Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Heat Wave

Whew! The plane ride back was a rough one, but we're home from Baltimore now, safe and sound. It appears that it was quite hot whilst we were away, and my poor brother, who graciously agreed to watch the pups for the weekend, was downright miserable. You see, our house has no air conditioning, and the upper floor gets pretty stifling in the summer. Which, of course, is why we have an abundance of fans to provide a cross-breeze. I am not sure that Leland ever bothered to turn them on, though, so he probably didn't benefit from their goodness. He also didn't move downstairs to the relative cool comfort of the couch. I guess I will save the story of his common sense, or lack thereof, for another time :-) Perhaps I will just chalk it up to stress from the heat.

It could not have been anywhere near as bad as the heat in Baltimore, though! Wowee, when you have that much humidity, heat takes on a whole new meaning. I was wiped out.

We arrived on Friday, mid-day, and I promptly sent Tony off with my parents to the rehearsal dinner at a local crab shack. Being deathly allergic to the crawly things myself, I opted to stay behind with my parents college friends, George & Teri, who were nice enough to allow us to stay with them the whole weekend. We had a great time trading stories about living in Europe, and went to bed quite early. The next day was the wedding! It was wonderful! My cousin, Anna, was gorgeous in her cream gown. The most startling thing about the whole event is how much she looks like her mother and how much Owen, her brother, looks like our grandfather, Charles. It's uncanny, really. The sweltering heat just about killed us, and I was grateful for the chance to sit during the short ceremony. Here is a photo of me and cousin Owen:
He is so very tall and I am so very fat. Blech.

Here is Anna (the bride) and her dad, my uncle, John:

After the wedding, we went out to a famous (and somewhat sketchy, at first sight) Greek restaurant and had a fabulous meal with my cousins (minus the bride & groom), Aunt, Uncle, and friends. At the end of the day, I could barely hold my head up, and I was reminded the next morning at breakfast just how old I am -- my cousin Owen stayed out until 5:30 am with the wedding party!

On Sunday, we visited Fort McHenry, famous for a battle that took place there during the war of 1812 (though the war lasted until 1815). The battle itself was famous because it disheartened the British that we didn't surrender and their bombs didn't do much damage, but it became much more famous after the battle when Francis Scott Key's words, written from his vantage as a prisoner on a British ship in the harbor, became our national anthem. Did you know that "The Defence of Fort McHenry" (now known as "The Star Spangled Banner") actually has 4 verses? I prefer the last one:

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

After the Fort, we toured Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and Tony, Dad, and I spent some time checking out the Constitution, the last wooden-hulled boat commissioned by the US Navy. Here we are on the deck:

And here is the ship:
Then, we went and toured the USS Torsk, a WWII submarine. It was pretty cool as well. Here is Tony, obviously way too large to sleep in one of the bunks:

And here he is in beautiful Baltimore Harbor:

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Well, all except the guy seated next to me on the plane into Seattle who insisted on telling me about his multiple surgeries and how great having a colostomy bag is. I mean, hey, he never has to go to the bathroom anymore!


Sarah said...

Looks like you guys had a great trip. Glad to see you arrived safely home.

Mom and Dad said...

Wow, what a wonderful trip, minus the heat....I have been to B-more several times but never got to do the history thing. Did you see Camden yards? That is the only place I went. Will call you tomorrow. Glad to see you are back and safe. That humidity can be tough. Good thing you are made from sturdy stuff!! Love ya