On Sunday, Jon and I hopped in my parents' car and drove out Rt. 50 towards the Bay Bridge to Annapolis. My friend Jen, who works as an archivist and researcher for the state of Maryland, had offered to show us around her town when we first expressed interest in visiting. Annapolis is full of early American history, so I was thrilled to have a knowledgable and fun tour guide for our day out!
We started at Red Red Wine with a New Orleans brunch, complete with beignets and plates of crab benedict, to fuel us up for our adventure. After finishing our delicious meal, Jen brought us through the historic downtown of Annapolis to the Naval Academy, where we spent a good hour exploring the campus. I loved the museum on the grounds - it stirred unexpected feelings of patriotism! Jon went to a naval school and learned a lot of maritime history, so he felt compelled to point out that the exhibitions about the 18th and 19th centuries focused on the battles we won rather than those we lost. I, of course, felt compelled to point out that the United States beat Great Britain in two wars back then but that I loved him anyway.
After making our way through the Naval Academy to the bank of the Severn River, we meandered back through downtown to the Maryland State House. (Did you know that Annapolis is the capital of Maryland? Many people think it's Baltimore, but it's always been Annapolis. In fact, Annapolis was the first peace-time capital of the United States and it's where the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, ending the Revolutionary War!) Jen gave us a fantastic history lesson as we peeked into the old House chamber, which has been beautifully restored, and told us about the plans to restore the old Senate chamber. We got to read the letter George Washington wrote to resign his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army; you can see where he crossed out phrases in favor of more purposeful expressions, which is super cool. The Maryland State House is the oldest state house in the country that is still in legislative use, and Jon asked lots of questions that I didn't know the answers to as we stood at the doorways of the current House and Senate chambers. Thank goodness we had an expert with us!
I always forget how close Annapolis is to DC, but it was less than an hour's drive to get there and we had the most beautiful (and educational) day out. Thank you, Jen, for introducing us to your town and to my - well, our - history!