In May 2016, almost all our family (Jake excepted) took a short vacation together. Going on vacation all in the same car was something we thought we’d sworn off forever, but this was a quickly planned journey.
John’s uncle was sick, and he wasn’t getting better. John felt strongly that we needed to get up to Baltimore to see him, and soon. It turns out he was right.
We had a wonderful couple of visits with Uncle Boh. He’d been in the hospital right before we arrived, and had to go back almost right after we left, but he was home while we were there, and we were able to share meals and conversation. It was truly a blessing, as he died less than two weeks later.
We couldn’t burden Uncle Boh and Aunt Barbara with our company the entire time we were in town, obviously. So we took the opportunity to see some sights.
Even when you’ve spent as much time visiting one place (Baltimore) as we have, there’s always something new to explore if you look! We visited Harpers Ferry, West Virginia one day and the Baltimore Museum of Art the other.
John and I had been to Harpers Ferry close to 30 years before, but I had only the vaguest memories of that rainy day visit. We were blessed with incredible weather this trip, which made for some beautiful pictures that I am excited to share here. Unfortunately, my waiting so long to memorialize this trip means that this post will be long on pictures and short on explanations.
If you’ve heard of Harpers Ferry at all, it will be in connection with John Brown and his failed attempt here to abolish slavery via armed insurrection. You’ll learn plenty about those events if you visit.
That, obviously, is the man himself! Below you’ll see the building where he and his men holed up.
Harpers Ferry is full of history with displays in several of the buildings on the main street.
There are also shops and restaurants to explore along the main thoroughfare and side streets. Harpers Ferry is a stopping point along the Appalachian Trail so there is some serious hiking gear available.
There’s an historic home to visit and a church (and the remains of a church) to investigate.
Situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, it’s also a place of extraordinary natural beauty.
Looking back at this visit one year later, I still remember how beautiful everything was and how happy we were. It was one of those perfect days.
The next day we stuck closer to home base, and visited the Baltimore Museum of Art. I can’t think why we’d never been there before. It’s not because of the kids, because our kids like that kind of thing.
Here’s some of what we saw outside:
Inside there were several sections to explore. We saw sculptures and other three-dimensional expressions of art:
The collection of the kind of paintings most people probably think of when they hear the words “art museum” was indeed impressive:
But they also have interesting collections of art from Africa and Asia:
They also had a great modern collection that we had to rush through because we were supposed to be somewhere.
But that’s okay, because now I have a reason to go back there!
And don’t worry, we didn’t leave Baltimore without taking part in the essential summertime ritual: