Saturday, April 19, 2008


Well, after making fun of the commercialized idea of a babymoon, I find myself on a luxurious and heavenly one of my own. Ben and I have spent the past three nights in an old inn at St. Michael's -- a teeny town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Some impressions so you can better imagine it:
-The inn is made of white clapboard houses (mannors)-- the old one dates back before the turn of the century -- with black roofs and little porches opening out to the river
-Adirondack chairs scattered all over a bright green lawn that spreads to the sea wall and sparkling water beyond
-Pairings of Canada geese clustered around the grass in the mornings, mallards in the afternoon, swallows and sparrows -- all the birds darting and dancing and wooing for Spring
-Spring! daffodils, narcissus, juicy red tulips, blooming rosemary, crab apple trees dense and bursting, red bud trees, even blooming lilacs, and marsh grasses hemming them all in
-A brick driveway with grass peeking through the seams -- a quaint lain to the inn from main street
-Tea time outside -- little glass apothecary jars of loose tea to smell -- pear and the most fragrant earl gray. Ben's discovered he likes Lapsong (gross -- Eli, you and he can have it together!)  Little scones -- airy, crusty perfection with homemade raspberry jam
-A shed full of bikes to cruise on -- we tried a tandem, but it turns out I like steering, braking and balancing on my own bicycle with my own personal view of the road.  It was tricky but we didn't crash.
-And the water... I love the ocean. And i love the beach.  A river satisfies in a completely different way, though -- soothing, silent, rippling, sparkling, silk-smooth, wind-textured, iridescent, full of sky and sun and weather. I have loved my mornings sitting out looking at the water.
-The town is a one street down -- a few blocks of stores and the rest beautiful old houses snugged between the harbor and marshes a few blocks away. We discovered that stores and restaurants are really only open wednesday-sunday (or thursday-sunday), a fact which doesn't seem to strike anyone here as odd, and most everywhere closes by 5... Though there are a few kitschy stores in the mix there are also some gems. Here are links to my two favorites:

* (a Paris to the Moon -- one of my favorite costa mesa stores: -- who has spread it's wings!) Drool-inducing. I wanted to move right in to the middle of it and stay there. Ben was patient...

* -- this store we visited 3 times yesterday! more than anything else, it is aesthetically pleasing with its large glass jars of homemade candy, bottles of silver-ball cake toppings, jams, honeys, oils -- all eye candy.   The menu is so delectable that I glued it in my journal! The woman who runs it, Jennifer, is nutty and wonderful! She does *everything* herself and seems inexhaustible -- she's there 7 days a week, knows everyone in town, has two children and a husband who owns the big crab restaurant in town.  Crazy.  I am definitely a big fan. Her slogans (printed on pink/green and black/white bumper stickers) are "get fresh" and "get fancy" -- yes, fresh and fancy she is!

It's like Ben and I have been drugged here. We have slept somewhere between 9 and 11 hours every night, taken naps during the day and still been for more sleep.  I guess one could call that relaxation or unwinding.  I am off to wake him so we can enjoy our last breakfast in town, hit the farmer's market, say goodby to lovely Jennifer and head back toward the Bay Bridge. We've decided that though this will probably be our last child, we will take Babymoons for the rest of our lives.

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