Annapolis: Maryland's State Capital

Saturday — March 20

I’m sure there are lots of adjectives to describe today’s weather, but I’ll settle for one — glorious. Bright sunshine, blue skies, and temps reaching 75F (24C) — yeah, that's definitely the right word.

We left the house around 9:30a. An hour later, we were parking the car in Annapolis, the capital of Maryland. The city, initially named “Town at Proctor’s” (then Town at the Severn, and later Anne Arundel’s Towne) was established in 1694 by Puritans seeking religious freedom. In 1694, when the colonial capital was moved here from St Mary’s City, the name was changed to Annapolis to honor Princess Anne (later, Queen Anne of Great Britain). In 1783-84, Annapolis did a temporary stint as the capital of the United States as well.

But all that was well before our time, so let's get back to today.

Somehow, every trip we make here finds us on a meandering walk that starts at the State House, which carries the distinction of being the oldest in continuous legislative use. The building that sits on the grounds today is the third house to be built on the site; portions of it date back to 1772-1779.

The Maryland State House makes a good starting point for any visit to Annapolis.

“Fighting Mary” — the battleship USS Maryland — survived Pearl Harbor to serve in the Pacific during World War II.
It was decommissioned in 1947; the bell was presented to the state and installed here in 1960.

The streets were surprisingly free of people on such a beautiful spring morning. Maybe that was because we were exploring the back streets. No complaints on our part. Window-shopping along the way, we followed a path that took us through the historic district and the quaint streets of the city.

No stomping required in Mui’s case — can you find him in this photograph?
(you’ll have to read the apron on the right for the caption to make sense)

Window displays like this one add color to the streets of Annapolis.

Since we’ve strolled the main drag many times before, this time we detoured inside the walls surrounding the US Naval Academy (founded in 1845). Our goal was to take mom to the Naval Academy Chapel, but a glimpse of blue water peeking out from between buildings lured us to the Severn River first.

A beautiful day for a sailing class.

Eventually we found our way back to the Chapel, which was unfortunately closed to the public today. Instead, we wandered into the crypt below the Chapel to show mom the sarcophagus of John Paul Jones, father of the US Navy.

The cornerstone of the Chapel was laid in 1904 and it was dedicated in 1908.

The sarcophagus is made of 19 tons of Grand Pyrenees marble.
(photo from 2007 — the light was a bit better for photography back then)

(If you'd like to see images from the interior of the Chapel, click here to see a few that I took in 2007.)

By the time we left the Academy grounds, lunchtime was upon us. We walked into the heart of downtown Annapolis and crossed the drawbridge that spans Spa Creek (once Carroll Creek; in honor of Charles Carroll, one of signers of the Declaration of Independence) to arrive at Carrol’s Creek, a waterfront restaurant in the Eastport section of the city. We were a bit early, which was a good thing as they were able to seat us at a table on the deck overlooking the creek. Not long after, all of the outdoor seating was taken.

The boats at the Annapolis Yacht Club always provide a good photo op.

Glimpse of Carrol’s Creek (in the building on the right) from the drawbridge.

It was a perfect day for an al fresco meal, with the scenery and beautiful weather adding to our dining experience.

View from our table on the deck of Carrol’s Creek.

Our selections from the menu.

You might have noticed that there’s no dessert listed amongst our selections. No, we didn’t skip dessert completely; we simply opted to have it elsewhere. After lunch, a slow walk (the sidewalks were packed with people by then) brought us back into the heart of downtown where we picked up some ice cream. Sitting on a bench near the Kunta Kinte—Alex Haley Memorial, we enjoyed our sweet treat and did some people watching to boot. It was a perfect way to conclude our day.

If this Sy Mohr mural, which celebrates 300 years of Annapolis history, is anything to go by,
colonial Annapolis was as much a hub-bub of activity as we found it to be today.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another terrific day, though a bit cloudy. That’s OK; we’re still going to try and make the most of the nice weather while we have it. After all, March has been a lamb so far, which means it’s bound to go out like a lion.

1 comment:

  1. Marone mia!
    Please...No Stomping.
    If you choose one lovingly bottled,
    Age it gracefully,
    Open it up to let it breath...
    Then you can avoid the stomping.
    Who needs purple feet??