol's home to be a relaxing place to be, it's pretty much like being on the farm without having to do a bunch of farm work. Their property sits just above the Potomac River, there is a really cool 22 mile long bike/walking trail that runs past their property (pic), and along the Potomac that I love taking my morning walks on. Ross and I are going to take a trip into Washington and hopefully visit a Civil War battle site while I'm here.
I've decided to continue to blog while I'm off of Si Bon. I know that the name of the website is "Sailblogs.com" and I'm hoping that non of my ever faithful blog followers will report me for blogging while not actually being on a sailboat....but you can bet that if they do, I'll be blogging about it.

07/23/2011 | Pat K'ski
Keep blogging! I love reading the posts. Even sailors make it to shore now and then, sometimes to find their best adventures.
07/23/2011 | Steve Cook
Thanks for the kind words Pat. You are right about the shore adventures...plus I enjoy writing my blog, it's become like a journal for me.
07/24/2011 | shaybie
hey, cool pic :)
Autobus vs airplane Part II
Steve
07/21/2011, Hancock, Md. USA

Well I finally arrived in Washington (pic). I was a little later than planned, but when Continental Airlines found out that I was the writer of this now very popular "travel" blog, they immediately upgraded me to a premium seat.
As you may know I have been traveling on the public transportation system quite a bit since being in Mexico. Before I went to Mexico I hadn't used the public transportation in the US since.....well come to think of it, I never used the public transportation system in the US.
I've decided there are some pluses to riding the Autobus down in Mexico....and some minuses. I paid 470 pasos (about 40 USD) to go from Guaymas to Tucson, a distance of about 300 miles. I figured that the same distance on an airplane would probable cost 2-3 times that, but wait....I could bring along my suitcase at NO EXTRA COST saving me another 25-35 dollars. The obvious disadvantage of the autobus is that it took me 9.5 hours in what would probably been a 1.5 hour airplane ride (providing the toilet flushed). Talking of the toilet not flushing...that would not have been much of an issue on the autobus, the driver would have shrugged his shoulders, said "no problema" and pulled over whenever someone had to go. There are some other cost advantages of traveling by bus, I was charged 15 pasos (1.25 USD) for a large bottle of auga at the bus terminal, $2.60 for a small bottle of water in the airline terminal. I paid 30 pasos (2.50 USD) for a burrito in another bus terminal, $10.50 for a salad in the airline terminal. The bus stops every once in awhile, so if you get hungry along the way you get off and grab a bite. If you get hungry on the plane they will sell you a kinda crappy sandwich for $8.00
On the autobus they don't make you listen to that safely talk that we've all heard a million times. I find that kind of ironic because if there is a mechanical failure or accident on the bus you may actually need to know an evacuation plan, whereas if there is one on the plane, I don't really think you're going to need to worry about using your seat as a floatation device. By the way did I mention that the bus seats were much larger and more comfortable that the floatation device ones on the planes?
All in all the speed of the plane does make up for a lot of the cost difference and other BS that we have to put up with from the airlines. One thing I have also come to realize is that when traveling, wether by bus, plane or sailboat...you need to practice patience.

07/24/2011 | shaybie
hey, cool pic :)
07/24/2011 | George Herman
About the need for the safety lecture given on airplanes and not given on the bus, well put. Your writing is getting funnier as you go along. Fantastic! Thanks and keep it up.
Autobus vs airplane Part I
Steve
07/20/2011, Houston, Tx.

While I was on my way up Mexico on the autobus Monday I decided I would do a blog post comparing travel by autobus vs travel by airplane. I was going to wait until I got to Washington DC to do the post, however since I missed my connecting flight and am now stuck in Houston....I figured I'd do the blog now. So...why did I miss my connecting flight? Well everything was going good until they got us all on the plane (funny how they do that). The Captain then came on the PA and said we would be delayed 10 minutes or so (why do they always say 10 minutes), he gave a two part reason for the delay. The first reason was that the First Officer had worked the night before and couldn't check-in for 10 more minutes (again 10 minutes). The second reason was that the only lavatory in the plane had a problem with a motor and there was a repairman on the way to fix it. So there we sat, the repairman came in and left, the Captain informed us that the lavatory was taken care of and the First Officer was at the airport and checking in and should be there in 10 minutes (again 10 minutes). So there we sat, the repairman came in again...and left again, I knew there was another problem with the head....oops..I mean lavatory. The Captain came on and told us the First Officer was there and they had to do some procedures and checks and we should be on our way in 10 minutes or so...(again). So there we sat...they closed the door and then after a few minutes they reopened it, in came the repairman and in my opinion... things were not looking good. The Captain came on again and told us that originally the lavatory wouldn't flush, and then it wouldn't stop flushing and now it wouldn't flush again. It was decided that they would completely shut down the lavatory motor and place some bottles of water in the lavatory (see pic), we were instructed to bring the empties to the flight attendants and they would replace them, we were also instructed to "please don't pour to much water into the bowl..only a little with each usage. I am now rebooked onto another plane and as of now should be in Washington about 2 hours later than originally planned....so here I sit.
Since this post is already longer than I like to keep them, I have now decided to do the comparison of autobus vs airplane tomorrow.

07/20/2011 | amber gilbert
this is hilarious! did you hear about the 2 flight attendants that almost got in a fist fight in columbus last week? what is this world coming to? glad your safe and sound with a good story to tag along with it it (as always :)))

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