I drove to Indy in two days, overnighting in (*shudder*) Zanesville, Ohio. I chose a route that takes me through as little of Maryland as possible: basically Maryland is the width of the Potomac River at that point, and you're out of West Virginia and into Pennsylvania in less than two minutes. Maryland doesn't even have a "Welcome To..." sign there, 'cause there's no place to stop.
The upside of the route is that it passes through Berkeley Springs, WV, a delightful little mountain town with some good local restaurants.
Arriving in Indianapolis, Tam showed me a great little gunshop in Brownsburg: Premiere Arms. And it's a pity that I didn't have my C&R updated with my new address, or I would've returned with something, I'm sure.
I was introduced to Huck The Cat, Roseholme's newest resident. What a character! The world's largest kitten.
New Year's Eve it was my privilege to escort the lovely Roberta X (airship privateer, TV techie and now, published author) to dinner at Morton's. We had the traditional champagne cocktails...worth waiting a year for!
I can report that I was favorably impressed with the new version of True Grit with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper and little Hailee Steinfeld.
Roberta, Tam, Brigid and I visited Artisano's Spices. You've GOT to at least sample some of their balsamic vinegars and spiced olive oils.
And speaking of spices, I was even allowed to sample the legendary Roseholme Hash! Spoiler alert: the secret is in the scissors.
The drive back was uneventful but scenic: the Tom Tom GPS unit reported heavy traffic on Rt 70 in Pennsylvania and re-directed me to state Route 30, a beautiful, winding rural highway. Then back through the same Hole In The Wall from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.
Stopping again at Berkeley Springs, I had lunch at Tari's Cafe. I ordered the special of the day, a Mediterranean Wrap. I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out to be one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. Chicken, basmati rice (or maybe it was risotto?), artichoke hearts and secret ingredients, wrapped in a tortilla that is then toasted (or maybe it's baked). Wow! Highest recommendation.
The new embassy staff car, a 2002 Crown Victoria, performed beautifully. Preparing for the worst, I had mounted Michelin X-Ice snow tires on all four corners, and stocked the trunk with three MRE's (and chem-heaters for same), water, boots, socks, shovel, etc., etc. And the weather was some of the mildest I have ever encountered at this time of year. Murphy's Law, I guess!