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One good trip recommends another

Scene: Living Room Mackenzie: Mom! What are we going to do for vacation this year? Heather: I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far. Any ideas?

Get in touch with wildlife at ­Patuxent Research Refuge

Take a summer morning to escape the hustle and bustle in one of the verdant national wildlife refuges created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.     I escaped to the Patuxent Research Refuge South Tract in Laurel. Taking a deep breath as I drove through the long entry way, I felt my mind and body relax.     The morning song of birds filled the wooded area. I found the brilliant greens and deep blue waters of lakes. Water lilies bloomed and great blue herons were fishing along the shore.

Time traveling at Chesapeake Marketplace

Antiques? Do you like them?    

Go quietly, look and listen

The best part of the Bay is just that. The water. Some like to race across the waves, bow plowing through each crest, spray flying with each jolt. I prefer to slip my kayak into the shallows and paddle the edges.

Visiting friends and family gets you go-go-going

I lived on the verge of our nation’s capital my whole life until I moved to Vermont to go to college. Only when a friend from Sweden came home with me for spring break did I understand the treasure I’d taken for granted.

For a sweet birthday, plan a favorites tour

My beloved, Nick, and I were three months into our relationship when his birthday arrived in August 2008. By then I knew what interested him — history, travel, sculpting — well enough to plan a day trip that combined it all. I did not tell him where we would go, just to wear sturdy shoes and bring a cap and sunscreen.     On a sunny Sunday, we headed south on Route 2, eventually ending up at Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County.

Summer happens at the ballpark

Some little girls have tiaras; I had a baseball cap. My parents raised me to believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of Baltimore baseball. I knew the players, their averages and that the Yankees were evil before I could tie my shoes. I also knew that shouting “O!” was perfectly appropriate during the National Anthem.

On and in the waters of the Patuxent

Old barns dripping with honeysuckle and trumpet vines, owlets in cobwebbed rafters, fishermen’s shacks on piers glistening with old fish scales, swallows’ nests glued beneath the splintery planks, pilings where ospreys build their messy nests like ornithological games of pick-up-sticks, duck blinds where wild ducks nest …

Sweeten your travels with smart fun

Did you know that the blue crab’s Latin name is Callinectes Sapidus, meaning beautiful savory swimmer? Maryland Bay Game, released by Department of Natural Resources to add smart fun to your home-state travels, is full of fun facts like this plus nature-related games.
Tattered sneakers tell a river’s story. Retired state senator Bernie Fowler tells his.
This Sunday, June 8, Bernie Fowler will tie on his white sneakers to wade into the Patuxent River. Well-wishers, family and friends, school kids, politicians and reporters will join him, linking hands in a human chain, striding into the water until they can no longer see their shoes. Then, if history is a guide, Steny Hoyer — the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Congress — will measure the height of the watermark on his old friend’s overalls, declaring the Sneaker Index for 2014.