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Local Treks

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

It's kinetic! (boogie woogie woogie)

It will be interesting, when she's writing her memoirs, to see if the giant pink poodle had the impact I'm afraid it did.fifi9277.jpg

The giant pink poodle escorted by bicyclists in tutus careening its way down a Baltimore street, on its way to the water-test.  Closely followed by a number of other creations, at various levels of coming apart.

Each year, the American Visionary Art Museum throws a huge party on wheels.  The Kinetic Sculpture race.  (This year, May 3).  It is well worth being at the race's start - for all the goofiness that accompanies the event.  Then, move as fast as you can to the water test - which is truly sink or swim.  But if you happen to just be driving along a city street and see them pass by, the whimsy value is way up there.  Especially with an impressionable toddler in the back seat.  But being part of the event is part of the fun.  < [...]More

Monday, 07 April 2008

Toddler Bait

Once a year, our local volunteer Fire Department has an open house.  Our son is obsessed with fire trucks, so how could we not go? 

We felt incredibly parental - something that would never have pinged our radar BP (Before Parenthood) was the Must-Do Item of the Week.  The kid got to look at and touch fire trucks and ambulances, see the inside of the station, use a fire house (with help from a fireman), and pet the fire dog.  His favorite thing was “driving” the fire truck - he hopped right in, grabbed the wheel, and starting running down all the idiots who don’t get out of the way of emergency vehicles.

Like everything with my headstrong child though, the brightest light casts the deepest shadow:  When he figured out the truck wasn’t really going to GO anywhere, he got upset.  “I! WANT! TO! DRIVE! THE! TRUCK!!!”   So we left much earlier than we’d planned, with him kicking and screaming, and then settling into his hate-filled Damien glare.  He rallied and was Adore-aboo the rest



I’ve driven past this place pretty much every day for years, and never knew it was there.  Funny how that can still happen.

Near where we live is a cluster of tiny houses.  To get to them, you have to take a series of small suburban streets until the road ends at a chained-off drive.  We got out and walked around the chain, but I understand that local teens drive around it to go parking in this place. 

It's private land, and I do not condone trespassing, but I really wish it could somehow be preserved as a secret little retreat for the public.  What is it?  Little houses, in sort of hacienda style, dotted here and there in the second-growth woods.  They are sized just right for children and are overgrown with vines and dogwood and nestled in among tall trees.  It's a fairy tale ghost town, Hansel and Gretel's witch's cottage centuries after they cooked her.

One of the many rumors is that a circus built them as housing for the Little People who worked in the


Thursday, 03 April 2008

Membership = Priceless*

Polar Bear quiz time - maybe a little old for her now, but we'll be back....
"Think we're coming back here again?"  That's one of the first things we ask each other when we visit a museum or park that charges admission (not all do - like the Smithsonian in DC, the Walters and BMA in Baltimore, and others).  Seems ridiculous when we've only just gotten there, but whatever.  If it's a local science museum, art museum, or, after a couple hours, she's duct-taped herself to part of the apparatus, the answer is likely 'yeah, likely.' 

Out comes the credit card and a few days later another family membership arrives.  The math is usually pretty darn easy - two visits, especially with friends or visiting relatives, and the membership is paid off.  Rest of [...]More

Monday, 31 March 2008

The Better Part of Valor

My plan for this weekend was to go to The Mall to the Smithsonian Kite Festival.  The folks we were going to go with couldn't make it, however, and then I realized that not only was today the Kite Festival (and thus the first day of the National Cherry Blossom Festival), but also the National Marathon and the first game at the new Nationals stadium.

So we went house-shopping instead.

I used to be really into the big downtown DC crowd scenes, but not with a kid and not with the lack of energy I have as an overworked middle-aged mom.  Instead we drove around suburbia, with the kid happily pointing out all manner of vehicles (and mailboxes.  He has a thing about mailboxes).  He loved it.  He's just a fiend for seeing new stuff and watching from a car, and he loves that he knows stuff now.

This didn't get us any farther in our potty-training goals, however.
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