Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A picnic worth a symphony

My parents were up visiting this weekend from Virginia, and it was so great to have them on my home turf! My OCD tendencies came out, and I had created an itinerary for us full of fun stuff and local events, (which I got ragged on about all weekend long. Thanks guys!).

Friday night we ate at the ever-disgusting Don Pablo's in Owings Mills. Don't ask why. I had a hankering for bad Mexican food. Well, mostly just chips and salsa, and Don Pablo's was near my office where my parents met me. Barf.

When that miserable experience was finally over, we saw Mamma Mia! at the nearby theater. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! I was grateful that my parents had raised me to be ABBA-lovers so that I could sing along and dance in my seat. I was grinning ear to ear! Some critics have ruled it "silly", but I wholeheartedly bought into the goofiness. In fact, I would have been disappointed if I had not walked out of that theater feeling buoyed and slap happy. Mamma Mia, here I go again. My my, how can I resist you?...

Oh. Right. Sorry.

Saturday we tackled Artscape , the country's largest free public art festival, in the sweltering heat, which unfortunately left me slightly less curious about the festival than under normal, more bearable temperatures. I had to indulge a childhood memory, so we waited in line to ride the ferris wheel, and the breeze at the top of the rotation was worth the wait!

But Saturday night, my parents, Joe and I headed out to Oregon Ridge Park to hear the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's "Hocus Pocus" program of songs from magical movies. (This was one of the Summernights performances). It was our first time, and I strongly encourage everyone to go. There must have been 5,000 people spread out all over the park to hear the beautiful sounds of the orchestra on a warm summer night with a jet black sky and twinkling stars. We arrived right at 8:00pm, start time, and even though we sat almost as far towards the back as you could, the sound was loud and as audible as if we were in an enclosed auditorium.

Joe and I had prepared a picnic extraordinaire in my wicker picnic basket, and since it was our menu, we treated my meat-loving parents to a vegetarian picnic, Meghan and Joe-style. All ingredients were purchased at the Waverly farmers market that morning with my parents in tow so they could appreciate the in-season selections.
  • Fried eggplant slices with dollops of homemade pesto
  • Fried green tomatoes
  • Sauteed slices of zucchini and squash
  • Miniature crab cakes (only store bought item from Wegman's)
  • Olive tapenade
  • Diced cantaloupe
  • Sliced peaches with honey
  • French baguette with white truffle oil
  • Chardonnay from Cross Keys vineyard in Virginia (courtesy of mom and dad)

The spread was fantastic, the music was flawless, and the company was perfection. The BSO finished the concert with a fireworks display choreographed to a medley of theme songs, like Superman, Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

To anyone looking for a great date night or a little culture for your kids, pack it up and head to Oregon Ridge. All you really need is bug spray. The rest can be purchased on-site at concession stands.

But a picnic made with love is unforgettable.


Jessica :) said...

I was at the BSO concert also Saturday. My friend and I stopped at Wegmans and picked up some things to take for our picnic.

Jessica :) said...

I added you to my blogroll