Saturday, June 23, 2012

Crouches Come to Baltimore

Once again: I'm the worst blogger ever.  Now that I got that out of the way, here's some cool stuff I've been up to!

Okay, I haven't  been up to too much that qualifies for the category of "cool stuff" but that's okay.  I'll tell you about the boring stuff too! Lucky you!

So since February, which is the last time I posted, the thing I did most was teach the third trimester at school.  I had a few students who are pretty awesome people.  Then again, most stopped coming around the beginning of May, although last year only 12 students passed my class in the third trimester, and this year 36 did, so attendance was up a little from this time last year! Hooray progress!  Fortunately, each of my classes are only 1 trimester long, so many more passed US and World History during the 1st and 2nd trimesters so I'm not a complete failure of a teacher.

In other teaching news, we had our second graduation and that was nice to attend.  Some really amazing students graduated and are going to go on and do better things than high school.  It was fun to go and support the ones who really worked for it.

 Kelly turned 25 and graduated in May.  Fortunately not from high school (that would be ridiculous).  He graduated with his B.A. from Towson University, and now he's all good to go for teaching Spanish starting in the fall!  I hope his first year is 18 bajillion-trillion times better than mine.  Anyway, his graduation was long and boring and I had to sit all by myself since both our families live a few thousand miles away.  We decided neither of us are going to walk when we get our masters.  I should be done in August, so that will be good to be done and not have to do all the pomp and circumstance (ha ha ha I'm so hilariously funny!  Get it?  Because I'm talking about the stupid hats and ceremony, but that's also the name of the processional music.  Do most people know that?  Or just us Bountiful Elementary kids who had Music Start?)

Kelly's birthday cupcake.  A quarter of a century isn't that big a deal, I guess.
Towson University Graduation...well, the one Kelly was in.
Believe it or not, that blur is Kelly walking across the stage.
Kelly: college grad.  And tired and hot and ready to get the heck out of there.

School ended on the 13th and it was a bit of a drag to pack up everything in my classroom knowing that I would have to unpack all of it again in August.  I was hoping Kelly would get a job somewhere that is not Baltimore so I could quit, so most of this year I was thinking this was the last one...but alas, it wasn't.  Anyway, the best part of the last day of school was my parents and younger brother and sister flew in that evening! 

They timed it perfectly because the weather was so amazing the whole time they were here!  It had been either super hot and humid or very rainy before they came, and their last day it started getting really muggy and hot again, but the week they were here it was very pleasant and not too humid. (Humidity, if you can't tell, is my least favorite thing about living here.  Kelly keeps thinking I'll get used to it someday, but I never will.  I am meant for desert air, not the sauna I currently live in.)

I stole some pictures from facebook that my mom and sister (Cami) posted because I didn't take very many, I guess because I was too busy enjoying just being with my family (minus Kevin & Lindsey, sorry you couldn't make it guys).

The evening they got here we got burgers at Abbey Burger, which was tasty as always, and louder than usual on account of the O's game.  Then we came home and we ate crème brûlée Kelly was nice enough to make, and they met our cat, Libby.  I think Kelly and I need to have a baby because they way they played with and watched our cat is kinda like how Kelly's family is with our nephew Liam.
For some reason my family couldn't get over how fat Libby is.
The next day we headed up to Gettysburg and spent the day driving around the battlefield.  Kelly wasn't feeling very well, so he didn't come.  We had all done Gettysburg before, except my brother Bryan, so we didn't do the museum part.  My dad loves the Civil War and told us a lot of awesome things about the battle.  We packed sandwiches for lunch and watched squirrels and cardinals while we ate until a bird decided to break up the party by splattering the picnic table with poo.  Then we went to the cemetery where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.  When we came home we watched Catch Me if You Can because Cami is obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Cami, Mom, Dad, me and Bryan on an observation tower at Gettysburg.

Cardinal at lunch.  Who knows, this could be the bird that pooed at us.

This is where Lincoln stood to give the Gettysburg Address.
The second day we split up.  We had planned to go to the second part of the Air and Space Museum, but Cami didn't want to.  She decided she wanted to go to the Holocaust Museum instead, so my mom, Cami and I went there, and the guys went to the Air and Space Museum.  I tried to tell Cami that while amazing, the Holocaust Museum is very sobering.  I don't know if anyone can really understand the feeling unless they've been there or somewhere similar.  It is amazing how there can be so many people milling around in there, and still be nearly silent.  There was a bunch of middle school kids there who had been laughing and goofing off coming in, but once they got into the main exhibit they were so quiet and respectful.

After that, we cheered up a little when we met up with Kelly, Bryan, and my dad at the National Zoo.  It is so fun in the spring because there are baby animals!  There was a tiny baby howler monkey and Bryan, Kelly and my mom saw a baby burrowing owl, Cami and I didn't because it was in the bird house, and we're both scared of birds, but upon seeing the pictures we both agreed it was adorable.  The tamarins are always fun, and how many people get to see a gorilla pull poop out of its bum with its fingers?  I think we were all worn out by the time we got home.
Somehow this is the only picture I got at the zoo.  Well, I tried to get some of the baby howler monkey, but they were all blurry.  Bryan has some of the baby burrowing owl, so ask him if you want to see it.

On Saturday we headed up to Philadelphia and went to Independence Hall and saw the Liberty Bell and went to Reading Market for lunch (of course we got Philly cheesesteaks!)  Then we headed to Longwood Gardens, which I've written about on here before.  We saw the fountains and the idea garden, which weren't open the last two times we went.  They had some really cool ideas for home vegetable gardens.  We also did the conservatory, of course, and then ended off the night with a fountain/light show.  Kelly and me and my mom enjoyed it (I liked the fact that the music was big band), but my dad and Bryan got bored, I think.  Cami didn't come because she was tired of museum and history stuff.
Bryan, Me, Kelly, and my dad walking to Independence Hall for our tour with the "saucy woman" national park worker, and a random guy walking to the Liberty Bell.

Kelly and me at Independence Hall
My parents and Independence Hall
Inside Independence Hall where they signed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

My dad, me and Kelly at Benjamin Franklin's grave.  My dad and I got good luck for tossing pennies that landed on the headstone face-up.  Kelly's rolled back to us under the fence.  It was only later that I realized that sounded kind of mean throwing pennies at someone's grave, but the proceeds are used to keep up the grounds.

On Sunday, Cami and Bryan stayed in bed but my parents came with Kelly and me to church.  After church we went back to DC to drive around some of the monuments because Bryan hadn't been there before. (Cami, once again decided  not to come, but hung out in our apartment instead of the hotel, so she could watch movies and get online and play with Libby.)  We also went to the National Cathedral.  It is so huge!  There was some information about the damage it received in the earthquake last August, which was really interesting to learn about.  It is amazing how such a small quake did so much damage.   We did go into the Lincoln Memorial since you don't really get the whole experience without going inside, and then we went past the Vietnam War Memorial and found the name of a man my dad knew.   We came back home pretty early and Kelly showed off his cooking skills by making chicken marsala and cheddar chive biscuits.

National Cathedral, view from top.

National Cathedral
Me and Kel at the National Cathedral

 On Monday we finally did something Cami wanted to do:  Ocean City!  We drove 3 hours to the beach and just relaxed all day on the sand and walked up and down the boardwalk.  It was nice after all the walking we had done in the days before.  Then we hit some outlet malls to bought Kelly some "teacher clothes," and asked a local for a restaurant suggestion for dinner.  The Captain's Galley was not that great.  I got my first real sunburn ever.  I think the only part of me to every burn before was my hair part, but at Ocean city I burned my legs, arms, and face.  Kelly thought it was hilarious the next day when I was surprised that being in the sun hurt.  Joke's on him though, I'm already tan and he'd still red!

Kelly sleeping on the beach.

Cami and my mom at Ocean City, MD

Boardwalk at Ocean City (my mom took this picture)

Tuesday was our last full day with my family here, and nothing really worked according to plan.  We were going to go to Fort McHenry for the Sail-ebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.  Fort McHenry is what Francis Scott Key could see when he wrote the National Anthem, so it's kinda Baltimore's claim to fame.  Unfortunately, it was apparently too full, because cops blocked the road so we couldn't get there.  So we went to Annapolis instead.  Kel and I hadn't been there before, and it's basically a tourist trap of a state capital.  So that wasn't great.  So we came back to Baltimore and tried to go on the Constellation, (it's a ship in the harbor) but it was too late, it had closed.  So we wandered around the harbor and cooled off in the Barnes & Noble.  That was probably the funnest part of the day.  Then Kel and I tried to take my family out to eat crab, but the place was closed.  So we came back home and watched Malcolm in the Middle on Netflix while eating steak and salad Kelly, my mom and me quickly whipped up.
Annapolis Harbor from the US Navy Academy
National Aquarium-we didn't go inside, but it sits right on Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Wednesday was sad because my family went home.  We met at the Towson mall since Cami wanted to go in there because it was across the street from their hotel, and we wandered through there, then let them check out the Trader Joe's since there's not one in Utah, and had brunch at Towson Hot Bagel.  Then we said goodbye and they got home safely that night.

Kelly and I had so much fun!  It was our vacation too, since Kelly starts his summer training next week and we're moving next month, so I'll spend the summer packing, moving, and unpacking.  We hope my mom and dad and Cami and Bryan had as much fun as we did, and we miss them a lot.  The next day we just chilled at home and rested.  Yesterday we went to Brave, but it was a letdown.  It felt like a second-rate Disney movie--definitely not up to Pixar's usual standards.  Think Brother Bear plus How to Train Your Dragon (but not as good at that one) plus cliche oh-no-I've-cursed-us-we-need-to-break-it-before-time-runs-out.  Not horrible, but pretty ho-hum.

So that's that.  Aren't you glad I haven't been posting for all these months since nothing happened until my family came?  You're welcome for being so considerate and making a super long post all at once instead.  Hopefully I'll post a little sooner next time with pictures of our apartment before packing stuff up, and some of our new apartment when we get there!  I'm so excited to move!

1 comment:

Georgia said...

Hey, Dano,

We had so much fun being with you and Kelly and doing all those things. It was a wonderful time for us. The four Crouchs back here in Utah are trying to readjust to being home, but I think I left part of my heart in Baltimore and I'm just not functioning all that well without it.

Thank you for taking such good care of us, for feeding us so well, for giving up that precious time to spend with us, and catering to our every need.

We are grateful for the happy memories of being with you and seeing some of the sites in and around your home. It really helps me cope with the distance between us to know a little more about your surroundings.

Best wishes for a smooth move. I wish we could have done something to help you pack and shift boxes to your new place while we were there. I think I need to get a job with an airliner so I can earn free trips to BWI and see you more often. Twice a year is NOT enough!!

We love you and Kelly and we miss you too much!!