We had to get to Westminster, Md. The night before Shelagh and I had a very fun dinner at a N. Bethesda restaurant called El Patio, an Argentinian restaurant with music playing, people singing, and amazing food. But there was a nagging concern that we had to get to Westminster. We wanted to meet with Anna’s parents and we had already been delayed two days by weather. We repeatedly checked the forecast but it would not change. Heavy rain predicted all day and we had 60 miles to ride.
So we plan. A good breakfast, coffee stop, a good lunch, coffee stop. We can do this. If we can’t stay dry, we can at least warm up intermittently. Breakfast is only 1/2 a mile out of the way and then we’re on bike paths. Maryland is blessed with many bike paths and it’s nice not to be dealing with cars in the rain. Pedal, pedal, rain, rain.
Coffee time! We see a shopping center and check it out for a Starbucks. No Starbucks. So we ride another ten minutes and there is another shopping center. This can’t be, another one without a Starbucks. Concerned, we both check our phone GPS to make sure that we are still in America. Fortunately, we see that the center has a place called K’s Cafe. Finally, coffee. Only when we get closer we see that K’s Cafe has both Chinese and Thai food but no coffee. Now we are desperate, and very wet.
Shelagh points out that there is a Pennsylvania Dutch market next door. I’m figuring that we don’t need any furniture, but they have something to eat. I go in to check it out and immediately there are many, many amazing smells. First, the bakery, then the funnel cake fried bread, then the BBQ area, then the regular restaurant, then the fresh foods stand. After we get our coffees and the freshest, tastiest donuts that I’ve had in years (ever?) I’m thinking that maybe it’s OK not to find a Starbucks. Unfortunately, the day has more to offer. Time for the Savvy?Travelers to stike again.
It’s getting later in the aftenoon and we’re very wet and very hungry and very wet and we can find just two possible restaurants for our 4 o’clock lunch and dry off. The first looks imperfect and besides, if we can just ride 6 more miles to the next restaurant, we’ll have that much less to ride after lunch. Except when we get there, we realize that the Brick Ridge restaurant is beautiful, but they are not open, or at least they will not be open for an hour, when they will serve dinner. Fortunately they invite us to warm up and dry off. They prepare us some hot tea, which goes well with the lemon basil scone that we bought in Ashland, Va. for jut the right occasion.
Refreshed, a little bit drier we get back on our bikes and slog the next 20 miles to Westminster.