When Pete and Kate Vonderheide moved from Hawaii to Annapolis to live closer to their family, they thought they'd have to give up a career of ocean kayaking to resume responsible office jobs. Soon they recognized the historic city harbor's lack of kayak tours and knew they couldn't stay inside forever. Their shared passion for history spurred them to research and interview the locals until they'd compiled enough historic material to start leading tours. Today, their tours can teach something new even to locals.
The Vonderheides continue to assemble a team of outdoor guides certified in CPR and first aid who all bear a well-researched knowledge of area wildlife and history. These experts lead two-hour scenic tours through the historic harbor. Starting each excursion with a brief paddling lesson, they put first-timers at ease with basic instruction and an amiable demeanor, unlike guides who rely only on their convincing Captain Ahab impressions. Excursions begin at the Spa Creek headwaters in Truxtun Park and lead participants into open-harbor waters to drift in full view of the state capitol building, the US Naval Academy, and historic Eastport. Trips peak at the City Dock, where participants receive a break to take photos and rest. On the return trip, guides field open-ended questions about city history such as presidential visits, the crabbing and oystering trade, and whether George Washington had to swim using floaties.
Awarded the Best Fitness Club in The Capital's Reader's Choice 2011, Big Vanilla's modern facilities aim to make a healthy impression on bodies and minds. Both locations jam-pack weekly schedules with more than 60 fitness classes such as cycling, Pilates, Zumba, Cardio Combat, and yoga. Pasadena's Step-N-Abs intertwines intermediate cardio choreography with abdominal exercises to build lean muscle to the core without having to endure elective washboard implants. Dance-inspiration class also permeates into group groove sessions, which pump hit tunes as exercisers wiggle to urban, club, and Latin-inspired moves. The Arnold gym tones an anatomy's worth of muscles in TMC, which challenges physiques with 60 minutes of resistance training toughened by dumbbells, stability balls, and lead-based chocolate cakes.
Replete with rolling fairways and picturesque wooded hills, the course at Bay Hills provides a fun challenge for ball-based beginners and putting-pros alike. The 18-hole, par 70 links feature a wide expanse of water challenges, placing a large emphasis on strategy. With a two-month membership, a bundle of benefits emerge, including waived twilight-hours greens fees (twilight hours begin at 1 p.m. until March 1 and at 2 p.m. thereafter), unlimited range balls, and merchandise discounts. Although not included with today's deal, each cart fee (usually about $17) includes two draft beers or fountain drinks for staying hydrated through gritty sand traps. Additionally, each membership comes with one anytime round of golf with both cart fee and drinks included, ensuring at least one spectacular day of wearing heavily starched knickerbockers, which historically keep the feral golf gnomes at bay.
The fourth annual Annapolis Arts, Crafts, and Wine Festival will draw a wide array of artists and craftsmen to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, where they'll exhibit their oeuvres to curious onlookers. Visitors examine booths full of paintings, photos, and jewelry and watch as craftsmen manipulate metal, clay, leather, or preconceived notions of reality.
When not soaking up arts and crafts, festival-goers can check out the live jazz playing all afternoon, or indulge in the food and wine tastings. Specialty food exhibitors offer samples of flavored olive oils and vinegars, dips, pumpkin rolls, and more. Children can enjoy the Kids' Art area, with musical and theatrical performances, face painting, and storytelling.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.