During the pandemic, so many of us have been struggling with staying put. Of my friends and family, I’m not the most pressed to always be on the go … but I’m not the least, either. So while I have been quite content within the cozy protection of my house, the fact that we’ve essentially been occupying the same space nonstop for a FULL year? Well, let’s just say it started getting to us.
So, back in March, when Jason said, “We need to go somewhere. I don’t know where. But just not here…and we need to go soon,” I said “I’m on it.” But where to?
We weren’t ready to fly yet and the idea of going somewhere that had different public health protocols than Maryland seemed like an extra layer of hassle. Maryland it is! West to mountains and lakes, or East to beaches and water? East, for the coast and because it’s closer. (We have a potty-training 3 year old after all.) And a vacation home seemed easier than a hotel – fewer people, a kitchen if we wanted to cook, etc.
So I looked for a vacation home in an eastern Maryland location by the water within an hour’s drive. What I found was an awesome rental called The Anchors on Vrbo. The home is in the historic Oyster Harbor community – an area with a diverse history including being a summer home and full-time community of Black families and a haven for Black oystermen.
The house itself was awesome. Nicely appointed 2 bedroom, 1 bath cottage, with great coastal decor. A water view from the front of the house (the house is on the street that fronts the water, but across the street from the waterfront) and a backyard space shared with the owners who live next door (a lovely couple named Winston and Carolyn). Location was great with downtown Annapolis is less than a 10-minute drive and local restaurants, a grocery store (if you want to do your own cooking in the well-stocked kitchen), CVS, etc., in the immediate vicinity.
The boys had a blast. First of all, there were three Smart TVs and we brought our Fire stick. So they could watch their shows without the drama. And there’s something about being in a clean, fresh space that is DIFFERENT. My oldest loved everything about it. He commented – multiple times – that he didn’t want to go home and how much he appreciated the tidiness of our “new house.”
He wasn’t alone in the enjoyment. We all had a great time. It was a five-minute walk down to the community beach, playground and fishing pier (which provided just enough of an activity and destination for our quick stay). There’s a second playground, also in walking distance, on the other side of the neighborhood. There are also lots of nearby activities to choose from. Honestly, though, we stayed pretty close to the rental with the exception of venturing out for food.
In a true hallmark of being “in the moment,” I actually didn’t spend a lot of time taking photos, rather we just lived and enjoyed our time away (though I did take a couple quick photos on one of our walks down to the beach. They’re in the gallery below).
Where We Ate
Main and Market (Saturday dinner) – Jason wanted a burger and our hosts suggested this as the best place nearby. Jason loved his burger and the boys and I loved our shrimp and fish tacos.
Miss Shirley’s Cafe (Sunday brunch) – You have to give a second look to any place that’s been on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives in my opinion, and Miss Shirley’s is one of those places. This popular breakfast and brunch spot is well known in Annapolis. We were pleased with their food and easy carryout service. All of my guys had their big ol’ pancakes – the boys got their favorite add-ins (bananas and blueberries). I had the Maryland omelet (with egg whites) with lump crab, tomatoes, Swiss cheese and a dusting of Old Bay. Yum.
Cantler’s Riverside Inn (Sunday dinner) – Went here in search of blue crabs. We went around 6:30, which we learned was a bit too late for crabs (they were sold out) and a bit late at that time of year to take in the river view. This was our first time eating out … anywhere … since the beginning of the pandemic. It was definitely a pleasant experience. The menu was straightforward and good for kids. One of the boys had pasta and the other had a crab cake sandwich (nothing says “Maryland” like a crab cake on the kids menu!). Jason had the wings. I had the adult-sized crab cake sandwich. I think we’ll go back again, earlier in the day, to take in the view AND the crabs.
Bottom Line: Our quick two-night getaway was exactly what the doctor ordered. We had a great time and the best part? We checked out at 11 a.m. and were home by 11:30 a.m.! We had almost a full day to recover before going back to work, though we had such a relaxing time that recovering from vacation wasn’t necessary. What a fun and easy trip! It really reminded me of how many fun, interesting and different places and spaces we can get to just a short way from home. I highly recommend Annapolis in general and the Anchors in particular.
I’m sure we’re not the only ones looking to nearby travel during the pandemic, but we will definitely continue seeking out cool experiences, no airport necessary. If you’ve been to a cool nearby location or have recommendations for us in Maryland and beyond, please share in the comments!