July 24th, 2005

little review

Poem for Sunday

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I had a lovely long day in Baltimore with my family, capped with informal dinner at my parents' house where my kids and my sister's kids played while my sister and I attempted to catch up in between kids coming in to ask, tell, complain, report, whine, giggle and all those other things kids do when there are five children and only four adults to pay attention to them. We went to the HMS Bounty, in Baltimore for the weekend, a Canadian-built replica of Captain Bligh's vessel that's next headed to New York City in a couple of days for anyone interested in seeing it there. This ship was built in 1960 for the Marlon Brando Mutiny on the Bounty and was acquired by Ted Turner when he bought the MGM film library; he has since donated it to a tall ship organization that uses it for sail training and cruises. (It also appeared as the pirate ship in the Spongebob Squarepants movie, which is of far greater interest to my kids!)

From the pier we walked to the National Aquarium, where we had intended to visit only briefly, to get drinks and walk down from the rainforest through the shark tanks. But the dolphin shows were cancelled because Nani had a calf two weeks ago and needed peace and quiet, and because of this the auditorium was open for people to walk in and watch the dolphins just hanging out and playing with the trainers who were swimming with them, playing ball with them and chatting with visitors in a way that rarely happens in the crowded aquarium when shows are going on. We saw Spirit, who was born at the aquarium in 2001, making chatty noises and rolling around at the front of the pool nearest the stairs, and one of the other dolphins was taking spontaneous runs around the tank and splashing the trainers in the well. It was a lot of fun to watch and we hung out there for awhile. Then we decided to walk through the Chesapeake, Atlantic, polar and jungle exhibits on the way to the rainforest, and because it was less crowded than usual we saw a lot of animals we sometimes can't get close enough to spot -- a caiman, a marmoset, a tree sloth, a viper and numerous birds, for instance.

While I'm thinking about it, since we drove over the Patuxent River Saturday and will do so again Sunday to go to Solomons, I wanted to mention that Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum is having a War of 1812 Reenactment, reenacting the attacks the British made on the shore batteries during the Battle of St. Leonard Creek, on September 24th. Has anyone ever gone to this? How is it? I took about 150 photos today, 20 of which are of the crabs which have replaced fish as the artists' displays in Baltimore (we have pandas in DC, there are cows in Harrisburg and I know there are a variety of other animals in other cities), plus about 40 of the Bounty and 40 in the aquarium. I'll start with the ship since there are likely to be more photos from Calvert's Maritime Museum tomorrow:


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