All right, I have a battle plan for this summer. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I'll just tear out and laminate pages 32 through 41 of this issue, which is to say the 2011 Best of the Bay reader survey results, and I'll use that as my itinerary for exploring the Bay this season. Brilliant! Yes, I have my moments.
I'll just take it from the top, the first category: Best Town for Foodies. I'll go to Annapolis, St. Michaels, Baltimore, Rock Hall, Smithfield, Solomons, Deale, Norfolk and, finally, Kent Island (by the way, people, that's not a town). Then I'll move on to Best Town for Families: Annapolis, Baltimore, Rock Hall . . . well, actually, it's much the same list, just in different order and with the addition of Oxford. Same goes for the Best Town for Nightlife, with the addition of Hampton. And for sightseeing towns, adding Washington D.C. and Chestertown. . . .
Okay, Plan B: I'll consolidate the best-town-for-whatever lists, which boils it down to a total of 13 ports of call. I can cover that in a couple of weekends, yes? Then I'll move on to favorite marinas and . . . I should probably consolidate those lists too. That gives me 26 marinas, which means . . . hold on, let me do the math. Carry the two, and--
Plan C: Let's just take the top three nominees in each category. With 30 categories, that's only 90 things. That's manageable. I've had way longer to-do lists than that. If I plan it out carefully, it might just work. Let's think it through: At this writing, if I were to start first thing tomorrow morning, I'd have something like 25 weekends between now and late October. So that's 3.6 destinations/attractions/marinas/meals/museums/crabcakes/gunkholes per weekend. Ambitious? Yeah, maybe a touch.
On to Plan D then, the final plan: First, I'll make arrangements to take the entire summer off, and half of the fall. If that doesn't fly, I'll have a wax replica of myself made, put it at my desk, and take the entire summer off anyway. And half of the fall. Oh yes, now we're on to something. I'm liking this Plan D. It's elegant in its very simplicity, it gives me 25 full weeks to work with, rather than merely weekends, and it has the added advantage of no actual office work for . . . what's that, five months? Nice. I like the way I think. I'll let you know how it all works out. If you know anyone who does wax replicas of editors, please let me know.
Speaking of editors, there is a very important one missing from our midst at the moment--but for a good and happy reason. Our managing editor, Ann Levelle, is on maternity leave, having brought a lovely little girl, Penelope, into the world on March 31. We would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to congratulate Ann and her husband John, and to welcome young Penny to the CBM family. Cheers! Come back soon, Ann. . . . No, really. Soon. You are coming back soon, right?