Of course, we did want to see the sailors, and they seemed to be a little few and far between on a Sunday morning/afternoon...but then we caught them all coming out of church. Score! We were slightly afraid we were going to be crushed by pods of midshipmen marching around the yard, with calls of "hut hut hut!" and serious faces surrounding us, but of course we survived unscathed. Chivalry, after all. I hope they teach them that, too.
After wandering about the campus and stopping in strategic places for a dose of air conditioning (thank you, activities hall and museum!), we headed back towards the center of the town and checked out a few historic homes along the way. We made a quick stop at the Hammond-Harwood House, built in 1774 in the Georgian style, and declined to go on their hour-long tour of the home - the crazy lady in the hat who greeted us was definitely a factor in that decision.
Still interested in learning a little bit more about the history of the area and checking out a historic home (yes, we're nerds - I accept this), we made our way to the William Paca House and Garden, yet another national historic landmark that's been restored by the Historic Annapolis Foundation. William Paca's claim to fame? Well, he signed the Declaration of Independence and did all kinds of awesome things for the state of Maryland, so he's held in pretty high esteem around these parts. I didn't know who he was...but I sure do now. We got a tour of the gardens, which were just gorgeous and very Versailles-like (only on a much smaller scale, of course), and then embarked on a tour of the house as a group of six. I felt young, very young, which was actually a pretty nice feeling, even if it did imply we were embarking on adventures deemed exciting by the retiree set. I'm personally a big fan of the Georgian style - it's symmetrical, organized, structured. Shocking that description appeals to me, right? Anyway, it was really interesting to make our way through the house and gardens and learn a little bit of history and architecture.
Our tour of the Paca house took up a decent chunk of our time, and afterwards we were
so hungry that we almost ate our arms starving, so we grabbed a quick slice of pizza in the center of town and continued on our historical viewings and endeavors. Maryland State House! The oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use AND the only state house to have served as the nation's capitol. The Treaty of Paris was ratified here! George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army here! Yes, it's crazy old and quite pretty to boot. St. Anne's Church! Windows designed by Tiffany & Co. - gorgeous. It felt very European save for the red brick (how very New England) exterior.
After a little more town exploring and wandering, we headed down to the docks for our much-anticipated sailing adventure aboard the Woodwind, a 74 foot wooden schooner that loads up with a rambunctious crew and a crowd of people to go sail the Chesapeake Bay. Ummm....I need a sailboat. More specifically, I need to know someone who has a sailboat who has no problem taking me out on the water on weekends and doing all of the hard sailing work themselves, because if you asked me to tack and jib and do all these sailing things, we would probably tip over and die. We strategically placed ourselves to board the boat as early as possible, which was a great move - found ourselves right at the front with no people in front of us and our view. This was such a fantastic experience. So peaceful out on the water, and we had fantastic views of the Naval Academy and the Bay Bridge and the ridiculously gorgeous waterfront homes along the way.
After our sailing adventure, we were in desperate need of sustenance, and we made our way out to a middle-of-nowhere spot along the bay known as Cantler's, where we dined at the bar next to a man named George whom I'm fairly certain lives at the bar and doles out advice to anyone who happens to be near. This place is a total dive, but it came highly recommended, and after our crab dip and jumbo shrimp and stuffed rockfish, I would also highly recommend. As long as you have an actual map or accurate navigation device to get you out there. The Google Maps directions are a little lacking.
All in all, Annapolis is an incredibly quaint, adorably cute, historical little place that I very well may visit again during my time in D.C. If you want to see more, you can check out my pictures from the day here. I love the day trips! Especially up here...if you drive 30-45 minutes from Dallas or Amarillo or Lubbock...yes, there are options, but it's certainly nothing like this. Long weekend in Philadelphia, here I come.