Tilghman Island, Then Into The Woods: We Visit Nancy And Zane’s Eastern Shore Aerie

I was an awkward, frizzy-haired (pixie cut with bangs, no less!) twelve-year-old when my family moved and to this day I can remember sitting at the back of my new sixth-grade class in a conspicuously new and dorky wool jumper, cringing as the sea of heads in front of me turned to stare as the teacher introduced me.

It was the worst of times. But in retrospect, it was the best of times, because it was somewhere toward the end of that year that I met Nancy, who in junior and then senior high, was to become my best friend and partner in whatever crimes we might have to commit in order to get out of Elkhart, Indiana.

Since we live (mostly) on opposite coasts, we don’t see each other often, but as I planned our recent stay in St. Michael’s, I realized it couldn’t be all that far away from where Nancy and her husband, Zane, live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I’ve been hearing for years about their rural retreat in Worton, Maryland, and now we finally had a chance to visit!

Nancy provided my reading recommendations for our trip (Michener’s Chesapeake and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Beautiful Swimmers). She also suggested we take a drive from St. Michael’s down to Tilghman Island, where we had a view table for dinner at the Tilghman Island Inn and our best-yet sighting of an osprey family.

The CE photographed me photographing the sunset at the Tilghman Island Inn

Family meeting: I think Mom and Dad are telling Junior it’s time he got his own place.

The next morning, we packed up and set out for the metropolis of Chestertown, Maryland, pop. 5,254, where we met Nancy and Zane for lunch and, yes, discussed the fact that Elkhart, Indiana is an urban jungle compared to their community. Life can be so very ironic. And, for the record, Nancy and Zane are very, very happy in their pastoral paradise.

Nancy and Zane on their home turf.

We had an amazing lunch at Chestertown’s Brooks Tavern. It’s worth a trip to the East coast for their Carolina Crepe.

We shared a piece of yummy Lemon Icebox Pie at the Brooks Tavern.

After lunch, they took us on a tour of Chestertown, which is home to prestigious Washington College, a reproduction of the HMS Sultana and a historical footnote as the town that followed in Boston’s footsteps with their own tea party in 1774.

Zane, the CE and Nancy at the Chester River.

Then we headed into the countryside (which looked precisely like the outskirts of Elkhart, IN!) and wound up a narrow tree-canopied road to Nancy and Zane’s 20+ acre country retreat. They say they live on a “creek”, but it looked like a river to me. They are perched high enough above the water that the bald eagles fly below their roof line.

There’s no place like home.

View of the “creek” from the house

The CE is still waxing rhapsodic about the house, which Zane designed in his spare time while running a WDC ad agency.  They have deer in their front yard, a dock and pontoon boat on the water below, and 24/7 tranquility. Nice life!

The CE and Zane relax in the window seat of Zane’s man-cave.

Fortified with homemade ice cream and cookies, we took our leave and mapped our route onward to Philadelphia. It was easier to say goodbye knowing that we get to look forward to Nancy and Zane’s upcoming visit to California in the fall.

Thanks, guys! See you soon!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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5 Responses to Tilghman Island, Then Into The Woods: We Visit Nancy And Zane’s Eastern Shore Aerie

  1. Katherine says:

    Wow. If that’s a creek then I don’t know how to refer to the thing in our backyard that the realtors called a creek when we bought our house in SB. Perhaps “trail of flea tears”. Beautiful.

  2. tdevir says:

    So cool that you still are in touch with your high school best friend. What a special relationship. Where is a pic of you with this frizzy pixie cut?? I must see one!

  3. dizzyguy says:

    CE here: It was a delight to see these formerly urban animals in their own habitat. The photos are all the convincing one needs to understand their move. Truly a home and surroundings that invite comparisons to the best that Thoreau could come up with. We are very happy for Nancy and Zane to have created such a perfect situation for themselves. We very much enjoyed the visit.

  4. pollo amigo says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip!

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