Of Grilled Cheese & a Swinging Bridge

Last week we were able to sneak away for a little getaway. Josh was doing two weeks of training for work so we joined him for two of those days at his hotel for a change of scene and a little fun. The kids had never stayed in a hotel before, so this alone was fun for them. (Well, Sophia did when she was a baby, but that hardly counts.) The first day we spent our entire time at the pool. We almost had it completely to ourselves for most of the day. I even got a lot of reading done while the kids splashed!

My novel of choice was The Language of Flowers. It completely riveted me. I'd heard a lot about it from various blogs and it interested me, as it intertwined with the Victorian's "language of flowers" into the plot. The language of flowers had always interested me too, and the use of this language throughout the book was captivating, as was the story of the main character, a foster child who ages out of the foster care system and must make a life for herself and confront her past actions and her fears.

After our day of swimming we got dinner at Grilled Cheese & Co. Josh got the Crabby Melt with was loaded with crab claw meat and melted monterey jack cheese. I got a limited special, The Philly, which had thin slices of philly steak with roasted peppers and American and Provolone cheese. Each meal had a side of crunchy sweet potato fries. Total yum. If you're ever in Catonsville, Maryland, check them out!

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Day two took us to Patapsco Valley State Park. We played at the playground, explored some trails, and ate a packed lunch there. The most fun by far was the Swinging Bridge. I discovered one of my sons has a fear of heights when we tried to cross it! The bridge was once used daily by workers to get from their homes on one side of the Patapsco river to work at the Orange Grove Flour Mill on the opposite side. All that's left of the mill are some ruins. However, while we were checking out the ruins the kids were quite excited to see an CSX train roll by on the tracks that once would have had a stop at the mill, many years ago, to add flour cargo to their freight cars. So often when visiting a historic site I wish I could go back in time--even for an instant--and experience the place in it's prime. Do you?

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The Swinging Bridge at Patapsco Valley State Park

Around Here

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I have learned that May is a busy month. Hence the quietness on this blog for most of the month. May is always a busy month for us, but this year took the prize. Well, maybe not. Last year we were furiously packing to move into this house all of May!

First, today is officially the first day of summer vacation!  And we got off to a delightful start with fresh blueberry muffins and a friendly game of sibling baseball in the yard. We finished Classical Conversations (our homeschool group) and had the presentation ceremony. I had my annual homeschool review. May is always busy with finishing up school, co-ops, and prepping for the review. We plan to keep up with reading and math games over the summer, but otherwise, summer fun, here we come!

May is also the month we celebrate three birthdays. The boys turned 7 and are obsessed with Legos and roller blades. I got to enjoy a dinner out at The Vineyard Wine Bar, which serves up deliciously fresh and interesting food every time.

Then there's the yard. And garden. Our yard is SO much bigger than our last one that it's a little overwhelming come spring. I enjoy the work and eventually it will get easier each year as we tame it. The previous owners did a lot of landscaping but some of the flower beds kinda went wild before we took over ownership. We're still identifying plants and learning how to trim bushes and plants we've not had before.

My mom moved from the house I grew up and lived in since I was 14 years old. That was a huge job that meant several weekends helping pack and two weekends of moving. But I'm so excited for her to be moved into her new home which will be so much easier for her to maintain!

Josh and I got to go to a Nickel Creek concert that just took my breath away: the energy, the music, the audience bursting into song. It was fabulous in every way! Check out their new album. I'm just so glad they're back together. Kinda makes up for The Civil Wars splitting up. I also got to attend my first ever book launch for my author-friend Dani Pettrey's fourth book, Silenced. It was super fun to support her and celebrate her success.

I finished listening to Harry Potter on audiobook. I'm missing the space it took up in my life. I looked forward to dinner prep and clean up because I'd be sucked into the world of Hogworts. In any case, the series totally went beyond my expectations in every way and was the most immensely satisfying series I've read in some time.

So that was my May. How was yours?