I have returned to England, where it is cold and rainy despite being the middle of July. Welcome home.
Before leaving the States, I spent a day entertaining my friend Naomi in Annapolis and trying to do as many things as possible. When she first arrived, I took her to have a late breakfast at the City Dock Cafe, a great little coffee shop owned by a friend’s mother, located in downtown Annapolis in the Marketplace.
I know that around that same week, the Market House that has been closed and plagued with several problems over the years, re-opened for another try at a successful business model. I did not go to visit the Market House so I don’t know what is inside it, but with such an amazing location I can’t believe it will fail, although I have been wrong about that before of course. There are actually quite a few closed down businesses downtown these days. All around the water and up Main Street there are empty windows, including Riordan’s, an Irish pub/restaurant that yours truly was once a hostess in before the place closed down a few years ago. It is yet to reopen as a new business despite its fantastic location. I am inclined to blame the recession, but Riordan’s and some other businesses closed down long before that word became so commonplace, so what could it be? High rent? Lack of foot traffic? I have a hard time believing that last one because despite a huge new shopping/restaurant complex opening up near West Street, nothing beats the colonial quaintness of downtown Annapolis.
After City Dock we went on a short tour of the Maryland State Capitol House, once the capitol building for the whole country back in 1784 (which is a LONG time ago in American history even if it is a drop in the ocean for other nations). It is apparently the oldest state capitol still in regular use, and the only state house that was once the nation’s capital! Check that link out for more.
To complete her Annapolis day, I took Naomi on a boat tour of the Severn River with Kelly before digging in to a crab feast at Cantler’s where Kelly, my local Annapolitan, taught Naomi the tricks of cracking in to those hard shells. (Here’s a video of another local Marylander with his own instructions. For the record I DON’T eat the guts and crab juice. Just a personal preference).
After saying goodbye to Naomi at the Metro station and having dinner with my parents, Kelly and I headed to McGarvey’s again where Tikki Tuesdays was happening. Once a month during the summer, McGarvey’s run Tikki Tuesday, with decorations, raffle games, cheap drinks and beach themed dress requirements. I couldn’t have asked for anything more typically American to end my holiday here.
The problems started the next day when, after seeing the new Harry Potter movie with my parents (and helping to ensure its fate as the highest grossing film franchise) I arrived at the airport to find that I wasn’t in the Virgin Atlantic system… interesting… After several minutes and various people and computers, the check-in staff finally figured out that my flight was scheduled for July 14. It was July 15. A full 24 hours late for my flight and it cost me $100 and a small part of my pride to grab a seat on the plane that was leaving for London that evening. Not once did I think to double check my booking, not once did I think ‘if I’m supposed to arrive in London on the 15th, surely I can’t be leaving the same day for an overnight flight…’ Not my proudest moment, but I will certainly never leave for the airport without triple checking my confirmation E-mails first and I suggest you do the same.