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  • BEYOND OUR SHORES: WINTERTIME IN ANNAPOLIS

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    Written by Jenn Specketer

    Guest blogger, Jenn Specketer, writes on topics such as beauty, style, food and travel in her unique blog, Jenn Inspired. Driven to write as a creative outlet and means of expressing her life, Jenn's blog can accurately be described as a "lifestyle diary," offering inspiration and authenticity. 

    Located on the Severn River, adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay, you will find Annapolis, Maryland,  a town that revolves around its rich, maritime traditions and culture. With its colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and world-class water activities, Annapolis (fondly called “America’s Sailing Capital”), is a quaint and charming harbor town full of activities for the young and old alike. Better known as a spring and summer travel destination, one might not think of visiting this town during the winter months. But after stopping through this past weekend, I can attest it’s a town for all seasons by both sea and by land. The tourists are at a minimum, allowing you to experience the town as a local with ample opportunity to strike up a conversation with shop owners and get the scoop on wintertime in Annapolis.

    Check In

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    The Maryland Inn, known as the crown jewel of all historic Annapolis lodging, dates back to the late 1700s. This 44 room inn has seen the likes of presidents, statesmen and political dignitaries since its inception, and you’ll find the  Chesapeake Bay just a stroll down Main Street away. Looking for more down home comforts? Check out The Flag House Inn Bed and Breakfast. Located across the street from the US Naval Academy and a short block to the waterfront, the best of what Annapolis has to offer is close by and convenient.

    Warm Up

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    Start your morning visit off with a cup of joe from City Dock Coffee, also known in town as the “local watering hole”. Voted best of Annapolis multiple times over, grab a seat in the quaint coffee shop and enjoy the warm, inviting atmosphere. Here you can plan out your day and download the free Annapolis Now app for your phone. You’ll find self-guided walking tours, information on shopping and dining and a listing of all upcoming events and festivals.  If coffee isn’t your thing, pay a visit to Capital Teas. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, here you’ll find over 200 premium, organic and natural teas and infusions from around the world. Try one of the local favorites, the “Sailor’s Delight”, a black and green tea blend with strawberry and papaya notes.

    Start Your Tour

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    Start off your walking tour with a visit to the US Naval Academy.  After checking in one of the visitor gates with a valid photo ID, you’ll be able to walk around the grounds of the academy with ease. If you’d rather take part in a guided walking tour instead of exploring on your own, you can sign up for a time slot in the USNA’s Visitor Center. Can’t miss sights include the USNA Chapel and the Naval Academy Museum. If you can, stick around until noon where at 12:05pm sharp, 4000 midshipmen and midshipwomen conduct a 20 minute military march in the Yard.

    Visit Main Street

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    After your Naval Academy experience, head towards Main Street, where you’ll find a plethora of shopping and dining options lining the center of town. Stop in at Re-Sails where you can find one-of-a-kind bags, clothing and home decor all made out of recycled sails. Founded by South African Christian Schlebach, only two retail locations can be found in the United States –  Newport, Rhode Island and Annapolis. Ask for Cindy if she’s working. She not only helps out in the shops but also works part-time in the tourist office. Anything and everything you might want to know about visiting Annapolis, she’ll be able to provide! For souvenirs and gifts with a nautical feel, head to A.L. Goodies General Store. They have the largest selection of souvenirs and tee shirts in Annapolis. Don’t forget to grab one of the homemade peanut butter cups on the way out for a treat!

    By now you’ve more than likely worked up an appetite!  Check out McGarvey’s Saloon and Oyster Bar for the “real taste of Annapolis”. The locals also give The Iron Rooster (They serve breakfast all day long!) rave reviews, recommending the “Crab Cake Benny” – a spin on Eggs Benedict with jumbo lump crab meat and a dusting of old bay seasoning. Ask for a window seat upstairs near the fireplace.

    Stroll City Dock

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    Work off your full belly with a stroll down to City Dock and take in what the locals affectionately call “Ego Alley”.  In the summer months, there’s a constant parade of boats and yachts lining this narrow waterway and strutting their stuff. It’s the place to see and be seen! It’s a bit quieter right now, but you can still walk down to the water and admire the boats docked for the winter. There’s something quite peaceful about walking along the Annapolis harbor and taking in the frozen, snow covered Chesapeake Bay.

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    I couldn’t possibly cover all there is to see and do in Annapolis, even in the wintertime. If you are a fan of art, there are many art galleries and exhibitions to stop in and see. The Mitchell Galleryon St. John’s campus was highly recommended by local residents. If you’re a fan of antique shopping, you’ll find Maryland Avenue and Annapolis Street filled with everything from rare collectibles to fine jewelry. Annapolis Maritime Antiques, just across Spa Creek, is your source for nautical furniture, decor and antiques. And if you’re in the market for a good bottle of wine, look no further than Mills Wines and Spirits. Ask for Patrick. I can personally vouch for his great recommendations. If you’re in need of a winter or an early spring getaway on the East coast, think about adding a visit to Maryland’s capital to your list. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Nautical Style: Decorating With Porthole Mirrors

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    There are many ways to incorporate the timeless nautical style into your home decor and porthole mirrors are a fun way to bring a touch of that seafaring life into any home. Continue reading

  • The next time this will happen is 2026...

    CHANGE YOUR LUCK THIS FRIDAY THE 13th (1)
    It's Friday the 13th. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Although this happened just 6 years ago in 2009, it won't happen again until 2026. Straight from the never-wrong Wikipedia (but really, I'm pretty sure it's right in this case), I read that the next Friday the 13th in February won't be until 2026.

    In honor of such a rare occurrence, and to help change that "bad luck" aura surrounding Friday the 13th, we're celebrating by offer $13 off all orders over $30. Just enter the code LUCKY13 on the shopping cart page to apply your discount. Cannot be combined with any other coupons.

    Code is valid today and tomorrow (2/13-2/14/15) but won't be valid again until 2/13-2/14/26. That's a really long time to wait.

  • Introducing Nautical Style In Your Home

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    Nautical home decor has been around since the beginning of the seafaring world. However, as with all things, it has changed and evolved over the years from being found exclusively in homes of sea captains and in coastal homes to be found in any city around the world. But with each trend and change, the true nautical style remains timeless.

    Continue reading

  • Meet the Maker: Tie-maker Behind New Product Twisted Fin Ties

    RollOfTiesFor our next post in our 'Meet the Maker' series we asked Bill Reitz a few questions to get to know the man behind our newest tie offering, Twisted Fin Ties. Twisted Fin uses only the finest materials to create premium quality printed twill silk ties with a double wool blend liner. All their designs are created by Bill himself, from the drawing of the golfer to the sailboat to the signature Twisted Fin dolphin. You may be surprised that this tie-wearing guy also loves his toes in the sand...but who doesn't?

    Continue reading

  • Introducing The Upper Deck: A new club for our best "sailors"

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    We're excited to announce a new club exclusively for our very best "sailors." We won't share exactly what's required to get in the club, but we've sent out emails to the select few that met our criteria for joining The Upper Deck.

    Continue reading

  • YourTypicalPrep's Style Guide featuring our Cable Knit Tennis Sweater

    Cable Knit Sweater Style GuideToday we have a guest post from blogger Caitlin Cooper of YourTypicalPrep. Caitlin recently tried our Cable Knit Tennis Sweater and loved it. Here's what she had to say: Continue reading

  • Proud Supporters of Fashion Delivers & A Miner Miracle

    Proud Supporters of Fashion DeliversWe believe strongly in giving back. We've encouraged making the holidays a season of giving in past, and donated to organizations we believe in.

    This year, we're proud to announce that we made a donation of over $5,000 worth of women's apparel to the San Francisco organization, A Miner Miracle. A Miner Miracle's store location is now closed, but the organization is still active in the San Francisco community.

    We were connected to the organization through K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, which is an organization responsible for connecting those wishing to make a donation with organizations who can make use of those donations. Their

  • Shipping Delays due to Winter Storm Juno

    As I write this from San Francisco, where it's sunny and 65 degrees, I understand Juno, a massive snow storm, is bearing down on the east coast. As you may expect, our New Bedford warehouse will be closed tomorrow - and perhaps Wednesday. The same schedule is true for our partner store , The Emporium of Nantucket . This means there will be shipping Delays due to Winter Storm Juno. Orders will not ship until Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest. UPS has announced potential delays as well. Please plan your arrival dates accordingly. If it's a gift, you pretty much get a fee pass to be a little late anyway.

    Also, if you're expecting to be hit by this storm, please prepare and be safe. Believe it or not, there are some things I miss about storms like this - but I still don't envy you.

  • Meet the Maker: Quilter of Nautical Flag Banners

    Meet the Maker: Quilter of Nautical Flag Banners'Meet the Maker' is a series of blog posts that gives you a chance to get to know the people that make some of the great items we offer. For our first post, we've asked Kathy Baltz, maker of Nautical Flag Banners, a few questions.

    1. Beach or Mountains?  
      I prefer the mountains over the beach.  I find the Mountains beautiful and peaceful compared to the ocean, although I grew up thinking I could never leave the ocean!
    1. Favorite activity/hobby?  
      I love skiing so much, I taught full time for 14 years.  I still try and ski 4 - 5 mornings a week.  In the summer, I love my gardens.  I plant 20 dozen state fair zinnias per year to compliment my perennial garden!
    1. What was your Inspiration to quilt?
      I have a golfing friend who wanted me to join her quilting group. I told her: "I don't sew."  She was persistent and I went to a fabric store with her.  I was blown away by the color.  I'm an artist.  I love color and design.
    2. When did you begin?
      I started quilting 6 years ago.  My first quilt was child size quilt.  My biggest block was: "Why should I cut up this good fabric to sew it together again?"  After that first quilt I went out and bought fabric for a king size quilt.  It took me a more than a month to finish it.  The wonderful Ladies of the Lakes Quilting Guild in Wolfeboro, NH helped me, taught me, and supported me through my first big project.  I'm forever grateful and still have so much fun at meetings!
    3. Where did you get the idea for the banners?
      The idea came from a love of quilting and having a boat on Winnepesaukee. I wanted to make a quilt for the bed (which had to be a custom size) and put the name of our boat on the quilt. I wanted white with royal blue for a crisp look. I knew from experience, embroidery would take a long time. I thought about using the Nautical Flag Alphabet. When I looked at the alphabet, I realized it was all geometric shapes that could be pieced in fabric. It was white and royal blue and had just enough color for added interest with red, yellow and black.I got out my graph paper and markers and started to play with designs. Once I had drawn out Lake Winnepesaukee, I played with Scituate, Hingham, and Cape Cod.I'm from a big family in Scituate, Mass. All seven kids were brought up with a love of the ocean and boating. I thought of Christmas presents for family in their town names. That's when I thought Marco Island, Plymouth, Lake Erie, Annapolis, etc.I was in Stockholm during the Whitbread race years ago and remembered all the flags. This could be international.Even though I've been in NH for many years, the love of the ocean and all things nautical is still with me.The fabrics are 100% cotton and the batting is a polyester blend.
    4. Who was your first customer?
      My first customer was a Guild member who has a son in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  I made a table runner for her son "who has everything."
    5. What's the most overlooked detail?
      The most often overlooked detail is how tiny some of the pieces of fabric can be to get a proper nautical letter.
    6. What's the most complicated part?
      The most complicated part of quilting design is that a 1/4 inch seam must be allowed to each side of the fabric.  When a piece of a letter is 3/8" wide; well, it gets complicated.
    7. Do you have a favorite quilt?
      Three years ago, my then 87 year old Aunt Betty pulled two quilt tops out of her hope chest that were made by my Great Grandmother in the 1930's - 40's.  She asked me to finish one so she could use it on her bed.  She gave me the second one.  It's a 9 patch design, easy as pie today, but in the 1930's and 40's, people used up scraps to make quilts.  Some of the 3 inch squares are pieced together using scraps of the same material.  I was thrilled to find that quilting is in the family tree!
    8. Where's your favorite place?
      My favorite place in the world is the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.  I have gone up there so many times, that sometimes I'll just drive up for lunch!  On a clear day you can see the ocean but I usually look to the southwest for "that feeling". I've gone up the auto road with a packed lunch, parked at the snow fields, and hiked over to the top of Mt Jefferson to read a book.  Once I met a couple who had been on the trail for three days on their way to Washington.  They were shocked to find me just sitting there with a day pack.  :  )  They took me up on my offer of a ride down the mountain but hiked to the top of Washington first.

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