Trip #17: Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia

So much of this trip was a sobering reality check that left us understanding the bitter divide between North and South and the everyday souls who endured so much for their cause. Often times words could not describe our feelings looking at the battlefields and learning the personal stories of brave Americans, from decorated generals to those barely old enough to enlist. But not everything on this trip revolved around … [Read more...]


  Have you ever seen the state of Maryland's flag? It's a wild and colorful design. And that's just the way I feel about Maryland, it's got loads of personality-historical and eclectic. Maryland is at once urban, rural and even wild. It's urban core is definitely Baltimore- deeply historical, and both traditional and artsy all at the same time. Just leave Baltimore and you'll encounter is rural roots, hosts … [Read more...]

Maryland Statehouse (Annapolis)

My kids and I love exploring state capitol buildings for the architecture-my kids always run first and foremost to the rotunda to check out the design of the dome-but also for the amazing  historical artifacts related to the state's history. Some are truly beautiful and others are just "plain janes" with no personality. While the Maryland statehouse was not particularly visually captivating, it was probably the most … [Read more...]

U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis)

  It was a sweltering day, but that didn't stop us from checking out the awesome U.S. Naval Academy. A word of warning though, security is super tight so if you too plan on visiting, be prepared to flash your license and answer any and all questions. BTW, they won't let you park on the premises so do what we did and find some street parking on the cheap a block or two away. After passing through the metal … [Read more...]

Beautiful Baltimore: Distinctive, Diverse and a Must Do!

When I told my kids our first stop was Baltimore they were a little put off with images of gritty city life with run down streets. I will admit Baltimore does have some sort or tough urban reputation to those not in the know but once we set foot in the city any illusions we had were quickly shattered. We found ourselves in a beautiful city rich with cultural heritage and diversity set against the backdrop of deeply … [Read more...]

The Charmery (Baltimore)

One of the first things my kids and I do as we plan a road trip is to find out what is the city's top ice cream spot. Doing a little digging and reading the reviews, all arrows pointed to the Charmery as a place we just had to check out. Interestingly enough, Lilia's college friends based in Baltimore hadn't heard of it so we sent them to do a little reconnaissance and they came back with huge thumbs up. It just goes … [Read more...]

Edgar Allan Poe’s Gravesite (Baltimore)

I don't know about you, but I find graveyards a welcoming place and not spooky at all.  Though this was a very quick stop, we felt it was important to pay homage to one of America's most famous poets. Sadly as we made our way to the gate of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground we soon realized the gate to get in was locked as there was some sort of construction project going on. Seems they are refurbishing or … [Read more...]

Fort McHenry (Baltimore)

  I can only imagine the patriotism that was stirred in the hearts of those who saw our Star Spangled Banner as she flew after the British attacks at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor in 1813. Standing within the fort my heart swelled imagining those brave souls who risked life and limb for their love of country. If you are fortunate to visit the city of Baltimore, you absolutely cannot miss this … [Read more...]

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (Baltimore)

Honestly, my kids and I had no idea what to expect at this "Museum of Pop Culture" located right across the street from Camden Yards, but I am so glad we didn't miss it.  I am not sure my kids got as much out of it as I did but it was still a fun adventure for all involved (not to mention a great excuse to get into an air-conditioned building on a sweltering day). The best part was that my kids got to know a side of … [Read more...]

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore)

  Ideally located right next to the Star Spangled Banner Flag House, my kids and I were excited to check out this museum and learn more about the history and culture of the African American population in Maryland. As a parent, I think it is very important to educate ourselves about peoples and cultures other than our own and so we were really looking forward to learning a bunch in this museum. Sadly, as … [Read more...]