“Life is a great big canvas and we should throw all the paint on it we can.” Danny Kaye
That quote is my way of looking at the world. I can’t always throw as much paint as I’d like, but I still try to add some new layer of paint every day. To be truthful, most people who are close to me refer to them as “Jen’s schemes.” Things that I think will be lots of fun but most people are slightly concerned about. Generally they work out, though! (Don’t ask Mark, he might tell you some tales of the few, very few, that did not work out!)
So when some friends asked if we wanted to spend a few nights in Baltimore over winter break I thought it was a great chance to explore. We spend a lot of time in Baltimore because it is the closest city, but usually we are there for a bit and then come home. We have done most of the iconic things like visiting the National Aquarium, the MD Science center (T’s very favorite!), and the Inner Harbor. We’ve visited the Children’s Museum Port Discovery and been to The Hard Rock Cafe. We’ve seen many an Orioles game at Camden Yards and we drive by Ravens Stadium pretty frequently. I even took E and a Spanish exchange student to see Babe Ruth’s house a few years ago. We have experienced culture in Baltimore! (Actually, Mark and I met at an, *ahem*, “dance club” in Baltimore almost 17 years ago!) It’s also where I go every 3 months to see my rheumatologist. But I knew there would be some wonderful places to explore that we haven’t already seen.
I have always wanted to go to the American Visionary Arts Museum but it is closed on Mondays (my typical doctor’s appointment day) so I knew that was a must-stop. After some google searches for “best places to take teenagers in Baltimore” I came up with the second must-stop: The Geppi Entertainment Museum.
The hotel had a few breakfast with some reasonable vegan options. Toast with peanut butter and fruit were just fine by me. We then walked to the Geppi, stopping at some outdoor sculptures on the way.
We got to the Geppi before it opened so we walked around Camden Yards for a bit. I’m sure it was the scene going on at most major league baseball parks: There was lots going on to prepare for next season.
Promptly at 10 we were able to enter the museum and the wonder that is: Pop Culture!
Starting with mini comic books and going all the way to Harry Potter and current entertainment trends.
Yes, I looked adoringly at Superman and tried to imitate Batman’s stance & facial expression!
After spending so much time with superheroes what was the next natural step? Why, veggie burgers of course!
A forever friend (we’ve been friends since HS Orientation in, gulp, 1987) was in town from London and came to meet us for lunch. It was a wonderful time to catch up and enjoy each other’s company!
After lunch and some chatting my friend made her way back to her family and the rest of our group went to the coolest art museum I’ve ever been to.
And the piece de resistance from the trip:
I really think that should be next year’s Christmas card. I *think* T is imitating the duck’s mouth but really I’m not sure.
After a tiny bit of shopping at the inner harbor (I need to interject here that I bought 2 shirts in a size large. Large. Now that might not mean much to most people but this time last year I was a 20/22. A normal large was not something I thought I’d ever wear!) we watched the laser light show at 6 pm and then went to the Baltimore location of The Lebanese Taverna. All I can say is “Wow.”
T got the gluten free menu and, when they brought out bread, our waitress brought him out some rice crackers and his own olive oil dipping sauce so there was no cross contamination. I told her that I was a vegan and she made sure that everything I ordered was ok. We ordered the hummus trio which usually comes with meat and I asked her if one of them could be served without. The chef went to great lengths to top each hummus with something different and vegan so that I could eat all 3. We dove right in which is why I didn’t get a picture of it at the beginning!
My entree was extraordinary yet simple at the same time.
This is a zucchini, a yellow squash, and a green pepper all stuffed with grains and pine nuts and topped with tomato sauce. The spices were outstanding and really, I want to eat this again. Now.
A dip in the oh-so-cold hotel pool (what we do for our children!) and my day was complete! Today we had breakfast at the buffet again and then started our way home stopping at both a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods for some provisions we can’t find in Salisbury. When we arrived home there was a box waiting for us on the porch from my Aunt:
What is better than fresh fruit awaiting me? It was the perfect ending to a wonderful mini vacation. I hope the end of the year finds you well and embracing the adventures you find. Please throw all the paint you can on your canvas!