Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chesapeake Bound

August 20, 2014
Annapolis, Maryland
No boat to call home this time, we are on our way to the Chesapeake by car.  We cheated on our vagabond travel rules yesterday, hopping on I-95, and just zipping north without stopping to appreciate local history or idiosyncrasy. 

Today, we made amends for our rushed start, beginning with our morning lattes at Demolition Coffee in Petersburg, Virginia’s decrepit historic district, which can trace its history back to 1640.
Sad to say, today the majority of the downtown shops are second-hand and antique stores, and every block sports at least one vacant storefront, so this coffee shop is not bustling with business, though it is bursting with personality, and serves an exceptionally tasty latte.
An architecturally unique Farmer's Market building just round the corner from the Demolition dates to 1879, and we are happy to see it is being lovingly renovated.  Looks like this neighborhood is upward bound.
On the way out of town, we stopped to see a massive boat under construction in the side yard of a little bungalow in an otherwise unremarkable suburban neighborhood. 
While I took photos of the monstrous ark that dwarfed all the nearby homes, Dick chatted with a fellow lounging on the porch of the house next door.  He turned out to be the son of the builder of the ark, and explained that his dad has not worked on it in quite some time, and probably wouldn’t finish it.  Its primary utility seems to be attracting stray curiosity seekers like us to relieve the monotony of the son’s porch-sitting days.
Within minutes of crossing the bridge into Maryland, we were on our way down to the Potomac riverfront for a crab picking lunch at Captain Billy’s Crab House, proudly plying the crab trade since 1947.   Sitting at a brown-paper covered table riverside, cracking into a dozen crabs just pulled from traps this morning, now piled on a tray and caked with Old Bay--we were in gastronomic nirvana.
Afterward, we stopped to watch the antics of a pair of osprey squealing from their nest atop a platform in the parking lot, and then noticed three bald eagles lazily circling overhead--visual dessert.
We are staying at the Maryland Inn, near the Maryland State House. The Inn dates back to the late 1700s.  Eleven legislators from the 1786 US congress stayed here, followed by lots of luminaries over the years.  Walking out the front door, we can look down Main Street and see all the way to the Annapolis Harbor anchorage where we stayed last time we visited Annapolis, living aboard Starsong.
We balanced our crab picking lunch with fine dining tonight at one of Main Street’s fanciest restaurants, Osteria 177--tomorrow we will ride off the calories along the Baltimore to Annapolis Trail.

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