Saturdays are for adventures.
Recently, we took an adventure to the Baltimore Harbor on a day where various events were happening. There was Comic Con, the Baltimore Book Festival, and Museum Day Live! Though I do enjoy a good comic book, I skipped Comic Con, but took in all the cosplay that devoured the streets. My favorite was a group of Spider-Men scaling the walls and playing for the crowd. I especially love it when men dress as Wonder Woman.
Even though Comic Con looked fun, we headed to the B&O Railroad Museum for a free tour, compliments of Museum Day Live. Museum Day Live is a country-wide event sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine. Patrons get to choose in advance which museum they would like to visit for free. Museum Day Live happens every year in September. If you missed it this year, be sure to catch it next year. It’s an excellent way to get your family out of the house for a day of art, culture, and history.
The B&O Railroad Museum was an odd choice for me, since I’m far from a train aficionado. But I enjoyed myself after all. The trains were spectacular to see up close. They were huge and full of craftsmanship. We were able go inside some of the trains, to see how railroad workers ate, slept, and lived on the trains. In each boxcar there was something new to discover. One, had a huge miniature display of the city. There were tiny shop-goers and tiny shops, and it depicted how the railroad fit within city life. As a visual artist, I was more taken back with the craftsmanship of the miniature stores and people than the trains themselves. Each tiny person had his or her own outfit and some carried bags, some drove cars, some rode the train. It was a nice detailed display of Baltimore’s robust city life many years prior.
There was also a nice outdoor section for small kiddies, complete with a small carousel, and a little play area. There was also the largest miniature train set that I’ve ever seen. And it had buttons for the kids to push which controlled some of the moving parts on the display. There was a lot to look at, and every time I circled around, I discovered something new.
Did I mention that my husband and I took my daughter and her friend, two very hard to impress little ladies? But they do love a challenge. Kids who are of a certain age, get a fun scavenger hunt activity. At the end, if you’ve found everything, you get a prize. They weren’t too enthused about the rubber bracelet they got as their prize (like I said, they’re hard to impress; and for some reason they assumed they would be getting a telescope; not sure why), but they did enjoy trying to read the map, and finding all the different stations. My husband helped a lot, I think he may have enjoyed that part as well.
After touring the museum, we decided to head to the Baltimore Book Festival, which was located right on the waterfront. First, we ate at UNO’s, which is also on the waterfront. I had a delicious black bean burger and fries, and we had a great view of the harbor.
After the feast, we headed to the festival. As you can image, there were tons of books for sale, but also food, beer, wine, jewelry, t-shirts, and other clothing items. I was all about the books. To my surprise though, most of the books were pricey, especially the old antique books. As the girls were combing the shelves for fantasy fiction, they were shewed away by some old book-keeper nervous that they would rip a page. He knew they wouldn’t be purchasing a $40 book for themselves. Initially I was offended, but I understand wanting to keep your investment safe. So, we moved on. They did have a vendor selling all books for $5 which was probably the best deal I could find. I also found a comic book vendor selling Marvel comics for $1. There were authors reading passages of their books, and answering questions, there was music playing, and city goers swaying.
All-in-all, the ambiance of being near the water, listening to the music, watching kids play and eat their ice-cream cones, and feeling the nerdy creative energy from fellow book lovers was the best part of the book festival. I didn’t even purchase any books. I wanted to support the book vendors, but I’m an old-fashioned (cheap) girl. I prefer the library. Buying books can be very costly. I read 2-3 books per month, so I only purchase books that I will reread many times over (Hmm. Maybe I’ll do an article on which books I’d read again and again, stay tuned). Anyway, the book festival was a great way to take in some sun and scenery. I would return, not with the intention of buying any books, but just to soak up the liveliness of the day.
So that was my Saturday, I loved spending that time with my family doing something different and exposing the kids to great things in their very own hometown of Baltimore. After all, Saturdays are for adventures.
Until next time…