October 23rd, 2005

little review

Poem for Sunday

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It was raining this morning and soccer was cancelled, so we dropped plans to meet my in-laws at Gambrill and Washington Monument State Parks and instead met them at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, where the Circus exhibit had a live demonstration of sword swallowing and juggling with fire by Philip DePalo. The exhibit itself had a lot of hands-on aspects, low-level tightrope walking and balancing and juggling and costumes; oddly, our kids who used to love gymnastics birthday parties refused to try either the trapeze or the high-wire despite the fact that everyone was strapped into safety harnesses like the ones they wear at climbing parties. Older son is at the age where he is almost-too-old to consider any of this cool and appeared aware that most of the kids there were younger than him, though he was pleased to get all the dirty jokes from the juggler that went over the head of the younger audience. *g* Since we were in the museum we also went through the bay ecology and astronomy exhibits, then saw the planetarium show Entertaining Einstein on Einstein's contributions to science which was quite informative for an ignoramus like me who only has the faintest understanding of Brownian motion.

From the upper level of the science center at the Chesapeake Bay exhibit, we watched the ships in the harbor and I spotted the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester which had been visiting the week before to take in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. Then, as we were walking to Harborplace for dinner, there on the other side of the dock where the Clipper City picks up passengers was the Mystic Whaler, which had not yet arrived for the race the last time we were in Baltimore! My in-laws are very familiar with this ship because they lived in Connecticut for many years and went sailing with friends in the Mystic River where they often saw her. I had been disappointed when we saw the Virginia and Sultana not to see the Mystic Whaler and Nathan of Dorchester, both of which were scheduled to be in town, so I was very happy. We also learned the race results: the Mystic Whaler finished third in her class to the Liberty Clipper of Boston and the Virginia of Norfolk, both ships we have been aboard (we sailed on the Liberty Clipper when we were in New England last summer). Sultana, another ship we have been aboard several times, finished fifth.

Dinner at City Lights was fabulous -- crab soup, caesar salad and seafood crepes for me, most of the others had crab cakes, younger son had coconut shrimp -- and the White Sox won the first game of the World Series! Not bad for a day in which we got thoroughly soaked by an unexpected evening rainstorm on the way back to the car and drove home in drenched clothes, eating Hanover chocolates for consolation! *g* Tonight you get ship photos; I'll save the fire-eating, juggling, tightropes and Bay life for during the week.

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