Eastern Shore

Following our recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg, we ended up in St. Michael's, a somewhat swanky little town along the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  My love's cousin was getting married there, and my mother in law rented a large house on the Miles river for a week so it turned into a bit of a mini-reunion.  Lots of pool time with cousins and a walk around town with everyone.  Downtime at the house working on puzzles and reading and eating and talking.

I brought my generally-neglected yoga mat and took it out onto the dock almost every morning for some early yoga on the water.  One morning I saw a bald eagle.  Often I saw great blue herons and various other egrets and herons.  It felt good.  As yoga always, always does.  I injured my knee back in the spring, playing a long jump game with the kids at art class.  Because when one was a somewhat decent long jumper in high school and the kids she works with love a certain game called 'jump the river', whereupon the 'river' (the space between two jump ropes- this is a super high tech game here) keeps getting wider and wider, it naturally makes sense that one would join in.  So I did.  And I did really well!  Hurrah!  Until I landed a jump and immediately felt my left knee totally buckle.  And then I proceeded to roll around in pain working really hard on not saying all the very bad words that so wanted to fly out of my mouth.

I couldn't put weight on it for 3 days.  It was swollen.  I went to the doctor and she determined nothing was torn but likely I had a soft tissue injury somewhere in there.  Watch it, she said.  Baby it, she said.  Might take a while, she said.

Well.  A while, indeed.  I've done the same simple yoga routine for years and heavily featured as a transitional pose is a deep squat and then a runner's lunge- neither of which I can really do right now as my knee just doesn't want to bend that way.  Boo hiss.  Turns out high school was not all that recently.  20 years is a long time to be out of practice in a track and field sport.  Sigh.  But still, I can adapt the poses, and most of them are fine, so I muddle through.

Anyway, back to the trip.

Yoga.  Town.  I bought myself a new hat.  A hat with whales on it.  We drove to a state park along the Chesapeake and went for a swim in the big big bay. We were so much closer to the ocean than we usually are at home, but still I wasn't feeling the 1.5 hour drive there and back.  So, the bay.  It was good.  Quieter.  More rocks than sand beneath our toes.  On our way back to the house from the bay we stopped and got a bunch of steamed crabs (As one does when one is in Maryland. Well, if one fancies crustaceans anyway, which these ones most certainly do!) and then stopped at a produce stand for corn and peaches and melons.  Picked up some local beer and, since the store had what I'd consider a crap selection of ciders, also grabbed a very interesting foursome of local mead (pretty yum!).  Back to the house for a messy and delicious 'cocktail hour' of sorts.  Not feeling very well, Claire's great-grandmother stayed back at the house instead of going to the rehearsal, and she surprised us all by joining us for crab and corn and afterwards, s'mores around the fire pit.  We joked that she was feeling fine- she just knew where the real party was at was all.  It was a sweet time.

Lots of solitaire on the porch.

One morning I took a long solo paddle in a borrowed kayak and meandered up the river and into the mouth of the bay, watching waterfowl and boats and curiously gazing upon the coastal homes and fancy sailboats.  I paddled around thinking "I could live on a boat for a while.  A month, maybe."

Saturday morning the skies opened up after a week of gorgeous weather and still, I braved the rain to check out the local tailgate market because that is what one does when one of one's favorite things to do in a new town (aside from eating seafood, if available, and sometimes checking out the library and going for walks- yep, I'm a wild one!) is to wander around the local market.  I'm glad I went.  I got tomatoes for the little miss to munch on on the ride home the next day, micro basil greens to top just about anything with, blackberries, and jalapeños (of course we came home to find ours were ready as well, but that's alright- I happen to be a big fan of pickled jalapeños).  A couple days earlier I had gone into this most incredible little shop called Agave Juice.  It is the downstairs of a neat Victorian home and essentially it is a juice shop (with loads of cold-pressed juices made daily and bottled to go) along with carrying a selection of fair-trade and handcrafted jewelry, baskets, and housewares.  There were bowls and baskets filled to the brim with ginger and lemongrass and fruits and veggies of all kinds.  It smelled amazing.  I came away with three different juices and a house-made unsweetened cinnamon vanilla almond milk that first day and tried four more on Saturday, stopping in before going to the market.  I'm not usually a big juice drinker, but these were amazing.  Plus the owner was telling me about how she is committed to being completely plastic-free and that kind of sealed the deal and made me want to throw my support her way, even if just a little.  That wee bottle in my hand, pictured above, was a "shot" of ginger-turmeric-cayenne in a bit of orange juice.  So good.

Later that day we got all dressed up and went to the wedding.  I even painted my nails and put on some eyeliner.  Sitting here typing this right now, my nails are pretty gross, as upon returning home I pretty much sunk my hands into the soil for 3 days in a row.  But for a while there, for maybe at least a day, they were pretty and red and shiny.  No kids at the reception, so Claire stayed back at the house with her younger cousins and also an older cousin who came down to hang with the younger kiddos so the mamas and papas could go out and play.  Papa bear was a dancing machine pretty much all night long, and I played along as best I could.  A delicious dinner of crab cakes (of course), dancing, a couple gin and tonics.... we had a good, fun evening.  I told him we may need to start crashing weddings as it seems a pretty wonderful outlet for him.

Here's to love!


  1. I just love how if you look for it, lots of small towns will have a health food store, maybe fresh juice or something lovely and fresh, and tailgate markets! We are headed to a small town in VA soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing what gems I can find. :)

    1. Yes! I love seeking these things out when we travel. When we were in Maine a few years ago some of my favorite memories were a little weekday market, picking berries at a little preserve, and visiting local tailgate markets. Such a sweet way to get a feel for a space, I think. Hope you have a great time in Virginia! xo


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