The weekend before the Fall Annapolis boat show Lisa and I chartered a 2016 Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40. You can see our review of that boat here. We originally wanted to charter this boat, as we were planning to have one built for us. However, that didn't work out as planned. The dealer didn't want to work with us on the cost of the additional items. The thought of purchasing a brand new boat only to do months worth of upgrades on our own kind of negated the point of buying new. So instead of paying two to three times the retail cost for equipment we decided to go the used boat route. The used boat purchase is an entire blog entry itself, so we'll save that for another day. Needless to say, it's not easy to find the right boat at the right time with the right price.
After we returned the Lucia we had a few days to fill around the Annapolis area. Since this was our third or fourth Annapolis Sail Boat show we wanted to get out a little bit and see a little history. We took one full day to see the Washington D.C. area. We parked near the Jefferson Memorial and had about an eight mile walk around the National Mall. We saw; the Smithsonian, the Capital building, the White House, the Washington Memorial, the War Memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, and the FDR Memorial. We didn't take the time to visit inside any of them unfortunately but walking by them all made for a nice day out, and we got in some great exercise. After walking around in the DC heat for a few hours we drove back into Annapolis for the night.
The next day we made our way back through the DC traffic and over to Arlington National Cemetery. Being in the military, this is a special place to me. Not just because of the amazing patriots that are laid to rest, but with the actual history of how Arlington became a National Cemetery. With all the horrors of the Civil War this great memorial, to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, was one of the many good things to come out of the Civil War. If you are able to visit Arlington be sure to go to Arlington House and learn about the original owner of this land. We visited the John F. Kennedy eternal flame, Arlington House Memorial, and a stopped by Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Anyone who is in the DC area should stop by Arlington National Cemetery.
After departing Arlington we decided to carry on our military history day. We drove to Gettysburg National Park. We watched the movie; A New Birth of Freedom narrated by Morgan Freeman and visited the Cyclorama painting. The Cyclorama is longer than a football field and they use this painting with lights and sounds to bring the battlefield to life. When we were finished with the indoor tours we drove ourselves around the battlefield for the self guided auto tour. The auto tour spans 26 miles and is completely free to tour the entire battlefield. They suggest at least 2 hours to complete the tour, but if you want to see all the battlefields and memorials along the trail an entire day could easily be dedicated. There is a memorial to one of the units that fought during that hot July in 1863 nearly every 50 feet. Many stories of valor, courage, and grit can be told about the participants in Gettysburg. Fittingly, the auto tour ends with the Soldier's National Cemetery and the place where President Lincoln had his famous Gettysburg Address.
After a couple days of walking through America's history it was the day of the Annapolis Boat show. Since we are almost pros at this show, we can say that Thursday is the best day to visit the Fall show. Lisa and I were hoping to already have our boat picked out. This show visit was supposed to be all about picking out our electronics, or dingy, or sails, or whatever we needed to put on our new boat. Unfortunately we still don't have our retirement boat so this makes picking things out for the boat a little difficult. We only walked aboard a couple boats this year since we wouldn't be purchasing any of them. I'll admit to being a little morose about being at this show without a boat to fix up. I'm sure I'll cheer up when we finally have our retirement boat.