Christmas in Maryland

Catch-up travel blogging from Christmas week.

After work on Tuesday night, the Hubby and I boarded a flight from Minneapolis to Baltimore, Maryland. My mom picked us up at BWI at 11:00pm (My mom is pretty awesome) and drove us to Hagerstown through some seriously thick fog; I kept my eyes shut for quite a few parts of the the hour-long trip. We made it home without incident and hit the sack almost before the front door was locked.

On Wednesday we drove down to Frederick to have lunch with my sister and to stop in at Costco for a few last minute pre-Christmas purchases (mmmm….Costco on Christmas Eve…). After that we returned to Hagerstown where me, the Hubby, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my mom would spend the next day and a half playing board games, annoying the pets, and generally eat-drink-and-be-merrying.

My sister, Erin, casually dressed, holds her small black dog who is wearing a brown and red hooded dog robe with red antlers.

I don’t think Ivan appreciates his new Christmas attire.

In a dining room - a kitchen is seen in the background. A blurry photo - as if taken by someone who was laughing too had to keep the camera steady - of my mom looking chagrined and  covering her face while she laughs. To the right side the Hubby with a face-splitting smug grin holds up a game card from Settlers of Catan.

The Hubby gloats after stealing Mom’s hard-earned lumber.

A close-up of two cats, both domestic short hairs in shades of brown, black, tan and white, sitting  on a bed and looking at the camera with seemingly unamused faces.

Mom’s cats are 5000% done with our shit.

A Christmas tree and a shelf loaded up with holiday decorations. At first glance nothing looks amiss, but a closer look at one of the shelves shows that someone has taken a series of letters that spelled "Santa" and rearranged them to spell "Satan."

Somebody left my brother-in-law alone with the Christmas decorations for too long. He gets bored easily.

On Friday the whole gang drove up to Pennsylvania to take a tour of the Gettysburg battlefield…err…battlefields. It was an amazing experience. Because December 26th is apparently off-season for touring outdoor monuments, we managed to have a tour guide all to ourselves! And oh…he was good. He really seemed to like his job, and he knew All The Things about Gettysburg, and about a good many other civil war-related topics. The scheduled 2.5 hour tour ran into a four-hour tour (in the good way). The company definitely deserves a shout-out, so if you’re looking for a good Gettysburg tour service, I recommend Historic Tour Company.

The weather was unseasonably mild, so we rode around in their 1936 Yellowstone bus. We started out near Long Lane, looking out over the field in front of McMillan woods. Our guide gave us a modern history of the importance of Gettysburg in teaching military battlefield strategy and infantry tactics. We drove through the town and saw buildings that showed divots from musket balls and had cannon shell casings lodged in them. We saw Cemetery Hill, Seminary Ridge, Little Round Top and Big Round Top, The Wheatfield, The Trostle Barn. We learned about so many famous figures. The ones that stand out for me were Major General Daniel Sickles, General George Mead, Colonel Strong Vincent, General James Longstreet, Jennie Wade and Mag Palm.

And guys…I’m not a huge history buff. It’s amazing the difference a great storyteller and guide makes.

A brown grassy field, fences and monuments seen in the distance.

One of the fields where skirmishes took place. We learned that the fences were built like this because they provide a barrier without needing to have post holes dug into the ground. They’re also flexible and can be taken down and set up in other places as needed.

A large stone monument with a rectangular column, topped with an "eternal flame" sits against a blue cloudless sky. Bare trees are seen in the background.

The Eternal Light Peace Memorial commemorates the 50th anniversary of Gettysburg (1913). President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the key address to approximately 250,000 attendees. A number of Gettysburg veterans were in attendance, including a 112 year-old member of the US Colored Troops, William Barnes.

A bronze, life-size figure of a man holding a sword and looking out over the battlefield.

A momument to Brigadier General Gouverneur K. Warren. The statue overlooks Little Round Top and the field below, which he helped defend against Confederate troops.

Two cannons next to one of the many concrete and bronze monuments situated on Little Big Top.

A few of the many cannons and monuments (1,328) at Gettysburg. These are located on Little Big Top.

We had another day of relaxing and hanging around in Hagerstown on Saturday and Sunday morning, and then it was time to head back to Baltimore for our flight home to Minneapolis. But we had one thing left to do. The Hubby is a huge fan of 1990s police procedural Homicide: Life on the Street. Which was shot and based in Baltimore, Maryland. Where we were going to be.

So we took the HLOTS tour through Fells Point. It was a self-guided tour. There are no signs indicating that a major television series was shot here, and when we stopped in to the Waterfront bar – featured in the show and used as an after-filming hangout for cast and crew – the bartender barely nodded when the Hubby asked if this was the same place. It definitely doesn’t feel like a major tourist stop.

A large multi-story brick building. Distinctive features include a radio tower on one corner of the building, a large archway that would lead to a parking lot, if the space wasn't abandoned and fenced off, and white columns on street side of the second story.

The building that was used as the HLOTS police station, currently abandoned.

The Hubby posing in front of glass doors that have "Baltimore City Police" stenciled above.

The Hubby outside of the “police station.”

Mom and the Hubby sitting at a bar - bottles can be seen on the back shelf.

Mom and the Hubby inside the Waterfront Bar.

We still had a few moments before we wanted to be at BWI, so we decided to drive through the city to see Edgar Allen Poe’s grave at Westminster Burial Grounds. What a cool place. It was drizzling and we were short on time, but it was eerie and awe-inspiring to be at the burial site of such a well-known author, one who I read quite a bit in high school and college. I could spend a lot more time checking out the other inhabitants of the grounds.

The Hubby standing by Edgar Allen Poe's grave monument. Westminster Burying Ground is visible behind him - many memorials and stone tombs can be seen.

The Hubby poses in Westminster Burial Grounds next to Edgar Allen Poe’s memorial.

And that was it! Back to Minneapolis with another successful holiday vacation with the family under our belt.

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Christmas in Maryland
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176 thoughts on “Christmas in Maryland

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