Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Fair and Fair Baltimore

Trying to remember so long ago is hard.  Let’s see how I do.

Lindy had her parent teacher conference on Tuesday, October 7th and it went really well!  Her teacher is really pleased with where she is.  We went over the Dibels testing and she did great.  She said she was one of just a few kids to improve from their end of Kindergarten scores.  She said most kids regressed a bit.  She said she sees no problems right now!  Yay Lindy!  We really like her teacher.  She is still working to figure out some kinks but they are doing well.  She said she was so happy to have her in her class.  That meant a lot to hear.  She doesn’t see Lindy as a burden and it’s just nice to hear.  Will had soccer practice that night and it was so chilly out there.

Wednesday we had lunch with the kids at school.  They think that is just the greatest thing ever!  We both met Will’s class and had lunch with him and his buddy Jose.  Jose is really cute and talked to us easily.  Lindy’s class came in about 20 minutes later and Drew moved down to the end of the visitors’ table and ate with her and her friend Ellie.  Same Ellie from her kindergarten class who we’ve eaten with before and who will barely utter a word to us!  After Will’s class left I moved down to sit with them.  Ellie uttered a few words, but not much. 

Thursday was picture day.  You just never know what they will come back as!  I’m sure Will’s will be his perfect fake smile.  There is no telling with Lou!

Thursday afternoon we took the kids to the Dixie Classic Fair.  I met the kids and Drew right after school and we headed in.  We got their all you can ride wristbands first and hit the rides.  They are kind of at a strange age/size at the fair.  The little kid rides are getting a little small for them but they aren’t big enough or brave enough to go on the big rides.  They still had fun but you can tell they are outgrowing some rides.  For the first time Lindy got to do one of the super slides by herself.  She was thrilled about that.  We ran into some church folks and their grandson went on one of the Ferris wheels with the kids.  Their grandson was Will and he was 8 and he was so sweet with Lindy.   He held her hand and helped her out and made sure she sat down on the ride!  We had dinner and then rode more rides.  We walked very briefly through some exhibits and saw some big pumpkins.  We ran into some of the kids’ friends and Will got to do an obstacle with one of his buddies.  The fair is fun but tiring.  We left around 7pm and were stunned at the lines of people waiting to get into the fair. 

Friday morning we dropped the kids off at school and Drew and I headed to Baltimore.  We had to get some things done at the house so we left around 9:30am.  We went up through the middle of VA which was a bit slow going.  There were a bunch of stop lights and then some traffic.  Then we hit DC.  Holy traffic in DC.  We hit DC at the worst time imaginable.  4pm on a Friday.  Drew was driving but after a bit of that traffic he couldn’t do it anymore.  In the middle of the interstate we switched positions so I could drive.  I didn’t do too much driving after that.  It was more inching.  Not just to DC but most of the way to Baltimore!  It ended up taking us 9 hours to get there but we made it!  We went to Baltimore to visit our friends Gary and Karen.  We met them in Lincolnton and have stayed in touch all these years.  Gary was a Lutheran pastor in Lincolnton that Drew had gotten to know well.   They moved up to Baltimore about 6+ years ago when Karen got a job at Johns Hopkins as a neonatal nurse practitioner.  Gary moved up and got a church up there as well.  We finally got there and we got settled in our apartment.  Gary and Karen have a one bedroom apartment in a big apartment building so they rent the guest apartment for their company.  We had our own apartment which was pretty cool.  Friday night we walked to dinner in their neighborhood, Fell’s Point.  We had a yummy dinner and then watched the Orioles/Royals ball game that evening.   Saturday morning we got to sleep in some and then Karen and I went to the Farmer’s Market and looked in some stores.  Saturday afternoon we went to the Inner Harbor and walked around the area.  It was hopping down there because the Orioles/Royals game was at 4pm.  We walked to the stadium and thought about springing for tickets but opted not to.  Sidenote – our friends are big Orioles fans, rightfully so, and I was one of a few Royals fans in town!   It was killing them to keep losing to the Royals while having to watch the games with me!  We headed back to their apartment to watch the game Saturday afternoon and then went out for a quick dinner Saturday night.  We got chip beef.  I don’t even know what that is!  ha!

Sunday we went to church at Gary’s church and it was really cool.  Gary is the pastor at Amazing Grace Lutheran which is a church in east Baltimore.  There was everything from homeless to us there and everything in between.  Gary totally called me out as a Royals fan and the church booed me!  ha!  Never been booed in church!  The service was super cool and pretty different from ours.  The church is in a rough neighborhood but they are doing a great thing there.  They have a garden planted in the back to help provide the area with fresh veggies.  They have a food pantry as well for the area.  It was a cool experience with them.  We ate lunch at the church after the service as a youth group fundraiser.  Sunday afternoon we headed to Fort McHenry  which was really cool too.  It is where Frances Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner after the fight at the fort in 1814.  It was a gorgeous day to be strolling around the area.  We left there and headed to Federal Hill for the best view of Baltimore.  We finished the evening with dinner in Canton. 

We got up Monday morning, had breakfast, and headed home.  The trip home was much, much better.  We knew of a wreck in DC and took an alternate route.  We also went I81 through VA which was much prettier and no stoplights.  We hit another wreck on I81 and took a detour down through Roanoke.  We picked the kids up at Ed’s house and got them home for dinner, homework, showers and bedtime.

We loved Baltimore!  It was a cool city and reminded us so much of San Francisco.  We definitely are planning to take the kids back because there seemed to be a bunch of stuff for the kids.  They had all these cool neighborhoods and a million restaurants. 

What were the kids up to while we were gone?  They were busy having fun with a variety of people!  Bob and Suzette picked them up from school on Friday.  Saturday Bob took Will to his soccer game at 11am.  Bob said they played good and they tied 5-5.  He said Will played well and took a hard ball to the chest.  Saturday afternoon Bob and Suzette were brave and took the kids to the fair again.  The kids said they had a blast.  Sunday the kids hung out with Bob and Suzette in the morning but then they dropped them off at our friend Katie’s church.  Katie had a meeting till 2pm so they played in the nursery with Claire and some other kids.  Katie took them all home after her meeting where they stayed for the day and the night.  Katie had a meeting that evening so Kris got babysitting duty and actually got all four kids to bed!   Katie got home and everyone was tucked in.  She had them up and at school the next morning like a champ.  It helps they live 5 mins from the kids’ school.   Neither of her kids go there now but Micah used to.  She dropped them off and then her shift ended.  Ed picked them up from school and took them to his house till we got there at 6pm. 

Ahhhhh, I think that is everything.  Some pictures!


A super cute Lindy outfit.
Complete with a super cute hair do!DSC_1394
Will and Jose
Lindy and Ellie
The Dixie Classic Fair first ride of the day!DSC_1398DSC_1399DSC_1401DSC_1405
First time by herself!
Lindy and big Will, who went with them on the Ferris wheel.DSC_1411DSC_1414DSC_1419DSC_1429
The swings were a big hit this year.DSC_1433DSC_1436DSC_1441DSC_1445DSC_1447
Although Lindy’s favorite ride was the carousel.  She rode it 3 times and named her horse.DSC_1450
Our apartment in Baltimore.IMG_5622
Delicious place we ate lunch.IMG_5627IMG_5632
So close to being inside those gates to watch the game!IMG_5646
Gary’s church
Behind the church where they have a garden and labyrinth.  At one time there were abandoned row houses and I think he said there were 11 murders in them.  They tore them all down and are doing great things back there.  IMG_5652IMG_5659IMG_5660
Fort McHenry and the Chesapeake BayIMG_5670IMG_5678
Frances Scott Key BridgeIMG_5683IMG_5684IMG_5691
View of Baltimore from Federal HillIMG_5693IMG_5696

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