|Flag of the State of Maryland|
|Annapolis City Harbor|
Annapolis is at once regal, spirited, nautical, and understated. The well-kept capitol building barely pokes out from above the brightly-colored forest of brick commerce around it, as a gentle reminder that this is a place of official business. Meanwhile, the bustling streets with a uniquely historic feel make one forget that any sort of seriousness could occur at such a strikingly relaxing place in this world.
There is a quirky blend here of color, nature, water, western-style commercial buildings, lamp-spattered brick streets, nautical boutiques, historic taverns, crab, more crab, and sweet delicacies of various traditional types. The city feels like a perfectly retrofitted old New England factory that, when populated with iMac computers and big-screen televisions, can speak for the progress of America at one glance. As poetic as that sounds, it is nonetheless true - Annapolis is truly unique.
|City Streets of Annapolis|
|The US Powerboat Show at Annpolis|
As for the show itself, one of the highlights was the row of on-the-water drinking establishments right alongside the show, anchored by the Marriott's Pusser's Caribbean Grille. This restaurant makes up for its average fare with a perfect harborside location and its namesake Pusser's Painkiller drink (the author's favorite, by the way). Fellow devotees of this British Virgin Island flagship drink gather directly along the water with the boat show sprawling out in every direction, with nary a railing in sight. This is dockside living at its best.
With the usual array of vessels in-water, the show does a fair job of presenting attendees with a good lineup of various shapes and sizes. However, large vessels (above 40 feet) are largely lacking, and comments were made that Ft Lauderdale is one of the last remaining US boat shows for that sort of shopping. One highlight of the show was the extensive square footage within the exhibitor tents scattered throughout the show property. Inside, row after row of nautical wares await the explorer who needs everything from embroidered towels to the latest and greatest anchor (more on that in a later post). For those traversing the Eastern seaboard on an autumn journey, this is certainly the place to pick up provisions and luxuries of all kinds.
Annapolis was unexpected. By the end, I was wondering why Maryland was the state to get the greatest flag, something I've never pondered once in my life. Everything from the types of stores to the colorful dedication to the upkeep of brick lends to an experience that is simultaneously relaxing and exciting. By the end of my short stint there, I had only one thing left to wonder.
How soon can I come back?