Our first stop after leaving Steve's in West Chester, PA, was Kennett Square, about half an hour SW from his home. We wanted to do a quick explore of the town as it was a place suggested by Fred's brother, Jon. Since we would eventually visit Jon we thought it would be fun to tell him we stopped there, but it turns out we completely forgot to mention it! However, we did purchase some jam for the friends we would visit in Annapolis, and it turns out that one of them had a connection with Kennett Square from many, many years back!
From there we continued along our way to Baltimore to deliver a trunk full of items to our son's home. A week and a half later he and his family would be heading home to their house after ten weeks visiting with us and this drop off would make sure that everything returned to their home while still leaving room for four people in their car! Of course, we HAD to stop at The Charmery and get our favorite flavor ice cream, Maryland Mud. Oh yes, and I HAD to stop in at Ma Petite Shoe (where these beauties - scroll to see them - were purchased about a year ago) to see what was on sale. Wound up with a super soft leather pair of plum Mary Jane heels made by Earth Origins, same company that made my sandals, purchased locally where I live, and burgundy boots, purchased online.
From Hampden it was south to Annapolis, the capital of Baltimore. The last time we were there we likely had two children with us, easily 20 or so years ago. Our only recollection was of the Naval Academy, so we were looking forward to exploring with the eyes of newbies. Our first evening we dined at Reynolds Tavern in the historic old city. Following dinner we strolled to the harbor, walked through the grounds of the Naval Academy, and passed the capital building and governor's mansion on the way back to our car.
Our plan for Thursday was to explore neighborhoods in and around Annapolis and then head to visit friends formerly from our neighborhood in New York. I got a kick out of the traffic calming sign, meant to forewarn drivers of some obstacle in the road designed to slow the flow of traffic. As for the various neighborhoods we visited, none struck us as livable according to what we have come to love about our home in New York – being able to walk into town, having a local library, homes close enough to meet neighbors and feel like a connected neighborhood, water access for kayaking, and a local outdoor pool. We know those features work for us so we use them to gauge the livability of neighborhoods we explore, and we've been exploring up and down the northeast coast for upwards of ten or more years.
We were joining our friends at their home for lunch and intended to visit with them for about three hours. After chatting, lunch, a walk to the water, followed by relaxing in Adirondack chairs at water's edge and talking some more, it turned out to be a full six hour visit filled with catching up, politics, and neighborhood discussions.
Our home away from home was the comfortable Meadow Gardens Bed & Breakfast, and the breakfasts truly were scrumptious. An added perk was Hazel, a smallish Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, one of several small dogs we delightfully encountered during our week's road trip.
Friday morning, before heading to Delaware, we decided to explore one more area just south of Annapolis. And that's when we discovered Annapolis Cove and Bay Ridge, which Fred nicknamed "Shore Acres South." Nearby is Quiet Waters Park (which we didn't visit) and the Anne Arundel County Public Library (which we did visit.) We didn't measure distance so not sure these places were walkable, but a nice bicycle would certainly suffice in place of walking, and a shopping center with a Giant (food store in Maryland that sells the same store brand as Stop & Shop in our area) across from the Library. By our criteria, this is a livable, walkable neighborhood.
To drive to Delaware, our next visit, we had to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, described as a dual-span bridge because it is really two bridges, one for heading in either direction. There was so much traffic to Delaware that one lane of the Maryland-heading bridge was designated for Delaware-heading traffic, and that's the lane we wound up in. This is a BIG bridge. And we were inching forward in 30 minutes of traffic before actually crossing the bridge. The picture was taken from Annapolis Cove as we drove along the Bay road.