Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 3: Rolling Lush

Immediately after adding my latest entry to my diary, Chad and I started one of the deepest conversations I have had in months. We talked about how the value of work when a person's energy and personality are envued into it. We talked about out relatives, and people who impacted us. We talked about cars, and how the knowledge of such can be applied to so many other aspects of life. We talked about life choices, and illuminating moments in one's path. We talked about today's disposable world, and why people like us remain so loyal to such machines.

Very late that evening, we went to sleep. After all, the trip has to continue, and Chad's family had to go to church!

Sunday, May 22nd.
Day 3: Rolling Lush (listen to today's theme)
A little melody, somewhere at the feet of my bed, opened the day. I woke up to a wonderful breakfast prepared by Chad, as precise as it was fast. The rest of the morning was mostly occupied by arguments between his kids about whether color red is for tomatoes or hot sauce, the Spider-Man videogame for the X-Box and artistic practice. Chad's daughter introduced me to an alien with teddy bear ears who lived in planet Pruton, ate macaroni and cheese all day long, and spoke Spanish. I felt relieved to find someone I could really talk to in my native language!

Departure from North Wales took a little longer than expected, due to my worries about the overly elevated SLS and trying to find an appropriate place to adjust it without being crushed. I tried the only two workshops that were open on a Sunday, but both flinched as soon as I started speaking about hydraulics. I left in high clearance mode, once again.

The drive to Maryland was nothing special. Rolling hills, lush trees and scattered buildings of little significance. Hence, I do not have too many pictures from the trip to Frederick. Unfortunately, I could not meet JGrazier, but made past Baltimore to Maryland, where Ramonajim's Big Yellow House proudly stands.

A warm welcome followed, accompanied by a short tour of their veggie garden and an introduction to their private zoo. We were soon riding in their '72 280SE, windows rolled down, the breeze in our hair, panama hats on and elbows sticking out. I must confess I have always had a certain fixation with the W108/W109 chassis, and consider it the most elegant S-Class Mercedes ever made. We parked a scarce few blocks from one of America's best hiddern secrets: Frederick, Maryland.

Frederick is a little piece of Europe carved out of the continent and magically flown to the Mid-Atlantic USA. It is crowded by beautiful brick architecture and tens of small businesses, without any trace of the corporate world –well, if we exclude Starbucks. Frederick is what any small community should be: close, accepting and beautiful. It is close because we met many people in the street that J and M knew; it is accepting to gays, pets and artists like no other small town I have ever seen (not even Provincetown); and it is beautiful beyond description. The streets of Frederick are crammed with small architectural jewels that are special in each building's own uniqueness; mixed with a 1800's quaint ol' American atmosphere, much like Providence or Gettysburg. Jim and Meredith were commenting that, unlike California, the lifestyle of the people there was grounded on uniqueness for the sake of one's own individuality, rather than the very Californian "Whole Foods style manufactured quirkiness".

Back in the house I had further interactions with the domestic zoo (several cats, two dogs) and M's father, a very amiable, gentle man. Dinner was everything you would ever expect out of an master artist of vegetarian shrewdness. We had a bread-based vegetable popurri and a wonderful salad, which never made me miss beef for a single second, as much of a carnivore as I am. The rest of the evening we talked about life stories of people we knew, and many of the characters who populate Frederick. Today, despite feeling a little tired, was a good day. Just like visiting the kind of friend who you had known forever. Thank you, Jim. Thank you, Meredith. Thank you, PeachParts.

This could really be anywhere. But it is North Wales. Trust me on this one.

A beautiful reservoir next to the highway.

There you go, sixty-eight thousand miles!

Maryland welcomes you!

Newport crosses the Delaware. Without the boat and the wig.

Going doooown the road!

The road leading to the Big Yellow House.

Three different Mercedes, three different eras.

The drive to Frederick could have easily been in the French Blue Coast.

Local, historic, CUTE brick constructions in Frederick.

Secret top chef hides here.

They brew their own beer in situ!

Tired of gorgeous brick architecture? Wait, there is MORE!

The ridiculously adorable rooftops of Frederick.

...and suddenly, we stepped into Ireland.


This is too much, TOO MUCH! This is an excess of beauty in one day!

Laaaaazy cats, taking a break from a rather plentiful dinner.

My two great hosts.

1 comment:

  1. Miguel,

    you write beautifully. Thank you for sharing the wonders of your trip. It is so refreshing to know that you are in such a different world. The ironwork is so elegant, and your hosts so charming. My regards!