Yesterday the fam and I went to St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland. I was looking for a new place to hike and having a very hard time finding something, especially considering I didn't feel like trapsing through the muddy-mud (as Jonah would say) yesterday. In my google searching, I came across the fact that there were five or so miles worth of trails at Historic St. Mary's City and they were either gravel or paved. Score.
The actual exhibit stuff is not open on Mondays and they have shortened hours in the winter, but this is a good thing because we do NOT have the cash to pay $10 a piece (the kids are free - so if you've got a spare $20 and a free day I think it's a great trip) and we weren't there to see actors and gift shops and eat refreshments from the stand, we were just there to hike the trails.
We packed lunches and snacks and headed out in the mobile. Parked near the visitor's center and braved our way into the attraction. I was anxious about being "caught" illegally in the place - especially because there were signs that said "ticketed visitors only beyond this point" in several places, but Michael kept saying that we didn't have a ticket because there was no one to sell us a ticket, and we were seeing the things that were "secret" or whatever, so I needed to stop worrying about it.
We actually ended up seeing several other families and joggers all over the place as we made our way throughout the trail-ways, so that calmed my fears a little.
We got to check out the landing of one of the two ships - the Ark and Dove - that made the first Catholic landing on American soil, some houses from circa 1670, a reconstructed chapel, and a beautiful view of the river as we made our way through fields, beaches, and forest areas.
We stopped halfway through at the picnic tables provided by the City and chowed down on our packed lunches, snacks, and waters. Jonah took the opportunity to pee in full view of the world (Michael told him to go down into the woods, so he went right up to the edge, whipped it out, and peed a steady stream for all the world to see) - luckily he just missed the two college girls running down the path seconds after he zipped his pants.
It was a really great trip over all - complete with a mud puddle dive by Maeryn, Sun Chips, dried cranberries, views of squirrels and waterfowl, bridges, history, and family bonding all in one. A great day :-)