Dinerhunter meets the Barter Van

Halifax, Nova Scotia based artist Agela Carlsen is taking a six month roadtrip tour of the United States. She’s traveling around in “The Barter Van” and the trip is, as she puts it ” all about art, traveling and the vandwelling lifestyle”.

In Halifax, we were acquaintances. I liked her art, and we lived a few blocks apart and would run into each other on the street. I moved back from Halifax to Maryland a few months ago and couple of weeks ago, Angela sold her worldly possessions and moved into her big white Dodge, headed South. You can, and should, read about her adventures so far on her blog, The Barter Van.

Long story short, I invited her down to scenic Maryland to explore DC, Baltimore and the sights in between.

Van at the house
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We had breakfast Tuesday at the Sunshine Store in Sunshine, MD. I’ve posted about it before, it’s close to the house and a true hidden roadside gem. Located in the back of an old gas station/general store, the Sunshine serves up some of the best breakfasts and burgers going. It’s small, just a couple stools and two old kitchen tables inside, and driving buy, unless you knew, you’d never give it a second glance. But boy, does it have great food, people and heaps of character. Angela tried scrapple for the first time and was very polite about it.
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We took the metro to downtown Washington DC to do see the sights, starting with the Museum of Natural History.
Here’s one of the butterflies from their current exhibit. Such beautiful colors in the butterflies. You enter as tour groups to the butterfly chamber, filled with hundreds of butterflies. We couldn’t believe how quickly many of the people cycle through. Why is everyone always in such a hurry?
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We had lunch at Lincoln’s Waffle Shop. Chicken and waffles, a Salmoln Cake and waffles, and a great chat with the son of the owners, who has been working there since ’95. We lamented the passing of the former location, a couple doors down the block, now sitting gutted and vacant.
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Then on to the American History museum.
Inside the dollhouse on the third floor.
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And here’s what it’s all about- America on the move.
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Day 2

We spent Wednesday at the American Visionary Art Museum. If you’re in Maryland, it’s a must see attraction. Art with whimsy, life, and passion. Thoroughly interesting, thought provoking and unstuffy.
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Lunch at the Cross Street Market. Pork bulgogi tacos from Pop Tacos. Fusion cuisine at its most delicious, and least pretentious.
Some good neon also in the market.
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Took the long way back on Rt. 1 to do some neon sightseeing. Lots of signs have gone missing in the past couple of years, but still enough to be interesting.
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We had a fantastic time, and between Halifax, art and Americana had a lot to discuss. You couldn’t ask for a better houseguest or a more fun traveler. Her next leg of the trip is to MO to catch up with Rt. 66 to start the great trek westward. Check in with her site for her progress, and if anyone has any suggestions, comments, or would like to help her out by bartering or donating to her trip, she’d love to hear from you.

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