Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Annapolis Adventure

It's not often I wait until Wednesday to blog about the weekend, but it's been a busy week and I can't quite figure out evenings.

I work from 9.30am-6.30pm.  I've worked those hours before in London, with an equally long - but much more tiring - commute.  Perhaps the reason I'm confused is that back then I stopped planning as soon as I got home.  Now, the 9 o'clock hour is reserved for talking to Jeff, so I like to get chores done beforehand and internety things afterwards - and weekends are also no longer laundry-filled lolling about in pyjama days.  I have things to see, and places to explore, with somebody!

So anyway, this has been a hard week so far, mainly because of this one English project.  I got one phase of it QC'd and handed over but it was mind-boggling because the client gave it to us so mangled up the project managers and graphics department are in overdrive.  And I have to sift through that confusion.  I tell you, it was such a relief to turn to the relatively simple Italian documents sitting on my desk all morning.

You know what I like hearing when I am on the metro?  Leaving the Foggy Bottom-George Washington University station, the driver often says, "This is the last stop in the District of Columbia.  Next stop is Rosslyn, the first stop in the Commonwealth of Virginia."  I'll have to tell you more sometime about Virginia, the Old Dominion founded in 1607 as the first English settlement in North America.  And of course you know it's named after Elizabeth the Virgin Queen?


But you want to know about Saturday, of course.

It was a lovely nearly-hot day which was pushed a little late because J had training to do at the office.  When he picked me up, we went to get a hat for me (which I couldn't wear because it was so windyu) and a pair of sunglasses for him (which he wore because it was so sunny).

On to Annapolis.  It's only about a 45-minute drive so we were there around mid-afternoon and wandered about a bit, taking in the atmosphere and watching the people, including midshipmen (male and female) in their summer whites.  It is a quaint, pretty, quirky town full of arts and crafts, seafood bars, galleries, antique shops, cafes.

Then we came upon a 40-minute boat cruise on the Severn River, which took us past the US Naval Academy, towards the Chesapeake Bay.

Up the Severn River with the US Naval Academy to the left

A pretty sailboat

Afternoon skies over the USNA

Sunset over the Severn River

Sunset over the USNA dorms and chapel dome.
The dorms are the second largest in the world, housing 4,000 midshipmen.
The chapel dome has a gilt cupola on top.

Returning to dock after the cruise.

Jeff's cool new sunglasses and my old ones

McGarvey's Saloon and Oyster Bar on Pinkney Street, Annapolis.
It was all wood-panelling, tile floors, marble tables, Tiffany lamps.  There was an atrium room where we ate in the left building, which had a real tree growing out of the floor and it reached the glass ceiling.  I couldn't take a pic as by then it was too dark.

I was taking a photo of the chocolate marquise we shared to round out the 3-course seafood dinner.  Even this we couldn't finish.  We rarely finish anything.  And yes, J is well aware that any photo I take could end up here, which is kind of why he did that.

The Maryland State House and Flag on State Circle, Annapolis.
Built in 1772, the state house is the oldest continually-used capitol building in the US, and for a short while even served as the nation's capitol.
The Maryland flag is unusual and probably the only one in the union to be based on heraldry:

It represents the quartered Calvert and Crossland family crests.  MD was founded in 1639 as a English colony by Cecil Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore.  Crossland was his mother's family and as she was an heiress he was entitled to use her family crest in his own (the red and white cross bottony).  The yellow and black palisades represent a fortress.  Maryland is the only state to display a gold cross on its flagpole.


steve on the slow train said...

Glad everything is going well with you and Jeff. And it sounds as though you managed to get through a tough assignment with flying colors. Today, it's unusual to get any clever or even informative announcements on public transit. I remember being on a Greyhound bus--it must have been in the 1970s--where the driver announced, "We are now leaving the United States and entering Iowa." He couldn't get away with that today.

Jo said...

Now that looks like a fun place to visit! Did you have oysters? I do enjoy oysters, but I prefer to eat them with a hefeweizen. Something about the citrus in the beer that cuts the fishy taste out of the oyster and makes it much more savory.

I love, love, love the Maryland flag! So much history! But, then again, the Lone Star flag has some pretty interesting history, too.

You guys are way cute, and I'm dying to know what's in a chocolate marquis!

Flighty said...

This post may be a bit later than usual but well worth waiting for!
It looks, and sounds, like you had yourselves had a terrific day out.
I'm glad that you seem so happy and settled, which I'm sure has pleased you as well.
Take care, and have fun! xx

nikkipolani said...

I'm loving that new header with the fluffy pink blooms -- reminds me a little bit of roses :-)

Your day looked perfect - nice weather, great company, terrific views, fun food! And I'm glad to hear the job is going well, keeping you interested and engaged. 9:30 to 6:30... wow. I never get hours like that. Mine are usually more like 7 to 4.

michelle G said...

I'm so happy everything is going so well for you two. you seem to be having great adventures together.

MattJ said...

Wasn't Maryland the place that recently had the debacle over what would be the state's official berry?! :p You know somewhere was founded by the English when their biggest concern is who has the best allotment.

I'm pretty sure I saw that oyster place on the TV once, is it really simple inside with massive platters of oysters? Or am I thinking or somewhere else.

Agree with Jo, oysters are yummy, especially with some tabasco and lemon juice! yummage!

Christopher said...

How do you say...deee LOVELY? How do you say.....deee GORGEOUS?

Olivia said...

Steve - today was the end of only part one of five of the tough assignment! My last email to the account manager stated, "I advise no further changes" after which she sent the first part off to the client.

I earned my weekend.


Jo - we had oysters, but steamed, along with clams and mussels.

Jeff had a beer, but I don't remember which. I am pretty sure it was pale though he usually likes dark.
I had white wine.

The chocolate marquis was coated with dark chocolate but the rest of it was a thin base and thin center of chocolate cake with a ganache filling. It was wicked.


Flighty - we've just hammered out the details of tomorrow's day out so stay tuned...! xx


Nikki - wow, what time do you have to be in bed to get up in time for a 7am start?
The company's core hours are 9-6 but there's flexibility up to 10-7.


Mich - indeed we agreed only a few minutes ago that we're pretty good at planning fun weekends.


Matt - I haven't heard of this berry debacle and I think you're pulling my leg.

You might be thinking of somewhere else. Annapolis and indeed much of the Eastern Shore is chock full of oyster houses.


Kissy - Deee-lightful!

Glo said...

What an incredibly lovely adventure :) I enjoyed it too ~ looks like a fascinating place. I got a kick out of J's face popping in beside the chocolate cake ~ sweets for your sweet, eh? ;)

Looking forward to the next adventure ~

The Moody Minstrel said...

Oysters and hefeweizen; Jo is definitely a woman after my own heart!
(No, wait! Come back! I didn't mean it that way!)

Once again, I really appreciate the contrasts there: all the pomp and gallantry displayed in the academy, state house, and flag, the homey simplicity of the wood-paneled buildings, nature's glory in sky and water, the sweetness of the chocolate marquise and the smile being given the photographer, the new and old sunglasses...kind of like the various movements of a symphony, only different.

(I need another rum & Coke...)

Anonymous said...

well done on getting out and about. i tend to slob around in my scruff! tho when i'm reunited with my sweet heart i shall make more use of my time!

Um Naief said...

love all the pics! especially the one w/ the wonderful clouds... how beautiful.

sounds like your schedule has gotten busy... i'm sure you're enjoying this weekend w/ having labor day off!! hope you enjoy your time and do some great sight seeing.

btw... just saw your comment about The Secret Life of Bees... and yes, you would enjoy it. it's a wonderful book. :)

nikkipolani said...

I aim to be in bed by 10-10:30. At my prev company (the 7-4 one), I'd get up around 5 and start my 50-60 minute commute by 6. My current schedule is 8-5 and commute is 45min. So I get up around 6. I think your sched suits you pretty well considering what a nigh owl you are!

Palm Springs Savant said...

My dear Olivia- I've been catching up on your blog, my apolgies for being somewhat invisible of late. I love the new blog title- sunrise of new beginings! I must tell you that chocolate dessert looks SO GOOD. WOW.

finally- I have a prediction. You are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE living in DC. This summer is going to be extra special for you. Now go write that down on your calendar for October and let me know then how it went!

beginninghere said...

Such a pleasant adventure. Always appreciate historical references too :) Your work sounds very interesting but demanding. I guess it is good you have some lulls in activity but an even day would be nice too I suspect!

Anonymous said...

That cake looks scrumptious! And you and Jeff look so "mafioso" in those shades!

Looks like you had a great time! Hope to see more photo's and read more stories.

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