oak manor inn

2010 November 20
by admin

dsc_1339_21As we drove up the long oak lined drive, we were greeted by a beautiful manor, set right on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. The Oak Manor Inn was built in the 30′s as a private home, and then a private club, and hosted fabulous parties, and lots of gambling! The police continually raided them but an elaborate signaling system warned the guests in time, and they were not caught until the authorities decided to approach them from the water! The guests included Jack Kennedy, Guy Lombardo and many other affluent clientele who flew in to this remote area. The rooms are very elegant well appointed, and at the same time very comforting and warm. We are the only guests here in the off season, so it is almost like this place is our own. dsc_1414_2The “inn-dog”, Charlie, a 2 1/2 year old golden retriever joined us to have his belly rubbed and then later for a catch by the water. The innkeepers were the perfect hosts, full of pride and enthusiasm for their beautiful home and inn. As you walk throughout the gracious rooms you can almost  hear the tinkling of glasses , and faint , old conversations. Our room, the Marmaduke, overlooked the Chesapeake, and had a luxurious king size bed, and working fireplace, and an old tub for soaking in. It used to be the master bedroom, and I felt very important indeed as I looked out the windows to the bay. Yesterday was overcast, and we sat in the library next to a roaring fire after being served a delicious breakfast in the stately dining room.Our hosts, John and Cassandra, looked in on us every so often to see if we needed anything. It was a perfect day.

The innkeepers are architects and designers, and have added a conservatory with floor to ceiling french doors and windows that look out to the bay. They designed the perfect size  indoor pool, and at the end is the carriage house where they live. Every detail has been lovingly put into place.. There is something about the energy of being on the water that is so vibrant and energizing, and at the same time very peaceful.dsc_1368_2

Last night as I lay in bed, in this beautiful old inn on the Chesapeake Bay I fell to sleep by the crackle of the fire. In the wee morning hours a  violent storm blew in! I could hear the fireplace flu rattling like crazy, and the last embers on the fire flare. I got up and made my way to the window. We are on the second floor , right on the water. The wind was roaring and the rain was pelting the windows. I was, honestly, a little afraid- which is saying a lot, as you know how much I welcome a storm and all the strength and fury that accompanies it. This was different, a massive energy sweeping into every nook and cranny of the huge brick structure, whistling through the windows. Then it became quiet-whatever had been rattling and attached was swept away into the night! I made a mental note to tell someone in the morning, and then  I finally went back to sleep, when the wind died down, and awoke in the morning to a sunny expansive lawn that stretches all the way to the water. The sun had just risen, and the sky was a clear blue, with no clouds at all. The entire earth looked like it had been showered clean. The wind was still there, but in the daylight seemed much less threatening.

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dsc_1302I looked out the windows and was treated to some birds soaring high in the sky. This was the gift of the day- a family of bald eagles riding the wind. As they got closer, you could see the sun reflecting on the underside of their bodies, and they turned almost pink. The real thrill was to see their distinctive head, with the distinctive white feathers and curved beak. These amazing creatures are huge! They were a family- the youngest resembles an osprey and is still spotted and lighter than it’s parents. They stand a good 3-4 feet tall, and when I was out in the wind on the lawn with them, I wondered if they might find me a good thing to carry away and eat that day!

We stretched out the visit as long as we could. I dreamed of teaching yoga on the wide lawn and indoors in the conservatory with a full moon illuminating the water. We said our good byes, with a promise to return, and made our way home. It is always very sweet to come down our own tree lined drive, to hear the joyful barks of the dogs, and sleep in our own beds! We returned, refreshed and  renewed. Welcome home!

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