Dear Mathews County,
I have a crush on you. It's big.
I visited you recently, under cover of anonymity. You didn't know you were being watched. I admit it: I am your stalker.
You are beautiful beyond compare, and this from a woman who lives in a state known for its beauty. Yeah, California has its vistas, its great expanses, but coastal Virginia, and Mathews in particular? It's a whole other beautiful. Intimate. Secluded. You have to stalk it to discover it. And I did.
Without you knowing it, I walked your beaches and skirted your marshlands. I breathed in the electric air of vibrant downtown Mathews during a thunder shower (in California our original downtowns are few and growing fewer, and our thunderstorms are even more rare). I heard the beep-beeps of passing cars and knew they were friendly honks of recognition of passing neighbors, not angry motorists. I smiled.
Thank you for the wonderful food I tried for the first time! At Chef Todd's I had a crab cake sandwich. Being a Come-Here I wanted to try local food, and I'm pretty sure this was it. YUM. Thanks to the kind staff at Chef Todd's for a wonderful lunch and for not falling over when the question "How many for lunch today?" was answered, "Oh, maybe 20? 16 for sure."
At the visitor's center in the historic Sibley's General Store building we knocked a few of your citizens out of their socks, I'm afraid. I hope we didn't frighten anyone too badly, when we just kept pouring through the door, announcing the many and far-flung places from which we had come: metro D.C., Texas, Maine, Connecticut, Manhattan, Seattle, and even Vancouver, Canada. And, of course, many from within a stone's throw of Mathews County as well. I was smitten by the local talent on display and for sale in that charming old store that has a good start on its second century of life.
(Original photo stolen from the lovely and talented Daryl)
In Hallieford I fell in love with the Sandpiper Reef restaurant because of the Heavenly Grouper which, I'm only slightly ashamed to say, I completely devoured, and thought about licking the plate but didn't at the last minute. FANTASTIC!
(Original photo stolen from their web site)
And how such a spacious room could feel cozy is beyond me, but it did. Maybe it was the great company, food and the locals, who not only didn't point and stare at we Come-Here's, but actually joined us at the table and gave us a pre-prepared quiz about the region. I failed miserably but thoroughly enjoyed the process. Thanks to Mark -- I think I have the name right? -- for going above and beyond to make sure we were somewhat edumahcated.
And of course there was Nature. Nature is especially fond of Mathews County, I can tell: Her light is just a little stronger, Her shadows more nuanced, Her greens a shade richer than in other parts of the world.
And Her denizens are as relaxed as we Come-Heres were.
I hope to do more Mathews stalking, spurred on by the talented local blogger Chesapeake Bay Woman whose blog "Life In Mathews" lured so many of us to your fine county. Because of CBW, Mathews has at least a dozen more stalkers, and counting.
You have been warned, Mathews, but we'll be gentle.
Thank you to the fine people of Mathews County Virginia for three days of heaven!
**sigh** I'd much rather be there today than here at my desk...slaving away!!
Posted by: big hair envy | July 28, 2009 at 09:52 AM
Right there with you on the crush thingy.
Posted by: annbb/TSannie | July 27, 2009 at 09:15 PM
You goin' back???
Posted by: annbb/TSannie | July 27, 2009 at 08:37 PM
Shoot....now you'll be poking around all the hiding spots where I stalk from. Hmmm...I suspose that could be fun too :)
Posted by: SMBS (Single Male Blog Stalker) | July 27, 2009 at 06:52 AM
Fellow VA Stalker: *Sigh*; such an elusive mistress is she; so close on GoogleMaps yet so damn far. Lovely post!
Posted by: baronessvonbloggenschtern | July 26, 2009 at 05:19 PM
It certainly cast a spell on all of us....
Posted by: Mental P Mama | July 26, 2009 at 09:26 AM
Oh, I wish I could have been there...sigh...maybe next time. It's nice when many of the bloggers one adores (and maybe stalks just a little) are in one place...makes fawning over them that much easier...
Shade and Sweetwater,
Posted by: Kyddryn | July 25, 2009 at 03:29 PM
Now you have gone and made this Californian love it too.
You're gonna be in big trouble.
Posted by: KathiD | July 25, 2009 at 09:09 AM
Beautiful! I'm glad you had such an amazing visit.
Now I expect to hear about all of the sordid details of Blogfest.
Posted by: Jason | July 25, 2009 at 08:22 AM
LOVE the juxtaposition (I be edumahcated too!) of Meg/Janice and the sharks, okay, porpoise pod is perfect...
Posted by: Daryl | July 25, 2009 at 06:31 AM
So beautifully said..good on you..a worthy tribute to cbw and her work and family and Mathews county.
Posted by: Annie | July 25, 2009 at 04:28 AM
Sounds like y'all had loads of fun! Next year, how about a west coast fest?
Posted by: Cactus Petunia | July 24, 2009 at 10:34 PM
No words...just memories.
Posted by: Audrey at Barking Mad! | July 24, 2009 at 09:07 PM
Posted by: noe noe girl | July 24, 2009 at 08:54 PM
Nice post! This is how I feel about Eastern NC.
Posted by: Elaina | July 24, 2009 at 08:51 PM
If you were really a stalker these photos would be more grainy and show Mathews County putting groceries in the car and taking a shower or something?
Posted by: Suzanne Broughton | July 24, 2009 at 08:45 PM
Great post that reflects the sentiments of so many. What memories!
Posted by: grandma j | July 24, 2009 at 07:57 PM
I am at a total loss for words(no really!)
Ok I found one- WOW!
Posted by: noe noe girl | July 24, 2009 at 07:47 PM
I'm just sighing here in Maryland, looking at the last photo of me and CBW, our butts in the bay, all a-smile.
What a lover-ly recap.
Posted by: Meg | July 24, 2009 at 07:39 PM
You're the best.
Posted by: Chesapeake Bay Woman | July 24, 2009 at 07:27 PM
I can't even say anything. I'm all choked up.
Posted by: Kate | July 24, 2009 at 06:10 PM
You are so correct...it is a love affair with an area so wonderful as this.
Awesome post and worded perfectly. Virginia can not wait to have you back!!!
Posted by: Marlene | July 24, 2009 at 05:20 PM