The Charm of Kensington. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Well, it’s not so much a secret, maybe more of a confession given the current state of affairs. I’m having a tough time finding the motivation to put fingers to keyboard these days. Given that there is still an international ban on US travelers, it would seem likely that not too many people are dreaming of faraway places. Although, there are definitely people out there finding a way to change the scenario of their lives as RV sales rise.

The homes of Kensington
Pawns on a Chessboard

There is currently an assault on the United States Postal Service. When one adds this to the fears of Covid-19, and the relentless chaos of a presidential election, it’s a wonder any of us can find the strength to get out of bed in the morning. I know there are millions of American citizens cheering on the current administration, but there are millions (including us) who are enraged. I can best describe it as feeling as if we are pawns on a ginormous chessboard being played by blowhard titans.

Venturing Out

With all of that being said, we do try to venture out when the weather permits. And, sometimes, we’re fortunate enough to find moments of peaceful beauty, usually when we least expect it.

The homes of Kensington.

We tend to have the necessities of life delivered, during this time of Covid-19, but on occasion we place a grocery order for curbside pick up at Safeway. The store has a good working system for no-contact pick up. The store’s garage has designated parking spaces. Once parked, we call the store to say we’ve arrived and viola, our groceries are brought out and placed in the trunk of our car. It’s our new normal.

Not in a hurry to return home, we parked our car in the shade of a nearby neighborhood and decided to take a walk along the row of antique stores in Kensington, Maryland. Not exactly the back roads of Maryland, but still a new discovery.

The Kensington Library in the heart of the neighborhood

The Charm of Kensington

Founded in 1894, Kensington is a small city with a population of maybe 20,000. The historic core is a pocket of peaceful beauty that we had no idea existed until just recently. Known as Antique Row, there is a lovely street where antique stores beckon shoppers. Tree-lined streets and homes that beg to be photographed are just around the corner.

Antique Row in Kensington

Kensington offers a sense of community spirit and small town life, smack dab in the middle of urban sprawl. From Antique Row to the historic train station still in use by the MARC Commuter Trains, to the neighborhood library, to Warner Circle Park which boasts the former home of the city founder, Brainard Warner, Kensington has much to offer.

A Short Drive from Washington, DC

Just 30 minutes (9.5 miles) from Washington, DC, a visit to Kensington is a perfect half-day trip out of the city. Turns out, Mr. Brainard Warner was not only the founder of Kensington, he was also instrumental in the development of Washington, DC. Who knew?

The former home of Brainard Warner sits in the middle of a 4-acre park. It was a private home until 1940 when it was converted to a nursing home. It is now owned by Montgomery County Parks. This is just one view, there is a large wing off the back of the house and a two-story carriage house.
If It’s Saturday

If it’s Saturday, it’s a good day to take in the local farmer’s market held at the historic train station from 9:00 – 1:00 rain or shine. Kensington has a plethora of eateries, bakeries, shops and theater experiences, as well as several annual events including outdoor concerts. On the weekends, there is ample free street parking with no time limitations, as well as a city parking lot and there is parking at the train station.

The historic Kensington Train station, still used my MARC Commuter Trains.
Peaceful Moments

On that particular day, Kensington turned out to be just what we needed. It was a blazing hot day in August, but the tree-lined streets provided enough shade to keep us going. I spotted a cute bakery that I’m looking forward to visiting when we once again dine out. I’m also looking forward to a return visit to Antique Row, because strolling through history, a.k.a. antique stores, is one of our favorite ways to pass the time when we just want to relax and not think of anything but peaceful moments.

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