B&B: The Inn at Norwood, Sykesville, Md. — 33 afar from the Beltway in Carroll County.
BEST FOR: Kicking back, or as the woman at a Maryland day-tripper centermost declared Sykesville, “Hon, there’s not abundant there. It’s aloof a nice little country town.”
DRIVE TIME FROM BELTWAY: 49 minutes.
Leaving Arlington at 11:10 on a Sunday morning, we cruised up Glebe Alley to Chain Bridge, through Bethesda and assimilate Highway 185 north. At 11:37, we anesthetized beneath the Beltway and anon alloyed assimilate Highway 97 north. Once we austere Olney, it became a bona fide country road, with ambit hawk, beginning cornfields and the buzz of cicada siren songs. We hopped on Interstate 70 east, again Highway 32 to Sykesville.
THE INN: The anatomy abode advantageous a acropolis is a 1906 Colonial revival, with all the alone touches: rocker on the advanced porch, American flag, tail-wagging dog. In this case, a Labradoodle (cross amid a Labrador and a poodle) called Macey. Inside, the attending is Victorian-meets-HGTV. Period appliance and swagged windows are old-school, yet the red dining allowance walls would assuredly aberration a able Victorian matron.
Sliding into the roles of alone snoops, we poked our noses into three of the four second-floor bedfellow rooms, called afterwards seasons. Themes are risky, but auspiciously actuality they’re acclimated for blush cues — russets for Fall and pastels for Spring — rather than, say, plopping a beautiful little snowman and a miniature sled on the chiffonier for Winter.
The Secret Garden, breadth we stayed, is in a small, cottage-style architecture abaft the house. A trompe l’oeil painting of a Tuscan arena graces one wall, and an calm bubbler burbled over bland rocks. The owner’s mother, Eva, showed us around, flicking on the decidedly astute faux bonfire of the cast-iron electric stove. “You can accept the bonfire after the heat,” she revealed. So we got the best of both worlds — the coziness of a roaring blaze and the breach of a roaring air conditioner. A bowl of bootleg chocolate-chunk accolade admired the abode to me alike more, admitting I would accept traded the baby TV/VCR for a CD player.
My husband, Paul, succumbed to a nap in the amazon of a pillow-piled featherbed, while I affianced in one of my admired voyeuristic activities, account the guestbook. “After three blessed years of marriage, my bedmate assuredly advised me,” one access began. Hmm . . .
The abutting day, breakfast was a feast, with yogurt and beginning fruit, a souffle-like egg dish, bacon, herbed cheese biscuits and coffee cake.
WE’D GO BACK FOR THE . . . whirlpool tub for two with a fleet of elastic duckies — additional affluence of candles to about-face the affection romantic.
WE COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT THE . . . window air-conditioning assemblage appropriate abutting to the bed (guest apartment in the capital abode are cooled by axial air).
THE EXPERIENCE: Admitting the breadth saw Civil War action, we were added acquainted of the avant-garde action abstraction up — baby towns vs. McMansions. Developments are bustling up all about the countryside. Fortunately, Sykesville is on the National Register of Historic Places. Exploring adjacent Capital Street, we begin a brace of food alms accouterments and antiques; there’s additionally a day spa, Samsara (7606 Capital St., 410-552-6900, www.samsarasalonandspa.com), but it’s bankrupt Sundays and Mondays, back we visited.
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