May 14, 2017

Robin Bayne’s Maryland: America In Miniature

 Ah, Maryland My Maryland. I’ve lived in Maryland all of my life. In fourth grade we learned that Maryland is considered “America in Miniature.”  We experience all four seasons, and we have vacation spots that range from the mountains’ ski resorts to the sandy beaches of Ocean City.  We have the Atlantic Ocean, and the Chesapeake Bay.  We’re close to the nation’s capital and a short drive from Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Anytime my husband and I have thought of moving, we’ve been unable to decide on another state which has as much to offer.  I could never live in a state that didn’t see the leaves changing to fantastic colors every fall.

If you haven’t eaten steamed blue crabs, you haven’t experienced Maryland cuisine. People who move across the country order these to be shipped to their new homes--  crabs seasoned with “Old Bay” is a classic Maryland summer feast.  Add corn-on-the-cob and potato salad and you’ve got an afternoon to remember. My grandparents lived on the bay when I was a kid and we spent every Sunday swimming, boating, digging up clams, catching crabs and playing horseshoes. 

If you’re up for a historical outing, you can visit For McHenry, where Francis Scott Key penned our national anthem.  Tours of the old fort are educational and interesting. From there you can go to the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center, which have fun activities for the whole family.  Also within driving distance for a day trip are the Civil War battlegrounds of Gettysburg, PA, Antietam, Md and the historical town of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.  If you’re more into sports, Baltimore hosts both the Ravens football team and the Oriole’s baseball franchise.

The story I’m working on now is set in Fells Point, a popular tourist area and waterfront scene  in southeast Baltimore. Fells was established in 1763 as a seafaring town and you can feel the atmosphere as you stroll the cobblestone streets, enjoying the largest concentration of bars and restaurants in the entire city.  My protagonist owns a small shop, one of many in the area. Most of the stores are townhouse style, set in rows throughout the area. You can find antiques, clothing, shoes, hats, artwork, souvenirs, record albums, ice cream, pet toys and surfing gear. And that’s all on just one street.  Once you tire of the ancient, bumpy streets, walk out on the piers along the bay. Looking across the water, you can see Maryland’s famous “Under Armor” plant, the historic “Domino’s Sugar” sign and a variety of huge ships at any given time.  Want to get closer?  Take a ride on a water-taxi and see all the sights.  At night there are ghost tours through Fells Point.  The oldest tavern in the US--  “The Horse You Came In On Saloon,” established in 1775, is rumored to be haunted. It was the last place Edgar Allan Poe visited before his death, and the only bar in the state that existed before and through prohibition. 

My heroine doesn’t chase ghosts or drink in taverns, but she does spend time arguing with her handsome neighbor about the lack of parking spaces and who has the right to them, another common activity in Baltimore.  She loves to steam blue crabs and eat them on her roof deck/patio, another common feature of Baltimore homes. The next time you visit Fells Point, be sure to keep an eye out for the charming brown brick bookstore called “Peyton’s Place,” which I hope to bring to life with my next novel.  And I hope you find many open parking spots.

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Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my novel “The Artist’s Granddaughter” (print or ebook) and a packet of the famous “Old Bay” Seasoning mix! please leave contact link so I can find you if you’re the winner.
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  1. Maryland sounds lovely, Robin and your new book sounds great too!

    Good luck and God's blessings

  2. Thank you Pam! And thanks Annette for having me! Happy Mother's Day!

  3. One of my favorite states. Spent many a good day at Fells Point and on the Bay. If I had to live in a city, Baltimore would be a top choice. Best wishes for success with your writing.

  4. I enjoyed your Maryland post which was delightful and special. Your writing is captivating.

  5. Amazing! Since I knew almost nothing about Maryland except visits to Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay this was of great interest. Now, why didn't I find crab cakes on a menu while there?

  6. You've painted a wonderful picture of Maryland, a state I've enjoyed visiting from the beach to the mountains. After reading your post, I want to go back for another visit and get some of those blue crabs. I've moved from the east coast to the west. Dungeness crabs are good, but I miss those blue crabs.

  7. Random Drawing for the Giveaway: Congrats Patricia Dusenbury! Please post or send me your email address so I can contact you.

    You can reach me at robin bayne @ yahoo dot com (no spaces)


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