A soccer tournament takes us to Fort McHenry

Flag over Fort McHenry

The flag flying over Fort McHenry

Memorial Day weekend was a soccer tournament weekend for Natalie. Her tournament took us to Baltimore for the day, with her first game at 9:00 and her second game at 3:00. That left us several hours in between for a fun adventure in the Baltimore area!

Fort McHenry was our destination of choice. We arrived at the Fort just in time for the short movie (about 10 minutes, shown on the half hour) shown in the visitor’s center, talking about the significance of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 and how against odds, the Americans were able to hold off the British and save Baltimore. The movie shared Francis Scott Key’s experience there, which inspired him to write the words that would be set to music and become our national anthem. The movie is a great overview, and for me (remember I’m a history buff), quite stirring; I even felt goose bumps a couple of times. I really liked it. One of my favorite parts was at the end when everyone stands up while the national anthem is sung and you see a flag flying above Fort McHenry.

After the movie, we explored the fort. The fort isn’t very big, and doesn’t take much time to see. We really enjoyed walking around the outside wall and seeing the cannons and the views of the harbor. The weather for us was beautiful too, making everything so much better!

Several times during the day, the rangers hold a flag talk. During the talk, the participants get to unroll a huge flag the size of the original flag that flew over the fort. The flag was 42 feet long x 32 feet wide and is pretty amazing when it’s all rolled out. Natalie and Sterling both grabbed a section of the flag and helped with the unrolling of the flag on this visit. I took pictures.

Big Flag at Fort McHenry

Unrolling the flag at Fort McHenry

The movie, exploring the fort, and the flag talk only took about an hour and a half. We packed a picnic lunch to enjoy after our tour. We found the perfect spot under a tree, not far from the seawall. We spread out our blanket, and enjoyed our picnic.

Picnic at Fort McHenry

Enjoying a picnic lunch at Fort McHenry along the seawall

Sterling and Natalie lay down to take a nap, while I went for a walk along the seawall trail. It’s about a 15-minute walk around the perimeter of the fort. Along the way I passed the water taxi stop, waiting to take people back over to the Inner Harbor, or other points in Baltimore. It’s been years since we’ve taken a water taxi in the harbor, so in my head I was already planning our next adventure to Baltimore, complete with a water taxi ride!

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