Monday, October 20, 2008

Charm City

Living on the east coast is different than living in Wyoming on so many levels. One of them is that in Wyoming you have to drive several hours to get anywhere. Denver, the closest “big” city to my hometown, is 4 ½ hours away. It is nothing to drive for 2-3 hours, or even longer, and not pass a gas station. So one of the advantages of living on the east coast is that it’s easy to get someplace new within just a few hours. Joe and I LOVE taking weekend trips. We find somewhere new within just a couple of hours of home, and we go, spend the night, then come home. It’s a lot of fun and has given us the opportunity to see a lot of quaint towns. Since neither of us had spent any time in Baltimore, we decided that now was the time. Ella is old enough to actually enjoy the aquarium, the weather is cool enough to get her out, and we actually had the time.

So Saturday morning we headed up to spend some time in Charm City. Our first stop was the aquarium. We had 11:30 tickets, and were scheduled to see the dolphin show at 1:30. After a quick lunch we started on a short tour of the big fish tanks. Since they have a lot of kids visit, everything was just the perfect height for Ella. She could stand on the ground right next to the glass and watch all of the fishies. She absolutely loved it! She would try and grab the fish as they would swim by and would get so excited when they swam by her face. We almost missed the dolphin show because Ella would cry every time we took her away from a tank. We did make it on time and actually got pretty good seats. Joe thought we were in luck with some seats in the second row, until he noticed the sign that said “Splash Zone.” Needless to say we didn’t sit there. Throughout the entire show Ella kept saying “fishy.”

We also had tickets for the 4-D theatre. There were warnings all around not to take in children who would startle easily, but we figured we’d try anyway. Lucky for us Ella was getting antsy before the show even started, so Joe took her out while I stayed in and watched. Within the first 10 minutes, about 15 kids were taken out screaming. The whole 4-D experience is basically a 3-D movie, with some other effects thrown in for good measure. I got water sprayed in my face about 6 times, and wind blown on me almost as often. They also had bubbles, air that swirled around our feet, vibrating chairs and some pole thing that jabs you in the back. Sounds fun doesn’t it! Of course when any of these things would happen the room would erupt with screams, which just added to the kids getting scared. The show was only 20 minutes long, and after the first 5 minutes I was so glad that Joe took Ella out before it even started. It’s not what I would call “kid friendly.”

We finished up the day with a visit to the Frog display, then up to the Rain Forest, and down through basically the center of a ginormous aquarium with sharks any everything. We even saw a couple of scuba divers. Once again, Ella loved it!

Saturday night we had dinner with some of Joe’s friends from NJ who have moved to Baltimore. They have 2 daughters, a 2 ½ year old and a 10 month old, and they have more than enough Elmo gear to satisfy our Elmo crazed child. They have one that is Elmo holding a pizza and Elmo and the pizza sing a song together. She loved it and wanted it played over and over again. It was a nice dinner reconnecting with Jason and Jennifer.

Sunday we headed out right after breakfast and Joe, being the wonderful husband that he is, let us stop at Ikea. We mainly checked out their furniture, and just bought a couple of little things we needed, power strips, pitcher, a new kitchen rug, etc. Of course we had to have a hot dog and cinnamon roll before we left. Oddly enough, Ella liked the hot dog better than the cinnamon roll. Whose child is she?

We made it home in enough time for Joe to shower and head back out to the Redskins game. Ella took a long nap then she and I went grocery shopping. Of course she had to comment on everything I bought. If it was something she recognized like carrots or her yogurt, then she would say “yummy” over and over again. If it was round then it was automatically a ball, and if someone passed us with a baby, or if she saw a picture of a baby, then she would start repeating “baby.” I did get her some Elmo vegetable soup, so she repeated that for a while too. She was a great shopping buddy.

Now its back to the old grind. I hope you all have a great week.

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