See more photos below!
As if Richardson Farms Farm Market
in White Marsh wasn't cool enough, they have a free holiday Train Garden this year. It's been set up by Harrison Trains
and any donations collected go to the John Hopkins Children's Center.
I've written about this unique farm store before ("Fresh Local Produce and Luscious Plants at Richardson Farms"
). Not only can you get great produce, it's become a community destination for meeting for lunch or attending one of their fun events (the spring Easter Egg hunt was so well done).The train garden is housed in their giant greenhouse filled with a large selection of wonderfully smelly XMas trees for sale. It just oozes Christmas!
The highlight of the set up is the Walt Disney World Castle with the iconic monorail making it's rounds every few minutes. Other personal favorites were the 1950s Diner and the band of Hobos camping out next to a box car. Not sure how, but their little pot boiling over the fire jiggled back and forth. The steam engine puffed out real steam and see if you can find Snoopy canoeing with his peeps....
SPECIAL TIP: My Mom and I took my youngest during the week so it wasn't crowded at all. In fact Eamon was able to madly chase the trains around without bothering anyone. We got to chat with the train master who showed us how to switch out the engines and divulged some inside scoop about how often they need to change the batteries in the monorail - 45 mins to be exact.While you're there you can pick up some fresh farm produce, locally made goodies and of course your Christmas tree! Have fun and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
Me with my best "Y" friend, Beth.
I'm hoping by now most college students have gone back to school. I can't wait for fall weather so the newbies disappear under jeans and baggy sweaters and the regulars migrate outside so the Perry Hall Y
is mine, all MINE!! (evil, maniacal laugh). But, alas I must share. I love this Y so much I can't help writing about it, therefore sabotaging my desire to have it all to myself. Sigh....
While slogging away at our computers the other day, Tom asked me out of the blue if I wanted to go with him to the BMA
for a couple of hours. Sure, I love art and even better, there's no entrance fee! Even the main exhibit, Print by Print: Series from Dürer to Lichtenstein
, is free! For those who've never been to this local gem in Charles Village
right next to Johns Hopkins University
Hampden's 34th Street
at Christmas time is a stunning masterpiece. Now in it's 64th year, this is the penultimate example of Baltimore kitch and we LOVE it!!! Every single house on the block is lit up to the hilt, lights are strung across the road from house to house and plenty of amazements pay homage to our beloved Baltimore
A purple Raven's
tree (new this year), metallic crabs
, Mr. Natty Boh
and of course the tree made from old vinyl albums with a pink flamingo on top! I'm sure John Waters
loves this street--maybe he secretly lives in one of the houses. One talented resident is artist Jim Pollock
, known for the hubcap Christmas tree
displayed prominently on his lawn, along with his white snowmen made of bicycle wheels. Gosh, I'd die for one or two of these on my suburban lawn.
A Surreal Trip to Dietzen & Sons
Believe it or not, my Dad, Chris Dreja
, in addition to being a world-class photographer, is a founding member of the British rock band The Yardbirds
."The Yardbirds, perhaps more than any other group, brought guitar pyrotechnics to rock & roll in the 1960s. By introducing Clapton, Beck and Page to the world, and giving them plenty of space to create, the band set the template not only for Cream, the Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin, but for virtually every rock group featuring distortion, feedback and in-your-face electric-guitar virtuosity."
Recently, he was on tour in the U.S. and performed at The Rams Head Tavern
. He had a couple of days off so we commandeered him and brought him up to Baltimore
. He still lives in London
and so the only time we really see each other is when he comes over to perform and this was the first time he would see our new house. He knows I like to
I love walking into The Vu
skate shop on Harford Road in Parkville
.-- just up the street from the Holiday House
, memorialized by John Waters
' 2004 film "A Dirty Shame". I look so obviously out of place with my aviator sunglasses and highlighted blonde hair (sans dreadlocks and tattoos), but a friendly smile works wonders. Plus the owner, professional skater Gary Smith
, is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and oh so...
I’m embarrassed to admit, after living in Baltimore for 22 years, I never stepped foot inside Patterson Park
. Even though I lived in Federal Hill
and worked on Gay Street (yes, just around the corner from the infamous “Block”
) and had experience fending off drunks and panhandlers on my way home each evening, I was afraid to enter the large park. I had always wanted to visit the fascinating Victorian era Pagoda
that looms from the top of Hampstead Hill
, so a couple of weeks ago, overcoming this irrational fear, my husband, two sons (13 and 4) and I ventured on a quest through the 137 acre urban retreat. We entered.....
If you're looking for a modern indoor skate park with pristine bathrooms
, a cushy waiting lounge and a fancy snack bar...go somewhere else! But If your kid's a serious skater with a strong bladder and not afraid of a bit of grime definitely visit the authentic Charm City Skatepark (located in Canton a few blocks away from the famed Natty Boh Sign
). Don't let me scare you away though as this place has a unique charm to it and is pretty exciting. Here's how it works....
Thank God the heat wave finally ended! Last week we took a drive to Marshy Point Nature Center
in Middle River to feel the breeze coming off the peaceful creeks. It's such a cool place (no pun intended, I swear) and it's FREE. It's owned by Baltimore County Parks and Rec.
Upon entering the visitor's center we were greeted by a huge black bear and corralled by the pet duck. After a quick pit stop to the clean restroom (yeah!) we explored the center's exhibits of indigenous turtles, cat fish, quails, frogs and yes, Skinks
! The class room had a further menagerie of dead and ........
Baby goats that is! The children were a little wild as well, but having a lot of fun. If you're looking for a couple of hours of free fun, go visit Chapel Hills Farm and Nursery
in Perry Hall
. It's a garden center with a quirky petting zoo and play area behind the plants. My son and I went last week before this rainy weather hit. It was great. The baby goats kept escaping their pen, allowing themselves to be manhandled by the human kids and even climbing up into the wooden ship - much to the horror of some of the children and mothers (most of us were enthralled)! In addition to the goats, there's a mammoth muddy pig, two...