Hello Friends and Family,

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Enjoying the Eastern Shore

On Monday, my parents, my sister (who lives in Delaware), my aunt (Mom's baby sister) and I planned a cruise to Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit overcast and rainy, so the cruise operator decided not to go — but did not notify us nor even have anyone in the office to let us know. How disappointing!

Serendipitously, we noticed that the boat that cruises to Tangier Island was loading passengers and had space so we got tickets and hopped on board. The ride over takes about 75 minutes and was quite pleasant — the inclement weather was not making waves.

Tangier Island is tiny — only about three miles by two miles and in habited by about 700 people. Interestingly, they speak an Elizabethan dialect — hearkening back to the time when the island was discovered and settled by Europeans. Most of the people who are employed work at crabbing as evidenced by the stacks and stacks of crap pots when you enter the tiny harbor.

There are a couple of restaurants — we had a nice family-style lunch at Hilda Crockett's Chesapeake House (which is also a bed-and-breakfast establishment) — and shops where we browsed the small selection of tourist items. The roads are very narrow and most of the vehicles were golf carts. Most of the residents have cars but they keep them at Chrisfield, the harbor where we caught the cruise. We took a tour (it only takes 15 minutes) and I asked our tour guide if she knows everyone on the island — she said, "yes...too well".

Because of the weather, I did not take any photos but you can follow this link to see what Tangier Island looks like.

Tuesday, the weather was gorgeous, which was fortunate since I planned to play golf at at a very nice course called Lighthouse Sound just across the bay from Ocean City. My mom went with me, just riding in the cart, which was the first time she had ever been on a golf course. She introduced herself to my playing partners as "Mom" and that's what they called her during the round. She said she really enjoyed it and I enjoyed having her join me in my favorite avocation.

After golf, we went over to Ocean City and rode the Tram up to end of boardwalk and back. In last week's issue, I lamented the changes that Ocean City has undergone since I was young — and I haven't changed my mind — but there are still small reminders of what it used to be like.

Wednesday was another rainy day (supposedly they have been having a drought but you couldn't prove it by me based on my two weeks there) but that didn't stop us from driving up to Fenwick Island, Bethany Beach and Rehobeth Beach. Delaware has done a wonderful job of preserving stretches of undeveloped beach similar to, but much larger (and wilder) than the tiny sample pictured above from Ocean City.

Since Father's Day was coming up a few days after my return home, I treated my Dad to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House. The restaurant is located at Riddle Farm which was the home of Man O War and War Admiral. The farm is being developed for upscale housing and thus naturally includes a golf course. Ruth's Chris is located in the club house which actually contains timbers from the original barn from the days when it was a working horse farm. Dinner was terrific but a bit sad since it was the last day of my visit.

The flight home was uneventful and now I'm recovering from my trip — including watching the U.S. Open golf tournament. Now I don't feel so bad when I miss-hit a shot — right Phil? I had a wonderful visit with my folks, my sisters and all my Eastern Shore relatives — but it's always good to come home, regardless of where home is.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com