|CrystalblueoceanSailing and Diving Around the World|
sailing and diving around the world
Here's another great spot for wifi, guys. It's on Forest Drive, about a twenty minute walk (more or less) from Chesapeake Harbor Marina. Really nice cafe and a really strong wifi signal. It's at the end of the long plaza, where Giant grocery store is located. They roast their beans right in the store! Kevin handles the roasting and he kindly allowed me to watch the process and take photos and video. There are two locations, this one is known as Bay Zu Coffee. It was fascinating to watch so my thanks go to Kevin :)
The beans get delivered in those big burlap sacks and, for Zu, they usually come from colombia, Costa Rica, Sumatra, Malabar, Ethiopia, and other countries. There are all kinds of ways to roast coffee beans, but at Zu Coffee, they pretty much stick to City roast to French roast and everything in between. The beans go into the hopper, and once the roaster is up to temp, Kevin pulls a lever to open a gate and the beans drop down into the roasting drum. The batch that I watched Kevin roast was a medium roast. There is a little window that allows him to see the beans as they roast, and you can see the beans go from green to dark brown. Once the beans have reached the desired roast, Kevin pulls another lever and the beans drop into the cooling pan. Air is pulled through, from the bottom, to help cool the beans. After about six minutes, the beans are cool enough and they get poured into the holding containers. The roasted beans can't be used right away, though, so they'll sit for 6 hours or so, allowing the carbon dioxide, that the roasted beans create to dissipate. So, that's the reason why the coffee here is so good. They roast the beans fresh, in the store, and Kevin is there throughout the entire process, tweaking things. Most of the other coffee we drink is made with beans that were roasted by a mechanized process, hence the bitterness in so much of that coffee.
Went for a tour of the State House, in Annapolis, yesterday. It was quite a thrill to be in the same room where George Washington resigned his commission, and returned to public life. This is the oldest State Capitol in continuous legislative use in the United States, dating to 1772. It also has the largest wooden dome, constructed without nails, in the U.S.
I'm leaving for Toronto, tomorrow, and I have to say that I had a fabulous time, here in Maryland. Granted, I didn't spend any time in any of the major cities, so my perspective is based on what I saw in Annapolis, and it's outer counties. It occurred to me, earlier on during my stay here, that there was a familiarity about Maryland, that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then I realized that this place is just like Canada, more specifically, like Toronto, where people are extremely friendly and polite. A couple of weeks ago, I was standing in front of the propane fill station, at Truevalue, and I sneezed. Some young guy, just passing by, called out, "bless you." Fine, for those of you who think of that saying as a silly superstition, you've got a point, but the politeness and humanity of it is clear. The young man's intention was to have a positive exchange with a stranger. Unfortunately, in many places that I've been, in the U.S., I'm the only one saying please and thank you. Here, you hear it all the time.
After taking the yacht to Solomons Island, I came back to Eastport, a 'suburb' of Annapolis, and have been here for about a week, so I've been in Maryland for almost 2 months, and I've come to know the area fairly well. The people here are calm and composed. They acknowledge each other with smiles all the time. In fact, standing in front of cafes, for example, I'd be watching cars go by, and people who I've never seen before nod as they drive past. Hard to remember that violent riots took place not too far from here.
Annapolis reminds me of Charleston, and many of the other 'historically significant' cities. The people in Annapolis seem to be proud of the part Maryland played in the history of the U.S. and they behave accordingly. They dress well, and they keep themselves in shape. I suppose it helps to have the Naval Academy here, and midshipmen walking around, everywhere you look.