Time passes in a blink of an eye. It has been more than 3 months since I touched down on Washington Dulles International Airport in United Airline 804. Mother nature greeted my arrival in US through a series of unconventional happenings: Virginia Earthquake, Hurricane Irene, Early October Snow and coming worst winter of the year.
Last week was my best of time in US.
I celebrated my 1st ever American Thanksgiving with Joey’s family at Eastern Shore, Maryland -A place I call it as 世外桃源 in Chinese, or A utopian land of peace and happiness away from the turmoil of the world. This wonderful place comes close to my definition of Shangri-la.
Urban planning is my passion because the quality of a city decides the quality of living. I am grateful to have spent most of my time in the nation’s capital – Washington D.C. and visited the financial, cultural of the world – New York City, twice. Yes, they are amazing cities.
However, the countrysides of Easton and Oxford amazed me even more. Trust me, the bewildering array of skyscrapers can never beat the lush greenery, farms, natural bay and starry sky which give you a deep satisfying sense of calmness, peacefulness and serene pleasure.
The first sentence of John Denvor’s <Country Home, Take Me Home> - ”Almost Heaven”, concludes my impression towards this US’s countryside. I am very sure it is one of the best countrysides in the states.
So, where exactly is it? Easton is located an hour and half drive away from Washington D.C.
Joey’s house is at Easton but we stayed at his grandpa’s house at Oxford which is 10 minutes drive away.
Eastern Shore of Maryland is connected to Western Shore of Maryland (Annapolis and beyond) by the beautiful 4.3 miles Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The original span completed in 1952 and was the world’s longest continuous over-water steel structure. The parallel span was added in 1973. This sexy architecture stands majestically across the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary of the United States. The Chesapeake Bay was the site of major wars such as Battle of the Chesapeake and War of 1812 centuries ago. The toll fare is $4 eastbound. It works the same way as Penang Bridge - you only have to pay driving into the island. The classy 50's architecture that withstands the course of seasonal change.
Wind Mill and the green. Geese flying above the farms in a rainy day. All the scenes in my childhood bedtime stories were right in front of me! Hello Poldy! Mum used to teach me English with this story book when I was 4, 5 years old. It was a story of Poldy the scarecrow comes alive and travels around the world. Maybe this is the reason why I love the farm so much… Country road, take me home…
Joey and I cycled to the inner part of Easton and saw someone hunting with guns. Joey speaks an impeccable London accent! He is a matured and wonderful guy who knows what he wants in life. Enjoyed his accompany so much throughout the Thanksgiving break. I was totally mesmerized by the tranquility of this place. When the sky turns pink.
This small town played a very important role in War of 1812 – where US fought with the British Empires. The US smartly hanging lanterns and lights on the trees beyond the town, and avoided the bombings of the British. Nice pier at St. Michaels.
Easton is a charming small town with 15,000 population at Talbot County. It is the home of many famous people like Dick Cheney and also Charles Thornton, the world renowned engineer who worked on Petronas Twin Towers and Taipei 101. Gun is legally sold in US. David vs Ben at Easton! These 2 boys are really adorable!
Oxford Fire Station was built by Joey’s father own company. Peaceful town. I don’t describe too much on these pictures because they already tell the stories. Few steps away from Joey’s grandparents’s house. Greenery and the bay. Crystal clear water. During summer time it is a popular swimming spot.
Annapolis – the capital of Maryland, is among the oldest cities in US. It was once a temporary capital for the nation. Visited United States Naval Academy. Downtown Annapolis. City hall of Annapolis. More than 2 centuries ago, George Washington delivered his resignation speech in this room.
Eastern shore is a wonderful place. However, my stay at this place could never be so joyful without Joey’s family – people matters. I came to US alone and explored this new land independently. It is here at Easton I feel very much at home. G for greatness – G for the Gardners. Joey's dad & mom - Mr and Mrs Gardner. They are awesome people with big and warm hearts – definitely a role model parents whom I respect a lot. I enjoyed my stay here at Easton tremendously. It was perhaps my best moment in the states. Thank you so much for all the good foods, care and love! We share same interest on The Carpenters songs too – and it was how their love story begun.
We had a sumptuous lunch at Annapolis Yacht Club with Joey’s grandparents. Joey’s grandpa – Mr. Bright was the CEO of Mid American Energy. Friends at Midwest, his company supplies electricity and gas to your place! Mrs. Bright is a very thoughtful woman and tells good stories. I wish I have chance to visit Mount Kearsarge at New Hampshire one day!
Joey had a reunion with high school friends. From left Kayla, Keats, Ben, Taira and Joey. Joey is a terrific swimmer. He won so many championships and keep on winning! Go Joey! Joey’s beautiful sister – Amy, her boyfriend Alex… and also black cat Simon. Ben & David! They are cute boys and always with so much energy! Ben is a good swimmer too. Actually he was featured on the newspapers for winning swimming comptition. He draws very well too! Learnt to cook “Pumpkin Pie” from Joey.
Mrs. Bright in action – preparing the mouthwatering Turkey. Mr Gardner in action. Wine and sparking juice. It’s time for Thanksgiving Dinner! Turkey, ham, broccoli, mashed potatoes, rice, green beans – my best dinner in the states! Joey's relatives Emily & John came for Thanksgiving Dinner too! Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in US. It is the 2nd most important celebration, if not as important as Christmas. It is a season of giving thanks, appreciation and also reunion.
This was a wonderful thanksgiving for me. Thank you.
Mrs. Gardner left it to his husband for this challenging shoot! Haha! The happy Gardner’s family! And also this little Prince David… who brings so many laughter to the family!
By: Wilson Beh (UGRAD 2011-2012)