Tuesday, January 5, 2010


On December 18, we made a day trip to Baltimore to watch Ian enjoy some Christmas experiences -- the first that he is old enough to appreciate.

We met Matt, Marylee, and Ian at a mall not too far from their home. When we arrived, we found them, along with hundreds of others, gathered around an elaborate miniature train village in the center of the mall. Ian was happy to see us (something grandparents worry about), and we looked at the village a while before adjourning to a mall restaurant for some delicious pizza. The restaurant was adjacent to the entrance, so we watched the people come and go.

Matt's friend from high school Brian (who works with Matt) and his family were arriving to visit Santa on the second floor of the mall. They stopped in for a brief visit and then set off to wait in line for Santa.

After checking out a few stores, Susanne and I headed over to Matt and Marylee's house to visit while Ian napped.

Then we bundled up and headed to 34th Street in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore for the annual holidays lights extravaganza there. Virtually every nook and cranny of all the houses on both sides of the block are decorated with lights and other holiday decorations. It was cold, but we enjoyed strolling up one side and down the other to take it all in.

After dinner in a cozy Hampden restaurant, we headed homeward, anticipating a late-night snowfall.

Where's Mommy?

The Ravens are not forgotten.

A little bonding

The Gallaghers -- Luke, Brian, Emily, and Colleen -- were at the mall to see Santa.

Susanne finds an outfit she likes.

The Box is so roomy that Matt can ride in the back
after making a purchase at -- dare I say it? -- K Mart.

Ian checks out the neighbor's choo choo train display.

They call it the "Miracle on 34th Street." I read
somewhere that people roam the crowds
posing as homeowners and asking
for donations for electicity!

I think I can hear the meters spinning now.

A hubcap tree

A "Frito Pie" was the appetizer at dinner.

Marylee and Matt enjoy a brew.

Ian opened some presents from us before we left...

...and gave us a calendar with lots of pictures.

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