Saturday, July 11, 2009


John coined this acronym this morning. I think I'll keep it. Mandatory Weekend Activity. If you're anything like us, you have tons of ideas about things to do over the weekend, and somehow or another, you do some things around the house in the morning, the baby gets cranky and takes a nap, and next thing you know, the afternoon is half over, it's sweltering hot outside, and frankly, you don't feel like going anywhere. So today we decided to do our MWA. I've been dawdling around with Park Quest 2009 for some time now, and have pretty much accepted now that there is no palatable way that we're going to get eight of the fourteen parks visited by July 26th. Oh well, there's always next year. However, the Park Quest website mentioned that one of the parks, Washington Monument State Park in Boonsboro, MD would have an authentic Civil War cannon on site this weekend. I had (incorrectly) assumed by the statement "you won't believe how loud it is!", that they would be firing it. I figured this would be a nice draw to get hubby and stepson a little jazzed about completing this quest.

That aside, we headed out around 10am this morning and it took us a little over an hour to reach the park. We checked in at the Museum to get our Park Quest packet of materials to complete the quest. There were 20 fill in the blank statements that we filled in from clues along the 1/4 mile trail to the monument and other resources around the park. Then we completed a word search and another puzzle. It was pretty neat! The park was nice, the hike not bad, and the view from the top of the monument would have been quite beautiful if not for today's smog haze. Oh yeah, we could have done without the gnats. Which swarmed me unmercifully like the bug bait that I am. After we completed the quest, Josh and Jillian played for a little while on the playground. Here are some pictures from the park.

They unfortunately, were NOT firing the Civil War cannon, due to some safety issues, but we did get to see it some other period things from the time. Which was ok, but not as cool as seeing/hearing them fire the canon. Oh well, can't have everything.

We were ready for lunch after our quest. Since Frederick was on the way home, we stopped in at a place a friend recently recommended to me (thanks Brian!), the Barley & Hops Grill.

Total win. The beer was good, our favorite was the Big Ben Nut Brown.

The sweet potato fries and burgers were fantastic. Josh ordered a make-your-own pizza off the kids menu and got to put together his pizza before it was baked.

And Jillian didn't get restless. Oh yeah, and a couple beers and lunch for us all totaled in under $40. This place deserves another visit. Please forgive the picture quality here, the camera I'm borrowing from my mom had "depleted batteries", so these pics were from my cell phone.

They had a very nice set of Blues Brothers 'statues' with which I had to try to get a picture of Jillian. It's a bit blurry because I had to snap it fast...she kept sprinting off through the restaurant.


Emily said...

It's like you're describing my life! We totally have the same need for a MWA. We're soooo lazy lately!

Party of Eight said...

Looks like Josh had fun...John doesn't look too psyched, though :))) I remember the gnats being a problem when we were there, too, which wasn't too long. Glad you all got to check off your MWA!

lmc said...

We're a big fan of MWAs too, except we call it Backyard Tourist because there is so much cool stuff to see/do nearby. Kudos to John for the awesome acronym - it sums it up perfectly!