Insider's been known to be on the lookout for a few boastful tourism adages over the years, but recently we saw one slogan that actually moved through town with an official escort.

In the hamlet of St. Michaels on Maryland's western Chesapeake shore, the citizens are very proud of their boatmaking history.

The region's reputation was once so well-established that during the War of 1812, a British fleet specifically sailed up the Chesapeake Bay in order to demolish the tiny maritime communities of Talbot County. (These villages had produced spry watercraft that had successfully pestered British ships during the conflict.)

On the night of Aug 10, 1813, the fleet anchored just off St. Michaels with the intention of leveling the town via cannon fire. But according to local legend, the inhabitants -- forewarned of the attack -- hung their lanterns high in the trees and on the tops of ships' masts to "fool" the artillery gunners into thinking that the town had a higher elevation.

The police cars in the town of St. Michaels, Maryland, are marked with a historical pun. The British sailed away thinking they had decimated all, but by morning light, townfolk discovered that only one building had sustained damage.

That's why on the side panel of township police cars reads the tagline: The Town that Fooled the British.

For the birds

Insider learned that a pair of peregrine falcons (only one of eight pair in Illinois) chose the balcony of Apartment 2401 of the new ExecuStay by Marriott in Chicago to hatch and raise their young.

Their three chicks hatched in mid-April and, along with Mom and Dad Falcon, they are ExecuStay's first extended-stay guests.

Marriott said they are being given VIP protected treatment until the chicks are ready to take their first flight.

ExecuStay has blocked off seven nearby apartments until the chicks and their parents are ready to vacate the nest. Marriott will not rent these rooms until then.

Car talk

There seem to be three popular brands of rental cars on St. Barts in the French West Indies. There is, however, one size of rental car on St. Barts: small.

Mini-mokes, the Australian-made version of golf carts, were once the top choice of car renters.

Now, however, the mokes are few and far between. Replacement parts are hard to come by.

The Swatch-made Smart car is lovable, colorful and fun.The rental car of the moment is the Suzuki Sidekick, a stick-shift Jeep Wrangler-lookalike that zips up and down the narrow roads with only a hint of a wheeze.

Oh, but it was love at first sight when Insider spied the two-door Smart, parked on a quay in the town of Corossol on the northwest coast.

In primary color yellow with a black roof and tiny tires, the squat little machine looked more like a kid's toy than it did a real car.

The Smart is made by Swatch, the Swiss watch company. The car just recently arrived on St. Barts.

Insider has owned and worn a Swatch for years. She now wants to own and drive a Smart.

Tres difficile. The car is not imported into the U.S because it meets none of our tough emission standards.

For her Smart fix, Insider will either have to relocate to Basel or return to St. Barts frequently.

Hmm. A difficult choice? Non!

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