Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekend in Baltimore

My mother's family is from Baltimore, so every visit to the States has a mandatory Balto stopover. My boys love this part of our trips and expect to do certain ritual things every time we are here.
First and foremost is playing with Aunt Kitty (our extremely generous and loving hostess) and her darling doggy, Kimmie. The boys insist on being woken up in the early morning to accompany them on the first walk of the day, and participate in as many other walks as possible. Kimmie goes out and about several times each day.
Another tradition is the tent bed that my aunt sets up for them. They can create their own world in there...and she always fills it with gifts for them.
We paid several visits to my grandmother, who the boys call Gigi. That's short for "great-grandmother" in our family. She is 91 years old and doing quite well, in my opinion!
We had a great time at the National Acquarium. And a good laugh remembering the last time we went there, when Danny was 3. He threw a major tantrum at the entrance, after we had paid for our tickets, of course, and repeatedly screamed, "I don't like fish!!!" Things went a bit better this time...
I was amazed at the incredible variety of marine life they have on exhibit. There is a special exhibit on jellyfish on now, called Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance. Apparently, there are too many jellyfish floating around, and judging from their map, a lot of them are in the Mediterranean Sea around Italy. We'll have to keep our eyes open when we get back home. Wouldn't want to run into the guy below...
A new discovery for us was the American Visionary Art Museum near Federal Hill (where the national anthem was written, just in case you didn't know!). This museum showcases works of art by self-taught, "outsider" artists.
The works of each artist are accompanied by a short biography, which I often found as interesting as the work itself. I'm a biography buff, admittedly, but each of these people seems to have an amazing life story and an amazing path to the discovery of their artistic talents.
I only have photos of the outdoor exhibits because no photos were allowed inside the museum's two main buildings.
This egg was one of my very favorites.


VP said...

The tent bed is fabulous! I like your pictures of the National Aquarium but those of the Visionary Art Museum are much more funny.
I'm always a bit perplexed about works of this kind, but I am sure I'd love the biographies of these artists. And the egg is really gorgeous!

Fern Driscoll said...

You say 'Baltimore' and I think 'Anne Tyler' - but there's more to the city than that marvelous novelist it seems. Tent City - I want one too! Buon viaggio...