People keep corrrecting me when I talk about being right by the ocean. "Oh, not the ocean," they always say immediately. "It's the bay." This genuinely confused me at first, because a bay is... just a piece of an ocean... until I realized that when they said "the bay," they meant The Bay, the only one that counts. The idea that we are all living on just any paltry part of the Atlantic Ocean just won't do. No, no. We live on The Bay.
To continue with the nostalgic children's-books-about-animals theme, here is what I always think of when I think of the Chesapeake Bay: Jim Kjelgaard's books about irish setters: Irish Red, Big Red, Son of Irish Red, Outlaw Red, Son of Big Red, Rebel Red, Outlaw's Half-Cousin-Once-Removed-Who's-Really-Part-Spaniel-But-We-Try-Not-To-Mention-It, etc. I basically remember 3 things about these books: 1) they were about dogs and the boys who loved them; 2) they were set on the Chesapeake Bay, a magical place where you can hunt and fish and swim and play hooky; 3) if you go fishing and you run out of bait you can successfully catch a whopper using an improvised combination of bubble gum, dog hair, and shoestring.
What I don't remember: the Chesapeake Bay being a mystical location apparently far removed from the much dingier body of water known as the Atlantic Ocean. She's like the Chesapeake Bay's tawdry older sister. Why go for the broader continent-spanner that everyone's charted when you could have her trimmer, peninsula-hugging counterpart? Poor Atlantic. It's okay. You and I both know she would be nothing without you.