The Jersey Shore Files – Finding A Pearl in the Land of Crabs

Fear the Goat!  College football fanatics better get that one!

Before bidding adieu to New Jersey, that state had one more trick up its sleeve on our way to The Old Line State in search of Chesapeake Bay crab cakes and more memories.  We had to cross the Delaware River!  This particular day, the honorable John C. Carney Jr, (didn’t he used to kick in the NFL and for Notre Dame?) who is also known as the governor of Delaware, must have gotten a tip from a rabid pack of man-hating lawyers that I was in the area.  

Before anybody starts going all conspiracy theorist on me, hear me out.  If you are from the New England area, you know damn good and well how important the Delaware Memorial Bridge is for travel in those parts.  It’s either that bridge or a one hour drive to Philly to route around on I-95 to head south.  This bridge is massive and needs to be operating at all times or else traffic in that part of the world gets ugly fast.  So what did the good governor of Delaware do?  Only order some construction crew that was working underneath it on the Jersey side to start a massive fire that closed the bridge for hours.  I don’t have any proof of this wild accusation, but that part of the world isn’t new to bridge closures for nefarious reasons!

Thankfully Skipah the lighthouse junkie sort of drove out of the way while heading to Maryland so he could see a lighthouse.  Much to the chagrin of Miss Madison who thought I drove out of my way for some podunk lighthouse, that course correction saved our butts when they finally reopened the bridge and we sought passage through the great state of Delaware on our way to the D.C./Maryland area.  Don’t believe me?  How many natives can say they drove across the Delaware Memorial Bridge during rush hour with no traffic?

This unassuming conical structure is known as the Finns Point Range Light, it also saved a potential road rage incident if we didn’t decide to visit it!


How many people can say they crossed the Delaware Bridge at rush hour with this view!

We arrived in Maryland without much fanfare.  The folks at Pimlico had heard of my horse racing picking powers and told me to stay away!  I lobbied hard with the Baltimore Orioles to let me throw out the first pitch at a game, but they informed me what an idiot I am, since they were on the road while I was in the area.  I really thought my buddy Tikeetha was going to meet us at the state line and hold a ticker tape parade for us, but she was too busy playing rock star mom.  Nope, the drive into Maryland consisted of me telling bad jokes and brake checking at high rates of speed if nobody laughed.  Needless to say, the kids think I’m hilarious now.  Miss Madison was probably applying for a gun permit online, but I assured her the bump on her head would be “manageable” before the I do’s take place.

And this concludes the Delaware portion of our trip.

My crab cake radar just short circuited!

I’ll save the D.C. portion of our trip for a later date, for now let me just say I’m jealous of all the 38,000-39,000 that call Annapolis, Maryland home.  I fell in love with the place!  Now if I can talk to some sleazy realtor into getting the housing market to more of my level, I will live there one day.  That is a fact, the Skipah will potentially relocate there in the future.  Miss Madison is on board with it, and since she is Mrs. Mathews now that is all that matters.  We absolutely got caught up in the charm, architecture, and living near future Naval officers.

Justice Thurgood Marshall had his eye on me the whole time I was in Annapolis, so of course I was on my best behavior!

I don’t know who drew up the Maryland state boundaries, they had to be on a good bender with friends and playing on a Ouija board.  Thankfully, Annapolis made the cut for Maryland, and they liked it so much they call it the capital.  I guess when in Maryland the first place to start is by ordering a crab cake!

So when I suggested we stop in at Chick & Ruth’s Delly, I had no idea I was about to undergo a life changing event.  With a menu that could double as a short story, this place was fascinating, and judging by all the notables whose pictures adorned the walls, I wasn’t the only one to think this.  I have no idea how many items were on the menu but it was in the hundreds.  My eyes were immediately in love with the number 53.  A half pound of some of the finest blue crabs that unfortunately zigged instead of zagged when the fisherman’s net scooped them up.  A half pound crab cake!  Something that size I figured would come with it’s own mailbox!  The culinary orgasm I suffered from this still has me a little tingling, yeah it was that good!

For ten minutes the whole world went blank on me, this was the tastiest thing I have ever eaten!  Sometimes I pull the image up on my phone just to be reminded of when life was a simpler time, it was that profound!

Miss Madison had no complaints with her food either!

This place rated off the charts on the Skipah culinary scale.  I can’t give it enough stars!

After dinner it was taking in some of the local artists and just absolute beauty that is downtown Annapolis.  I don’t know if it’s the Naval Academy effect or what, but everyone was polite, acted like they had some sense, and it just reminded me of an adult college town.  We enjoyed our first day in Annapolis so much we couldn’t wait to come back before we headed home.  

By far the most beautiful state capital I’ve ever visited.

Apparently, the street dining experience is a Wednesday evening tradition in the summer.

Two days later we were sailing along on the Chesapeake Bay looking for hidden pirate treasure!  That’s right…Miss Madison and I didn’t want to lose our status as the “cool” parents in our children’s lives, so we booked all three of them a trip with Captain Rusty at the Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake.  I haven’t had that much fun sober in decades!  Captain Rusty has to be headlining in a comedy club somewhere in that area when he isn’t entertaining his junior shipmates touring the Chesapeake Bay.  This dude was a riot!  The staff was just as friendly as him and probably the most fun the children had on the whole trip other than the Diggerland experience.

Anybody with kids that is visiting the Annapolis area, Captain Rusty’s pirate adventures is a must!  Adults will be fully entertained by the commentary, and the kids will speak highly of you at school!

Of course after all the pirate shenanigans the Skipah was in the mood for some fish tacos.

About it for now, we aren’t quite ready to come home, and it’s time to teach the kids some good old fashioned American Civics.  No, we weren’t reading them some boring textbook.  It was time to go visit Washington D.C.!



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  6. Well, there have been a few times but never during rush hour mid-week. Thanks for shouting out our little state as well as me, the DelawareBlogger!

    • We were in serious panic mode that day, luckily that baby opened up while we were at the Jersey welcome center, because I-95 that day was apparently a parking lot and we were about to head up to Philly to catch it.

  7. Have only been to the east coast once in my life. Unfortunately it was with a church group with a church I was forced to belong to until I left home for college. So my east coast experiences have been limited to Norfolk, VA.
    The food we ate while there sucked to put it polietely.

    At least your family seems to have had a wonderful and educational time there. Probably comes from your new wife’s influence! She is a great influence for your little girl and your new step-kids.

  8. Maryland crab cakes are the best. Love the picture of the lighthouse. #cantunseethatever.

  9. Crab cakes and fish tacos…….my jealous-o-meter now has a broken needle after reading this post. Thanks a lot!

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