In early February we went to Sand Key, Florida for our last Vaca as a family of four. But two months later we were really feeling the urge to try to squeeze in another get-away B.B. (Before Baby) -- not a real Vaca but a teeny tiny mini-vaca. We decided to just do it and we sprang for a weekend trip to Baltimore this past weekend. We love Baltimore. And Baltimore holds extra special meaning for us because we spent our first Adoption Day weekend there, celebrating the one-year-anniversary of being a family, in January 2006. The city is the perfect size for a quick weekend trip, it is easy to navigate with little ones, there is tons and tons to do, it is just the right distance from our house (not too close, not too far), and --probably best of all-- downtown Baltimore has such a nice mix of black and white people. Now, granted, we're still the only family walking around that looks anything remotely like we do.... and the city has all sorts of problems with segregation (what racially diverse city doesn't?) that would make it very different to live there than to visit there.... but.... to spend a weekend hanging out in Inner Harbor Baltimore, with lots and lots of white and black people all mixed together, is really nice for our family. We had a fabulous mini-vaca with lots of highlights that included:
- A nice hotel right in the heart of the Inner Harbor (we parked the car and never got in it again)
- The hotel's swimming pool all to ourselves on Saturday morning (turns out most people just simply aren't doing cannonballs at 7am... nor do they want to witness two three year olds doing them at that hour)
- Beautiful 70-80 degree weather all day
- A trip to the National Aquarium
- At the aquarium, our first experience with a "4D" Immersion Theater (Owen was freaked out beyond belief and begged Braydon to take him out of the theater only 2 minutes into it; Kyle loved it and couldn't get enough of it)
- Watching the fudge makers sing, stomp, and dance (K & O were way into it) at The Fudgery
- Frozen custard (Owen will always choose 'vanilla with colored jimmies in a cone' and Kyle will always choose 'milkshake' -- always, always, always!)
- Taking the "BOAT!!!!!" (i.e., the Water Taxis) to/from Fells Point for lunch... Baltimore crabcakes at an outdoor table overlooking the water for lunch
- Incredible spectacular couldn't-be-more-perfectly-coincidentally-PERFECT-coincidence: When our boat docked in Fells Point there was... none other than... an all-male, all-black, all-young (middle school and high school age) street musician DRUM CORE playing hard-core marching band drumming music in Fells Point Center. And... most of them had gorgeous dreadlocks! Talk about an AWESOME coincidence! We watched them and listened for close to an hour. K & O were in heaven (K especially). And...
- While watching the drumming street musicians Kyle made a cute little friend. It always amazes me how easily and quickly young kids can make friends. It is so incredibly sweet to watch and witness.
- Macaroni & cheese in the hotel room and then early to bed for an exhausted K & O. And then --while the boys slept-- lovely salads, white wine (yes, I indulged, and Baby Sister approved), and cheesecake in the hotel room for H & B.
- We left Sunday morning for a visit in Delaware with our friends Ben and Ruth and their adorable baby twins Robin and Anna.
I know, I know, going on a whirlwind weekend trip to Baltimore 4.5 weeks from my due date is probably a little crazy. And admittedly, I overdid it a bit (a lot). But it was just the right thing for our family. Driving down there Friday evening Kyle started in with a new phrase we'd never heard him say before-- it started when he didn't want to stop for dinner and insisted we eat in the car -- "Let's Keep Moving!" he insisted. And then he repeated that over and over the whole weekend... no time to doddle, no time to waste... "Let's Keep Moving!" As soon as we'd exit the aquarium, it was, "Let's Keep Moving!" As soon as we'd finish our lunch, it was, "Let's Keep Moving!" As soon as the light signaled we could cross the street, it was "Let's Keep Moving!" All. Weekend. Long. I thought it was a fitting motto -- for me in particular. As of yesterday I'm officially 9 months pregnant, and as much as my entire body often feels like it wants to completely shut down I've got Kyle's little motto ringing in my ears: "Let's Keep Moving!" Move along people! Move along! There's FUN to be had! There's too much to do in this wild, crazy world to linger! We only live once! Carpe Diem! "Let's keep moving!"
[Baltimore photos below; as always click on any to enlarge]