These are the last of my pictures from the Maryland trip. After visiting downtown Annapolis in the morning, I had lots of time to kill before meeting another friend for a late dinner and drinks in Silver Spring. I decided to head somewhere that always brings on instant, warm nostalgia: Galesville.
Galesville is a tiny town on the West River. The picture above shows what is, basically, the middle of town. I took this shot at the end of Main Street, which dead ends into the river. There are houses on one side and a couple of businesses, a tiny antique shop, and restaurants on the other side.
As I turned onto Main Street, I noticed a woman driving a golf cart full of American flags slowly down the other side of the street. Every so often, she stopped to put one up on a pole, eventually lining both sides of the street with flags.
When I took that picture, an older man was helping her put a flag up, but something was wrong and they couldn't get it placed properly.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the street, a couple of men were doing some construction on a house. One man was in the back of his truck banging on pipes, trying to make something resembling music. His buddy started laughing and the "musician" laughed back and said, "I'm so easily amused!"
The older man with the flag called across the street to them and asked if they had a tool to help them put up the flag. The musician answered back "of course!" and dropped everything he was doing to go help them.
It was such a sweet, almost Norman Rockwell kind of moment.
After that, I spent most of my time sitting on the dock, watching the water, letting my mind wander.
Just behind this beach is a tiny park.
One year, my friend and I decided to spend the 4th of July here. We thought we would be big, fancy adults and have a gourmet picnic. I remember the sandwiches especially well because they were disgusting. Somehow we decided that goat cheese sandwiches with balsamic dressing would be divine. We were so very wrong.
Other than that and a small child trying to set our blanket on fire with his sparkler, it was a great night. We had a perfect spot overlooking the water and the barge where they set off the fireworks.
All of the docked sailboats which remind me that I want to learn to sail one day. Maybe I'll do it when I'm hypothetically wealthy enough to afford sailing lessons. Then, I'll buy a yacht with a little sailboat, go to the Med, and sail around lazily for the rest of my day. It would probably sate my wanderlust nicely. Yes, that's it.
Before I left, I went back to Main Street to take a picture of one of my favorite places here.
The reason I even know about Galesville relates to this building. My mom and I used to board our horses at a big, beautiful, nearby farm. In the summer, I competed in a few horse shows, so I spent many hot, sticky summer days at the barn getting everything ready. We cleaned tack, bathed my horse, and got the trailer ready. I always looked forward to a nice lunch break and, one day, the barn manager (who, it has to be said, is a wonderful person with a kind soul) told us about the general store.
I still remember the squeak of the old wooden door and the creaky, sloping floors. It always had that sort of musty, comforting smell that you get in old book stores or antique shops.
Inside, there was the usual: chips, soda, milk, bread, and other basics you could grab if you forgot them at the grocery store. Many people, it seemed, just stopped by to shoot the breeze on the porch while having ice cream.
But they also had a small kitchen and they made the best sandwiches and pies. I don't even like pie (team cake!), but their apple pies were the best--piled high with sweet, yet tart, sticky, spiced apples and a flaky but buttery crust. Mmm.
So whenever we thought of it, my mom and I would go get great sandwiches for lunch and then pick out a pie to bring home for dinner that evening.
Since I had to get lunch on my own during this last trip, I knew I had to come down to the general store. I was pretty sad to see that it didn't exist anymore. I guess that's just what happens after you've been gone for nearly a decade. Things change. Life goes on. And, yet, Galesville still has that lovely, small town feeling.
My story doesn't end there, though. I drove back to the hotel, getting steadily more hangry (hungry + angry), as I do when I'm not fed regularly, and I suddenly I realized there was another place I could go for a great sandwich. Bayside Bull.
When I first moved to Maryland, Bayside Bull was a tiny little shack-type place in a parking lot in Edgewater that served pit beef and pulled pork (I don't know if they served other sandwiches then, but these were the only two that mattered in my family.) You walked up a little ramp, ordered at a window, fought off the bees at the condiment counter, and then left.
I almost always got pulled pork with coleslaw, grape soda, and fries. My parents were fond of the pit beef with horseradish--theirs was always the best and would clear your sinuses for months--and fries with malt vinegar.
One day, the little shack burned down. It was devastating. For awhile no one knew if they would come back. But they did. This time in an even bigger building.
So I pointed my little Canadian car to Bayside Bull and my mouth began to water. Hanrgy no more!
When I walked in, I noticed they also had turkey, ham, and some other stuff available. It didn't matter. I knew what I wanted.
I stood at the counter as the smell of barbecue wafted around me. Glee bubbled up and I could barely contain myself when the man asked what I wanted. "PULLED PORK!" I said it a little too enthusiastically.
As I poured myself a big cup of unsweetened iced tea, the man next to me and I shared a silent conversation. It went something like this:
"BAYSIDE BULL! Hells yes! Pulled pork in my belly! Unsweetened ICED TEA!"
"I know right? I can't even get my horseradish on my sandwich fast enough!"
We clumsily moved around each other trying to doctor up our sandwiches quickly but perfectly. It was a dance of the sandwiches.
Then, he smiled at me and told me to have a nice day. And I, still bubbling with joy, wished him the same.
Let me tell you. That sandwich was So. Good.