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Eat, Drink, Buy Art

by Mary McCarthy
Before I tell you about my awesome Eastern Shore weekend, I have three downtown Centreville business news items: a.) the new coffee shop (Joe Breeze) is open and fantastic with Village Bakery goods on the way from Chestertown! b.) the flower shop on the corner is open again! My kids have been saving their money for a new Webkinz. and c.) the new Pet Shop (Tails, Feathers and Fins) has opened next to Subway. Go visit the new businesses in town and support them!
 
Ok. Now.
 
There's this cool new tourist program on Maryland's Eastern Shore called Eat, Drink, Buy Art (EDBA). It was started at Maryland Life magazine as a way to encourage folks from all over the state to visit the Shore. EDBA chose 9 towns across the Shore to promote this year, they are: Chestertown, Berlin, Easton, Snow Hill, Denton, Salisbury, Cambridge, Princess Anne and Elkton. I am sucking it up and not whining about how there are no towns in (ahem) Queen Anne's County, because I am SURE they will be included next year and that Centreville will be spelled correctly on the map as well!
 
The EDBA deal is free and includes a passport (found in any participating business in the 9 towns with a sign out front) that you take around to shops, restaurants and art galleries in the different towns. You get your passport stamped and then for each stamp, you're entered another time for a drawing with great prizes from the participating towns. It's like a fun treasure hunt across the shore- I really encourage you to check out the website (above) and find some time this fall to visit these fantastic historic towns. Maybe I'll see you while I'm getting my passpport stamped!
 
This past weekend my bloggy friend Jen G. of Hip as I Wanna Be (check out her blog for more photos) and I visited Snow Hill and Berlin. We stayed at the gorgeous 1895 Atlantic Hotel in Berlin (pictured). Two movies have been filmed in Berlin- Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting. The reason? Berlin is gorgeous- buried power lines (like I wish we had in Centreville!!) create an original Victorian streetscape that's to die for- the restaurants, shops and art galleries are amazing. Berlin held their annual (huge!) Fiddler's Festival, so we got to meet banjo dudes and listen to cool bluegrass music.
 
Snow Hill has always been my favorite town on the Shore- the collection of Victorian homes and downtown commercial buildings is astonishing. (I'm a dork that I have one, but...) My favorite Victorian architect is Jackson Gott, and I was fortunate to visit Governor House, one of Gott's most amazing residences in Maryland (Gott also designed the Snow Hill Courthouse and a number of downtown Baltimore buildings as well). The owners took Jen and I through, and I was in awe at the tilework of the mantels alone- getting to see the inside of one of the best Victorian houses on the Eastern Shore was a true highlight of my weekend.
 
My favorite moment (besides the eating of the surf and turf at the Atlantic restaurant and the eating of Sunday brunch at the Globe next door- can you see a theme here?!) was late Saturday night, after dinner, two fiddler conventioneers were just chilling on the front porch playing their bluegrass music. Folks were sitting in rocking chairs chatting and listening and smiling, and the perfect fall breeze blew across the 15-feet high porch ceilings of the 1895 hotel. Overheard by one of the banjo players?
 
"I'm just pickin' my way through life, I guess."
 
'Nuff said!
 
P.S. Want more info? Send me an email: marytmccarthy@msn.com or follow me on twitter @marymac.

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