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I fantasize about getting away. I envy those who live on the road—exploring, tasting, living large. For the most part I stay close to home as daily chores consume my waking hours—the gardens, birds, and monarchs wait for no one.

In a desperate attempt to change gears, I found another who could take a few hours off for a day away. The trip involved a two-hour drive east and ended up in a small village called Colonial Beach. It was neither colonial nor a beach. Despite the blazing hot sun, the town and shoreline were deserted. And it is still August.

The beach was the shore of the murky, dank, smelly Potomac. A brief stroll to the end of the fishing pier satisfied my curiosity. There was one family on the beach and one person was actually bobbing in the filth. A storm drain from the streets empties directly into the Potomac, only yards from this swimmer. I say, WHAT is wrong with this scenario?

The antique/junk store was closed, so we began looking for lunch. We stopped at a small dive named Fat Freda’s where the menu offered panini sandwiches of little merit. What sent us out the door was the fried bologna—the way your Mom used to make. Hardly!

Further out-of-town, another restaurant perched on the mighty Potomac. Wilkerson’s Seafood Restaurant, family owned since 1946 offered a nice view, clean tables, and a pleasant ambiance. The broiled crab cake and fried hush puppies were memorable, yet pricy.

I knew what I wanted for dessert, so we headed to Carl’s frozen custard over in Fredericksburg. Carl’s opened in 1947 and the machines were built in 1940. They gleamed from behind the glass, as the sullen dipper and cashier passed their day. The custard was smooth and eggy, and did not disappoint, although the unknown ingredients is shipped in from the mid-west.

The Fredericksburg City Cemetery, ca. 1844, rests behind high brick walls, providing a final resting place for over 3400 community members, including 300 Confederate soldiers who died during the 1862 battles of the Civil War. Some of the larger civilian monuments bear the names Ficklen, Toppitzer, Brulle, and Crookshanks.

During all my years residing in Virginia, this part of the state eluded me until this day. Other than for the frozen custard, I shall not return. Decades ago, this place was quite the holiday spot for DC residents, yet those days are gone and merely ghosts remain.

PS Double click on any photo to enlarge for detail.

Copyright © 2012 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved