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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Three Days Away

The last time we were in Oxford, Maryland was 1975.  Oxford is a very small village (pop. 607) on the eastern shore of Maryland along the Tred Avon River which empties into the Choptank River which flows into the Chesapeake Bay.  After 44 years, we thought we should visit again.  This is a post card from that visit.   . . .

Oxford was officially founded in 1683.  In 1694 it was mandated by Maryland legislation the first and only port of call for the eastern shore of Maryland.  Anne Arundel (later called Annapolis) would become the second port of call and was located on the western shore of the Bay.

The quickest way to get there from western Maryland where we live is to take the Bay Bridge over the Chesapeake Bay, that is, if it's not a summer weekend when cars traveling to the Atlantic beaches of Maryland can cause miles of back-up. . . .

That is why we waited until a mid-week in September.  We decided it would be a nice way to celebrate my husband's birthday on the 11th.  With the "invention" of the internet since 1975 I was able to see inside the Inns and B&Bs.  We'd previously stayed at the Robert Morris Inn, but when I saw this one, now called Sandaway Suites & Beach, we elected to try it out. . . .

We were too early to check in so we parked our car at Sandaway and walked along the Strand to a restaurant called Capsize for lunch.  We saw the ferry returning to Oxford that we would be taking the next day. . . .


We had wonderful weather the whole trip which allowed us to eat outside along the waterfront. . . .

We were to experience our first disappointment, however, when we discovered that the Scottish Highland Creamery, where we were planning to get ice cream, was closed!  As we walked through the village we would find that the Oxford Museum, Mystery Loves Company book shop, and Treasure Chest gift shop were only open on weekends now that the season was over.  

We weren't disappointed with our walk.  We enjoyed the quaint, distinctive houses. . . .

Many had picket fences. . . .




I loved the front garden of this house. . . .


This house was for sale for $895,000. . . .


We saw several paintings using the unique pickets. . . .



The Oxford Museum had a lovely little garden next to it. . . .

And just down the block we saw the Oxford Market. . . .
It was OPEN and advertised out front that they carried the Scottish Highland Creamery ice cream!

We each bought a cone and crossed the street to the Town Park and sat on a bench listening to the silence.  Only the waves lapping along the shore of the Tred Avon River could be heard. . . .

In the other direction my husband was using his camera's telescopic feature to see what was on that piece of land jutting out into the river. . . .


It was the restaurant we would visit for supper!. . . .

It was 3:00 now so we decided to walk back to Sandaway and sit under the trees along the river there until we could get into our room at 4:00. . . .

When we have a choice we choose old house inns.  Here is the history of the house. . . .


I must say the extra we paid to stay here instead of the Robert Morris Inn was well worth it just for their lawn and the trees and the breeze and the chairs and the view.  The little house down by the water was an indoor sitting area with snacks and drinks for guests. . . .

After awhile we did some exploring.  My husband went to see what this tree was all about. . . .

There was a path that led under the hanging branches. . . .

It wasn't just one tree.  It was several! . . .

In addition to the rooms in the main house, you could rent rooms in the separate cottages. . . .

Our room was in the back on the second floor just under that fire escape to the third floor. . . .

Many rooms had their own screened-in porch.  We had one also, but it was on the first floor, right corner.  It was especially nice once the mosquitoes came out in early evening. . . .




There was a cozy lounge on the first floor. . . .

Besides books and puzzles you could find coffee, water, and snacks. . . .

We headed over to Doc's Sunset Grille for supper. . . .


We had the sea birds to entertain us while we (and they) waited for our meals. . . .



As we finished our meal the sun was dropping lower in the horizon. . . .

We got back to Sandaway in time to sit in the lawn chairs and enjoy the spectacular colors!. . . .


Our room, according to the 1975 brochure had two twin beds and the bathroom was across the hall.  It cost $16.64, including tax, for the night.  Now it had a comfortable king-size bed and the hall to the bathroom was incorporated into the room.  It had this glorious tub. . . .

This is me in the tub. . . .

We are early risers and our breakfast basket would not be delivered to our room until 8:00 a.m. so we spent the time exploring the river as the sun peeked over the inn. . .

My husband captured the early morning tide lapping at the rocks. . . .


   
                 

The day began foggy and cloudy, but it would clear by the time we headed for the ferry. . . .
As you can read on the sign, the ferry is thought to be the oldest privately-operated ferry service still in service.  It began in 1683. . . .

We were ready to explore the back roads of Talbot County. . . .

We drove to the end of Tilghman Island.  In the distance is the western shore of Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay. . . .

We stopped in St. Michaels for lunch.  Both restaurants I was interested in were closed, so we just grabbed a bite in a nondescript cafe.  My husband visited the Classic Motor Museum. . . .

...while I walked through town and stopped in shops along the way.  This was an interesting tableau outside one shop. . . .

We made our way back to the Ferry landing.  They said they'd see us, so we didn't have to do anything.  The point of the ferry was to save time driving.  The county is mostly finger inlets so to get from Oxford to St. Michaels is twenty miles, but only seven miles via ferry.  As it was, they were bringing over two cars. . . .

We rested up for our special birthday dinner at the Robert Morris Inn.  Here is what the brochure from 1975 had to say about it:

.....It was built prior to 1710 by ships carpenters, with wooden pegged paneling, ships nails and hand hewn beams.  In 1730 an English trading company bought the house for a residence for Robert Morris who represented the firm's shipping and business interests in Oxford.....Robert Morris died in 1750 as a result of an ironic accident; wadding from a ship's guns being fired in his honor struck his arm and proved fatal.....At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Robert Morris, Jr., was made partner in the Philadelphia firm he had joined as a boy.  When few would risk money on the new concept of a United States, he used his entire savings to help finance the Continental Army and became a close friend of George Washington who depended on him to direct the financing of the war.


Morris's house was added on to and became an Inn around 1800.  When we stayed there a basic, very plain room was $12.48 and we had to share a bathroom.  Today those rooms with ensuite bathrooms mid-week with a full breakfast cost $160. . . .

In 2010 British Master Chef Mark Salter and business partner Ian Fleming bought the inn and began serving gourmet meals.  I had an excellent dijon mustard and herb-crusted wild rockfish with chive potato puree, steamed vegetables with a delicious chive lemon butter sauce. . . .

My husband had their seafood platter:  crab cake, cream of crab soup, smoked bluefish pate crostini, steamed baby shrimp, battered cod, fried oysters. . . .

I'd mentioned it was my husband's birthday to the waitress so when we ordered a slice of Maryland's official cake, Smith Island cake, the chef added his flair to the plate. . . .


The sun was just going down as we walked back to Sandaway. . . .

The next morning we had our breakfast basket on the porch again. . . .

...and watched the boats go by.  This one was checking his crab nets. . . .

Then we packed up and left for Easton.  It's a lovely town, but not much to do.  We did visit the library and walk through the historical society's garden. . . .


We stopped for lunch (our leftovers from the restaurant meals and breakfast basket) at the Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area picnic area.  We had hoped to hike some of the trails, but it was 95 degrees by then. . . .
We stopped in Baltimore on our way back to visit with one of our sons and his wife and two of our grandchildren and had supper at Dangerously Delicious Pies.  They were!

Here are more photos of Sandaway and Oxford:  Photos

10 comments:

  1. What a nice getaway for your husband's birthday, Cathy. I have many happy memories of St Michaels, but have never been to Oxford. My husband and I used to go by boat there from my sister's cottage near Reedville, Va. It was a long happy trip on the Potomac.

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    1. What a wonderful memory you have of your sister. That whole area is very much about the water. Most of the houses along the water (and there is A LOT of shoreline) have piers.

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  2. OH WOW I am breathelss with this glorious post how amazing Sandaway is incredible history and wow what a wonderful place to meander all around . Love the rooms, the tub mnd basket delivered each morning. Love the ferry ride and the photos Cathy , keep me spellbound how you do it all .... you should go into the business for sure.. but know that is a joke, but your blog is the best on the internet seriously it is... love the dinner and the cake looks delish food too. I love the lapping waves. THANK YOU FOR THAT wow listened to it over and over. total fairy rale days and surely worth the traffic of any kind once you got there. Know Ken had a wonderful birthday ending with seeing your beautiful family .. So happy for this trip for you and for me to to be part of thank you for this beautiful gift. Much Love, and gratitude for all you do, Merri

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    1. I love old house inns just for that reason--the history. Fortunately, we went at a time that there was no traffic crossing the Bay Bridge. Before the bridge people would take a steam ship across to that area, then a train to the Atlantic beaches. Later they had car ferries. It wasn't until 1952 that the bridge was built. They added another span in 1973 and now are talking about a 3rd span because of the traffic.

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  3. What an utterly charming place this is. So sorry some of the places you'd planned to include were closed. This seems early, but it happens here too. Already our seasonal supplementary coast path link busses have ceased, yet this is a splendid time of year to walk the coast path and many people do just that. It doesn't seem to have stopped you exploring and having a lovely time though. I love the painted picket fences. Belated wishes for a Happy Birthday to your husband.

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  4. What a lovely time you spent to celebrate Ken's birthday. I enjoyed reading about the history, the pictures of the charming homes & made my mouth drool thinking of the creamery ice cream. Thank you for sharing your adventure!

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  5. This sounds like just the kind of get away my husband and I enjoy. Today we went up to a spot on a lake, had a picnic lunch, and just read and enjoyed the view and even took a little nap, stopping for supper on the way home. Not as exciting as what you did, but it's really about time spent together and the slower pace!

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    1. I'm just now posting your comment because we were on a 4-days-away vacation to NE--not nearly as relaxing and a LONG drive! I could use Oxford right now.

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