Monday, September 29, 2014


I'm back after an insane work week where I was all but sleeping at the office. When the real world intrudes, there is sadly no time left over for the blogosphere or fabulousness. There are only hours til deadlines that pass entirely too quickly, endless documents to edit and format, and copious amounts of caffeine - which, since I don't drink coffee, meant that I consumed more Coke Zero last week than my body wants to deal with in an entire season.

Squire Andy talks about
Colonial Annapolis
Before things got particularly crazy, I got together with my friends Dave and Mari (of the hiking expedition this summer - you'll see them referenced a lot, as they are some of my best friends), who had decided to have one last hoorah before the season took off. Like me, they are performers (that's actually how we met), and with Mari's show opening this past weekend, Dave's in November, and mine in December, we wanted to get in one last weekend of fun before we had to turn ourselves over to our respective stage obligations.

Fortunately, this involved no planning and very little decision making on my part. This made it an even better vacation than I could have hoped for!

We drove down to Annapolis in the morning for a walking tour of historic Annapolis. Now, I had done this (maybe even this exact tour) when I was in the 4th grade, as does every 9 year old in the state of Maryland, since that's when they teach us all about Maryland History. But since that was more years ago than I care to admit to, it was a nice refresher.

A Colonial inn on Church Circle,
complete with flower vendor on the sidewalk
The tour included St. Anne's Episcopal Church (one of the oldest in the state), the state house, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Chambers for the House of Delegates
The Chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy
I think the biggest shocker for me was going onto the campus of the Naval Academy. I remember a time when going to Annapolis meant drooling over the handsome cadets looking all polished in their white uniforms.

Now they all look painfully young...

The tomb of John Paul Jones beneath
the chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy

At the end of the tour, we were all starving and thirsty, so we ducked into the general store along the main drag and asked for a restaurant recommendation. I always prefer to ask the locals where they go to eat, and avoid the touristy spots - you inevitably get better food with less hype. We were steered across the bridge to Davis' Pub (which was actually featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) and sat outside to an amazing lunch of BLT Deviled Eggs and Chipotle Habanero Pulled Pork Sandwiches - very messy, but worth every bite!

We had to walk off everything that we'd eaten, so we made our way back to thank the man at the candy counter of the general store for his recommendation, where I couldn't resist buying a giant turtle pecan cluster. So yummy!

The boaters took advantage of the gorgeous sunny day
And, of course, us being us, we had to stop in The Spice & Tea Exchange, since Dave & Mari are both incredible cooks who like to experiment with spices and even grow their own herbs. And I couldn't resist buying more tea, even though I haven't made it through my stash from the last time I went to their Georgetown location! But honestly, how is a girl to pass up Coconut Oolong tea?

Then we bolted up to Baltimore, because Dave had signed us up for the Fells Point Wicked History Pub Crawl. Our guide, Cliff, was a riot, and even though I've been to Fells Point many times, there were definitely some revelations from our tour! Our first stop was Sticky Rice, which in its earlier incarnation as a brothel was where Billie Holiday got her start singing!
Once upon a time, this was a bordello
where Billie Holiday used to sing
Next up was One Eyed Mike's, a Grand Marnier Bar. We couldn't believe how quickly the cost of a shot skyrocketed between the bottom shelf GM and the next step up!

Who knew there were so many kinds of Grand Marnier?
Then we were off to The Horse You Came In On, known for its connection to Edgar Allan Poe. You can get completely lost in the hilarious sayings and posters on every wall. While we were there, I tagged us all on Facebook. Minutes later, we turned around to find a big group of our theater buddies had snuck up behind us - they were having dinner a few doors down before going to see a show in the neighborhood. That's Baltimore for you - a big small town.
A favorite (and final) haunt of Edgar Allan Poe

Do the flags give away that
this is an Irish pub?
Our final stop was The Cat's Eye Pub, which at one time allegedly had IRA connections. Whether it was the deafening music we could hear from the street, or the fact that I come from a long line of Irish Protestants, we opted to skip this one, and went back to Sticky Rice for some Japanese cuisine! Delicious!

Entirely too much food, a day full of walking and history - it was a great way to kick off the autumn season!

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