Our family is tied to the water. We always seek the shore of some body of water. It gives us peace and tranquility in our lives. We love the mountains and plains as well, but we’ll always be drawn back to the shore. We made a trip to Solomons, MD invasion-style. The boys took to the sea with our family members that live near Washington, DC while we took the town by land in JARVIS with THE RAINMAKER.
Brenn and Finn set sail from Chesapeake Beach, MD with their Aunt and Uncle aboard NAUGHTY PAWS, the 30ft sailboat that Auntie Steph and (FUN)cle Bill keep in Herrington Harbour. Leading up to the day, the weather was to be a great sailor’s forecast with northerly winds at 10 to 15kts (that’s nautical miles per hour for you landlubbers, also about 12 to 20mph) and overcast skies. HA! Once we ‘moored’ THE RAINMAKER in the Navy campground at the base in Solomons, that was completely revisited by mother nature! Dead calm winds and rain was to be the experience! While it made for a pretty dull 6hr transit down the shore, they did manage a solid hour of full sailing with favorable winds and no rain! See our video for some footage. Finn had so much fun, he has declared himself an official pirate and will be looking forward to plundering and pillaging next time!
The Navy MWR (morale, welfare and recreation) has a large facility in Solomons. It is likely the largest military campground around. Tents and RVs are in separate areas, but everyone is close to the beach, pool, adventure zone (not sure what’s there, it wasn’t in our plan), marina and other amenities. The sites vary in their size and we were not given the option to pick one, it was assigned. The site we got was low-lying and grassy/muddy. The hookups were adequate and the site was relatively level, so it suited our needs. Many military families stationed there are living in the campground, which is a great convenience and, in truth, we hope to be able to do just that for the last tour or two that Mike has in the Coast Guard. It was interesting to see how they have to relocate sites every so often to afford maintenance and equal access to sites throughout the facility. Our family moves about every three years and it is a pain, but these families move their possessions every 90 days or so! Thankfully, the Navy has some kind of system that seemed to make it pretty easy on the families by not having to move very far (some only moved one site away).
The marina is another level, really. Slips were well kept, facilities were too. Boat ramp is easily accessible and the prices for slips and services are very reasonable. Your boat is well protected here.
Solomons is not a destination town, by any means. It is situated in a remote part of the peninsula and the Navy base is likely what has kept the town alive. Aside from that, there is a small fishing fleet and the typical Chesapeake Bay town feel of the place. We partook in the seafood, key lime pie and the beach town vibe as we celebrated Auntie Steph’s 40th birthday. Check out the video to see the food and celebration! There is a scenic viewing area at the southern tip of the town where the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay come together, perfect for viewing a sunrise/sunset, having a picnic, or….procure a hit of your favorite narcotic and nod off in the front seat of your car! YEAH, that’s what was going on! We went there to watch NAUGHTY PAWS sail around the corner into the harbor only to realize, after 20 minutes of total ignorance to the goings on, that there was a full-service drug use operation going on amongst the million dollar homes along the area! We watched as two different cars pulled up, a man walked up to their window and conducted the transaction, then the occupant would use the product and slowly slump over or back into their seat. Then, the dealer came back by to check on them. Another car’s occupant ‘woke up’ and then departed the area, waving goodbye to the dealer. We quickly got in the truck and departed the area. If that wasn’t bad enough, the next day our son was almost killed by one of the users!
We had parked in the main part of town and walked to The Pier for a lunchtime bite, which was excellent, as you’ll note in the video. We then walked across the street to "Lotus Kitchen Featuring' Kim's Key Lime Pies"and had a slice of key lime pie, the boys had smoothies. Next, we went to the Tiki Bar for a snack and cocktails. We were walking back up toward the parking area when we heard a loud strange sound behind us. Stephanie saw the car first. A speeding Mustang coming from the ‘spot’ had just come up onto the sidewalk and was barreling toward us! She grabbed Brennan and pulled him into the parking lot beside them as the Mustang shot by right where they’d been walking a moment before! The car swerved back into the street, nearly crossing into oncoming traffic, just in time before reaching the rest of us. As the car went by, Mike and Finn noticed that the person inside appeared to be ‘nodding off’ as he drove by. We watched as he again jumped the curb ahead and it appeared as if he may have side swiped a few cars parked along the roadway ahead, but we couldn’t tell. This was definitely a scary experience and it reminded us to remain ever vigilant while we’re out and about.
Even more so, though, it reminded us that the opioid crisis is real. The scourge it has brought to our society has far reaching consequences. Even in a small town with million dollar residences, the problem has found a home. If someone you know is struggling with addiction, do your part to get them help. You might just save a life yourself.
The rest of the visit was, thankfully, not as life-threatening. That is, until we gave the boys sparklers! We celebrated, we laughed, we dodged more rain and all 6 of us slept in the camper (yes, it was tight, but yes, it was fun too!). NAUGHTY PAWS departed on Sunday morning with fair winds and following seas. Of course it was because we’d already taken up the stabilizer jacks on THE RAINMAKER!
To see all this adventure in more detail, check out our YouTube channel video (link below). Join us next time as we give our kids shotguns, ammo, a golf cart and set them free in the wilds of New England! What could go wrong?!!?