Bonjour! And Bon Voyage er, except that I’m back! From Baltimore where I attended a friend’s blowout engagement party. I am honored to be in my best friend’s weddings next summer and I wasn’t going to miss out on the celebrating goin’ down. L & I have been friends since the kindergarten playground, when we both rocked side ponytails and wore super fresh vests everyday (ah, the 80’s…memories). So when she invited me and the other ‘five equally important bridesmaids’, I packed my new luggage and was off!

Upon arrival at B’More, I found that most of the folks who had made it down the night before were still, um, recovering. So I suggested we head to the nearest bar to get them the ‘hair of the dog’ – it works, don’t you think? This was the view from my seat, and no, I had not yet had anything to drink but the beer taps were glued onto the ceiling above us! Neato!

My best friend’s fiance J encouraged me to try the Dale Ale from Denver. For can beer, it was not all that bad. 

He rounded out his meal with some fried pickles, which I helped him with, and some hands at Keno. It was a wild afternoon 😉

After the motley crew freshened up a bit, we headed over to J’s parents house who graciously were hosting the party. There was a lot of dog action over the weekend I should mention, as you will see in the following photographs. The black/brown lab is L&J’s, the two terriers are J’s parents. They all played well together and the terriers are puppies so they were super playful.

I was probably being the biggest pain by forcing people to sign cards in the guestbook. I can be such a party cop sometimes 🙂

J’s mom had prepared the most perfect party spread, with veggies and dips, snacks…

A cupcake tower fit for a princess (purple is a theme color of the wedding and our bridesmaid dresses)…

Complete with engagement ‘rings’ (I wore mine all night!)…

A scarecrow bride and groom…

‘She-Crab’ chowder with oyster crackers…

A fully stocked outdoor bar… 

A self-server butcher counter (just kidding, Dan the Meat Man was serving up the goods here)…

With everything from roasted ham, turkey, beef…

Kielbasas and italian sausages (my secret fav!), covered in peppers and onions…

And the John Deere ‘Gator to get us back to the ol’ wood pile to stoke up the bonfire ya’ll (whoops, sorry I slid into Southern speak)…

This is the one requisite picture of 3/5 bridesmaids with the bride (second from right) that I managed to snag all night.

And J’s mom, who kindly asked me to snap a pic of her so she could prove she actually enjoyed herself after all that planning (poor woman; they lost power as she was cooking the final dishes that afternoon! Luckily the generator and some luck helped us eventually get back on track later in the evening).

Next day, there was more pup action…

And ATV riding through the woods! Yee-haw!!! 🙂 THIS was probably my favorite part of the weekend.

Also, have you guys ever heard of Yuengling Beer? I know it was super popular where I went to school because there were so many people from mid-Atlantic/Jersey area but somehow I got away with ever sampling it until now. It was tasty! Light and refreshing, a hair of the dog for myself I suppose 🙂

More dog action. Look at that intense staredown! It’s pup vs. pup!

And then somehow I convinced all the remaining soldiers of the weekend to go to a local crab shack so I could FINALLY finally experience smashing crabs on the table after an earlier botched attempt this summer (see here).

The shack/bar was called Bird River Inn and it was everything I was looking for…grimy and local and unfussy in every way! Perfect!

J’s parents took us through the motions of what to expect and how to crack them. It was complicated! Harder than lobster I thought. Here are your implements of desctruction…

J’s parents ordered us ‘3 Feasts’, which translates roughly to 3-dozen crab ‘plates’ with corn and three boiled shrimp dinners with onions. OMG!

The shrimp for starters were bomb! Boiled with Old Bay seasoning and sweet onoins, I pulled and gulped these babies like it was my job! Then came the crabs…

Uh oh…this seems like a lot…

MORE?!!! AND ANOTHER ONE IS COMING?!!! Yikes. We ate and ate and ate until we were stuffed. I really enjoyed the experience but I have to say…I think lobster has more bang for the buck and it tastier. Hey, I’m a New England girl, what do you expect?! My girl L also ordered the crab chowder, which was phenomenal as well.And with that, my quick weekend get-away to Baltimore was over before i knew it. It was great to catch up with friends and meet new people and have such a great time but I was happy to fly back into Logan on Monday morning.

If you could eat any specialty Mid-Atlantic treat, what would it be?!

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