So today I’m delighted to introduce Sando, my Frederick, MD counterpart. We must’ve been separated at birth, the whole teacher marrying a teacher and living in Maryland thing. The blonde hair, too…
Anyway, my mom and I used to take day trips to Frederick to go antiquing and boutiquing (is that a word?). Two of my all time favorite items of purchase in my ENTIRE life come from Frederick. One is a white lace shift dress from the Velvet Lounge (don’t worry, Sando will clue you in) and the other is a vintage white lace duvet cover I used on my bed throughout college that came from the Antique Emporium (again, she’ll clue you in). A vintage white lace duvet during undergrad? Yes. I was very responsible…
I digress. You must check out Sando’s blog, The Daily Deelight. Be sure to do it with a full stomach because it’s sort of like visiting the grocery store. You’ll want to make EV-ER-Y-THING on her blog. Yummm. But, for now, she’s here to tell you a little about Frederick. And take it from me, it’s worth a trip!
Hi there! My name is Sando and I write over at The Daily Deelight. Tina has very graciously asked me to do a guest post on her lovely blog. I was much obliged. Tina and I have a lot in common actually. Although we’ve never met in person, I feel a special connection to her because she and her husband are both teachers also! AND they both live in MD, also. Things I’m sure you’re well aware of, but now you know that we share those same attributes. While Tina and her hubby are off enjoying their vacay this week, I’m gonna stick with the travel spirit and take on you a virtual vacation in my hometown [[and current residence]] of Frederick, MD. I am a born and raised Fredericktonian who dragged my husband back [from North Carolina] here to settle down. Or did he drag me? Eh, details details. Any who, ever since moving back I feel like I’ve fallen in love with my hometown all over again. When you’re a child growing up you know no different. You think every small town/city has what yours does. Not the case my friend. After living abroad and going to college 3 states away, I very quickly learned that there is something very special and unique about my hometown.
Frederick is a very historical place. I grew up in a house that was built in the 1850’s…dirt basement and all! So it has that certain element that makes it feel ___________. I don’t really know what to call it, other than the “it” factor. Over the years Frederick has become a bustling little city [[2ndlargest in MD]] that attracts weekenders from Baltimore and DC in need of a little ____________. Whether it’s a quiet lunch at one of our many [many, many] amazing restaurants, a stroll around one of our gorgeous parks, a hike through a rustic trail, a first class shopping experience at one of our specialty boutiques or antiques shops, or a chance to dive into the past and walk amongst historical landmarks. Whatever it is, Frederick has risen to the occasion. Just in the past 5-7 years I feel like Frederick has taken an extra interest in revitalizing and revamping. It’s very easy for towns like Frederick to slip into the ‘sleepy-old-town’ category. But trust me when I say, there’s nothing sleepy about this place. There is always something going on and always restoration projects popping up everywhere. Whether it is a free concert in the park, a gallery opening, pub-crawl, walking-tour, flash-mob, or street festival. Frederick is a great place to visit and an even better place to live!
So if you’re in the area, come for a visit. Even if it’s just for a day! In fact, I’ll make it easy for you… I’ll plan an ideal Frederick day for you.
Come on a Saturday. Let’s say around 10am. Dress comfortably casual, because we’re gonna be doing a lot of walking. For your first stop come to our ever-growing West Frederick Farmer’s Market. Very easy to access thanks to it’s close proximity to the highway. This place will be hopping! But to put your parking anxieties at ease, drive into the parking lot as far back as you can. Newbies to this market don’t realize all the available parking that stays hidden near the vendors. Consider this a tip…from me to you. After grabbing some gorgeous produce arrive in downtown Frederick and make your 1st stop @ Beans and Bagels on East Patrick Street. Enjoy one of their fresh bagel sandwiches. My current obsession is a toasted salt bagel with egg salad, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Grab a cup of joe too, because you have a fun day ahead of you!! Then while on Patrick Street, make your way down towards Market [heading west] and pop into the shops along the way. Some of my usual stops include Fabulous Finds, Home Essentials, Venus on the Half Shell, and the Antique Emporium. Before you hit Market Street, on the left you’ll find Café NOLA. It’s gotta be lunch time by now, right? Thought so. Stop into NOLA and get ready for a treat. This café is known for it’s urban-suburban feel and offers up fresh-farm raised super-duper local food that will knock your socks off. Their fried green tomato sandwich with sweet potato French fries is a personal favorite and friend of mine. I think you should get to know her too. Ok, after lunch you’re going to head up Market Street and hit up some more fantastic boutiques! Traveling up and down Market you will find some one-of-a-kind shops that I just adore; Velvet Lounge, Sky’s The Limit, Metro Retro, The Muse, Pitcrew, and Simply Beautiful. Also a few must stops while on Market include Lebherz Olive Oil and Vinegar Emporium and En Masse. The olive oil shop is like none other. I actually grew up with the owner. She has created such an amazing niche for herself. You can sample and buy freshly bottled [in front of your face] specialty olive oils and vinegars. Beyond delicious and so fun to experience! En Masse is a gorgeous flower shop. The scents alone are worth stopping in for. Grab yourself a bouquet or just a single flower. The sweet owners/employees will happy to answer any of your gardening/ foliage questions and package up a hand picked bouquet complete with it’s own plastic-bag water vase. Lovely! On your way back down the street, stop into Zoe’s Chocolate shop for a treat! They are incredible! Their dark chocolate salted caramels are to-die-for! Ok now you’re going to head toward East Street. Walk up either East 2nd or East Church Street and check out the gorgeous historical homes and churches [I grew up on 2nd]. When you get to East street you’ve arrived in an area called Shab Row. There are tons of little places to grab a bite around here and great shops, especially the custom makeup shop; Smooch Studio. Here you will be greeted by lovely ladies who will customize everything from foundation, to eye shadow, to lip-gloss for you. Pretty awesome, huh? After grabbing your makeup goodies, head south East Street back towards Patrick Street. Take a right and head toward Market. Then make a left on Chapel Alley after the Post Office and head towards the creek. I’m taking you to the Delaplaine Center. Here you’ll find local artist’s latest collections. After browsing the beautiful works of art, head out of the Delaplaine and down the creek area towards Market again. Here you’ll notice more beautiful artwork and gorgeous bridges that have been created just in the past 10 years or so.
For dinner I’m taking you to Acacia; which is located on Market Street between Church and 2nd. As a former employee and frequent patron, I can honestly tell you from behind the scenes and in front of the dinner plate that this place is the best! The food is just outstanding. Once again, this restaurant offers up local-farm raised food. Nothing ever comes in frozen and the menu changes daily. Treat yourself to a micro-brew when you’re here by Brewer’s Alley. Brewer’s actually owns Acacia and Isabella’s[a Spanish Tapas style restaurant, also on Market Street]. If it’s a nice evening, sit out on Acacia’s back patio and enjoy the herb garden, which is personally taken care of by the owner’s mother. Little touches like these, make this place quite special.
In the mood for an after dinner drink? Head to The Tasting Room; on the corner of Market Street and Church; for a chocolatey martini and the best people watching spot in town. End your evening with a stroll around Baker Park. With the Bell Tower lit-up, and the fountains glowing, Baker Park provides the perfect backdrop and end to a fabulous Frederick day.
Whether you come alone, with girlfriends, or your beau you’ll have a day to remember.
And hopefully a taste of many more visits to come.