Maryland

A great afternoon for a football game

Last Saturday we went to the University of Maryland in nearby College Park to watch the Terps play Towson. This was the Terps’ first home game of the season.

Here are a few photos of the game. As you can see, it was definitely a great day to be outside!

Oh, and of course, no sporting event is complete without a giant tub of popcorn…

The Terps won 63 to 17. Yep, #FearTheTurtle!

Categories: Fun outings, Maryland, Sports | Leave a comment

Another fun visit to the trolley museum

Over Labor Day weekend, we visited the National Capital Trolley Museum in nearby Colesville, MD. The museum has an awesome collection of American and international streetcars, many of which are more than 100 years old. Yeah, as you can imagine, this is one of Noah’s favorite places to visit!

The coolest thing about the museum is riding the electric streetcars on the museum’s one-mile rail line – and this visit, we got to ride three streetcars!

Our first ride was on this streetcar from Toronto that was built in 1951. We rode this streetcar on previous visits too – it’s very cool!

We got to ride the “boat” trolley car for the first time too. This trolley is from Blackpool, England and was built in 1934. The trolley has an open top and a center entrance. Because it is a double-ended car, it doesn’t require a loop at the end of the tracks in order to turn around – it can be driven in both directions. And that’s why it has headlights and taillights on both ends. Noah loved it!

Our last ride was on a streetcar from Brussels, Belgium. It was built in 1907. This was our first time riding this trolley too – it was a bumpy ride!

We passed another trolley while riding the Brussels trolley too. This yellow trolley is from the Netherlands, and we’ve ridden it a few times on previous visits.

Yeah, it was definitely a beautiful day for riding trolleys. We had fun inside the museum though too. Noah always enjoys “steering” the model streetcar along the tracks and turning on the signal lights.

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that Noah loves all things transportation, especially trolleys – so I’m sure we’ll visit again soon!

Categories: Fun outings, Maryland, Trolleys | Leave a comment

A very fun father and son day!

A few weeks ago, Ryan took a day off from work to have a special “Daddy-Noah Day” before school started. Noah got to choose what to do – he was so excited!

They took the bus to our metro station and then rode the metro to DC to visit the National Air & Space Museum. They saw lots of planes and NASA equipment. Noah got to “fly” this Cessna 150 too – very cool!

After they finished at the museum, they hopped on the metro again and met me for lunch at a restaurant near my office. So yeah, I got in on the fun too!

After lunch Ryan and Noah headed to Old Town Alexandria. They took the metro to the King Street station and then rode the trolley to the waterfront area. Then they took the water taxi across the Potomac River to National Harbor, MD.

They passed sailboats along the way and saw planes flying overhead too. And of course, Noah always loves going under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

As you can tell, it was a nice day for a boat ride! Here’s a selfie photo of the happy duo on the boat…

When they got off the water taxi, they headed straight to the Capital Wheel.

The top of the wheel is 185 feet high, so they had a great view of the buildings and boats below and the Wilson Bridge in the distance. Yeah, they had a bird’s-eye view of their water taxi too. Ha.

Next they visited the Awakening, which is a giant cast-aluminum sculpture of a man buried in the sand. Check it out!

Then they boarded the water taxi again to return to Alexandria…

Ryan joked that it would have taken him 15 minutes to drive home from National Harbor. But instead, they took the water taxi to the King Street Trolley…rode the trolley to the metro…rode the metro to our station…and then took the bus home. For a boy that loves all things transportation, it was a perfect day!

Categories: Airplanes, Capital Wheel, DC, Fun outings, Maryland, Summer | 1 Comment

Celebrating Ryan’s birthday at National Harbor

A few weekends ago, we spent the night in nearby National Harbor, MD to celebrate Ryan’s 40th birthday – yep, a big day! National Harbor is right across the Potomac River from Alexandria…just a short drive over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

We started the weekend fun with swimming at the hotel pool. Here are a few photos that Ryan snapped…

We worked up quite an appetite, so after we cleaned up, we headed to the waterfront area for supper. We had pizza at Fiorella’s Italian Kitchen – and yep, with chocolate milk for the little kid and wine for the big kids!

After supper we did a quick stroll through the harbor area. We didn’t stay too long because a storm was rolling in. Here are a few photos we took as we were dashing back to the hotel. Yeah, we had a great view of the Capital Wheel and the Wilson Bridge against the dark sky.

After the weather cleared up, we headed back to the harbor area for a ride on the Capital Wheel. We’ve been on the wheel quite a few times over the past few years (we often take visitors there), but this was our first ride at night.

The nighttime view from the top was AWESOME! Our pictures didn’t turn out too well since the gondola windows were wet with raindrops, but you can still make out the buildings and boats below. Check it out!

The next morning after we checked out of the hotel, we walked around the harbor area again…because we of course had to visit the Awakening sculpture and the Peeps car too!

Then we met up with our good friends Dan, Lindsay, and their son for lunch at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ – messy but sooooo yummy!

Oh, and we can’t forget about Ryan’s birthday present. Noah picked out a Lego set of a Coast Guard airplane – who would have guessed, right?!?!

Thanks, Ryan, for giving us a fun reason for a weekend getaway!

Categories: Birthdays, Capital Wheel, Fun outings, Maryland | 1 Comment

A fun trip to the National Aquarium

Two weekends ago, we drove to Baltimore to take Noah and his friend to the National Aquarium. We visited this aquarium over Thanksgiving and Noah loved it…and so he wanted to visit again as part of his birthday fun.

Our first stop at the aquarium was the “Blacktip Reef” exhibit. We saw blacktip reef sharks, whiptail rays, angelfish, puffer fish and more.

We learned about shark teeth and what sharks eat too…

But our favorite part of this exhibit was the giant green sea turtle named Calypso. In 2000 this sea turtle was rescued when she was stranded in Long Island Sound. She weighed six pounds at the time and had a bad infection in one of her front flippers. They had to amputate her flipper because of the infection. She could not be returned to the wild, and so she was donated to the National Aquarium. It’s estimated that Calypso is about 20 years old and weighs 500 pounds. Yeah, that’s a big turtle!

We didn’t see Calypso on our last trip to the aquarium, so she must not have been out and about – she’d be hard to miss! Ha.

Next we headed to the “Living Seashore” hands-on exhibit. The boys got to see clearnose skates up close – so cool!

They learned about beaches through this fun interactive digital touch table…

And they got to see moon jellies up close too!

Then we walked through the maze of massive aquariums. We saw anemones, cardinalfish, clownfish (Nemo!), tangs (Dory!), sea stars, eels, sea cucumbers, groupers, creole fish, cowfish, seahorses, and porcupine fish, just to name a few. Whew, so many fish!

In the “Amazon River Forest” exhibit, we saw yellow dart frogs. Can you spot them? Yeah, ewwwww…

One of the coolest things we saw was scuba divers feeding some of the bigger fish in the “Atlantic Coral Reef” exhibit. Check it out!

But as cool as that was, their favorite exhibit was definitely still “Shark Alley.” Of course!

As we walked out, we passed through the underwater viewing area of the “Blacktip Reef” exhibit, and we got an even better view of Calypso and the blacktip reef sharks…

Here is a photo of the boys posing outside of the aquarium…

And here is a photo of them on the car ride home. Yep, they were tuckered out. It was a busy afternoon!

Noah had a great time at the aquarium – we all did! Stay tuned to read more about Noah’s birthday fun!

Categories: Animals, Aquariums, Birthdays, Fun outings, Maryland | Leave a comment

Museum fun: planes and trolleys!

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that Noah loves all things transportation – and this past month we visited two of Noah’s favorite transportation museums in Maryland.

Our first museum outing was to the Aviation Museum in College Park. The museum is at the College Park Airport, which is the oldest continually operated airport in the world – it’s over 100 years old.

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The museum features ten or so large planes that were made between 1901 and 1946. Some of the planes were parked on the ground and some were suspended from the ceiling. While a few of the planes were reproductions, they were all really cool.

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Noah’s favorite plane at the museum was this 1939 Taylorcraft that has been retrofitted as a hands-on “imagination Plane” for kids to explore and sit in. While in the cockpit, Noah got to use the controls to move the ailerons and elevator. Pretty cool!

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Since the plane is a two-seater, Ryan got to join in too.

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In the hands-on area, Noah got to play with flight simulators. As you can see, the big kid did too!

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Here’s a short video of Pilot Noah at the controls…

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

We also visited the National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville. The coolest thing about the museum is riding the electric streetcar on the museum’s one-mile rail line. This streetcar is from Toronto and was built in 1951.

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Next we visited the museum’s Street Car Hall, which houses numerous American and international streetcars. The U.S. streetcars were from New York City, Philadelphia and D.C., and the international streetcars were from Germany, Belgium and England. Some of the streetcars are more than 100 years old – very cool!

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Noah also enjoyed “steering” the model streetcar along the tracks and turning on the signal lights…

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We’ve written about the aviation and trolley museums before – they are two of our favorite nearby outings. We definitely plan to visit again, so stay tuned to read even more!

Categories: Airplanes, Fun outings, Maryland, Trolleys | Leave a comment

A fun trip to Maryland: fish & football

This year we stayed in Alexandria for Thanksgiving. Since we had a few extra days, we decided to take a short overnight trip to Baltimore to visit the National Aquarium. We have wanted to take Noah to the aquarium for a while now, and the long weekend provided a great opportunity.

We drove up to Baltimore Friday afternoon (it’s about an hour away). Our first stop was to check in at the hotel. We lucked out and got a room on the top floor. Hello down there!

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Next we had an early supper at James Joyce (an awesome Irish pub) and then walked the short distance to the Inner Harbor. We couldn’t get in to the aquarium right away (it was busy!), so we hung out at the nearby Barnes & Noble until our time slot. Noah can’t pass up an opportunity to play with trains! Ha.

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Our first stop at the National Aquarium was the “Blacktip Reef” exhibit. We saw blacktip reef sharks and lots of other fish too, including angelfish, puffer fish and whiptail rays.

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Next we checked out the “Living Seashore” hands-on exhibit. Noah and Ryan got to touch clearnose skates and horseshoe crabs – so cool!

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Then we started to work our way through the maze of massive aquariums. We saw groupers, creole fish, cowfish, seahorses, eels and porcupine fish, just to name a few. There were so many fish!

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Here’s a short video of Noah in the “Atlantic Coral Reef” exhibit.

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

Noah’s favorite exhibit was definitely “Shark Alley.” We saw many shark species – check it out!

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And here are two short videos of the sharks…

In the “Amazon River Forest” exhibit, we saw poison dart frogs and a big emerald tree boa snake.

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We had a great time at the aquarium! We didn’t quite make it through all the exhibits, so we definitely plan to visit again.

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After the aquarium we walked back to the hotel to relax. We had a busy day, and we were tired!

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On the way home the next day, we went to the University of Maryland in College Park to watch the Terps play Rutgers University. This was the Terps’ final home game of the season.

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As you can tell from the photos, it was a little chilly outside, but we had a great time. The Terps won 31 to 13. Yep, #FearTheTurtle!

We had a fun Thanksgiving weekend, and we hope you did too!

Categories: Fun outings, Maryland, Sports | 1 Comment

A fun afternoon in College Park, MD

This past Saturday we spent the afternoon in nearby College Park, MD. Our main reason for our visit was to go to the football game at the University of Maryland. It had been raining all day though, and it was still raining when we got to College Park, so we decided to make a pit stop at the College Park Aviation Museum while the rain passed. We’ve driven past the museum several times, but we never had time to stop in. The rain gave us a great reason to finally check it out!

A little background: The museum is at the College Park Airport, which is the oldest continually operated airport in the world. The airfield is over 100 years old and is known for many “firsts” in aviation. A few things we learned: Wilbur Wright trained the first military pilots here in 1909; the first Army mile-high flight took place here in 1912; and the first controlled helicopter flight took place here in 1924. Very Cool!

The museum features ten or so large planes that were made between 1901 and 1946. Some of the planes were parked on the ground and some were suspended from the ceiling. While a few of the planes were reproductions, they were all really cool!

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Noah’s favorite plane at the museum was this 1939 Taylorcraft that has been retrofitted as a hands-on “imagination Plane” for kids to explore and sit in. While in the cockpit, Noah got to use the controls to move the ailerons and elevator. Pretty cool! He couldn’t quite reach the pedals to move the rudder, but I’m sure he’ll be able to soon enough. He’s growing fast!

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Since the plane is a two-seater, Ryan got to join in too!

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In the hands-on area, Noah got to play with flight simulators. As you can see, the big kid did too!

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The hands-on area also included an exhibit that used beach balls and air blowers to show how low pressure and high pressure enable a plane to fly. According to the explanation on the placard, this is known as the Bernoulli Effect…just for future reference in case any of us end up on Jeopardy. Ha.

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After we finished at the museum, we headed to the football stadium to watch the Terps play Purdue. As I mentioned before, it had been raining all day, but the weather cleared up a bit for the second half.

Here are a few photos of the game.

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Here’s a photo of the cannon and fireworks at the end zone too. Maryland shoots off the cannon every time the Terps score…and since the Terps did really well (they won 50 to 7), we saw and heard a lot of the cannon.

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And of course, no sporting event is complete without concessions food. Cheese pizza and French fries – yummy!

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Yep, we had a fun weekend and we hope you did too!

Categories: Airplanes, Fun outings, Maryland, Sports | Leave a comment

Another fun Labor Day along Chesapeake Bay

Over Labor Day weekend, we visited our good friends Dan and Lindsay and their son Thane at their home along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, so we headed to the beach shortly after we arrived. Noah and Thane had fun swimming and searching for shark teeth.

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And we’re not kidding about the shark teeth. Check it out! If you’re skeptical because of the color, here’s your fun fact for the day: Shark teeth eventually turn black or dark gray because of the minerals in the sediment at the bottom of the ocean. 

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Noah also got to play on a pirate ship – ahoy!

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We worked up quite an appetite at the beach, so we headed back to their house for supper. We had steaks and grilled veggies – yummy! After supper the adults lounged around while Thane and Noah played Legos.

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We spent the following morning playing ring toss and badminton in the backyard.

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We also went for a long walk along the bulkhead near their house. Yeah, it was another great day to be outside!

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The month of August was unbearably hot in DC, so we were so thankful for the nice weather – finally! And we were thankful to have another fun weekend getaway with good friends. We hope you had an awesome Labor Day weekend too!

 

Categories: Holidays, Maryland, Summer, Swimming | Leave a comment

Noah’s first football game!

Yesterday we took Noah to his first college football game. We went to the nearby University of Maryland to watch the Terps play Howard University from DC.

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Here are a few photos of the game. As you can see, it was definitely a great day to be outside!

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Noah really enjoyed listening to the “Mighty Sound of Maryland” marching band at halftime. He thought it was cool watching them make letters as they played.

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Here’s a short video of the marching band too. Yep, they were pretty awesome!

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

And of course, no sporting event is complete without a massive tub of popcorn…

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If you’re curious about the hearing protection, our seats were close to the cannon at the end zone. Maryland shoots off the cannon every time the Terps score…and since the Terps did really well (they won 52 to 13), it was really loud!!!

Here are a few fun photos of Noah posing with a terrapin as we left. Yep, #FearTheTurtle! Ha. Noah’s first football game was a success!

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Categories: Fun outings, Maryland, Sports | Leave a comment

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