Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Down By the Bay

Magnet # 95: Downtown Annapolis

Material: Wood, Laminated Paper

Purchased By: Me

Annapolis was the second city I visited in my Mid-Atlantic tour last month. I was lucky enough to stay at the Maryland Inn, a historic hotel that dates back to the 1700s and has even hosted Presidents. My room was very nice and a good bargain - the AAA agent booking it on my behalf couldn't believe how low the price was. Best of all, it was in the heart of downtown - it was just off of the circle that the church pictured here is located. I had my car taken off by valet (really, there weren't many parking options) and just hoofed it everywhere. Chesapeake Bay was just about a seven minute walk away and there were touristy shops everywhere. It was easily the best place to shop for magnets on my trip. They even had some from Delaware and Washington D.C. I guess there were around 15 shops in the vicinity that had magnets, so I visited them a couple of times to check out selection and prices before I started buying. I began at the shop that had magnets for three bucks and worked my way up to the five dollar magnet store, which had some of the best selection. So yes, Annapolis was very fun for me, magnet wise.

I had dinner at Buddy's Crabs and Ribs, a laid back, upstairs venue with windows overlooking City Dock and Chesapeake Bay. It was also nice just to sit on a bench at City Dock and watch the ships sail in. The nearby Historyquest of the Historic Annapolis Foundation was filled with items from the state's history and was free to tour, so it was nice to see everything it had to offer. I would have gone by the Naval Academy, but I really didn't have enough time, and still faintly remember seeing it when I was growing up. I have to say, my favorite historical part of Annapolis that I toured was the Maryland State House, which was about a three-minute walk from my hotel. This Capitol Building is the oldest that is still in use, and even served as the Nation's Capitol for a time. This is a beautiful building and its pictured in the center of the magnet that's posted here. I had an on-demand, one-on-one tour there, and my guide was very informative. She told me that no nails were used in the creation of the dome because England was levying extra taxes on them at that time (and no, visitors can't climb up to the dome). She showed me the room where George Washington resigned his commission. It even features a figure dressed in clothes modeled after Washington's and is currently under construction, but it was kinda cool to see the original bricks that are usually covered by walls. She also pointed out the three stained glass Tiffany windows that grace the ceilings of the Senate and the House rooms, and the stairwell. When combined with the gorgeous marble that is in the much of the Capitol, these stunning windows make quite an impression. This is considered to be one of the more attractive Capitol Buildings, and it's easy to see why. I was so struck by this beautiful place that, hoping to buy an extra nice magnet of it, I asked my guide if it had a gift store. Clearly upset, she told me that it was one of the few Capitols that doesn't have one and lamented over some of the wonderful ones she has seen. She assured me, however, that she has brought attention to the fact that this locale needs a good gift shop. I hope it happens - it would be really nice to get a magnet of one of those Tiffany ceiling windows, or maybe a resin or pewter one of the exterior. But don't let that stop you from seeing this gem - it's a wonderful place that's filled with history and, yes, it's free to tour. All in all, I had a nice, leisurely time in Annapolis and enjoyed its laidback atmosphere. If you're ever able, stop by and enjoy all of the historical sites it has to offer, and all of the modern conveniences it provides.

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