Recap #SpringTravel to @BaltimoreMD for @LightCityBmore

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In February, we visited Charm City to explore the “Romantic Side of Baltimore” (read more here) and learned about the upcoming Light City Baltimore and immediately made family travel plans to return in the Spring. Since we enjoyed our stay at the Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor East during our last visit, we knew that it would be the perfect location to walk to shops, restaurants and also most of the BGE Light Art Walk during the festival. When we arrived early Friday, we were thankful that staff was able to expedite check in and allow us to lounge in the cafe area until our room was ready. My 4 yr old immediately relaxed on the bed and tuned into her favorite TV show on the flat screen TV.
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After we settled a bit, we visited the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture to learn how to start a Family Tree. Read our interview here with the Resource Center Manager, Lisa Crawley. We then parked our car and decided to explore this walkable city and head over to the HarborPlace, located in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Along the way we saw some of the Light Walk attractions and other installations by day. My daughter really enjoyed playing music on the oversized instruments and playing in the sound garden found in the Kiddie Light City area.
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We had lunch at Phillips Seafood Baltimore because you can’t visit Baltimore without having some Maryland style seafood! See (here) why this is one of my favorite places to dine. Speaking of favorites, the LUSH Cosmetics store which was also walking distance from our hotel,  has natural skin care and bath & body products great for the entire family. Our room at the Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor East had a bathtub, so my daughter and I made it a point to go on a little Bath Bombs shopping spree at the LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics store, Harbor East location. Manager Mandee and her staff were very knowledgeable of the products and made it a very pleasant shopping experience. If you have any questions, like/follow them and ask via Facebook page . They are very responsive and provided great customer service both on and offline.
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The Light City Baltimore Festival each night started at 7pm. It was a unique event featuring art, music, and culture -combined to showcase the city of Baltimore via light! On the first night it rained a bit but we were able to enjoy some of it Friday/Saturday. This free, family-friendly event was the nation’s first large-scale, light, music and innovation festival. Be sure to mark your calendars for Light City round two in March 2017! Check out this Visit Baltimore video clip of what to expect : https://youtu.be/K66hToPGvVI

Here are a few pics of what we saw during the evening:
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Another attraction we enjoyed during our stay was the National Aquarium . You can arrange for tickets prior to going with the hotel concierge. Skip the line and just redeem voucher at Will Call…how convenient! If you are looking for family fun during your Baltimore stay, this is a must see place. Check out this video of their stunning jelly fish exhibit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BDtKlqkCXJl/

We ended our short but sweet weekend on a high note by dining at Wit & Wisdom for their Sunday Brunch. It is located in Harbor East as well at the Four Seasons Hotel. We had a wonderful view of the water and it was a delicious experience ! Read our full brunch review here and see why you should treat your tastebuds to a visit to this restaurant your next visit to Baltimore!

All in all, great family memories made during our Spring Break to the Charm City!

The Heigh Five..5 Questions for Lisa Crawley, Resource Center Manager @LewisMuseum #ReginaldFLewisMuseum

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Ever wanted to trace your family history? Starting your family genealogy can begin with a simple worksheet called a pedigree chart. This was something I learned after interviewing Lisa Crawley, the Resource Center Manager at Reginald F. Lewis Museum .

This museum celebrates the rich contributions of African Americans from Maryland and beyond through exhibitions, family activities, films, concerts, lectures and more. Located on the fourth floor of the museum, the Resource Center has a reference collection with a focus on African History and culture. When I learned that the center also helps members of the public trace their family history, I asked to meet with Ms. Crawley to answer Five Questions:

1. Can just anyone walk in here and do their own Genealogy Research at the Resource Center?

” Yes we will assist anyone on a walk in basis on Wednesdays and Fridays between 12 and 4pm. No appointment needed.”

2. What is the first step in researching your bloodline ?

” A person has to choose which side of their family do they have the most information about, the maternal or paternal to get started.”

3. What records are usually found first or the easiest in the search ?

” Census records usually are the foundation of an initial search. Once we find that it opens up alot of doors. In times past, multiple generations lived under one roof, so a wealth of information usually exists there that we can branch off into different directions. ”

4.What types of books are in the resource center and can people check the books out as they would in a library ?

“We are constantly adding books to our in house library. We have everything from first person slave narratives to books about African American achievements. People are free to come here onsite and access them but they cannot check them out.”

5. Do you ever have special events here at the resource center ?

“Yes, we currently have a speaker series where we host various experts come and speak about a particular topic. These are also open to the public. We have them listed on our website and also here posted at the museum.”

This Spring, be inspired to travel to Baltimore, visit the Resource Center at Reginald F. Lewis Museum and start your family tree !

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