inspire

Crab Season

It was crab season. I was in Baltimore, Maryland. It was time to soak up the experience many rave about. I had so many questions on what to order? How many to order? How to eat them? No matter the questions, I opted for the experience.

There were three of us. We opted for (12) large which would mean we each had to eat four. We failed. One of us was down at two. One was down at 2 1/2. The other pushed through for the 3 1/2. The gorging lasted 2 hours and it was hard work. Before we got started they laid out the sheet of paper on the table to let the mess begin. Then came the tray of crabs and corn that get dumped on the table. Not the dining in experience you go to on a first date!

The tools above were required. The hammer and knife combo. When used by the experienced soul they worked in unison. Despite the lesson given by the nice waitress, I failed using them as a unit. I opted for the brut of the hammer over and over. It might have even been a bit gratifying to smash away. My hands were covered in seasoning. Little slices in my fingers from the sharp shells. My drink cup and ice went down way too quick. 

You first started by flipping the crab over and peeling. Back the silhouette of a hard-shelled penis. Yes, I did just type that because the next step was to remove the private parts and the goop that lay inside that area. Off came the claws which was my favorite part.

Once I had the claws off I ate that meat. It seems easy to get to and rewarding to eat. I failed to mention that these crabs were loaded with an Old Bay-type seasoning with a little kick. Oh were my lips burning. 

After the claws I had to head back to the main body of the crab. The outer shell needed to be removed. Then it was broken in half. You had to be careful to remove the no eat parts which seemed like ribs but I don’t know the proper the term. That’s just how I was arranging the dissection on my mind as I worked my way through the task.

All in all I had a great experience. Very dirty hands. Very full belly. A great release of anger with the hammer. Some dipped the meat in butter. Others paired with other seafood. I enjoyed the ear of corn that offset the spice.  

if you are ever in Maryland during crab season, take the plunge. Give the experience a try. It has a $$$ price tag or so but if you look at it as a dining and cultural experience it’s worth the extra money.

If you never make it to Maryland in crab season at least you got a virtual experience from right on the bog. I am not new to crabs but I usually eat snow crabs which is a far different experience.

Signing off from a waterfront spot on the Bush River that intersects the Gunpowder River in Maryland. This was also a new adventure site for me to soak up some writing inspiration.

adventure

Living the Chocolate Life

Only in the great state of Pennsylvania can you be on Chocolate Avenue, turning onto Cocoa Avenue leading to the Chocolate Museum. The sweetest place on earth, they claim. Yes, I am in chocolate heaven in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Home to Hershey chocolates and Hershey Park. A chocolate-themed amusement park.

While here I walk down memory lane from times when I was a child visiting Hershey Park and all its wooden roller coaster memories to times I took my kids when they were little. It’s amazing what scenery can do to trigger your memories. 

My youngest is in tow this trip. She doesn’t remember her last trip here but she likes the country flair of the corn stalks on the roadside for what seems like miles. However, just around the corner there is the vision of old and new coasters. Hearing her dialogue on the old wooden coasters is mesmerizing.

Hop into town and you see light posts designed as chocolate kisses adding to the ambiance. Oh how I love flair and this town has it. From small town ice cream shops to local vendors on the the town square.

My hotel is next to a car museum housing many interesting items. An old-time bus is out front peaking interest from the roadside. A little further up the path is the Hershey Kisses mobile. Three wrapped kisses forming a vehicle. I never saw this until today. Made me think of the Oscar Meyer Weiner mobile that I have posed with dozens of times. So much fun to adventure to new places and see what is beyond your normal. It’s also cool to visit a place at different age points. I’m sure my visit here was more candy focused when I was a kid to ride focused when I took my kids to now me taking it all in as a mature adult.

My lens may be the same but my visions are different. Just like the light post above. Each view or angle of the post offers a different perspective.  As I travel I look for unique photo opportunities and try to use my imagination to create lasting memories. The sign below captured my thoughts along the way to Hershey, PA.

O

Off I go to explore in chocolate town. As I explore I know I’m using my imagination to fill in the blanks for my next adventure. Sending you virtual kisses from Hershey, PA.

friendship

Riding Free

This weekend I went for a bike ride. A different kind of bike ride than I normally post about.

The bike is still red but it’s a Motorcycle vs a self-propelled bike. An Indian bike to be specific. I got the chance to ride with a couple of pals and we left early before the heat of the sun was upon us. A quick breakfast at a local spot before we hit the road.

We headed straight for the mountains. I was a passenger so I was in the observation seat. The seat that allows you to take in all the sights, sounds and smells. Care free for the most part. Sometimes it’s nice to just be a passenger. A mindless passenger with no role aside from hold on!

I was specific on the type of ride I was willing to go on. A smooth ride, not a windy switchback ride. That meant we took a scenic route. It was pleasant.

Smelled a lot of fresh cut grass, some cow poop, some yummy baked goods and a little bbq. Got to see some rolling hills, pretty pastures, old and new barns, donkeys, ponies, horses, cows, chickens and a few dogs.

I waved to many people sitting on their porches and gave the side wave to many motorcycles as we passed. I heard lots of birds chirping, a few sirens, a couple of horns and as we passed through a town I heard people.

The sound of people was far less in this tourist town than usual. Maybe only 25% of the normal seasonal volume. It was a bit eerie. The sounds were also muffled as many wore masks. One notable sight was the tubing bus that passed us to head to the river. It was full of people but each and every one had masks on. Talk about a new normal. Below is a quick text break photo op. Got to make sure our connections know all is good when on the road.

By the time the tubers escaped the bus the masks were gone but for that bus ride they were mandatory. It was also noticeable that the parking lot for this normally full tubing place was desolate. I saw one bus load vs. the 10 that would normally pass. I couldn’t help but wonder how many people were struggling in this small town financially due to the pandemic and loss of tourist revenue.

We took a rest at the little town. It was getting hot so we got some water and a snack of beef jerky. I normally like to go into the jerky stores to sample the different flavors to try something new. Not this time. No samples! Thanks again covid. however, I was happy to buy some mystery jerky and support a small business in the area.

As I rode free, I took in the sites, the sounds, the smells and the new normal. Masks and all. I had a great time but it was different sitting in the observation seat this time. I just got to see the new normal from a different lens. This gave me a new perspective.

Safety first with helmets but no masks for these girls on this ride. We had a ton of fun which means we will probably have more bike adventures. Watch out for biker babe stories coming in the future.

Who knows what town we might ride into next……