This weekend Xiaoli, Ting, and I hopped in the car to head south to visit good friends Andy, Vicki, Angela, and Grace. It was the perfect idea for a weekend getaway since Maryland is very close, and we enjoy their company very much.
We were rewarded for our three hour drive by getting hugs from Angela and Grace at the door, and a nice dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. I am not normally a fan of the Shack, as seafood is not my bag, however they now have ribs. And for a place that is not a rib joint, they were great ribs!
It brought to mind another Maryland friend who I have not seen in a great many years, Mark Easterday. Mark and I were shipmates in the Navy, and Mark used to tell me stories about a restaurant called the Corner Stable, and how great the ribs were. One time I got to go home with Mark, and me his family, and they took me there as a treat. The restaurant was very casual, red checkered table cloths and paper plates, but i can say I was not lied to about the ribs. To me they were truly Baltimore's best ribs as I remember. And after that, every time Mark went home for a weekend, I would come down to my bunk to find a little foil care package of ribs. If you read this Mark, I still remember.
Today, we woke up to a nice breakfast of egg sandwiches, and then headed into Baltimore for a little sight seeing.We spent a little time walking around Inner Harbor, looking in shops and enjoying sidewalk performers. But the dormant history buff in me awoke and prevailed upon the family to make the trip to Fort McHenry, which for so many years guarded the entrance to Baltimore. The historian in me is very interested in the fort's role in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, and the Waffler in me enjoys the fact that my nation's national anthem is sung to the tune of an old drinking song.
We hopped a water taxi to Fell's Point, and took in a little history there while waiting for the boat to Fort McHenry. On our next trip here, I think I would like to visit the London Coffee House, where I understand the Maryland Navy was chartered during the early days of the American Revolution.
|View from the fort|
Fort McHenry was very interesting, and also provides some of the most scenic overlooks of the harbor. The fort has a very interesting history, stretching even to World War One, but they also delve in to the history of the Star Spangled Banner, and how it moved from patriotic song to National Anthem. I was also interested to learn that most countries did not have a national anthem until the Olympics became popular!
After we got back to Inner Harbor, it was near time to head back to our friend's home, so I did not have time to go aboard the USS Constellation, but I could not be late for my first time trying the famous Maryland Crab Cakes!
Vicki has been telling me about the crab cakes here every since they moved down here, and was very excited to take us out to try them on this trip. She knows that I am not a huge seafood buff, but truly felt the crab cakes from Box Hill Pizzeria in Abingdon would make a convert out of me. Well, I'll try any thing once, so I gave them a shot. The build up was intense, as the restaurant is quite popular and we needed to wait for a seat, all the while being tempted by amazing smells. They did not convert me, but they were a huge hit with Xiaoli and Ting, and I find that soon I may need to avail myself of the FedEx service offered by Boxhill.
Tomorrow, our trip must come to an end, as do all good things. But we thank our friends for hosting us, and hope that we can visit them again soon.