Friday, May 13, 2011

Vacation! (Part 1)

Must be spring--for some people it's daffodills.  For others it's robins. Us?  Baby opossums.

But we adopted these guys after we came back from vacation.  For about 10 years I've been wanting to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival--a HUGE gathering of sheep and fiber vendors.  Decided that this was the year to take it off the bucket list.

The trip got off to a good start--at least for me.  *Really* cute stewards on the plane.  We flew in to Baltimore on Thursday to be able to spend a day in the Inner Harbor area before going to the festival in the weekend.  There was a little white-knuckle driving in the rented car for Bob to get to the hotel but we arrived safely (and had purposely chosen a hotel within walking distance of anything we wanted to see).

There's a lot to see in the Inner Harbor area, but except for bars and restaurants they all seem to close by 5:00.  So Thursday afternoon we just wandered around.  Typical--within 20 minutes Bob found a modeler to talk with.  There is a model of the "Pride of Baltimore" being built in the visitor center and the builder was there so the guys had a long and interesting chat.  Detail that I picked up--I knew that sailors were referred to as "old tars" and often used tar to slick back their hair and ponytails.  I had always wondered  how they got the tar back out--or did they just have to give up and shave their heads when they got to port.  Well, turns out that the tar is not coal tar--it's pine tar, which smells quite nice, and can be washed out (reenactors still use it).

I was enchanted by the dragons floating out in the harbor.

After a long day of travel and the wandering around, our "night life" consisted of sitting up in bed and sharing a carton of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  This is what vacations are about!

Saturday morning we got to the aquarium first thing.  Four hours later we finally wandered out (only to go back for another hour or so.  Before it opened we looked at at WWII submarine on display--I was most charmed by the fact that the little holes and gaps of this machine of war are now occupied by pigeons building their nests.

The aquarium is huge and beautiful and peaceful (even with school groups on field trips).  As well as tanks of fish, there was a large pool of rays and sharks (and a large turtle).  There is a walk-through Austrailand exhibit (with free-flying birds) and a rain forest (with a sloth just hanging around).

Next, the science museum!

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