State Capital Visit - 2014 (last updated on 2014/09/16)

2014/09/13 To Baltimore

Going to Airport (Done)

Left home at 5:15pm and drove to the airport. Parked my car at 5:45pm. The parking was not so busy so I was the only one in the shuttle but for the time. The driver was pretty positive thinking about working, so I gave him a tip as I was getting off. I used a Kiosk for carry in bag only to print out the boarding pass. I pass the security at 6:00pm, then realized the boarding is at terminal E. So I walked to the gate after grabbing a wrap for my dinner. Took a seat by gate E12 and ate the wrap while I wait, but stopped by a Chinese guy talking to me in Chinese for something while I was mouthful... I do not believe about this manner, after that, no sorry, too?

Flight to Baltimore: UA1268 IAH(7:05pm CDT) - BWI(11:09pm EDT) (Done)

The boarding process started on time, the place I sat did not have a window so I was not quite sure what's going on at outside. There was a lady who switched a seat but realized that she is sitting right behind a restroom, so she protested and asked for a refund. The United refunded for the two pizzas she had. (oh man, how many she can eat?!) The plane was pushed back at 7:05pm on time, and taxied to a runway. The plane took off at 7:15pm. It flew very smoothly, I would not doubt if sometime tells me that we are on a simulator. I fell sleep for a couple of times, then began to see the lighs on the groud as the plane approached to the airport. Landed in the Baltimore early at 10:45pm, and it taxied to the gate at 11:00pm.

Getting ready to leave Houston

Flying over clouds in the evening

Getting a rental car, check in at hotel (Done)

After getting off the plane, I walked on the hallway which all the stores are closed, to the entrance. The ground transportation area was a bit chilly and dark. The smell and noise reminded me of the metropolitan area like New York. I waited with 20 others at rental car center shuttle stop for 15 minutes, then the shuttle bus came at 11:20pm and took us to the center off the airport. At the Enterprise location, I got a red Ford Focus. The staff told me about all the busy events going on this weekend and I did not realize that I can be affected tomorrow. Drove to the hotel which was quite full, checked in, and went to bed around midnight after setting several alarm clocks.

Grandtransportation Area Finally getting on a shuttle to rental car center

Check in at the hotel

2014/09/14 Ft. McHenry

Going to Fort McHenry and turned away (Done)

The bed was not comfortable and because I was working in the night shift, I could not fall sleep until 3:00am. Woke up at 6:00am with helps of alarm clocks. I stretched my body and headed out to the Fort McHenry. The outside was below 60F but felt much cooler maybe because of the humidity. The road was not so bad but once I arrive to the area, I saw the whole area was blocked off. I cannot park, or enter because of the event today... So I needed to change my plan now.

Going to Annapolis, MD, State Capital (Done)

I quickly changed my plan and figured out that as long as I can be at Harrisburg around 10:00am, I am okay. So I drove south to Annapolis, by taking I-895 to I-97 south then to US-50. The driving condition was not so bad, just more trees and ups/downs are something we don't see much in Houston area. Entered quiet city with many brick buildings. Parked my car at Visitor's Center at 7:50am, used 50 cents for 10 minutes park then walked around for a while. There was a church (St. Anna's Parish) at the center of the of the circle, where I can see the ocean on the foot of the hill via Main St. which was a beautiful sight. The oldest state house still stands since 1779 and it was pretty. The town itself has many blocks of buildings which look like the time stopped since 1800s. The sound of trumpet coming from the Navy Academy sounded pretty cool. I walked back to the car, and began heading to Harrisburg, PA, which is my next destination.

Maryland State Capital

Looking up hill

Going to Harrisburg, PA, State Capital (Done)

Left the parking at 8:00am, taking the same path as I was coming in, taking I-97 to I-695 then entered I-83 north at 9:00am. Crossed into PA at 9:20am, and passing York, PA on the way. Arrived at the downtown area of Harrisburg around 10:00am, found a place I can park in front of the state house and walked around for pictures. Leaving the state house at 10:15am, stopped by at a park on City Island by Susquehanna River. Left at 10:30am after setting my GPS to Hershey, PA.

Crossing into Pennsylvania

Arriving at Harrisburg

State capital of Pennsylvania, located in Harrisburg, PA


Going to Hershey and Strasburg

Hershey's Chocolate World Attractions
After leaving the state house, I get on I-83 again and then to US-332. I get off at Hersheypark Dr and stuck in a traffic jam. It was bad and I began losing time. I guess because of an RV show held at the same property today. My original plan to be there by 11:00am now changed to 11:20am. Since I have no time, I just swing by at the building then made a short stop at the downtown area. The road lights were looking like Kiss... Left the town at noon.


Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
I took local road 743 to south, crossing I-76 and kept going until I hit 283, later joined by US-30 and then turned right at 896 and entering Strasburg, PA. Arriving there around 12:30pm, and walked around to see the Strasburg Railroad operates for the weekend, and also The railroad museum of Pennsylvania, I get to see many locomotives between late 1800s to first half of 1900s. I even get to see some diesel locomotive like I have seen in a old movie. Finally leaving around 2:00pm. I am a bit concerned now about my schedule.

GG-1 Blackjack

Click here for pictures

Going to Philadelphia, PA

Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
I decided to go to Philadelphia first since the viewing of Liberty Bell close at 5:00pm. I drove off from the parking lot of the museum, taking local road (741), where I see Amish people riding on a horse drawn carriagesThe countryside road was always fun, occasionally driving in a very small town where you only find a grocery store and gas station. No McDonald's. Getting back on US-30 to east toward Philadelphia, and I stopped to eat at McDonald's at slightly bigger town at 2:20pm in Gap, PA. Then continue driving. I arrived at the parking near Independence hall, walked to the building hosting the Liberty bell, I was able to see it after in a line for security check/ I then swing by at Independence Hall, and Declaration House before returned to the car. Paid fee then moved on to the Museum around 4:40pm. I am glad I made that decision. I now just need to swing by the place, and head to Trenton, NJ before the sunset.

Horse drawn buggy Country road

Philadelphia in sight.


Waiting in a line to take a peek at Liberty Bell.

  Liberty Bell and Indepence Hall

Rocky Steps

The Rocky, a famous movie has a scene where the Rocky is running in the morning toward the museum, running up the stairs and make a pose. I arrived the place now registered as "Rocky Steps" on Google Map around 4:40pm. and took a picture of the status, ran up the stairs and took some more pictures. I was in a hurry so no more fun. I stopped by at former Baldwin Locomotive Works site before returning to the car.


Going to Trenton, NJ, State Capital

I have about two hours left on daylight, so left the parking and start driving on the road. Getting on I-95 then start heading north bu for the first one hour, the traffic was so jammed, later found out that one of the three lane was needed to be closed because of someone dropped items on the road. After that, it was much easier to drive. Changed to US-1 then passed a bridge which crosses into New Jersey, drove a little more to the capital building.


Parked my car and walked around. They had Edison State Collage, and a former barrack near by. Enough of the trip, now I need to head to Dover, DE, which is nearly 2 hours away. Left at 6:30pm

New Jersey State Capital

Ford Focus, which I drove

 Barrack, and Edison State

Going to Dover, DE

It looks like a tree but actually is a cell tower...

I began heading back to Pennsylvania side, Took US-1 and needed to pay $1 as I cross back in the bridge. The sunlight was directly ahead of me so it was very hard to see the road. Took I-95 south soon and I filled my car up at 6:53pm at Langhorne, PA. Kept driving back south, passing Philadelphia around 7:20pm, then to the unknown. Changed to I-495 before approaching Wilmington, DE and then to US-40 joined by US-1 again. The night arrived as I was driving. Crossing a bridge which I needed to pay $3 for toll at 8:30pm, and another 50 cents before I arrive to Dover to get out from the tollroad. Arrived hungry but I cannot find any place that I can eat. They have Applebee's, and other popular restaurants, but on Sunday, after the time like this, they are all closed. I found a diner named, Hollywood Diner around 9:00pm. I ordered Hollywood Deluxe Burger which come with fries. Hotel check in around 11:00pm, found out the room temperature was set to 64F... Crashed into bed after setting alarm clocks. I hope I can sleep better tonight.

Back in Philadelphia Crossing William V. Roth Bridge in the dark

  Dinner at Diner

Check in at hotel

2014/09/15 Coming Back to Houston

Going to Delaware State Capital

I could not sleep well again so I decided to wake up at 5:30am, took shower, and packed items. I ate breakfast around 6:00am downstairs and left the hotel at 6:30am. The outside was around 50F and the sun was still getting up so driving in the town was a little hard to navigate especially if I am not familiar with the place. The houses in the area are looking old, many in Victorian style. Arrived at The Green which is surrounded by stone and brick build buildings in that square. Getting off from the car, checked out the old capital, then walked to the current capital. I took the picture of them and came back to the car. Setting the next destination, a parking in Baltimore, so I can catch a shuttle bus to Fort McHenry.

  Delaware State Capital


Going to Fort McHenry (Second Try)

Leaving the place and start driving back to Baltimore. The downtown area of Dover looks classy, then drove with the sunlight's at full burst on my mirrors as I drive out from the town among with other cars. Taking local 44 to 11 south, which changed to 302 once crossing into Maryland. Finally joining US-301 toward Annapolis, crossing a bridge around 8:00am, then on US-50, the same route as I took yesterday morning coming back from Annapolis to Baltimore. Took I-97 to I-695 then to I-95 but they were working on the road so I had to get off to local 295, drove pass by M&T Bank Stadium then arrived to the desitination.

Foggy Corn field

  Crossing a bridge

Parked my car at 8:45am, caught a bus going to McHenry at 9:00am (Banner Line on Charm City Circulator, a free shuttle). it was a short ride to the Fort, I could see the buildings on the both sides of the street leading to the place. They look all old.

  Taking a shuttle bus to Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry

Arrived at 9:10am, walked to Visitor Center, paid $7.00 for the ticket. I checked out the walls, cannons and the barracks as well as the flag. I needed to get out soon to catch a flight back to Houston on time so I just jogged around, take a few pictures and headed out.

Left the Fort at 9:30am and get on a shuttle bus back to Rash field. Walked around a bit before returning to the car.

Going to the airport

Paid parking fee then headed out to the airport at 10:05am. On the way I stopped at a gas station to fill up the tank then arrived to the rental car return. I complained about the Focus' jerking transmission but staff can only tell me that's I am one of many in same complains. Ford is not doing anything about this?! I had to wait my turn to receive the receipt for 10 minutes, that was not cool because there was only one person at returning while there are six other cars waiting. Left there at 10:45am and got on a shuttle bus back to the terminal. Once I walk in, I get my boarding pass quick and proceeded to the security. A company was testing a new checking technology using a scanner on IDs. My turn was okay but a guy with a military ID keeps rejecting... Passed security at 11:15am.

To Houston: UA1204 BWI(12:13pm EDT) - IAH(2:28pm CDT)

After passing the security, I grabbed a sub from Quizno's instead of McDonald's next door. I already had it yesterday. The boarding started at 11:48am just as they announced. The plane was pushed back and taxied on time. Took off at 12:20pm and headed to west. I needed to take nap so I shut the shade and so as my eyes. At 1:48pm (CDT), the captain announced that we will be landing in 20 minutes, the plane kept going west then turned to south before landing at 2:20pm. Welcome back to 90F weather... The plane arrived at the gate and I waited my turn to get off. It's always nice to arrive early.

UA1204 at Baltimore Airport

Departing from Baltimore,

Coming Home and Going to Work

I get to picked up by a shuttle around 2:40pm, left the terminal and get dropped off at the parking. Left there and come home after 3:30pm. I took nap until 5:00pm then took shower and headed to work.



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