Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Weekend of the Ships

Issa had a really long weekend from school, so the kids and I headed to Baltimore to visit Aunt Shannon and Uncle Jeff. Poor Daddy had to work, but he dropped the three of us off at the train station and we started our adventure. Yes...we took the train:
Let me tell you, we all loved the train! It was a straight shot, the seats are roomy, you can get up and down, and they have fairly decent food right on board. It will be my new go-to anytime the kiddos and I are traveling. Issa loved the freedom the train gave her. Evan, well we all know how he loves trains in general. And since the tracks go through mostly rural countryside, he had the added bonus of cows and tractors and even some big construction equipment. It was almost too much. The hopeless romantic in me loved the whole experience: the gentle rocking of the train, the whistle, the beautiful forests and fields. It was lovely.
Once we got to Baltimore, it was the weekend of the ships:

 We ventured down to the harbor and started our tour on a cannon ship from 1850. The kids didn't really understand how to use a ship's wheel:

 It's a good thing they weren't really driving.

Issa loved trying out one of the hammocks:
 It was really interesting to see the different quarters on board, and we learned all about how to use a capstan, which is how they lifted heavy cargo on board.

The next day, we toured a submarine:
The kids remembered Papa Don used to be on a sub, so this was extra special. Aunt Shannon and I were a bit nervous. As we boarded, they asked that we not push any buttons or levers because they were "still live." Awesome. Because three year old boys don't like buttons at all. They actually did great not touching anything, but I was so afraid we were going to torpedo the harbor. (I might be a smidge dramatic sometimes.) 
They got to try out the bunks again:

 Evan was too busy exploring, but Issa posed with Aunt Shannon:
 The last ship was a lightship:
 It was freezing and not nearly as exciting as a submarine. (Evan was too busy watching a helicopter to look at the camera.)

In addition to lots of fun on ships, we loved just spending time at the condo. It is pretty much Evan's idea of heaven. Aunt Shannon and Uncle Jeff thought the harbor was the selling view. Silly grown ups. The bread trucks across the street are the big draw:
 The kids also requested a trip to candy store:
 And Issa fell in love with Battleship, which Uncle Jeff kindly played over and over and over:
She also rekindled her love for edamame:
 Evan found the basketball helmet Uncle Jeff had to wait forever for as a child:
 And both kids have been ruined forever by epic bubble baths:
 We almost lost them in the bubbles:
 And somehow Evan turned into a bubble Who.
 Issa looked way to grown-up thanks to some fancy hair styling by Aunt Shannon:
 And we all enjoyed time in the kitchen cooking:
The most hysterical moment, though, was our pseudo-failed attempt to feed the ducks. We picked up a loaf of bread and headed to the canal to feed the ducks, just like we did on our last trip. Except it's winter. And cold. And fewer tourists feed them. So as soon as we threw the first bite of bread towards the ducks, seagulls and pigeons swarmed from out of nowhere. They were ridiculously close to us, flapping around by our heads and diving for the bread as soon as it left our hands. I had no idea they could catch bread mid-air. Evan hid behind me, and Issa tried to dodge birds to get the bread to the ducks. We grown ups were throwing huge hunks as far as possible to end the saga as quickly as possible. I'm sure we were quite the sight.
In short, it was a perfect weekend. I love seeing the city through their little eyes. I love how they find joy in the simplest of things, and I loved having a little extra time with my kiddos. A huge thank you to Uncle Jeff and Aunt Shannon for hosting; we love you so much...

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