Sunday, July 27, 2014

So There We Were…

headed north on I-81 from Wytheville, VA to Gettysburg, PA. Do you know that in the span of about fifty miles you are in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania?

Chuck is driving and I am sitting with the map on my lap. Suddenly I exclaim “Do you know how close to Carlisle Gettysburg is?” And why is that important? Because Chuck’s cousin Pat and her husband live in Carlisle.
Kate, Pat, and Henry

Chuck, Pat, and Henry

So we made a point to drive up the road for a great visit and an equally great lunch at Pat and Henry’s. And we came away with a restaurant recommendation—The Springhouse Tavern at the historic Dobbins House. And does this place have history!

“Here’s the story of a man named Dobbin: an educated Irish-born immigrant who left behind everything but his wife, Isabella, and voyaged to the New World…. Reverend Alexander Dobbin acquired 300 acres of land in Gettysburg and, ‘four score and seven years’ before the Gettysburg Address, erected the home that would be his family’s Gettysburg address. The house wasn’t small, and neither was his family; his wife bore him ten children before her death and he remarried to a widow with nine children of her own. The Brady Bunch had nothing on them!

“Dobbin built his house to be more than just a dwelling; it was the culmination of his dream to establish a Classical School, the first to open its doors west of the Susquehanna River…. Over the years, the house continued to contribute to the pages of history. In the time of the Underground Railroad…a clandestine crawl space sheltered the runaway slaves who risked it all for their freedom. When Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, the residents of the house could have watched him from the balcony. And, in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, the house became a hospital, where Union and Confederate soldiers were treated with equal care.

“Dobbin House is the oldest structure in Gettysburg still standing…. Restoration has allowed it to maintain its original beauty and great effort has been made to keep its furnishings and décor authentic…” (gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com).
The Dobbin House is built in the Georgian style with local stone and distinctive features, e.g., windows with double hung sashes, row of small windows above the front door, and a paneled door.
It features seven fireplaces, and hand carved woodwork that has been restored to its original 18th century grandeur. (activerain.trulia.com).

“The ghost of Alexander Dobbin…is still seen around the house smoking a cigar. People believe that the slaves who came to this house never really left. Apparitions of slaves have been spotted through out the house, even in the hiding places. It is believed that the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg haunt the Inn. Guests and employees of the Inn have spotted mysterious, reoccurring blood stains on the floor boards” (waymarking.com).
“The modern-day Dobbin House serves guests in two separate dining facilities. Downstairs, the Springhouse Tavern serves the more casual guests in an authentic old tavern atmosphere. The entrance to the Springhouse Tavern is tucked between the main building…and gift shop…. As you open the door between the thick log and stone slab walls, it's immediately apparent it's going to be a journey through history.
"Entering, you descend a staircase that takes you into a dark, candlelit dining area with a large wooden bar…and the setting makes you feel like you've stepped 200 years back in time” (foodidude.com).
It is not uncommon in historic areas of Pennsylvania to find the menu using language and/or spelling from times-gone-by. So you will find Spinache Sallade, a Gill (equivalent of a quarter pint) of Porridge, Mrs. Penn's Cheesecake Receipt, Hot Adams Apple Pye, and Sparkling Cyder.

But we went with more straightforwardly names menu items. For Chuck it was the Dobbins Hot Beef Sandwich which was not, as the name might suggest, an open-faced sandwich on white bread and covered with gravy and served with mashed potatoes. Instead, it was the Tavern’s rendition of the French Dip served on a round hearth baked roll.
The sandwich contained a good amount of thin sliced beef but the real attraction was the cup of excellent cooking juices for dipping. From the choice of potato sallade, cole slaw, or potato chips, he selected the poato sallade which was slightly sweet and, I suspect, influenced by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the area.

Not having eaten an East Coast-style crab cake in six years, my choice was the Maryland Colony Crab Cake Sandwich served on toasted French bread with Dijon balsamic mayo, lettuce, and tomato.
As you can see from the photo, there was a good amount of lump crab in the cake and there was a minimum of bread filler. And, of course, it was seasoned with Old Bay. My side choice was the cole slaw, which, like Chuck’s potato salad (or sallade), was somewhat sweet.

Our thanks to Pat and Henry for recommending this interesting and historical restaurant which earns 4.5 Addies.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

*****************
The Wanderers' Future

We left Pennsylvania in 2008 with plans to be on the road full-time for at least three years and maybe five. We have completed a little over six years of traveling and have enjoyed seeing many parts of the country, meeting many people, learning about different cultures, and eating at several excellent neighborhood joints across the country.

Our blog began a journal of our travels for our review, but we have been very pleased and surprised by the number of people who have written or talked to us about places we've written about. We have recorded nearly 2100 blog entries, posted between 25,000-30,000 photographs, and have had over 211,000 page views as of today. We have had two accidents, five breakdowns on the road (three flat tires and two engine problems), and two surgeries (Kate in Albuquerque, Chuck in Lafayette, LA).

For having no experience with RVing, we have had a surprisingly successful time navigating the highways (both major and blue ones) of the country and have learned a number of new "household" skills.

But we have reached a point where I (Chuck) would like to become part of a community again, and Kate would like to return to a "real" kitchen. We have had a tenant living in our home for the past six years, and their lease is up, so we are back in Pennsylvania to sell our home and move to Lafayette, LA. Our settlement date is in August, and for the next few weeks, we will be wrapping up our affairs here and making preparations for the move. We do not have a definite move-in date in Lafayette as yet, so until that time we will continue to live in our home on wheels. Until we begin our drive south, we will be writing on a limited schedule (possibly once a week).

To our relatives and friends, we feel very fortunate to have been welcomed so warmly on our visits and hope that our arrivals have not disrupted your daily routines. We have been fortunate to have been present for some family holiday and special birthday celebrations. They have meant so much to both of us.

To our new friends we have met along the way, you have made our travels so much more enjoyable than you can ever realize. We look forward to continuing many of these friendships following our move.

To all, you have made travel so much more meaningful. Seeing different parts of the country is not as important as experiencing parts of the country. And it is you who have made travel so much fun. Thank you and keep checking in every now and then. We plan to keep the RV and make two or three 4-week trips a year. We can't completely settle down yet. Till we write again.

7 comments:

Bill Monsoor said...

Where you now?

adham said...


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adham said...


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adham said...



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شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
نقل العفش والتخزين

adham said...


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عبده العمراوى said...

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شركة تنظيف فلل بالخبر

reda gamal said...

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شركة مكافحة حشرات بابها
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شركة تنظيف خزانات بابها
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شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة ركن الشروق في الاحساء تقدم لكم افضل الخدمات واكثرها طلبا لعملائنا الكرام فشركتنا الرائده في مجال خدمات المنازل بأنواعها المختلفه عليك التواصل معنا نصلك في اسرع وقت ونحن في انتظارك شركة مكافحة حشرات بالاحساء
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالاحساء
افضل شركة تنظيف مجالس بالاحساء
شركة تنظيف خزانات بابها