DC is a great stay-cation location. An
hour-ish to the east, you’ve got Annapolis and the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay and to the northeast is Baltimore. It’s south to the beautiful Virginia countryside and wine country, northwest to mountains, lakes, valleys and as in today’s case….barbecue! We’d gotten word of a place worth the drive, just across the Maryland border into Pennsylvania. It’s a bit far to go for lunch, but with two of the kids in for the holiday weekend it’s a win-win. They get taken out to eat and we get to enjoy the extra time with them.
Frontier Bar- B- Q is near Fairfield, PA– about four miles off of US-15, right where it crosses PA-116. You pull up to a small building with one take out window– and lest you wonder why you came, the line waiting for the food should be assurance that you won’t be disappointed. There’s no indoor dining, but being situated at the edge of a lovely meadow, the grounds are more than welcoming, with plenty of picnic tables, a circle of benches with a beautiful fire going in the center and piped in bluegrass music to make the atmosphere complete. It was the perfect early fall setting for a holiday feast of chicken, ribs, pulled pork, beans and slaw. The iced tea was also exceptional, and since that’s my drink of choice wherever I go, I know good iced tea when I find it.
As it turns out, this place is only a few minutes away from Gettysburg. After we ate, the day was still young, so we drove over there and spent a few hours. There’s a new visitor center, opened in 2008, featuring the recently renovated Cyclorama. The museum is comprehensive, enough information for any Civil War buff, and you could literally spend days on the battlefield, retracing every move of the events if you were so inclined. You can’t do it all in one afternoon, but even in a short visit you will get a glimpse of the enormity of what happened there, what was lost–and how the fate of our union hung in the balance during those three days in 1863.
“People watching” in places like that is fun. Outside the visitor center there’s a beautiful bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting on a bench, which needless to say is fascinating to the droves of children that must walk by it every day. We heard one mother say to her little boy, “Look, there’s Abraham Lincoln,” to which he responded, “Is he fake?” Then he climbed up into the statue’s lap, looked up into his face and said, “Would you like to take a break from the battle?” I have a feeling Mr. Lincoln appreciated that, from wherever he is.