My contract with Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was as a training consultant, and I agreed to two weeks of teaching: one in September that I already mentioned. The conclusion of my contract was fulfilled last week in Annapolis at the VFW training center. I was able to fly in a few days early, and my friend Will – who lives in Rhode Island – was able to fly down and meet me. Will is half Italian and we were happy to find Arturo’s Trattoria a chef-owned restaurant only a few minutes from the airport. It is likely in the top 3 Italian restaurants I’ve ever visited in my life. We tried the squid ink pasta – it’s as black as midnight and so delicious.
The next day we headed to Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis. The day was sunny but windy, and right there on the Chesapeake Bay, the wind was biting. We went for a walk along the trails and beaches anyway and the wintry land was beautiful.
We were pleased of course to find two lighthouses that day. Both appeared very small on the horizon. The adorable Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse is surrounded by scaffolding and is hopefully receiving renovations. It’s not as small as it looked to my eyes though, as the light perches atop a three-story house. It was built in 1883 and currently has a white light that flashes every 6 seconds. We then found the Baltimore Harbor Light, which to a glance looked like a white blur on the horizon, but thanks to my great Tamron lens, revealed itself to be another lighthouse. Commissioned in 1908, this lighthouse was difficult to build because of the soft bottom of the bay, and its foundations had to be sunk very deep.
The lens also allowed us to get a better look at some local wildlife: a vulture and then a fox!
We climbed into the pickup truck that Will had rented (That’s all they had! We pretended to be cowboys.) and crossed the long bridge. The bridge climbs rather high in the middle and is right over open water at that point, causing my tummy to get a little squeamish. Soon we were back on land, at Kent Island. We took an exit and next went to explore Terrapin Nature Park, but not before I noticed a sign that said “Blackwater Distillery” and made a mental note of it. Parking was free and abundant and the sun was still shining. In the trees, the wind diminished, and as it was later in the day, I began feeling warmer.
Aptly named, we readily saw more wildlife at the Terrapin Nature Park. The trail system was longer and with more variety than Sandy Point SP. We walked along the beach, yes, but also in the trees, and in meadows, and beside ponds.
We were hungry, and close to the state of Delaware. Neither Will nor I had ever been in that state, and we thought we’d take care of both shortcomings at once by eating dinner in Delaware. Off we went in search of the state’s capital city, Dover. Will found a Barbecue restaurant that had good reviews so we went, and got in line at the door. The staff practically ignored us. We waited politely. And waited. Then the staff absolutely ignored us. More people came and got into line, and we began exchanging glances with the folks in front of us, still politely silent. More waiting. I asked Will if we should give them more time or try another place, and he suggested giving them a few more minutes. Several of us dropped the politeness eventually and started rolling our eyes and whining. The people behind us were getting restless, and one of them started talking. “I’ll bet they’re busy,” she guessed, “since it’s their last day. This is my favourite restaurant and I know a lot of people are coming by as their way of saying goodbye.” Aha!! As the story came out, we discovered that by pure coincidence, we had dropped in on Where Pigs Fly on their last day after being a community favourite for over 26 years. A woman came to the group of us at the door and apologized for the wait, and the lady in line behind us said, “Thanks Kelly.” After the woman left she explained, “She’s the owner. She must be heartbroken.” We were finally seated, and when we were, the food came very fast and was excellent barbecue. I’m glad to have had a chance to participate in that little bit of special Delaware history.
Sated, we explored more of the state of Delaware. From what I could see it is rather flat and rural, and interestingly, reminded me of Grand Isle in Vermont – possibly because it is another flat spot surrounded by water. Will took us to Bowers Beach just as the sky began to pink up. We walked to the shore of Delaware Bay and as we did the sky decided it was time to put on a show. We were drowned in colour and I was silenced in awe as I watched it all happen. Sorry for bombarding you with sunset photos, but it was a spectacular sunset.
During dinner I had noticed that one of my leather leaf earrings was missing. One of the ones in the photo at the top of this post. I bought the earrings at Faerieworlds several years ago and have never seen them for sale again. I truly love those earrings. We searched the truck, my purse, my coat, in case it got hung up on something. On our way back to Annapolis, we stopped again at a couple of places where the earring may have come off while I was pulling off my scarf and coat, but it was dark, and the earrings perfectly matched all the other beautiful brown leaves on the ground. We made a valiant effort to search, using our phone flashlights, but I had to concede defeat. I am so sad about that!