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Chesapeake City - a small town BIG on charm!

Chesapeake City, MDIf you haven't spent some time in Chesapeake City, MD lately - you're missing out! The town is actually split by the C&D canal, but most of the tourist attractions are on the south side.

A ferry was once required to cross the canal, but now the suspension bridge on Route 213 allows easy access. The bridge itself is a tourist attraction, as it's high enough to allow large ships to pass underneath. 

The town boast several well-known restaurants & bars including The Tap Room, The Bayard House and The Chesapeake Inn. Schaefer's Canal House (on the north side) will be reopening under new ownership shortly. Several restaurants offer water-side dining in warmer months - and it's always a treat when the large ships pass by!

Those Bus Trip Blues

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

I'm an independent traveler - give me a map and get out of my way! I like meandering through unfamiliar places, asking the locals for input on where to go, where to stay and where to eat.  Crowds make me nervous – and I avoid tourist traps like the proverbial plague.  I’ve been known to veer off main highways to make my way on unknown back roads – just to avoid sitting in traffic.  I’m also known for marching into kitchens, demanding better food or service. 

So why did I spend last week on a bus trip to Myrtle Beach, surrounded by women who were 20-40 years older than I?  Love. My mom loves traveling with her Red Hat group, and invited me to go with her. I went.  Didn’t even complain when we had to get up at 3am to catch a 6am bus (which finally arrived 2 hours late).

The speeding bus with harried bus driver (he had been stuck behind an accident), turned into where we were waiting, and sped by us without blinking. How he missed a group of 30 well-padded women wearing bright red and purple (and red hats!), jumping up and down amidst enough luggage to dress a small country, is beyond me.  He finally figured out his mistake and returned.

We loaded the luggage into the bus (the bus driver had a bad back) and claimed the seats that would be ours for the week. Mom insisted the “Fun” group sat near the back of the bus (can you tell she was a trouble-maker in school?) so back we trudged – carrying enough food to survive for a week. I couldn’t fit through the aisle with all my packages – but my cousin rescued me before I was overrun by anxious women wearing purple.

We took off to pick up the next group of Red Hatters – and I immediately flashed back to a cab ride in Boston many years ago as the driver alternately sped and slammed on the brakes for non-existent obstacles. I was suddenly grateful we hadn’t had a big breakfast!

INNOVATIVE NEW CHILDREN’S BOOK FEATURES MARYLAND’S EASTERN SHORE

Postcards from Mr. Pish Adventure Begins in Cambridge

Cambridge Books has just released Postcards from Mr. Pish, a new children’s book by K. S. Brooks.  It is currently available on Amazon.com and will become available through bookstores and other online venues soon.

Postcards from Mr. Pish is a unique children’s book about an adorable Jack Russell Terrier, Mr. Pish, as he travels cross-country.  The book features full-color photographs, documenting Mr. Pish’s grand adventure in postcards written to entertain and teach children about the United States and Canada.  Mr. Pish’s trip begins on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which is highlighted in photographs as well as text. 

“As we drove across the country, we discovered so many amazing things; it was like being a kid again, ” K. S. Brooks said.  “The Eastern Shore is home to so many truly extraordinary places I wanted to share.”

Teachers across the country are hailing Postcards from Mr. Pish as a valuable educational tool.  Elementary School Teacher Lynn Drayzen comments “Kids...and adults...will learn important details about each state as they join Mr. Pish on his cross country travels.”

Start a New Christmas Tradition!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Everyone loves a Christmas tradition - and it's never too late to add one more! How about an off-shore adventure to Hunt Valley, MD (just north of Towson) to visit the extravagant Christmas display at Valley View Farms? A long-time favorite for families, Valley View Farms offers 150 uniquely decorated and themed Christmas trees - every member of the family can choose their favorite! Valley View FarmsValley View FarmsSea Theme Tree: Cyndi and Kathryn enjoy a sea themed Christmas tree at Valley View Farms.Sea Theme Tree: Cyndi and Kathryn enjoy a sea themed Christmas tree at Valley View Farms.

Travel Deals to Lancaster, PA

According to The Baltimore Sun now's the time to get great deals in Lancaster, PA! The deals include free meals or a second night hotel stay for just over $20. There was also talk of a coupon book to use at the nearby outlet stores!

If you haven't been to Amish Country - it's a great road trip! Everything Amish is closed on Sunday - so plan carefully. There are buggy trips, farm tours, home-style cooking, Amish furniture & baked goods and more! There are several outlet malls and the ever popular amusement park "Dutch Wonderland", one of my childhood haunts (don't fret - I'm sure they've updated since then!)Check out http://www.padutchcountry.com/

Take your camera (but don't photograph the Amish) and enjoy the hills and the scenery! If you're very brave - take your bike! Enjoy!

Everything from Artists to Ghosts in Abingdon, Virginia!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Main Street, Abingdon, VAMain Street, Abingdon, VA
Looking for a vacation that’s close to home yet offers you unparalleled relaxation, fantastic countryside views, great food, eclectic art and maybe a ghost or two? Historical Abingdon, Virginia may be your perfect getaway retreat!

Abingdon, VAAbingdon, VA
Close your eyes and imagine gently sloping hills, dotted with sheep, cows, goats and the occasional llama. A small stream gurgles at the base of the hills, running beside an historic mill that made flour for families as early as 1790. See yourself drinking that first cup of morning coffee on the porch of a restored cabin, reveling in the laughter of the birds. The early morning mist settles below the peaks of the mountains and the calves frolic on the adjacent hill, racing each other across the green valley.

Later, when you’ve drunk your fill of beauty, serenity and coffee, you meander the four miles to the town that was originally named Wolf Hills, after wolves attacked Daniel Boone’s dogs when he camped there on his first expedition to Kentucky in 1760. In 1778 the town was incorporated as Abingdon, after Martha Washington’s ancestral home in England. Today the town of Abingdon, Virginia offers us history, ghosts, theatre, music, art, shopping, dining, and the great outdoors – the perfect place to unwind, play, and rediscover the joy of living. I’m smiling as I type, remembering the three blissful days spent in the foothills of Appalachia.

Poinsettia Lovers' Heaven

Santa TreeSanta Tree

Homestead Growers/Gardens

By: John K Johnson

The Mid-Shore Homeschool Cooperative took a field trip last Monday to Homestead Growers, to see one of the largest independent, single-location garden centers in the United States. Homestead Growers is the wholesale, growing division of of Homestead Gardens. The wholesale division is not open to the public, but educational tours can be arranged.

Homestead - The big picture

Homestead - The big picture

This is one of the three growing areas for poinsettias at Homestead.

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