Maryland My Maryland – A Land of Pleasant Living
Ok, raise your hand. Did you partake in the showcase that was happening in Maryland this weekend? It showcased the best part of living and traveling in the Old Line State triangle between Baltimore, Frederick and the DC suburbs in Maryland. Oh, and the weather – spectacular for all to enjoy.
Let’s get this started – here goes – just raise your hand if you watched, read about or partook in any of these events.
1) Joint Services Open House – Andrews Air Show – Andrews, MD
2) Baseball’s Battle of the Beltways – as played out at Nationals Stadium
3) G-8 Conference at Camp David – near Thurmont MD
4) Gaithersburg Book Festival – at City Hall in Gaithersburg, MD
5) The Preakness – Baltimore MD
6) Maryland against John Hopkins in a NCAA Semi-Final Lacrosse match – Navy Stadium in Annapolis, MD
7) Graduation at the University of Maryland – College Park, MD
8) Potomac Steeplechase – Poolesville, MD
9) Wine in the Woods – Columbia, MD
10) Lady AnteBELLum concert – at Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
That is one massive list for activity within a three-day span and I am sure there were other events such as yard sales, 10k’s and doggy walks.
What makes this area so special is that it lives and breathes between the international and national spotlight and meanwhile to coin an old National Bohemian (Natty Boh) beer phrase this all happens locally in the Land of Pleasant Living.
Friday, May 18th – this day is without a doubt the busiest “prom night” of the 2012 high school season – across all metro areas. I know I took it off (from being a paparazzi) to go watch the Baltimore Orioles combat the Washington Nationals for the first of three games. That venue drew over 120,000 local Baltimore/Washington fans over this past weekend. However, it paled in comparison to the events at the Bolger Center in Potomac – where Winston Churchill, The Heights and Bullis simultaneously held their proms. I bet you couldn’t find a limo in all of MoCo – they had to be way too busy shuttling up and down Democracy Boulevard. Lastly, the G-8 Conference, a gathering of the heads of state from the worlds largest economies met at Camp David, MD
Saturday, May 19th – a brilliantly sunny day started off in Gaithersburg for the third annual Book Festival. Over 120 nationally and locally recognized authors converged on the City Hall grounds to speak or participate in panels over a 7-hour period to crowded tents filled with adults and children.
The day’s events quickly switched to Annapolis, MD where the Blues Jays of John Hopkins took on the Terrapins from Maryland in the states biggest matchup of lacrosse powerhouses for a trip to the NCAA Final Four. My Terps won. A little father south and east down the road the Andrews Air Show was getting underway for what would be a two-day showcase of aerial and ground displays. Meanwhile in Northeast Baltimore horse racings elite gathered at Pimlico Race Course for the 137th Preakness Stakes. I’ll Have Another won the second leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday and is now resting in NYC awaiting the last leg at the Belmont Stakes. In DC, the Orioles beat the Nats 6 to 5. Let’s not forget the G-8 conference was still going on and all those protestors who blocked the streets in downtown Thurmont were really in line for the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant. Oh, and if I missed your wedding or Saturday evening party – please excuse me – I did not know – I will take it up with the folks MCM and see if we can get your announcements up, next year.
Sunday, May 20th – three for three spectacular days in the Mid-Atlantic. The G-8 conference broke up, everyone went home – or did they? If they stuck around they could have seen the Potomac Steeplechase in Poolesville, MD. Or maybe they stopped by the Comcast Center to listen to John Barry (UMD class of 1980) of the Office of Personnel Management give a commencement speech to the 2012 University of Maryland graduates. Meanwhile Nats pitcher Steven Strasburg did his best imitation of the Great Walter Johnson and hit a home to lead a turnaround for a Nats win over the O’s. I saw none of those things – instead I headed to Columbia MD where to my surprise the Wine in the Woods Festival was finishing up on the grounds of Merriweather Post Pavilion. My wife, four friends and I were there to see the Lady AnteBELLum Own the Nighttour featuring of course Lady A and Thompson Square along with Darius Rucker. Merriweather is the Grand Dame of outside musical venues in all of the Mid-Atlantic and last night it again proved why on this starry night. Unlike Saturday night when the Drive-By-Truckers and Lucinda Williams hardly sold out the cheap seats – Lady A with a great act sold out the place and left it rocking. Many in the crowd were there to see former Hootie & The Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker and his country band.
Darius knew the crowd having played Merriweather many times before and borrowed from his former group and Rockville MD members a number of Hootie classics. But it was Lady A who owned the night – in typical Nashville fashion they quickly transitioned between songs flawlessly keeping the crowd dancing all night. Hey, I even thought I saw blonde Angela Merkle (Chancellor of Germany) look-a-like in cowboy boots dancing at the end of the show.
Thankfully the rain held off till Monday morning preserving this Maryland My Maryland weekend in the Land of Pleasant Living.