Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Baltimore Original Scratched from Our To-Do List

Every year the Baltimore Visionary Art Museum holds a Kinetic Sculpture race. What's a kinetic sculpture race you ask? Exactly what it sounds like - giant man powered moving sculptures racing through the city streets. These sculptures are not only mobile but also amphibious in order to cross a section of the bay and are required to go through a mud pit. AMAZING! There are crazy outfits for the racing teams and the spectators, bubbles everywhere, free temporary devil tattoos, men dressed like old cat women, a huge Alice in Wonderland caterpillar, rubber chickens, a Brazilian percussion band, balloon animals, dancers, and sock monkeys all before the race even begins - What a day!

More info can be found on the race website along with a complete list of official rules. I would strongly suggest checking out the 2011 photo album. http://www.kineticbaltimore.com/

This year marked the 13th annual race. James and I caught a glimpse of the the sculptures before they took to the road. Here are a few samples of what we saw. The event is very hard to explain; the pictures don't do it justice. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"I'm glad we were here together in our Nation's Capitol" ... By Megan, not James

Amy, Regan, and Travis came to D.C. a few weeks ago for a family vacation. Since we live so close, we were able to hang out with them for a whole day! 

It was a lot of fun. We stayed in a wonderful hotel that was more like an apartment and went to the National Mall to check out the sites. 

First we stopped for a little bit of food in Chinatown. 

Then we went on a tour of the Capitol Building. It is a really beautiful building. Our tour guide Leo was able to let us go out onto the Speaker of the House's Balcony that looks over D.C. You can look straight down the mall. That was pretty cool. 

Every state also has two statues somewhere in the Capitol. Each statues is a famous or influential person from that state. Leo knew we would be excited to see this one ..... Go Cougs!

After our tour we went to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. 

It was a fun weekend in D.C. Thanks to Amy and Travis for letting us crash their vacation! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Whirl Wind Baltimore

Dang, it's been a while. We have been completely neglecting the blog lately, and we have so much to say! We've been quite busy the last couple of weekends, so get ready for a bunch of pictures...

Our topic... a Baltimore excursion! We wanted to make time to see some of the cooler Baltimore sites before we head out for Michigan, so we listed the places and activities we wanted to visit and started planning city trips.

Our first "last days in Baltimore" adventure took us to Mt. Vernon. This part of the city is absolutely beautiful. We began with a visit to the Baltimore Basilica, which is the oldest cathedral in North America. The Cathedral is open for the public to view and tour most days. They have beautiful art work on every surface, a crypt, cathedral museum, and an organ overlooking the congregation from a balcony. While we were there, a gentleman was practicing a vocal piece for the next days service. It was really beautiful.

After the cathedral we visited the oldest Baltimore city library and also went once again to the Walter's Art museum to see the exhibits we hadn't been able to see during our first visit. The Walter's museum is amazing. I absolutely LOVE that the museum is set up like an old mansion. Instead of having paintings and artifacts hanging on the white walls of a huge hall, the art is displaced in rooms. They hang on the walls and in cabinets, just like Mr. Walter would have displayed them in his own house. It feels just like a home (a very expensive home with fine taste, but still, a home). In fact, the man who lived in the town home next to the museum donated his house when he died. The house is now part of the museum and the art is displayed over the original house's furnishings, over fire places, and around beautiful bay windows. We discovered this portion of the museum during our last visit. Here is a picture of James walking up the spiral stair case of the adjoining town home. 

Our last stop was to see the grave site of Edgar Allan Poe. The monument below is the grave stone for his mother in law, himself, and his wife. Poe's last home is also in Baltimore. Since it's quite literally in the ghetto and I don't believe that it is open for viewing on Saturdays, we did not get to see the house. However, the grave yard was very neat. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bang-A-Rang Cupcakes

This week we had a bunch of friends with Birthdays, so we decided to make cupcakes. But not just any cupcakes.... 

They look a lot like the food fight from hook, so James named them Bang-A-Rang cakes. 

Anyway, they are really easy to make. I got the idea from Marissa. 

First make a box batter as directed. Split the batter into separate bowls and add food coloring. We decided to do green, blue, red and yellow. 

Add spoonfuls of batter, one color at a time, to each cupcake paper.

Put the cupcakes into the oven as directed by the box mix.

Pull cupcakes from oven.

Let the cakes cool before adding the frosting.