Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Annapolis, Maryland

When I hear the name Annapolis, my mind fills with images of white sails dancing across the water and harbors full of boats. Before we left the Baltimore area, we visited Annapolis. Twice actually. This city is all things boats. The downtown is a great place to visit on a warm sunny day where you can enjoy watching boats go in and out of the harbor, stroll amongst the shops, drink a local beer outside at a pub, and marvel at quaint homes. 

Downtown Annapolis, MD
My sister, Lora, guided us to the Maryland State House. The building houses some amazing history. It is the oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use and is the only state house to have ever served as the nation’s capital. This building is where George Washington came before Congress to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War. The building is open for tours and exhibits flank the walls of restored rooms so visitors can be transformed back in time. It was really sort of a thrilling feeling to stand in that room surrounded by those walls and know the history that went on there.

The Maryland State House.

The lightning rod and acorn on top of the dome were created according to Ben Franklin's specifications. 
Some viewed the lightning rod as the support for Franklin's political views and the opposition of King George III.

Chambers inside the State House.

The flag flying in this georgeous wooden dome is the re-creation of a 1783 John Shaw flag that was flying when
George Washington came to resign his post as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and when the Treaty
of Paris was ratified.
If you go to Annapolis, don’t miss the U.S. Naval Academy. The campus buildings are open to the public. Start at the Visitor Center with a 10-minute film on the academy and then pick up one of the walking tours. The 1 ½ - 2 – hour tour takes you through multiple buildings and explains life for the midshipmen during their 4-years at the academy. You feel a strong sense of Navy pride while on campus and pledge to cheer for Navy in the next Army-Navy game. After our tour, we visited the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. The museum tells the story of the United States Navy from its birth during the Revolution through to today's modern fleet. Also housed in the museum is the largest collection of wooden model ships in the world.

Entrance to the U.S. Naval Academy.

The row of officer's houses. 

Midshipmen in formation before lunch.

Midshipmen wearing kakhi are seniors, all other midshipmen wear black.

Midshipmen filing in for lunch. 
A visit to Annapolis can be an all-day event. There are many great places to eat and sitting outside is a must in order to watch the hustle and bustle of this port town. Shopping opportunities are extensive and range from high-end art galleries to clothing to souvenirs. There is even a store that uses sail cloth to make jackets and bags.

More photographs from the academy.
Inside the "dining hall."

Standing with the Navy mascot, a goat. "Go Navy, beat Army!"

Inside the campus chapel.

Stained glass window featuring David Farragut - the first naval commander.

Crypt of Davey Jones

Inside the U.S. Naval Museum on campus.

Model ship displays inside the museum.

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