Oh, did you think I meant legendary Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones? I mean, yeah, I salute him (obviously). But the JPJ I'm referring to at the moment is the historic Naval hero entombed beneath the chapel at Annapolis.
The first time Noah and I visited Annapolis, we fell in love with the place. The history, the beauty of it, the water, the Naval Academy. (My paternal grandfather served in the Navy during the Korean War, by the way.) So when we went to D.C. last summer with my family, we had to take a day and go visit again.
I chronicled the D.C. and Baltimore portions of our trip already (on the Fierce Beagle homepage, click the "D.C" link under Labels in the right sidebar), but I purposefully left out the day at Annapolis. I've been saving it.
Four of the five days of our trip were swelteringly, blisteringly hot. The one that wasn't—the day that it rained close to torrentially and the sun never came out—was the day we had chosen to go on a walking tour of historic Annapolis and browse around the shops downtown. I need to disclose that browsing isn't one of my favorite activities in the world, but browsing in a downpour ranks high on my definitive list of Things That Stink. I was disappointed, but we still had a fabulously delicious lunch in one of the city's pubs and had a grand time on our walking tour: We were the only ones being escorted by the knowledgeable gentleman in knickers.
Each tour is slightly different based on what's open and accessible, and this time we got to stand in the exact room on the exact spot where George Washington resigned his commission. (Can I get a holla from all my nerds?) Our tour concluded, once again, with a visit to the tomb of John Paul Jones, a dim, cool, subterranean mausoleum of marble with an elaborately carved sarcophagus in the center. Around the circular room, artifacts relating to John Paul Jones are displayed in warmly lighted architectural niches. It is an atmosphere of constant reverence.
There's a reason I've been saving this little memory of Annapolis, and our inexplicable but tangible attachment to the place, and the reason came to fruition today: Noah was sworn into the U.S. Navy Reserve and is on track to go to basic training, then specialized training at the Naval base in Pensacola to become a cryptologic technician.
I'm not so naive that I think it'll be all Officer and a Gentleman meets Top Gun wrapped up in an A Few Good Men tortilla with a side of G.I. Jane—believe me, as a police wife, I'm fully aware of the sacrifices of service—but I'm so proud of Noah, his intrinsic compulsion to serve, and his ability to do so in a specialized capacity.
And visits to the beach at Pensacola while he's in training, well. That doesn't hurt.