A excerpt from my notebook on Sunday, March 11th:
I’m sitting in the back of a Navigator, watching the tree trunks of the woods fly by on either side, the white wood of the fences and the bright green of the pine trees against the cloudless, light-blue background. Now we’re headed over a bridge, and I can see the boats out in the channel and the sprawling bridge in front of us, the open green space on the banks of the shoreline.
I feel so relaxed after spending the night in St. Michaels – a small bed and breakfast town on a peninsula on the eastern shore of Maryland. Last night I fell asleep in front of the fire – the soft orange glow on the ceiling and the brick walls of my room (Five Gables Inn & Spa). For a moment it reminded me of the previous weekend in Syracuse, but I remember pulling the sheet up and telling myself to stay there in the moment, not drift off from the current experience. I turned on to my side and faced the fire. My eyes grew heavy.
Earlier in the evening I had sweat out any stress or tension in the sauna and steam room, the toxins all rushing out through my pores. I had rivers of sweat streaming down the back of my head – there’s a particular feeling of freshness and rejuvenation that comes along with that experience. I took a dip in the lukewarm pool, chatted with a new friend and learned all about the Peace Corps. Pretty amazing stuff, no question. My guess is that both the volunteers and those they assist end up walking away better people.
The town of St. Michaels puts forth a colonial feel, short fences and a quiet atmosphere on the water near the Chesapeake Bay. Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon we walked through the streets, and I could hear the birds in the trees as we approached the Cannonball House, a house damaged during the War of 1812 (apparently the stories are quite embellished, though). That’s the thing with history – sometimes you can’t believe everything you hear (second-graders learning about Christopher Columbus, for example).
Overall it has been a fantastic trip – I really enjoyed getting to know the eastern side of Maryland – Annapolis and St. Michaels were certainly pleasant towns and I look forward to returning for longer than an evening. The sights of sailboats in the Chesapeake has me aching for summer, and I feel fine today knowing the time changed early this morning, that the patio furniture can start to make its way back outside.
In another hour I’ll be in Baltimore again, where I plan to have a beer and check out the St. Patty’s festivities down by the harbor. Then I’m cruising south to D.C. for a few days. It’s so nice out again today – the windows will definitely be down.
Photos of St. Michaels and the Five Gables Inn & Spa: