I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn I didn’t come up with that pun on my own. I know… it’s a good one.
For those of you that are unaware, this summer marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. 200 years ago, Francis Scott Key looked out his window and saw the tattered but still flying American flag at Fort McHenry which led to the creation of our national anthem. Although I’ve just discovered that part actually happened in 1814. Premature festivities, people. Tsk Tsk. Anyway, like any other major celebration of a national historic moment, THOUSANDS of tourists pour in to wherever the celebrations are occurring. This weekend, that was Baltimore.
If you think we’re incredibly lucky for living less than a half mile from Fort McHenry, well this last week, we’d probably have happily traded places. A coworker asked me the other day how excited we were and I feigned a giddy response about boats and planes, but in reality, it was a HUGE pain. They’d blocked off the main road to our street for 4 days requiring some roundabout ways of getting around as well as making parking darn near impossible depending on the time of day. Tourists were so crazy they even started parking up on sidewalks and behind people’s houses. At one point, cars were just driving up to the “road closed” barriers and parking… in the middle of the road. I know at times it seems unfair to be hating on tourists – not like i’ve never been one before elsewhere – but seriously people?
Another really annoying aspect of the whole ordeal was that sure, the Blue Angels were performing air shows at Fort McHenry – a short walk from our house. And there were several boats docked in the Locust Point area – also a short walk from our house. But in order to see either, we would have to drive into the Inner Harbor, park at the M&T Bank Stadium and be shuttled in. I KID YOU NOT. Bummer. So no, residents did NOT get any special privileges or access to the sites, but at least we had a really short walk back to our air conditioned home when it was all over.
Attempting to make the most of the situation though and doing our best to take advantage of the fact that we were actually residents of the area, we found a little grassy area 3 blocks away to plop our chairs down at and watch the air show. Looking at this picture just reminds me of how burned I am. Sunscreen people. They make it for a reason.
Ever seen a sonic boom? Well we have. Those planes were CRAZY awesome. The tricks some of them were doing made you wonder how the pilots even stayed conscious. There were so many planes flying all different directions we probably looked like Aggie trying to keep up with her laser toy. We couldn’t figure out where to look! Check out some video footage we managed to get though:
Then we managed to walk over to the inner harbor to check out the boats that had come in for the week. They were equally awesome.
We even got to get on a replica of the Sultana and get a full lesson on how the ships were built and manned.
The Inner Harbor really is beautiful. Pretty proud to be a Baltimorean these days.
All in all, it was a pretty awesome end to a weekend, but we’re definitely happy to see the roads opening back up and the crowds thinning. Did anybody else make it out here to Baltimore for the big Sailabration?