Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mon 1 Apr - Sun 30 Jun

As Blogger only allows a maximum of 100 posts per blog, our posts from 1 April to 30 June will be found in:


Sun 31 Mar - St Michaels, MD

Today, Easter Sunday, was significantly cooler and windy and overcast and later rainy. Spring is still knocking but can't come in (it seems).

After breakfast, we decide to drive to Oxford to check it out and to have Easter Sunday lunch over there.

Not a long drive, 30 minutes perhaps, which would have been shorter if the ferry from Bellevue would have started for the season. This sign suggested it was the longest privately operated ferry service in the US.

The town of Oxford is just "too cute". Everywhere you look are very tasteful large houses in various colours with nice gardens. This picture was taken along the shore front where the ferry docks. Not quite Manly Beach but we are sure it will attract more of a crowd in the summer months.
Some more examples of good looking homes. Yep, "too cute"...

Di choosing her favourite place...

As this is a small peninsula, many homes have waterfront access and their own dock. Marinas are plentiful in this area, with very nice yachts in dry docks or being prepared for summer. A rich person's playground, and it shows. That being said it did look very nice, and not snobby, and we even liked the homes in the background of this photo. You may notice they assume some yacht owners are "senior" by providing a few wooden steps to help at the end of each berth.

In one boatyard we came across a man working on his yacht "Boomerang". No he was not an Aussie (of course Di had to ask) but has been to Australia often and was planning to take his yacht there when he sells his business next year. He likes our culture so much his previous yacht was called "Digeridoo".
Our neighbours, Jim and Michel had recommended going for lunch "at the pub" in Oxford. However, there were 2 taverns there so we took a punt that they meant this place called Salters Tavern, next to what looked like a very nice place for accommodation, Robert Morris Inn. This is opposite the ferry and beach from earlier.

The tavern had an open fire and a nice relaxed feel with lots of dark timber. The Easter Sunday brunch menu had some good sounding choices but we couldn't go past Eggs Benedict, with ham for Di and its crab and spinach for Hans. Delicious and quite reasonably priced.

We head out after our lunch to see the rain clouds gathering and on our drive back to our B&B we get a few drops of rain. A perfect excuse for yet another lazy afternoon catching up on movies. This time "Lincoln" is on the program. A long movie but excellent acting by many, and Daniel Day Lewis deserved his Oscar. Mind you, we think it helped immensely that we've been to so many museums and know so much more about Lincoln and the Civil War history. Might be hard to follow otherwise.

Then "The Client" with more Memphis and New Orleans locations that we recognized. Fun.

Some time today was spent planning two things - 1) our next 3-4 weeks of travelling, which loosely is the coast road south to Savannah and then back north through the Appalachians to Pennsylvania; and 2) our next 3-4 days of home cooked meals! Yes, tomorrow Di gets back into a kitchen as Mary has generously lent us her place for a few days. Di can't wait!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sat 30 Mar - St Michaels, MD

We wake up to an overcast day, but it soon cleared up. Lazy morning, breakfast is not until 9am.

Unsurprisingly, there were a lot more people for breakfast on this Easter Saturday. Including us, there were 12 guests instead of the 4 on Good Friday's morning.

A few more pics from George Brooks House, B&B. The two breakfast areas.

The front room.
BTW, we inquired about American public holidays over Easter. Neither Good Friday nor Easter Monday are public holidays, although a lot of workplaces close early on Good Friday. It sounded a bit like Christmas Eve in Australia.

Still, several rooms at the George Brooks House B&B were empty including the big room with jacuzzi which is just opposite our room.

We decided to go for a pre-season boat trip out on Chesapeake Bay and Miles River. The boat's departure was 12.30pm which meant that we have some spare time after breakfast. So, we went for a little drive down Bellevue Rd down to Bellevue Park where the ferries go across to Oxford in season, which by the way starts "early April", no exact date specified but still too late for us.

Here are a couple of pics from Bellevue Park and the Bellevue/Oxford ferry "terminal".

Cold cold water in Chesapeake Bay, but at least there is a beach there.
Back to St Michaels and here is our boat, the "Patriot".
A couple of pics of us at sea.
St Michaels from the water. It's a bit difficult to take these pictures from a distance and really get home how beautiful the area is. Trust us, it is very beautiful.
There were plenty of big imposing buildings lining the water. One massive new concrete house was apparently the fifth home of their owners and they had spent a total of 3 weekends there last year.
There was a bit of animal spotting too. This nest belongs to a couple of Osprey birds. They raised 3 chicks here last year.
This was amazing. Suddenly the captain gets onto the loudspeakers and announces that there is a deer is the water swimming from one side to the other of Miles River. Yep, that's right.
Apparently deers are very good swimmers and from what we could tell that seemed to be correct. We estimated that the distance across the river here must have been 600-800 meters or so. Very impressive.

Hans was using Runkeeper to track the boat's movements so this is how where we cruised.

We returned to shore in St Michaels around 2pm and then went back to the B&B for more relaxation. Di is watching "To catch a thief" and Hans is just plain lazy. This is so good :-)
Dinner is in Easton, at Bartlett Pear Inn. French style meal, served by Julia, our host at George Brooks House B&B.
The Bartlett Pear Inn at night.
Another lazy day and night, good night.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Fri 29 Mar - St Michaels, MD

A very lazy morning which is just what the doctor ordered. It is also Good Friday today so it should be quiet...

Here are a couple of pics from George Brooks B&B in St Michaels. Our room is top floor, left, single and double windows.

Here is our room from the inside. Not bad, hey?
We go down for breakfast at 9am and then sit there and chat with another couple until almost 11am.

The couple is from Philadelphia and the bloke, Robert, has hiked the entire Appalachian trail over a 5 months period. His partner, whose name we didn't pick up, was half American and half Japanese, a typical US serviceman love affair and a nurse.

We then decided to take the Chrysler for a spin. It is a fantastic and beautiful spring day today after very ordinary and cold weather the last week or so.

First, we drive south to Tilghman Island and to the western side of Blackwalnut Cove and its southern tip. Absolutely beautiful there. A few location shots.
BTW, Tilghman comes from the name of the last family who were to own the whole island before it was divided into smaller lots and sold off. Matthew Tilghman helped shape Maryland's constitution.
There was a brand new boardwalk there, with small electrical lights driven by solar power.
Then we went onto the eastern side of Blackwalnut Cove.
Two uprights...
There is just a small narrow stretch of water off onto Tilghman Island called Knapps Narrow.
The island Is connected through this cute little bridge which was raised regularly to let through... one single boat with a slightly taller mast than what could pass under the bridge.
Looking east from the Tilghman Island Bridge. The wider stretch of water here is called Chesapeake Bay and apparently is a yachtsmans Mecca, the yachting capital of the eastern seaboard.
Hans is very relaxed next to the marina at the Tilghman Island Bridge, now looking west.
We continue our exploration by driving back towards St Michaels, but turning off west to go to Claiborne.
We saw this collection of straws and twigs etc out in the water which we presumed would be a birds nest of some sort.
Di on the plank...
We drive down to Neavitt and Balls Creek, but that wasn't so interesting so we turn back and drive into St Michael town to explore the marina side off the main street which we haven't really seen yet.
St Michael is a very pretty touristy town and it is not hard to see why. Here are a couple of photos from around the eastern bay.
Time for a cuppa and we saw this place on Talbot Street yesterday, announcing that they will open today. It is a pink and white painted cafe, bakery, cupcake kind of place. Very nice indeed and relatively cheap with 2 coffees and 2 very tasty cupcakes for $8 including tax. We may be back.
We swing by the grocery store on Talbot Street to get a few things and then go back to George Brooks House B&B for a break. A tough day indeed... :-)
Later, we take the car to St Michael township for dinner at Carpenter Street Saloon. Food was nice, but service was very ordinary.
A few pics from Talbot Street after dinner.
Back to the George Brooks B&B for a couple of beers while watching the movie "The Firm", which is set in Memphis and yes, we did recognize quite a few of the locations. That's all, folks.