Monday, July 16, 2018

A Day in Baltimore, Part 2

You may remember a couple of summers ago I took the boys to the Edgar Allan Poe house in Richmond.  There is also a Poe house in Baltimore.  It's located in a seriously scary neighborhood (like so bad I didn't want to stand outside to take a picture), but we decided to brave it briefly.  This is the attic bedroom of the tiny old house.

After we headed back towards downtown so that we could visit the Poe graves (there are two markers).  This was the boys' favorite part of the day.  The cemetery is mostly 18th century and is so interesting.

There are graves and catacombs all throughout the churchyard.  It was fun exploring.

Here is the newer Edgar Allan Poe marker.  It's on the corner by the street and has easier access for visitors.

Isn't it an unusual cemetery?  And the graves were willy nilly all over the place. 

Here's the original burial place for Poe.  You can see that visitors have left tokens at the stone recently. 

There are a number of prominent people who were buried in the cemetery.  Historical markers are dotted throughout.

And then look at this section - it actually tunnels under the church.  There are even graves located beneath in the crawlspace. 
It was a memorable ending to a full day.  And all three of the boys loved this cemetery the most. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Day in Baltimore

We headed north for a couple of days last week.  We spent a day in Baltimore.  I wanted to take the boys to the National Aquarium.  Here they are petting horse shoe crabs and stingray.

There was also a tank full of jellyfish to pet.  Even though we got there right when they opened at 9 am, it was still busy.

I've always like these fish.  They seem friendly and kind of have a smiley look to them.

In the Amazon section.  This aquarium is huge and wraps around and around.  There is so much to see.

Maryland is well known for its crab cakes, so we had to take a break from the aquarium for lunch at Phillips.

Only Reid will eat crab cakes (despite Cort's drawing).  But he was suitably impressed.

After finishing up the aquarium, we found a fun playground.  Tunnels and merry go rounds.

And stretches of music making instruments.  We spent some time hanging out here. 
 
 
As fun as it was, none of this was the boys' favorite thing we did in Baltimore.  Any guesses as to what was?  It'll surprise you.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Beating the Heat with a Waterfall and a Mine

I've blogged about hiking to the Cascades before, but it was about 7 years ago.  We were overdue for a visit.  It's always much cooler there.  We left at around 6:30 in the morning to get an early start. 
 It can get crowded at the Cascades, but we timed it right and there weren't many people around.  It's a two mile hike to get to the falls.

 I have never been there when the water was warm.  Even though temps all week had been in the mid 90s, you can see from Cort's face that the water was shockingly cold.

 The falls are higher than they look in the pictures.  This one of Cort at the base gives you a better idea of their height. 

I fell on some wet rock steps on the hike back and busted my elbow.  While I tried to clean it up with a first aid kit, the boys discovered butterflies all over.  Here, Reid had two that landed on his hands. 

Aside from the crash down the steps, it was a fun hike.  Afterwards, we took a massive detour to go to the Beckley Coal Mine Expedition.  I had fond memories of a visit there with my cousins when I was a kid.  Here are the boys getting ready to ride down into the mine.
I think the boys were impressed by the history on our tour.  They asked a lot of questions.  It was a full day, but one we all enjoyed.