August 15, 2011 Grasonville, MD to Suffolk, VA

John: Westward Ho! This morning we bid farewell to Peg and Ted. We have had a great time on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Thank you, P & T, for being such wonderful hosts! But before we head west, we must head south down the Delmarva peninsula. For the longest time, I had no clue as to why this piece of land had such a funny name. I felt kind of silly when someone explained it to me. But today we only have to visit Marva.

Mary: Looking at the map it seems to me that the whole thing should just be Delaware. Perhaps all the states wanted to have some coastline.

John: It’s slow going down US-50 and then US-13. Most of the speed limits are 55 and 60, with the occasional 45 mph thrown in for safety, to say nothing of the state troopers and sheriff’s deputies out there protecting and serving. The upside is that our Nissan Murano gets 28 miles per gallon!

We head towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. We have taken it twice before, but only in the northbound direction. The is the first time southbound. We get to the bridge and notice there are TWO of them! We are puzzled. We can only remember a single bridge with one lane in each direction. What gives?

We emerge from the final tunnel section and pull off into Virginia Originals restaurant / gift shop / fishing pier / viewpoint / interpretive center. We have very good fresh tuna steaks (cooked rare) and locally-sourced salad for lunch. Yay!

Mary: Note about the lunch. I tell John that what I want for lunch is a salad with a piece of fish on it. In order to accomplish this we must order a small tossed salad and a tuna burger. The burger which is not chopped up but a whole piece of tuna, arrives on a bun with a piece of American cheese on it. Quick! Remove the cheese before it totally melts! Then get rid of the bun, the coleslaw, and the tartar sauce. Chop up the lettuce, tomato, and pickle and add them to the salad (after first removing the croutons.) And there you have it one plate of salad with tuna and one plate of fatty castoffs.

John: We then head out to the interpretive displays. Whaddya know, in 1999 a second bridge was added parallel to the original! Mystery solved. Much safer this new way.

Mary: And a lot less freaky on the high parts with more lanes!

John: We (Clark, Lewis, Mary and I) look at the big ships going in and out of the Bay. We learn about the 1781 Revolutionary War naval battle between British and French fleets that effectively penned up the British land forces at Yorktown leading to the ultimate American victory.

Clark and Lewis scan the horizon for ships

John: We also learn about the 1861 Civil War encounter between the Confederate ironclad Virginia and the Union ironclad Monitor that ushered in the new age of naval warfare.

Finally, we see the US Navy destroyer Bulkeley (DDG-84) heading out to sea. This warship has recently participated in anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, most recently liberating a Japanese tanker from Somali pirates. It looks formidable.

U.S. Destroyer Bulkeley

John: We make our way across the last stretch of bridge and finally turn west. We get to our destination, Suffolk, VA and check in to our hotel. We choose to eat at a downtown restaurant, the Plaid Turnip (no kidding). The experience can only be described as Pythonesque. We order a glass of wine- they are out of that wine. We order scallops- there are no scallops. We ask about the fish of the day- it’s the null fish. Needless to say, there are no turnips, either. We do not bother asking about cheese.

But there is that most Eastern of Eastern icons, the iceberg lettuce wedge salad.

The iconic Eastern salad

John: (Note to self and others: We all may love Old Bay seasoning, but we need to aware that it is in large measure SALT. This is the case tonight. Our shrimp are incredibly salty due to the application of both salt and Old Bay. Too bad, because they seemed to be good product and cooked properly.)

Mary: Many thanks again to John who wrote the bulk of this post. The internet at the hotel is so slow that between writing the blog and the Adventures of Clark and Lewis plus uploading the pictures, it would have taken me until the morning.

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