Earlier this week Cecile and I went to Frederick, Md., to walk Market Street with my Aunt Cary. It wasn't my first time to Frederick; I grew up in Maryland, after all, and shaking my grandfather's car keys at Frederick Keys games were a regular summer affair. But in truth, in the years following high school, I hadn't made much effort to get back and enjoy the city as an adult. Well, shame on me, because Frederick is one cute little town. Tree-lined streets, unique boutiques, farm-to-table lunch nooks, church steeples that pierce grey November skies ... historic Frederick has some mega charm factor, people.
I was totally geeking out over the architecture on North Market. I think I took more than 40 photos of corbels and pilasters alone. (Don't worry, I'll spare you.) It was a chilly morning, and we bundled Cecile up good and proper as we strolled the streets, popping in and out of shops, Aunt Cary lifting our stroller up and down the steps outside every boutique. (I'm guessing the prams of yore weren't used for shopping on North Market?? So many steps!)
I'm having a hard time adding a "great" before my aunts and uncles' names. I know it's silly, but it just makes me feel too old. (And I'm sure it doesn't make them feel like spring chickens either.) I have, however, been adding the "great" after their names: Aunt Cary, the great; Uncle Jim, the great; etc. Sorta like Alexander the Great. Pretty grand, right? Eh, maybe not ...
In any case, the best shop my Aunt Cary (Aunt Cary the Great!) brought us to was Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium--or, L.O.V.E.--at 214 North Market Street. As I'm sure you can gather from the name, it was an oil and vinegar boutique with more than 50 oils and vinegars available for you to taste and take home. Oh wow, I had a hard time picking just three--a self-imposed limit I surely won't set next time. Seriously, folks. There was raspberry balsamic vinegar, fig balsamic vinegar, cinnamon-pear balsamic vinegar, dark chocolate balsamic vinegar. There were white balsamics too: grapefruit white, honey ginger white, jalepeno white. You name it; they had it. It was crazy. Yeah, crazy good!
After sampling more than my fair share of oils and vinegars, I settled on taking home the fig balsamic, dark chocolate balsamic (who could resist, right??), and the wild mushroom and sage olive oil. When the toughest decision you have to make all day is which infused oil and vinegar to buy, that day is a good day ;)))
Lunchtime turned into another birthday party of sorts for Cecile. My Aunt Gail (the great!) joined with my mother and grandfather, Poppy. All in all, our Frederick day was a good one ... a trip I hope to do again in the very near future. If we weren't moving next weekend--the first step of many before getting ready for our new house (more on that soon, promise)--I'd say we'd be back for Frost Friday, the town's festive take on Black Friday. But instead I'll likely be sitting in a corner of our rental house surrounded by unpacked boxes, polishing off a whole baguette drenched in dark chocolate vinegar ;) Wish us luck.