By Day 5 of our Six Day Weekend, everyone was going a little stir-crazy.  Too much TV, too much computer, too much texting, too much shoveling, too much rattling around the house.  When the boys were little, this sort of scenario always meant getting them outside and letting them run.  A playground, a field, even a sidewalk and a ball – as long as four walls were not involved, they were happy.

For teenagers, the solution was a change of location.  We headed south to Baltimore, to another city full of snow and ice!  But at least it was someone else’s snow and ice. 

Not since August have we packed everyone into the car with a cooler of drinks and a box of doughnuts.  Breaking the everyday routine was just what the doctor ordered for our family’s Cabin Fever epidemic.

Chris, Hugh and Malcolm finally got to see MICA, the art school where Ian was accepted last spring. 

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From MICA, it was a short hop to funky Fells Point for lunch.  We learned that Malcolm doesn’t like Eggs Benedict, which was a huge surprise, because he’s always been our only adventuresome eater.  But at least the root beer was frosty and bottled.

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Although two out of three boys wanted to go to the Aquarium, the lines were Disney-esque, as were the ticket prices.  Bag that.  The boys went into the ESPN shop, looked around, and were content to leave empty-handed.  Another victory!  Have we really graduated from the days when every gift shop led to begging for even the most trivial trinket?  Praise Allah!

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Next stop:  the The Walters Art Museum, an amazing collection.  Even more amazing, it’s free.  Ian appreciated it greatly – as we knew he would.

Driving around the hilly heart of the town, Chris said “This reminds me of San Francisco.”  Then we would see turreted row houses and say “Brooklyn.”  Or “The scale is just like Kansas City.”  Or “Look at these brick sidewalks, it’s so much like Richmond.”  Everybody loved Baltimore.

But the icing on the cake was standing on the ice outside Cake Mecca, Charm City Cakes – setting for Ace of Cakes.

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 Mission accomplished.  We explored another city, we found sweet free parking spots despite the walls of snow and ice, and we broke our routine.

What do you do/where do you go when you need to get the heck out of Dodge? 

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