Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Destination: Chesapeake Bay
When I was moving to New York City years ago (can't believe that was years ago already!) my parents and I stopped by Baltimore on our drive to NYC. Gman was living there at the time. We had always wanted to visit Annapolis and eat Maryland soft shell crabs. It just seemed like something you were supposed to do. One of those all-American experiences. Annapolis was darling and we enjoyed just walking around looking in shop windows. As hunger pangs began to strike we searched in vain for soft shell crabs, or any crabs for that matter. It was September and decidedly not crab season. Who knew? We drove all around Maryland before finally finding one side-of-the-road seafood place that had some frozen ones. We bought them out of desperation.
A few weeks ago my parents called me and said they wanted to come visit and take a boat ride out on Chesapeake Bay. So this boat ride would be experience round two. It was the beginning of crab season and the the beginning of perfect boating weather. We rented a Sea Ray for the day and headed out on a beautiful Saturday morning. The water was dark and murky compared to what we were used to in Florida. It was colder too, with the wind. The Bay was a lot larger than I expected, I mean huge, and it took two hours to cross a small portion. It was littered with sail boats racing and fisherman patiently waiting for their prize catch.
Our destination was St. Michael's where we heard one finds the best freshly caught crabs on the Bay. Everyone I mentioned our little plan to said, "Oh! You HAVE to go to St. Michael's for crabs." So we arrived in the early afternoon ready to conquer some tasty animals *editor's note: I was the only one not conquering as I'm not a seafood lover. Besides, someone had to take pictures right?
We liked the open air vibe of the picnic table set up at The Crab Claw Restaurant. Not to mention it was the first restaurant we saw and we were starving. What is it about boating that gives me the munchies? Maryland Blue Crabs were bountiful on the menu as well as crab cakes and other medleys of seafood. It was chilly out on the water (you'll find out how chilly in the What I Wore post later...) and blazing hot on land in comparison. I wasn't prepared for the seemingly extreme change. But we enjoyed sitting at a picnic table watching my dad diligently pick through a pile of sea creatures. Live gospel music could be heard coming from the near distance and it gave the dock a nostalgic tone.
After almost two hours there, we planned on stretching our legs with a walk through town. But our time was cut short but the impending thunderstorms that threatened to keep us from getting back to our home base. Our next plan to was to swing by Annapolis to again browse shop windows and find some new treasures and maybe a pint or two. But the storms were quickly following us and created less than desirable choppy waters. The boat ride back was rough. We had a quick dinner at LeveL in Annapolis then headed home. In my family the tell tale sign of a successful day is a quiet car ride home, as everyone is passed out from too much fun. Despite a change of plans due to weather, this car ride was one of the quietest.