Stories

Typewriter Poetry: Lyon Distilling, Saint Michael's, MD

Saint Michael’s, a small historic town in Eastern Maryland, known for its waterfront views, small shops, and inns, is also becoming known as the hometown of Lyon Distilling, a small batch micro distillery famous for its rum and rum cocktails.

Some months ago, I met the owner, Jaime Windon, and was invited to bring my typewriter poetry to their tasting room. So I did, on a cloudy September Saturday.

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The tasting room is a wonderful space, and the staff are some of the friendliest people I’ve met this year - there’s a sense of familiarity almost immediately. If you’ve got your guard up, you’ll find it falling away. The family atmosphere and camaraderie was palpable and I loved the chance to hear stories of the distillery and of Saint Michaels from Jessi, Avery, Meghan (of Gray Wolf Craft Distilling), and other members of the staff.

There was a steady stream of interested visitors throughout the day - folks celebrating their anniversary, a bachelorette party, and a number of guests from a number of weddings.

I enjoyed interacting with a lot of newlyweds and newly-engaged couples and getting the chance to write poems honoring their stories. On the lighter side, one regular asked for a humorous poem about William Shatner, while Jay of Eastern Shore Brewing asked for a poem to include the words “unicorns, pixie dust, and bags of glass.” On the poignant side, a gentleman asked for a poem about missed opportunities, and asked me to include the phrase “the leap not taken.”

Overall it was a fantastic day. This being my first trip to Saint Michaels, I was immediately taken by the town and fully intend to go back to spend time truly exploring - there are little coffee shops, a historic car museum, antique stores, woodworkers, and all sorts of things to see.

Not only that, but it’s the sort of place where, after a visit, you’ll leave surprised at just how many people will easily call you friend.

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Thomas, WV

It’s the little surprises along the way that often make road trips truly memorable.

Such was the case with a recent trip to Elakala Falls. As we drove through field and mountain, Deep Creek Lake fading in the distance behind us, we happened upon a small town called Thomas.  The rural countryside suddenly opened up to reveal a charming small town: brick storefronts on our left faced a river-fronted forest to the right.  

 One of many beautiful buildings

One of many beautiful buildings

We stopped in on the way home from the falls, with only a limited time before the shops began to close.  First on the list was Thomasyard, a unique florist & gift shop with a great variety of pottery and knick-knacks.  From there, we passed a few antique stores and art galleries that had already closed for the day, but included enough enticing objects in their window display to ensure an affirmative decision to return.

 Flowers, mugs, and more!

Flowers, mugs, and more!

Next was TipTop, a beautiful coffeehouse and bar.  They had interesting art and edibles for sale, as well as a great selection of beverages and desserts.  Certainly a watering hole worth another visit!  Unfortunately, we had to run, so it was back into the car for us.  As we drove away, it was clear we only had scratched the surface - many more storefronts beckoned!

 Some of the items available in Tip Top

Some of the items available in Tip Top

There is much to see in this small town.  Just under an hour from Deep Creek Lake, and only ten minutes from Blackwater Falls, it’s an unquestionably good choice to add Thomas to your adventure itinerary.

 Have a seat on this delightful bench!

Have a seat on this delightful bench!

Iceland: The People

On January 22nd, I traveled to Iceland for a 3-day road trip with my friend DL.  The following are snapshots, brief glimpses of the fascinating people we met along the way.

// BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Concourse E.  After a mildly chaotic boarding process, we all find our seats. Next to me, in seat 24A, is a middle-aged man, wearing glasses and professional clothes.  He is dark skinned and looks to be from somewhere on the Indian subcontinent.

"What brings you on this flight?" I ask.

"I am headed home to London.  My son and I just came to America to see the inauguration.  We love politics!"  Turns out the man had placed a friendly wager with his son as to who the winner of the American election would be. "I wanted Hillary.  My son wanted Trump.  Now he's 500 pounds richer!"  Not content to watch the proceedings from the comfort of the British Isles, they flew in to observe it all firsthand.  The immigration officials had found this difficult to accept. "They looked at us in disbelief. We had to argue for quite some time. 'Why don't you just watch in your own country,' they said to us. My son and I simply wanted to experience the inauguration, a fascinating thing! Eventually, thankfully, they let us through."