On a bright and cold morning in the December just gone by, we set out from Washington DC for Annapolis, capital city of the state of Maryland. Driving us there were our daughter and son-in-law, leaving behind at home for a few hours, Little Lucy with her sweet face and loving heart. She was a ‘rescued-from-the-pound’ mutt – a mix of lab, beagle and pit bull, who had irrevocably stolen our hearts!
The 50-mile drive passed through industrial belts, the landscape drab and dreary, with dull greys and browns, that interim period, between autumnal vivid glory and the white cover of sparkling snow that made it pretty again. We passed through the rather dull city of Baltimore not seeming to have changed much since our earlier visit more than thirty years ago. We heard though that the city was much improved with a buzzing waterfront that boasted chic cafes and restaurants.
Annapolis came upon us rather quickly; a beautiful little historic town that once was briefly, the capital of the United States. We parked in a quiet street and walked around till we reached what we had come to visit – the famed United States Naval Academy. We were let in after some security checks where my Indian driving licence was accepted as adequate photo identity!
The grounds were beautifully laid-out, with old-style homes that housed the senior naval officers, a beautiful church, and smartly turned out men and women in naval uniforms striding past. We headed straight to the Naval Museum another classic building inside of which was a brilliantly documented naval history of the United States.
The US Naval Academy Museum located in Preble Hall of the US Naval Academy forms one of most important and publicly accessible features of the Naval Academy. It was set up in 1845 with the 1849 Presidential orders directing that all Naval artefacts had to preserved and stored there. The Museum is chronologically well-organised with the artefacts , the historical sequence and range of exhibits ensuring with ease of access and making for an immersive experience for the visitor. Although the Museum was set up after the US Civil War, it features objects from the Confederate and the Union Navies. It has large scale models of naval ships. The US Navy ‘s contributions to the US Space Programmes are all well featured. Many of the space astronauts had graduated from here, some of them being Alan Shepard and more recently Sunita Williams.
We caught glimpses of Chesapeake Bay, its significance to me being the many books, movies and TV serials I had imbibed with this inlet of water as a setting.
Annapolis is famous for its crab cakes and after receiving strong recommendations, went to this restaurant where the rest of the party tucked in. Nonetheless my meal was equally delicious – roasted red potatoes in their jackets, with the freshest green salad liberally sprinkled with pine nuts and feta cheese and a light refreshing dressing. Satiated with good food and a dollop of history, we headed back replete, with a Sunday well-spent.