What Makes D.C. Special

What Makes D.C. Special

City lights, the sound of sirens, and tourists flooding the streets are all reminders that Washington, D.C. is a typical city in some sense. One unique feature the city holds is its near proximity to so much more than I ever expected. If someone is looking for another urban metropolis, Baltimore, Maryland is just an hour drive away. If someone is looking for adventure, they can go about the same distance west to hike in the hills of Virginia or raft in the whitewater rapids of West Virginia. If someone is craving fresh Maryland blue crabs, Maryland too is a very short drive from D.C. In fact, I have spent the last two weekends in Maryland. It has effectively served as a quiet escape from hustle of the city.

 

Going to Annapolis for Crabs

 

Jake’s aunt and uncle from Virginia picked him and I up in D.C. and took us to meet more of his family at Canter’s, a crab shack right off the water in Maryland. Jake and I had never eaten fresh crab before, so it was quite the experience. They showed us how to use the mallet, pull off the legs, remove the lungs, and pick the crab meat from the legs and body of the crab. I found it all a bit exhausting, so after three crabs I resorted to filling up on the appetizers we had ordered. Although eating crabs is not something I would do at every meal, I am very glad that I had the experience of eating real Maryland blue crabs right off the water this summer.

 

I still lack words for my experience of eating freshly cooked crabs...

 

Annapolis, Maryland

 

Before we arrived at Canter’s, we killed some time by stopping in downtown Annapolis. It had several quaint little store fronts. I bought a new pair of Ray Bans in one of the stores, and then we walked to the water front. It was very cool to see so many boats docked in the harbor. I knew I had made the right decision earlier that day to wear my Sperry’s—I fit right in. Until arriving to Annapolis, I did not realize that it is where the United States Naval Academy is located. We drove past the front gates and the commissary. Many of the shops in downtown Annapolis sold Naval Academy attire, although I limited my spending splurge to my new sunglasses.

 

Me, sporting my new Ray Bans (left) and Jake, after crossing the Bay Bridge

 

Visiting the River House

 

Last weekend, Jake and I went to Maryland again. This time was not just to eat crabs but instead for an entire weekend on the water. We went to one of Jake's other relative's river house right off the water in Maryland. It was a beautiful five bedroom getaway with a guest house and pool. We spent our days kayaking, paddle boarding, and jet skiing. Once we had exhausted ourselves on the river, we would go back to the house and eat a big supper on the screened in porch. The sounds of sirens had been replaced with the sounds of nature. The streetlights, headlights, and store lights had been replaced with stars. There was a total of 13 members of Jake's family and myself at the river house. Other than a breakfast we all shared at a local diner, those 13 family members were the only people I saw and interacted with that weekend. This was very different from being surrounded by coworkers, tourists, and friends on a daily basis in D.C. One night, as I laid on the dock and looked up at the sky, I thought about how lucky I was to be spending my summer in a city with so much to offer in and around its borders—these are the types of things that make D.C. special.

 

The view from the screened in porch at the river house.

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