Different But the Same: My Maryland

I'm back from my trip to Maryland and thought it would be nice to do a picture post. I didn't take too many photos because the weather wasn't very good until the last couple of days of the trip.

Previously, I talked about how strange it was to travel to a place I don't call home anymore. The purpose of this trip was to help me decide whether or not I want to move back to the Annapolis area. I talked a lot with close friends about moving back. I think I'll do a separate post on my decision, though. I would rather have this post be about my old haunts and the places I loved when I lived there.

On Thursday evening, my dad, who drove down with me, and I met with one of my childhood friends and her dad for a crab dinner. We met at Mike's Crab House in Riva. It's on the South River, about five minutes from one of my old houses.

Mike's has been at this location since 1958 and the building hasn't changed a bit since I first moved there in 1991.

I have pictures of 5 year-old me crabbing on this dock. My memory is hazy, but I think we used to get bull lips or chicken necks, tie them to string, throw them in the water, and wait. When a crab latched on, we pulled the string up and dipped a net under him. I definitely remember it being great fun. I tried to find the pictures but I wasn't successful. If I stumble upon them again, I'll update the post.

Thankfully, it was a beautiful evening and we were able to sit outside on the deck. Originally, I was set on ordering steamed blue crabs. I miss the whole ritual of picking them and dipping tiny bits of meat into vinegar and Old Bay. I even miss the sting of the vinegar as it announced a tiny, inevitable cut on my finger from the shells.

When we asked about the price, however, $65 per dozen seemed crazy. It just wasn't worth it. I happily ate crab cakes instead. Luckily, the scenery and lots of freshly brewed, unsweetened iced tea (we don't have this in Canada) made up for any disappointment.

On Friday morning, I met with one of my dearest friends, who I have known since kindergarten. We had breakfast at a small café in downtown Annapolis, which is one of my favorite places to go. It was another overcast day and I got so caught up with talking that I'm afraid my pictures don't do Annapolis justice at all.

One of my favorite parts of Annapolis is Main Street. It retains its ties to the past with historic buildings and brick paving, yet interesting restaurants and boutiques mix with the usual tourist fare.

Despite the weather, it was a great morning. We had a nice breakfast and talked about everything that happened since we last saw each other. We watched locals chat outside and midshipmen from the Naval Academy running. When we walked up Main Street to do some shopping, we saw tourists buying their sailing-themed goodies and throngs of school children following guides dressed in revolutionary garb like ducklings. What I love about Annapolis is that it feels like there's a balance of tourism and "real life."

As the weather gets warmer, Ego Alley, the part of the dock that dead ends at the center of Annapolis, fills up with boats and yachts. It's for the see and be seen crowd. There's nothing quite like going down on the weekend, grabbing ice cream at a shop like Storm Bros., and taking a stroll on the dock through heavy, humid, midsummer air to people watch and marvel at the boats. It truly is a beautiful place.

I have one more post of pictures to do of a small Maryland town that is near and dear to me. It's not touristy or well-known, but I always try to find time to go there when I visit. See you soon.