It’s official. After visiting five cities in the last few weeks, the Fives are sick of cities. This is not to say that urban areas don’t have a lot to offer. However, here is a short list of things we won’t miss: getting lost trying to stay on Route 1, narrow lanes and high curbs, waiting (and waiting) for public transportation, and trying to stay cool while being surrounded by asphalt. I guess being from Maine, our tolerance for city life was just used up by the string of major cities from Massachusetts to Maryland.
After making the kids walk for blocks and blocks in NYC, we thought we had found the perfect way to take in Baltimore by getting an all day pass on the Water Taxi. And while the service did deliver on ferrying us between stops in the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Fort McHenry, it was not as kid friendly as we had hoped. Our average wait time for a boat was between 10-15 minutes, which can feel like an eternity when trying to keep three young ones occupied. In addition our kids were a little too small to see over the rails of the boat, but due to taxi regulations they had to stay seated for safety reasons. So as we headed out to Fort McHenry, we found ourselves describing much of the interesting sights to the kids while bear hugging a kicking and screaming High Five. After a picnic lunch, we headed back to the Inner Harbor and lost more and more steam as we went. Our spirit of adventure at dangerously low levels, we decided to skip the water taxi ride and just drive to the Whole Foods at Harbor East. From there, we fled Baltimore and set up for the night camping just outside of Washington D.C. (we thought it impossible too) at Greenbelt Park run by the National Park Service.
We slept in later than we had hoped, so traffic into D.C. the next day was a bit rough. We pressed on and soon arrived at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Our last visit had been three years ago, so we were excited for High Five to have his first visit. Highlights included the pandas, the Pacific octopus, gibbons, the Rain Forest walk, and Five Spice blazing an unauthorized path through one of the many construction zones to avoid a long and demoralizing backtrack. Our drive out of Washington D.C. along Route 1 was full of famous landmarks and sites enjoyed by the older Fives (the only ones still awake).
While going into much more detail about our last two city escapades is just too exhausting at this point, please feel free to check out more of our photos of Baltimore and Washington D.C. at our Flickr Photostream. In the meantime we are excited to enjoy a slower stretch of Route 1.