Mallow Bay, The Ships Graveyard…

Growing up on the Potomac River, I never knew about this beautiful and historic spot. This beautiful park is located along the Potomac River in Charles County, Maryland is the final resting place of many abandoned ships. Many of them were built during WWI for the US military, however the order was finished way to late and many were poorly built. So they were laid to rest. Today the bay is a popular fishing spot. The park contains a walking trail along the river and through the surrounding wooded area as well as a small boat launch. Majority of the graveyard is best viewed via kayak or canoe, but enough can be seen from the water’s edge for a fun and relaxing afternoon taking pictures.

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

Mallow Bay, Charles County, Maryland

All of the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Interesting Links

Charles County Parks, Mallow Bay Park

The sordid story of the ghost fleet of Mallows Bay. John Kelly, Washington Post, December 11, 2010.

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A Day at the Farm…

Let me set the scene for you so that you have a full picture of why a group of six young women ventured out for a morning to a National Park in search of a cow. It was a beautiful summer Sunday at a group brunch. New friends, old friends, good food, a lot of laughter and plenty of bloody mary’s! A new friend, quickly to be come a good friend, Regina, pulls out this 4 1/2 page, typed, single space bucket list. Originally created before she was even in high school as a to do before she turned 30 list and updated in her college years. This list had sat dormant for a long time., eventually to resurface a few months before her 30th birthday.

Up to that point Regina had accomplished about a page worth of her items. So I started reading through it, as one does, and I get to the item “Milk a cow”. I chuckled as I read it out loud to the group and offered the opinion that this could be done at anytime she wanted. At this point the whole table turned with a surprised reaction of “we can?” Evidently Regina was not the only one with this item on her bucket list. Even though I had grown up in a metropolitan area, this was something I had done several times, along with visiting dairy farms, I even have an Aunt (and late Uncle) who own a milk delivery service… in Long Island NY of all places! Regina on the other hand, grew up near farms… with lots of cows, as her grandmother told her, you didn’t need to move to DC to milk a cow!

Group shot

I live in the DC metropolitan area, and it would only be appropriate to wonder how far do I need to drive to find a cow to milk. Well the answer, from where we were sitting at brunch was “just on the other side of the bridge” that the restaurant is near (literally about 2 blocks from the bridge). Still to quizzical looks I explained that there is a National Park with a living farm in stones throw distance of our bloody mary’s; all we needed to do was show up.

the farm

It took a few weeks to arrange a date, but one beautiful fall morning we headed to the farm. The Park Ranger was slightly surprised to find a group of adults with no children all lined up. But she was very kind and treated us just like the others interested in the same experience. We were just less scared. Our cow’s name was Minnie. She seemed very friendly and at one point when I was a bit close to her head reading a sign, she attempted to eat my long hair!

Jen, Regina, Gerylee, & Kat milking a cow

Although we came only with the intention of milking Minnie, to our enjoyment the farm experience continued. We headed to the chicken coup! Evidently the chickens fight a lot, so they tend not to look healthy, but the rooster seemed happy to be surrounded by so many hens. We feed them and collected their eggs.

Rooster Feeding

At this farm, they don’t let anything go to waste. We took the eggs from the hen’s and feed them eggs to the pigs. The park ranger was aware enough to make sure everyone either got a turn to collect the egg, or feed a pigs. Along our route we were honked at by a huge white goose; then we stopped by to oooh and ahh over the horses. Followed by an awesome picnic lunch. And all this before noon! It was a great day out and a really fun experience to do with friends.

Pig

All of the thoughts, opinions, and bad jokes are my own.

Interesting Links

Oxon Hill National Park

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Small Concert Venues and Jo Dee Messina!

Annapolis, from what I can tell has a beautiful downtown area with shops and restaurants. Although, I have only ever been to Annapolis to see performances at Ram’s Head Tavern, I should really get back one of these weekends and write-up a blog on the area. Ram’s Head Tavern is a great place for a night out, they have great food, good beer and an awesome outdoor seating area. They also offer live music. But what makes this place stand out is that they have a concert hall attached. It seats maybe 400 people, give or take 100 in either direction. It’s a “dinner theatre” style, so you buy seats at a table and order food and drinks during the performance. Small settings are a great way to see any musical act, everyone has a great seat!

Last week I had the opportunity to travel up to Annapolis with a group of friends to see Jo Dee Messina perform. She started with two of my favorite songs of hers, Heads Carolina, Tails California and I’m Alright. Already the night was off to a great start in my opinion. Then she announced, in small settings, she likes to interact with her fans, so she ask us to start offering up questions. Some one even got up on stage and sang with her.

Ila & Jo Dee Messina
Jo Dee & “The Dream Lady” Ila

It made the concert personal, which was really awesome. The show I attended was her 4th performance in 3 days, and the second of that day, plus she is a mom of a 3-year-old and a 3 month old, so she expressed her exhaustion to us, but that didn’t stop the show from ending 40 min’s late! My friend Ila asked her a thought-provoking question about dreams, which then got Ila termed as the Dream Lady! Fair play, she had plenty more questions. One of her later questions was when did Jo Dee feel closest to god, and Jo Dee sang us her song that she wrote specifically about that. What an awesome way for a singer to respond to a question!

Heather Markman & Jo Dee Messina
Jo Dee & Me

Jo Dee also gave us the honor of sharing a bit of herself outside of the question world and sang for us two new song’s she has recently written and the background of what was going on in her life/in her head at the time she wrote them. How fun! At the end of the night, although she didn’t officially come out to sign autographs, Ila and I snuck up and got our picture’s taken. I will admit, I was so excited, I was shaking! I also promised to give a shout out to her blog, Fumbling Mom. A funny blog sharing day-to-day stories about life as a mom.

Interesting Links:

Fumbling Mom Blog, Jo Dee Messina’s humorous blog about motherhood & other stuff

Rams Head Tavern

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