Friday Five (things I’m looking forward to this spring)

Ahh 80 degree temperatures. You’re finally here! How I’ve missed you!

Here are five things I’m looking forward to this spring:

1. Baltimore 10 Miler – Okay to say I’m *looking forward* to this is a bit of a stretch, but I have been training with two of my friends at work and will be running this race on June 2! This will be the farthest distance I’ve ever run and I’ve heard it’s a hilly course so wish me luck and hope that June 2 will be cool and windy. The best part about the race is that it’s on Wear Orange Day so I can call attention to gun violence awareness and the need for sensible gun reform.

img_16072. A winery day – I have been waiting for consistently nice weather to plan a leisurely afternoon at a local winery. I love checking out local wineries that let you bring food with you so I can pack a tasty assortment of cheese, crackers and charcuterie that doesn’t break the bank. Set out a blanket, buy a bottle of wine and relax all afternoon. Bonus that this is a toddler friendly activity! Maya loves being outside and I think a winery day would be perfect for her as long as we brought plenty of snacks and entertainment.

img_73063. Dinner and drinks on the water – Outdoor dining is one of the things I look forward to most every spring. Grilling, picnics and restaurants with outdoor seating and a view of the water. Hoping to return to have dinner at Rye Street Tavern, crushes at Boathouse and crabs at Nick’s Fish House. This is the view from the lawn outside Rye Street Tavern – isn’t it great?

 

 

img_17854. Orioles Games – The team has been *struggling* a little bit lately, but that doesn’t mean going to a game isn’t still super fun! Check out our post on how to save money at Camden Yards. It’s from a previous season though so it doesn’t include the O’s awesome new kids cheer free policy where the purchase of an adult upper deck ticket gets two kids under 9 in for free!

 

 

 

 

 

img_02685. Kid Friendly Activities – Now that we have a toddler on our hands, it seems like the opportunities for kid friendly summer fun are endless!  We recently went to the Maryland Zoo and  Clark’s Elioak Farm, but Maya has never been to the aquarium or the science center and she hasn’t been to Port Discovery since she could walk. Last weekend we made the trek to Sesame Place which was amazing! I feel like that could use a recap post of its own…

 

 

 

What are you looking forward to this spring? 

 

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Baltimore Running Festival Weekend

Baltimore Running Festival festivities started off on Thursday with a visit to the expo to pick up my race packet and register for that evening’s .05k sponsored by 98 Rock. The .05k was set up at Power Plant Live, complete with bibs, inflatable start and finish lines and a water station half way through. Everyone who participated was super into it which added to the fun and it was a hilarious event! You can see pictures from the race on the 98 Rock’s instagram. Afterward, Burnt Sienna, a cover band based out of Philadelphia, performed and they were fantastic! They played everything from the Killers to Queen to Imagine Dragons to The Weekend.

Burnt Sienna Band

Friday night we went to Brendali for dinner and enjoyed a tasty chicken parm before laying low the rest of the night and catching up on the Mindy Project. Brendali was PACKED and we witnessed many groups turned away if they didn’t have a reservation, we lucked out and beat the rush but definitely remembering to make a res next time.

Saturday was the 5k which was a blast (probably even more fun than the .05k Thursday! :D). I walked over to the start in time to see the marathoners begin which was really cool. It was fun to run a 5k that was part of a larger festival because it certainly makes the race seem more momentous: the expo, the crowd at the start, the medals, the celebration village at the end – all things that you don’t typically see when it’s just a 5k.  The weather was perfect for running and the course was great – slightly uphill for the first half and slightly downhill for the second half – my time was 34:57 (11:15 min/mi) which may not sound impressive but is really good for me (almost 2 minutes faster than the Baltimore Women’s Classic that I ran in June). Adam met me at the finish and we walked to Starbucks for breakfast and cheered on the half marathon runners at their start. It was inspiring to see runners all over our neighborhood and everyone was friendly and full of encouragement.

5k medal post race starbucks

Saturday afternoon was spent in Virginia at a friend’s pig roast. She and her family go all out for this annual event with moon bounces and face painting for kids, a ton of food and drinks and this year they even added a coat drive for charity! It was great to catch up with friends and we had a blast watching all of the kids go crazy running around the backyard.

fall pig roast

The weekend was rounded out with a lazy Sunday – brunch with family, football and grocery shopping.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Pulse music series starts tonight

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is in its 100th season, and they’re celebrating with something you might not expect… Pulse, a concert series presented by the BSO and radio station WTMD that brings together classical music and indie rock. Here’s how it works: The BSO will open with a classical performance (Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 3, for example), then a popular indie artist takes the stage for a set, and finally, the two perform together.

The series starts tonight with Dawes (and the Symphony No. 3 performance), and it looks like there are tickets available. I’m particularly excited about March’s concert with Dr. Dog–I’ve seen them live before and I can only imagine what kind of cool sounds they’d come up with in collaboration with the BSO. Aside from the concert, the event starts with a “happy hour hangout,” complete with pre-concert entertainment and local food and drink. Tix are $35.

Full sched:

  • September 24: Dawes
  • November 12: Wye Oak
  • March 24: Dr. Dog
  • April 28: The Lone Bellow

Get free museum admission on Saturday!

If you’re like me, you probably have a long list of things you’ve been meaning to check out but never seem to get around to. A few Baltimore museums are on that list for me, which is why I was excited to see that the Smithsonian magazine is hosting Museum Day Live this Saturday, September 26. In the spirit of the Smithsonian museums, which are free every day, multiple museums around the city (and country!) will be opening their doors to visitors at no charge. If that’s not a reason to get off your couch and into an exhibit, I don’t know what is.

Participating museums in Baltimore include:

  • Baltimore Museum of Art (yes, this one’s free every day)
  • Baltimore Museum of Industry
  • Port Discovery Children’s Museum
  • B&O Railroad Museum
  • Reginald F. Lewis Museum
  • Homewood Museum (JHU-affiliated)
  • Evergreen Museum & Library (JHU-affiliated)
  • The Maryland Historical Society
  • Carroll Mansion
  • Benson-Hammond House (Located in Linthicum)

NOTE: You have to secure tickets ahead of time, so head over to the Museum Day Live site now to claim yours. The offer is good for two people per household, and you can only download a ticket to one museum.

Are any of these on your bucket list? Lemme hear it in the comments!

Best Month of the Year!

Rabbit rabbit! Happy September everyone! September has always been my absolute favorite month of the year and it’s no coincidence it’s my birthday month as well! There is so much awesome stuff happening this month that I am looking forward to. Here’s what’s on my schedy:

Weddings: Adam and I are going to two weddings over labor day weekend! One is in New Jersey and one is local here in Baltimore and it feels like it’s going to be a pretty epic weekend.

Fantasy Football: Jeanette and I are in a league with some of our friends and we had our draft this past weekend. Even though I did some research in advance, I feel like every draft ends up being frantic and stressful. The past few years our commish has organized an awesome bbq for the draft so we can all be together while we draft on our laptops. I’m also in a higher stakes league with Adam’s friends where we compete to get our name on a Sandwich Trophy just like this one…

sandwich trophy

Ravens 5k: I signed up for the Ravens 5k on September 9 and I’m excited for an after work run (much preferred to a morning race!) and celebrating afterward with Ravens alumni and mascots.

Beach: Heading to Bethany for a few days with Adam’s family. No vacay and minimal beach time all summer has me super pumped for this September getaway.

Renaissance Festival:  The Maryland Renaissance Festival is one of my favorite fall activities! Held in Crownsville (outside Annapolis) every weekend from now until October 25, tickets are $19 for the first couple of weekends and $24 a person after that. Yes, it’s kind of cheesy but it’s also really awesome. Performers (and some attendees!) dress in period costume and entertainment includes jousting, sword-swallowing, dancers and musicians. The food is also a highlight with everything from turkey legs to frozen bananas.

maryland renaissance festival joust

Federal Hill Main Street’s Sobo A Gogo: Despite it’s kooky name, this festival on September 20 promises live music, craft beer and local vendors.

Baltimore Book Festival: I’ve never attended the Book Festival before, but I’ve been seeing a lot about it and it looks really cool. There are a number of interesting panels, cooking demos, pop up yoga and performers – all held September 25-27 in the Inner Harbor.

South Bmore’s Best 2015: Got to support our ‘hood – can’t wait for this first-ever celebration of the best of South Baltimore! The $25 ticket gets you free food and drink from Sobo’s finest.

Birthday Dinner: I’m now taking recommendations for a good birthday dinner spot to celebrate the big 2-8! I’m tempted to go back to Wine Market, but I think I’d rather try somewhere new. Any ideas??