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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

February break in Baltimore: Photos and more....

I'm late posting about February break, but I did want to share some of my favorite photos and things that we did. We drove down to Baltimore on Wednesday of February break week as Jim and I worked on Monday and Tuesday. We arrived at Mom's in the late afternoon. She was babysitting for my nephew Nikolas while his twin sister Amelia was at ballet class with her Mom, my sister Kate. I took a bunch of photos of them doing a puzzle together and this is probably the best of them. I just loved the way they were interacting.
Amelia and Kate arrived after ballet and Amelia had a great time helping Mom (her Grandma) cook our dinner. Here she is helping to make the carrots.
On Thursday we drove down to visit Mt. Vernon, George Washington's home in Alexandria, Va just south of Washington, D.C. Originally it was just going to be Jim, Emma and I, but Amelia hadn't been feeling well that morning and so didn't go to preschool.  By the time we got ready to leave for Mt. Vernon she was really fine so Amelia and Kate came along with us. Nikolas was at preschool and Grandma offered to pick him up and babysit to we could all go. This turned out to be a terrific day and a great time for Kate and I to talk and catch up while I drove her minivan and she sat in the passenger seat. Jim was occupied with reviewing a journal article in the back seat, and Emma and Amelia were entertaining each other in the way back seat. We arrived around lunch time and enjoyed a nice meal in the Mt. Vernon visitors center where I got a couple of good photos.
Next we spent a couple of hours touring Mt. Vernon. We all got audio tours (except Jim). Emma and Amelia are more engaged when they can push a number and listen to information about an exhibit. There was a tour of the house itself, but then we used the audio tour when we were walking around the outbuildings, learning about what went on in them such as the gardeners house, the clerk's quarters, kitchen, greenhouse etc... The whole place is really well managed and set up and the view from the back of the house over the Potomac is absolutely breathtaking. We want to go back when it's a bit warmer and the distillery and grist mill are open, and when we can walk around the working farm they have there with interpreters.
On the rise behind the house looking out over the Potomac, with Mia running in the background.
This photo doesn't really do the view justice, but it does give you some idea.

Friday it was time for a trip to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore It was sort of a tie in to Mt. Vernon as well as being one of our favorite museums, since it's in the Mt. Vernon area of Baltimore across from the park and Washington  monument there. We left Emma with Aunt Kate and the twins, and had a lovely grown up few hours looking at most of the regular collection with Mom. We haven't been in awhile so everything was new to us again. I particularly enjoyed the Ethiopian Art and bought a book about it. I've been intrigued by Ethiopia and the early Christians there since I read the book Cutting for Stone which was set mostly in Ethiopia.

Friday night we had dinner at Kate and Ron's by candlelight and firelight. It was stormy on Friday afternoon and many trees were down in their neighborhood, one across the street and one a few blocks away that took out the power to their neighborhood. Nick had the best time watching the crew clean up the tree across the street on Saturday. They had no power until Saturday afternoon! Emma spent the night with Amelia and on Saturday morning we all headed to the Winter Carnival at the twins preschool. The bouncy castle was a hit as you can see. Kate had to to a shift working in the Winter Wonderland passage so I hung out and kept her company.
Chloe had a marvelous time hanging out with my Mom's golden retriever Mischa. They play really well together as Mischa is really a gentle giant and Chloe is a small agitator. All in all, a fun trip. Thanks everyone!

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