Gilligan’s Pier: A Hidden Paradise

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This past weekend our family volunteered for a charity poker pun to benefit a friend’s child who was born with Treachers Collins Syndrome. The money will be used to assist with the countless surgeries that are required. Since we do not own a motorcycle, our family held down the second location in Newburg, Maryland. However, due to the inclement weather mostly everyone drove four wheels anyway. Our stop was hosted by a restaurant called Gilligan’s Pier at Popes Creek. It’s located a few miles down a secluded road off route 301. It sure didn’t seem like a restaurant would be back there but we were quite surprised when we arrived.

First we set up our station. If you have never heard of a poker run before, it is a paid bike ride where you go to 5 different locations. At each location you draw a playing card. Each card is stamped for validation (no cheating). And at the end, the best hand (and worst hand lol) wins a major prize. In our event, I believe it was an Autographed “RG3” Washington Redskins Jersey. We also offered raffle tickets at our stop to raise further funds.

2015-Poker-Run-CardsI will say this restaurant isn’t fancy inside at all. It’s actually kind of gloomy and drab…you know, “Bar-y”. But when you step outside, you’re suddenly at a tropical beach bar somewhere. I bet that is why they have been around for 25 years…ย 

2015-Gilligans-Pier-StageThere is a ton of outdoor space at Gilligan’s Pier. Patrons can enjoy live music, volleyball, specialty drinks, and seafood. All as the sun sets gorgeously on Potomac. Check out some of their pictures on Instagram.

2015-Gilligans-Pier-BeachThose are picnic tables IN the water. I haven’t sat in the water since our honeymoon in Aruba. No this isn’t ocean water. Remember you’re ON the Potomac… so you have to take pride in the swamp water here instead. LOL

2015-Gilligans-Pier-Direction-SignWe came during lunch so it was quiet. But during the evenings, I imagine it to be similar to night life at Washington Harbor in Georgetown, DC. You can bring your boat to dock and party till 2am. I don’t own a boat but that sounds good to me.

2015-Gilligans-Pier-BoardwalkOf course my spoiled son would say he was hungry. We can’t go into a restaurant and not eat right? Noah had his usual Mac n’ Cheese with apple sauce. I am so glad he is finally comfortable blowing his own hot food. I remember the days he would throw a fit for me to do it for him.

2015-Gilligans-Eating-Mac-n-CheeseGilligan’s Pier is known for their Blue Crabs but we didn’t come to get down and dirty. So my husband and I shared an oyster sandwich & fries with Old Bay seasoning. Gilligan’s did not disappoint. They get major points for the portion – especially for the price! My server dropped one oyster on the floor by accident. It was painful to see but she made up for it by returning with 4 more! #Winning

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I live for seafood and sunsets. I wouldn’t mind giving this place a try again (alone with my husband). Those are called date nights right? ๐Ÿ˜› But just in case that never happens, our friend told us that people bring their kids before 9pm for dinner and sand play. I guess you can add “Family friendly” to the list of features here.

But back to the charity run. We all gathered at a local VFW Post for food, raffle, and a silent auction.ย  If you would like to help Zachary’s battle with TCS, feel free to donate through his Go Fund Me page HERE.

Special thanks to Gilligan’s Pier for letting us use their space!

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Crisp Cooking: We’re having a ball!

My son and I have been enjoying watermelon all season but ever since I laid my hands on the Crisp Cooking Melon Baller, I find him eating one of MY favorite fruits twice as much!

Theย Crisp Cooking Melon Baller comes with three different sizes containing both serrated and smooth scoops. They are all attached! I love how this kitchen tool gives a clean, unique, and FUN presentation for kids!

2015-Crisp-Cooking-Melon-BallerThe Crisp Cooking Melon Baller is very easy to use and clean but I found a lot of “juice” getting left behind in each scoop. However, that wasn’t much to worry about. Each bite was still full with water.

2015-Watermelon-HolesTurns out melon balls make for a good game too. My son races me to eat them all first…

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Last one!

Do you want to see how it works? Check out their demonstration video on YouTube!

Earlier this summer I won a few Crisp Cooking tools via The Sung. I will be giving them all a try while sharing my thoughts in the future.

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Inside National Colonial Farm

Growing up in the city, farms were hard to come by unless I was on a designated field trip. But in Southern Maryland, you can find farmland every few miles. One of the farms we frequent is National Colonial Farm in Accokeek, MD. I like that it’s located waaaay off the main road. The National Colonial Farm isn’t your average farm, it’s actually a living history museum established by the Accokeek Foundation in 1958.

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-HouseThe main attraction at the museum is “Bolton Farm”. It is set up like a historic 1770 farm. Here, you are allowed to explore life as a family before the American Revolution.

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-House-EnterThe perfect environment for Mr. Nosy Noah.

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2015-National-Colonial-Farm-KitchenNormally, our family visits are during the week. So in order to experience the demonstrations and events, you will have to visit on the weekends between 10am and 4pm. However… we lucked out one day and ran into “Joshua Bolton” (the acting owner of the farm) himself. Turns out, the staff was around for a special event. We ended up getting a private learning experience before their guests arrived.

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-Joshua-Bolton-DemoDid you know that the area of Accokeek has a native fruit called The Pawpaw? (I HAD NO CLUE) The inside is pretty soft and mango-like. Noah squeezed a little too hard (of course) and a pudding gushed out. We didn’t try it because I thought it was bad but Joshua ate it so I guess all is well. LOL Lesson 234: You don’t waste food in the 1700’s.

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Pawpaw is the green oval-like fruit on the table

In fact, this month’s theme is dedicated to food waste and preservation. We were shown how a family would dry their fruit to eat during the winter months. Who needs a dehydrator when you have the beautiful sun!?

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-Bolton-Farm-Drying-FruitI also learned quite a few things about composts and re-purposing as well. Supposedly the average American wastes $2,000 a year in food and products that can be re-purposed. Yikes! I think I see “crunchy” living in my future…

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-Pig-CallingThe animals have a lot of freedom here. It’s a much more natural experience than you would have at a farm at a zoo. When it was time to eat, we called the pigs using a “sue-wee” sound. It worked like magic! And for the first time in my adult life I witnessed a cow getting milked… whoa!

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-Milking-CowsYea, I was all up in their business.

Right outside the tobacco barn there is a garden museum with multiple garden beds demonstrating various planting and growing methods. Local volunteers help keep things going.

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-Garden-MuseumThe grounds are open to the public year round… so even if when you don’t find many animals on site, you can take advantage of the trails, picnic area, and fishing pier – just like any other park. During the week, the area is pretty low-key. That makes it the perfect place for an intimate gathering. I hear you can find a lot of catfish in the water. Give it a try…

2015-National-Colonial-Farm-Fishing-PierI was not compensated for this post. The National Colonial Farm is just another one of my favorite places. Thanks to Paul, Cory, And Eric for their kindness and teachings! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Beach Exhibt DC

The BEACH at The National Building Museum

So let me find out there is a beach in D.C… No swim or sunscreen required?

2015-NBM-The-Beach-DC-Swim All summer I have been seeing people covered with white balls on my newsfeed like above. Jealousy kicked in so we HAD to go. If you’ve been living under a rock, The Beach Exhibit at The National Building Museum was the IT place this summer!

The Beach Exhibt DCAs a parent, I go to ball pits all the time. However, I’m usually standing on the sidelines yelling at my son to stop throwing the balls outside. Not anymore… that’s what makes this place special if you are a kid at heart like me. But here’s the deal:

The Cons:

  1. It’s not free. – General + The BEACH admission.
  2. Kids jumping. Balls are flying. Watch out yo.
  3. You WILL lose any item that is not secure.

The Pros:

  1. It’s fun as hell – actually relaxing.
  2. There is a shallow and deep end.
  3. You can take a break, grab a bite/drink, and lounge on a chair.

The only thing that was missing was music. This is one place where the adults and kids get along just fine… That’s because they pay each other NO mind. You have the kids going crazy by “the shore”. And then you have the grown folks in the deep end on their phones. Some couples were actually out on a date – it was super cute.

2015-NBM-The-Beach-DC-Down Low But if you’re my child…

2015-NBM-The-Beach-DC-Ball2The BEACH will thrill you for about 15 minutes and then you move on to a handrail and roll each ball down one at a time.

2015-NBM-The-Beach-DC-Ball One down. 999,999 balls to go!

The exhibit closes September 7th. So catch it while you can…