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The U.S. Naval Academy - Annapolis, MD

Dear Diary,
We toured the Naval Academy, as it was near the lacrosse tournament fields.

We've previously toured the Chapel at the Air Force Academy (the only building the public can access on campus) so we were curious. Our tour did not disappoint.

Established at this site in 1845, it was then called the Naval School. It was later renamed the United States Naval Academy in 1850.

We entered the oldest building on campus, formerly storage for munitions. At the time of construction, the sea waters lapped right up to the entrance. On one side of the building is a replica of a Wright Bros. B-1, and the other is a model ship from the period.

Today the building houses receptions.

Next was Bancroft Hall, the largest dormitory in the country.

A superstition held by midshipmen is if you toss a coin and it lands inside the quiver of Tecumseh, you'll do well on your exams.

Our tour guide pitted the kids' against each other to see who could succeed.

Midshipman stand in formation in this court. Campus was mostly void of appointees as they were deployed for their summer field training with either the Navy or Marine Corps.

We ventured inside to check out a mock-up of a typical dormitory, the rotunda and to see Memorial Hall.

Though the door into Memorial Hall, you can see a replica of the iconic, historic flag, Don't Give Up The Ship.

But first, take in the breathtaking architecture and craftsmanship.

The U.S. Naval Academy is free, with a highly disciplined regiment that is seeped in tradition. My son couldn't fathom the 6-week Plebe Summer without the use of Internet or his cell phone.

I didn't take pictures of Memorial Hall, as it honors Academy graduates who lost their lives in war.

We then ventured forth to the Chapel, which was very busy with wedding rehearsals. We were fortunate to catch it at an ideal time in between.

The Chapel at the Naval Academy had a much more traditional feel than its contemporary counterpart at the Air Force Academy.

Then, we were granted access to the crypt of Revolutionary War Naval hero John Paul Jones, who lies underneath the Chapel. His remains were brought here in 1905 after buried for 113 years in obscurity at a Parisian cemetery in France.

It was there our tour concluded.

Downtown Annapolis is a charming, seaside retreat.

Favorite house 

The sea is central to the way of life 

Concluding our experience, we ate a delicious seafood dinner along the shoreline at a restaurant only the locals know about (and were kind enough to share!) - The Point Crab House. I tried crab cakes for the first time!

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