Tuesday the 7th ended up being one of the most interesting, action packed days of the trip, and although involving very little actual riding, was full of traveling and motorcycles. For breakfast, we met our friend from the night before at a local sandwich joint and hangout, Bigfoot's subs. I rode my trusty Tiger while Steener decided to take his dad's Harley. We stuffed our faces till we were nearly sick and enjoyed canned Arizona sweet tea, and I couldn't help but feel seventeen again. We hung around and caught up with our buddy till we absolutely had to depart for our next activity. Our agenda for the rest of the day was: Moto Guzzi/Ducati Dealership, Bob's BMW, College Park to pick up Steener's youngest sister, Annapolis for sightseeing, shopping, & dining, back to CP to drop off the youngest sister and back home. Our plans were slightly complicated, however, by the fact that it was supposed to pour on and off throughout the day, and we would be toting two of Steener's sisters around with us. We decided we would just take Steener's youngest sisters car, and forgo the several hundred miles of soggy two up riding. Now the car we would be taking was a 200k mile Pontiac Sunfire GT, in slight need of repair. The trip started with Steener, his middle sister, and me stopping at Wal-Mart for coolant to fill the leaking coolant system. Even once filled, the low coolant light remained on, as if to remind us that all was not well. The continuously flashing TCS light was another constant unsettling reminder that there were ghosts in this machine. We were not even to the Guzzi Dealership when the downpour started. Luckily it was on and off and still allowed us to enjoy our day, but it did pose a few problems later on. The Duc/Guzzi dealership reminded me more on an art gallery than a motorcycle dealership. If you can find a prettier assortment of machines than at a Ducati/Moto Guzzi dealership, I'll give you a dollar. While already aware of Ducati's technical prowess, I had never even had a chance to sit on a Guzzi or explore their model range up close. I was honestly very impressed with the attention to detail, low center of gravity, and general bang for your buck of these machines. While they didn't have a Stelvio NTX, I was still impressed by the sales team and had a really positive experience at the dealership. (As a side note, I had been to one Guzzi dealership before, in San Antonio, TX, and it was the only time in my life I have felt awkward at a dealership. Although I was the only potential customer in the place, the two staff members on the floor never even talked to me, but rather stared me down the whole time as if expecting me to start knocking bikes over and run. After walking around the floor a few times and several glares from the unspeaking sales reps, I gave up and left without getting a chance to really check out the bikes.) From there we went to Bob's BMW dealership and museum. If you have never been, wow. Their display of vintage BMWs was nicer than some collections you'd have to pay to see, and the ones on the floor are only a small percentage of Bobs impressive collection. They had a great selection of new bikes, super knowledgeable sales team, and even a 1200ST as a loaner bike, which I fell in love with. If you're ever in the area, stop by, check 'em out, and immerse yourself in everything BMW. After getting our bike fix, we headed on to CP, made the sister pickup, and made it back to Annapolis without further delay. Although I knew how beautiful and amazing Annapolis was, I forgot how beautiful and amazing Annapolis was. There are few to no other cities I have ever been to with so much history, personality, so many historic buildings, captivating architecture, enticing alleys, and pleasant parks. While I would love to tell you about every one we saw, I'm going to try to restrain myself to a few highlights. We started our tour of the city by going in every little shop we saw and infusing the Annapolis economy with some gulf coast money. While almost every shop had something interesting, one shop stood out above all the rest. To me, cars and bikes have always been about the extent of art in my life. But there was one art gallery that I easily could have dropped enough to purchase a new bike into, even though I don't have enough room in my apartment to hang all the paintings I liked. Well, looks like I have some culture in me after all. From there we hit the docks directly adjacent to the Naval Academy, which are two of the things this city is known for. From there it was easy to see why Annapolis is the sailing capital of the US. We were surrounded by antique sailing ships, the Naval Academy sailing team practicing, and slips full of boats everywhere we could see. It was truly the only city I can recall where you can literally boat into downtown. The Maryland State house provided a great photo op and the next attraction. Although essentially no one knows this, the building once temporarily served as the capital of the United States. There was also a cannon on display which was brought to this country in the 1600's with some of the first settlers, so naturally, I posed. On our way to dinner, we passed more picture-worthy buildings and statues. Finally we arrived at Chick & Ruth's, featured on Man vs. Food for its giant milkshakes, and also famous for its crab cakes and crab breakfast dishes. The atmosphere was cool and had a slightly retro, definitely local, well representative of the ANP feel to it. We all started off with milkshakes, although not the giant food challenge shakes. While good, the milkshakes by themselves would not be worth visiting the establishment. Steener's youngest sister was quick and frequent to point this out, and it seemed to taint the rest of the meal for her. When it came time to order food, I went with the crab cake Eggs Benedict, while other ordered courses included crab cake omelets and crab cake wraps. I will say this, all the food was good, and the uniqueness of having crab in all of your favorite dishes WAS worth stopping by when you're in town. However, uniqueness aside, considering strictly the quality of the food, it was just good, and not one of the top meals we had during the trip. I feel like the meal met expectations for an icon such as Chick & Ruth's; good food with a side of a super cool experience. After our meal it was starting to get dark and drizzly again, and we figured it was time to get the youngest Steener back to College Park. This is where things got even more interesting for the day. Upon cranking the engine in the mechanically not so superior American econobox, (the Sunfire,) the AC vents began blowing the smell of leaking gasoline into the cabin. Additionally, a former transmission hesitation turned into a full on lurch which bordered on causing the poor little I4 to stall. Turning the AC off reduced the gasoline smell, but did not eradicate it. And the heat made it quite uncomfortable to ride with no AC and the windows up, and the rain made putting them down an impossibility. By the time we reached CP we were sweaty from the heat and nauseous from the gas smell. We were also losing gas at an appreciable rate. We almost ran out of gas on the way back and just barely rolled into a gas station with the fuel gauge needle just a hair below empty. I'm pretty sure my '97 F-150 gets better gas mileage than the little GT did on the way home, and we pulled in with a Christmas tree of low fuel, low coolant, and TCS lights on the dash. We walked inside, hot, tired, and frustrated after an otherwise unbeatable day, and got some sleep for the return trip to the gulf coast, beginning tomorrow.