Monday, April 11, 2011

Field Trip - FOMC

Nana, Grandpa & 3 of 4 girls :)
In front of the Fort
What is FOMC you wonder? Today I learned that FOMC is the US abbreviation for Fort McHenry in Baltimore (being a person who loves to shorten just about every name, I'm thrilled to learn this trivia). The birthplace of our national anthem, FOMC also shares the honor of being the destination of choice for our trip today. As an added bonus, both of my parents joined us. Instead of the standard approach, we decided to drive into Fells Point and take the water taxi over as it was 85 degrees and SUNNY today. What a great idea (thanks to my dad for suggesting it!). We had the funniest taxi driver - he told us stories about Michael Phelps and pointed out his condo, gave us tips on getting the taxi for free, and complained about the folks from PA and their "water condos" (i.e., huge yachts that cost too much to take out on the water, so the owners come down during the summer and spend the weekend hanging out in the marina).

Grandpa and the 6yo
Three of the girls in a cell
6yo with her favorite thing
At FOMC, the girls enjoyed the movie and museum (the movie is great - the lack of seating is problematic as there are many school groups and senior tours that come through) before heading up to the Fort. We've been there before, but it's been a long time and the kids didn't remember it. I think what really made the experience great was the Junior Ranger program - any time you go to a National Park, ask for the Jr. Ranger packet. This provided the girls with a scavenger hunt to do during our trip and as such they read and learned much more than they might have if left to roam on their own.  I was pleased that the girls really took to heart the gravity of war and the pressure on the soldiers in the fort to protect their hometown. I don't know if their favorite part was walking around the top of the fort looking over the water or going down into the underground rooms (or dungeons, depending on your definition). My youngest was supremely interested in the size of the cannonballs. =)

10yo with cannon
9yo inspecting cannon
The best part of the trip for me, honestly, was lunch after visiting FOMC because I convinced my folks to join me at Liquid Earth (can you hear the angel choirs singing??). This place ROCKS. If I lived nearer to Baltimore I would be a regular. It was so funny to see my girls completely blown away by the menu - everything on it, they could order. Nothing was off-limits. They didn't know what to do. They've never been in a restaurant where absolutely everything was vegetarian. My 6- and 9-year-olds kept it simple: they had a fruit cup and a strawberry smoothie. My 7-year-old ordered a honey-ginger tea with a Tofu Salad salad. My 10-year-old was starving and ordered a ton: hummus (which was HUGE - giant pieces of vegan bread, cucumbers, tomatoes and enough hummus to serve at least 8 as an appetizer), guacamole and chips (if you ever go here, do yourself a favor and get the guac - so good), and a raw dish - Raw Pasta served with fresh raw marina and nutmeat balls (enough to serve 3 kids). My mom played it safe and went with a basic salad. But my dad completely blew me away - he ordered the vegan mushroom miso soup (not too amazing as he fell in love with miso after dining with me often enough) AND the Raw Sprouted Earthburger. I also enjoyed the Raw Earthburger and I wish I had ordered more (though I did get to eat almost an entire fruit cup after the little ones couldn't finish). The Earthburger is definitely big, but, baby, I can EAT when the food is stuff I enjoy. Plus, right now I'm doing an all raw diet so it's not everyday that I get to eat something in a restaurant that's not a wimpy green salad sans croutons. I am currently scheming on a way to justify another trip to Baltimore so that I can go back and eat there again. Soon. This place gets five stars from me! And my dad - not a vegetarian at all - ate every single item of food on his plate (plus a good amount from the plates of the kids) and stopped to tell the owner how much he enjoyed his meal. He couldn't believe how good it was. He was even interested in raw food and we had a great discussion. Awesome day all around!


  1. A rambling comment - first of all, I was reading this post as apparently you read mine, because my inbox added a comment from you as I read, which was kind of funny... or freaky, depending.

    Second, at first I was like, oh, I love Ft. McHenry, that's where we like to roll down the hill and get grass stains all over our clothes. But then I realized no, that's Federal Hill. I've totally never been to Fort McHenry. But I realize now that we should go! Next year though, when we get to the War of 1812. Assuming we make it out of the middle ages to ever get to US history that is.

  2. I remember going to Ft. McHenry when I was young! We lived in Columbia, so were not too far away at all.

    That restaurant sounds amazing! I'm trying to eat more raw foods, as most of my allergies are to foods that are usually cooked (except bananas and tomatoes {{sob}} ). I'll keep it in mind if we get down that way some day soon.

  3. @ Farrar - that is too funny!!! and odd! ;) Yes, Ft. McHenry is great for kids. We were stuck in the middle ages forever, too. But it's so fun, I can't say I really minded. =)

    @Christina - bananas?!?!? Wow!! I have to say that I love doing the raw thing once it's warmer out. When fall hits I start to miss warm, comfort foods (baked sweet potatoes, etc). Raw is so nice for me b/c I have celiac and I'm a vegan - and raw food is always gluten-free, vegan, etc. Good luck on your food journey!!