#12 Eat at a real dive

On May 16, 2016, after burning a few calories in a hike, Mary Ann and I decided to acquire significantly more calories by eating lunch at a dive called “Sunshine General Store”.  This place is a local favorite that should frighten healthy eaters and vegetarians (and maybe small children).   Located in a defunct gas station built out of cinder blocks, the place does not look like a ‘restaurant’.  Once inside, it looks like an ancient pre-mini-mart.  As you pass the cheap snacks you find a grill in the back where cleanliness and aesthetics are a foreign words.  Two mismatched tables with mismatched chairs and 4 diner stools are the extent of the seating.  Everybody else is ordering to-go.  At the diner stools, you an watch the grilling.

The burgers are the main attraction.  Whether you are going for the burger, which appears to be more than a half pound, maybe 2/3 pound, or the hamburger sub, which looks like a full pound of beef, this is the place to go to get a big burger.  I could feel my arteries clogging as I watched the burgers being cooked, but it did keep my attention.  I wondered who could possibly eat one of those massive cheeseburger subs, topped off with 2 fried eggs.  This is an experience I will probably repeat, whether it is at Sunshine General Store (Brookville, MD – corner of Georgia Ave (Route 97) and New Hampshire Avenue (Route 650)) or some other place.

To add to the experience, they even had a fire!  The burger buns in the toaster oven got too close to the heating wires and caught fire.  The two women were so busy keeping up with the grilling, assembling burgers, and taking orders that I had to tell them that they had a fire.

… Oh and to top it off, they advertise selling live bait!  When you go, remember “Cash only”.



#11 Minor league baseball game

On May 15, 2016, Mary Ann and I went to a minor league baseball game with the family.  We went with all the children, their spouses, and the grandkids.  We saw the Frederick Keys play the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  It was quite an experience.  Besides sitting back and enjoying the game, drinking a beer and having peanuts, it was fun to see how the grandkids would like the experience.  The oldest, Grace, surprised me by wanting to write the box score.  I taught her as we talked about what was happening and marked what each batter did.  The next youngest, George, was mainly interested in breaking open the peanuts for his dad.   The youngest, Annie, just played around.  For the grandkids, the best part of the game was the post game helicopter candy drop.  Grace and George rushed the field with a hundred other kids to pick up candy.  With all the distractions that the minor league games employ to make it fun, they all now like baseball and want to go again.

[Note:  The Frederick Keys team is in the Carolina league, single A (“A Advanced”) and is the farm club for the Baltimore Orioles.  The level of skill is not as high as the AAA or AA teams.]


#10 Make chocolate chip cookies

May 9, 2016 – I had a craving for something sweet and we didn’t have anything in the house.  I thought that it would be great to have some chocolate chip cookie dough.  Not necessarily cookies, but the dough.  What the heck, how about if Mary Ann teach me how to make the dough (oh, and I guess I also need to learn how to bake whatever remains)?  So with the instructions on the bag and the helpful hints from Mary Ann (learn from the master), I successfully made a full batch.   Of course I didn’t have to bake the full batch as I used bakers prerogative to eat as much dough as I wanted.  The dough was excellent and the baked cookies were great, too.

[Note – not the most exciting experience, but one of the better tasting experiences]

#9 Run a 10k race

On April 24, 2016, I ran the Pike’s Peek 10k race.  I believe the Pike’s Peek 10k is named for the road it is run on, “Rockville Pike”.  The race starts near Rockville Pike at the Shady Grove metro stop and ends at the White Flint metro stop, running on MD Rt. 355 the whole way for 10 kilometers (10,000 meters or 6.21371 miles).

My son in law, Chris, helped me with this experience by running together.  I completed the race in 54:02, while he ran a bit faster as the old man (me) faded some at the end.  As for April, the day of the race was cold, starting in the 40s and ending in the 50s.  We were freezing at the beginning and sweating at the end.

As you can see from the pictures below, we has a special guest running the race.  None other than “Woodie Wilson” (i.e., Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the US).   I wound up beating him by about a minute.  I should hope so as he is 100 years older than me and he has been dead for 92 years.  Although Woodie ran an impressive race considering the size of his head!

All in all, a great experience, knowing that I can still run a distance well (8:42 per mile) as well as received a cool tee shirt and a small mason jar mug.

Side note:  Rockville Pike is just one of the many names for the continuous road, MD 355, that goes from Frederick, MD to downtown Washington D.C..  In Washington, DC, it starts as Wisconsin Avenue, then Rockville Pike, then Hungerford Drive, then Frederick Road, then South Frederick Avenue, then Frederick Road, then Urbana Pike, ending in Frederick.  Historically the Rockville Pike road has been around since the colonial days when it was used as an escape route from Washington in the War of 1812.