Five Full Days In Maryland

The Degner’s finally went back to Maryland to visit the other Degner’s.  The last time we went to Maryland was in December 2015.  Reese was only 6 months old, Harper was negative 22 months old and now she celebrated her 2nd birthday.  Needless to say, this trip was long overdue.  We squeezed in as much fun as humanly possible in five days as we bounced around Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.  A big thanks to our East coast family for making our trip memorable and fun.  Now, let’s dive in and relive all of that fun!

The first stop on our tour was Sky Zone in Sterling, VA to kickoff Harper’s birthday celebration. We got there right when they opened and practically had the entire place to ourselves.  The same can’t be said for our local Sky Zone in Parker, CO. We jumped, bounced, ran the obstacle course, and climbed the rock wall, but most of our time was spent jousting on the balance beam.  I had forgotten how much fun it is to battle with my big bro.  After an hour of sweating in a stinky foam pit, we decided to hit the beltway and head north to Maryland for a little get together.

Matt and Jess hosted a great birthday party for Miss Harper.  This was the first time that all of the cousins were together!  The huge stain on Reese’s shirt is an indication of how much fun everyone had that afternoon and night.

We played outside until dark.  Favorite toy amongst adults and kids: a thrilling roller coaster.  The kids had a pretty good time, but Uncle Damon had the most fun of all.  He even needed to be reminded several times to let the kids have a turn.  If you’re interested in getting a Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster Ride for your husband, you can find it on Amazon.

Our next stop was Gaver Farm. O M G this place is massive!  If Gaver Farm was a body builder it would be named Farmold Schwartzenegger.  It’s ok if you’re shaking your head.  I’m pretty proud of myself for thinking of that one.  There are more activities here than I can even name, but I’ll try.  Slides, animal petting and feeding, basketball, slides, tug of war, mazes, bikes, swings, slides, a bouncing pit, and corn…lots and lots of corn.  It was almost too corny if you ask me. 

A lot of our time was spent on a huge pipe slide because it was super fun for all of us!  The giant bouncing pit in the sand was a lot of fun too.  Reese and Harper were foaming at the mouth to get on that thing.  Harper crashed and burned on her very first jump.

The fun continued at Kaelyn & Asher’s Power Wheels dealership.  Those two have more cars than Alex Ovechkin.  Just when you thought that you’d seen them all, Asher would come rippin’ out of the shed with something else.  Of course, Reese and Harper’s fave was the Jeep.  Yes, Harper’s mouth stayed open for the entire ride.  I wonder how many bugs she caught?

The kids enjoyed the swing in Kaelyn and Asher’s backyard too.  Harper was spoiled with another birthday party and then shortly after enjoying some more cake, she decided to call it a day.  I think we were all secretly jealous of Harper’s power nap.

Tucked away deep inside Patapsco Valley State Park, is a 2-acre recycled tire playground.  I guess you could say that this is where tires come to retire.  There are buried tires, stacked tires, small tires, and humungous truck tires.  I don’t know why they don’t call this place a retirement village.

We were surrounded by some tall, tall trees that were just starting to show off their fall colors.  The weather was absolutely perfect too.  Aside from tires, the park had fun swings, some cool structures, and several playgrounds with slides.  What a great way to burn off some energy and make the girls…tired.  If tires are your thing, than this park is tire-ific!    

Our next destination was the National Museum of Natural History.  Growing up in Maryland, I took living so close to our nations capital for granted.  Much like some Colorado natives take the Rocky Mountains for granted.  We were walking across the National Mall going to ride a carousel ride when I took this picture of the Capital Building.  At first, I wasn’t thrilled with it and complained to my Dad that the street traffic ruins the picture.  Three months later as I write this post, I actually really like the street vendors and the traffic because of all the color it adds to the image.  It’s another good reminder not to immediately delete your images because you never know how you might feel about them a few months or years down the road.

The dinosaur exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History had been closed for five years due to renovations and just reopened in the summer of 2019.  The hall of fossils spans 31,000 square feet!  Visitors are taken back to the very beginning, 4.6 billion years ago and the exhibit ends in the future (when humans ruin planet earth and are forced to move to Mars!  jk).  There’s a lot of stuff about the evolution of plant and animal life, but we really only cared about the dinosaurs!  Yes, they have a T-Rex!

We also walked through the butterfly pavilion.  It was filled with tropical plants and real live butterflies…one even landed on my cheek!  Isn’t that good luck?


I took roughly 1,200 pictures during our trip to M.D. and this animation is a great example of why.  Out of 1,200 images, I ended up keeping close to 500.  They’re not all winners, of course, especially when your shooting a group of kids!  I thought it was a good idea to animate these 16 images in order for you to experience the humor, distraction, and emotions involved.  ‘Look over here!  Reese! Smile! No, smile nice!’  

We had an amazing time with our family in Maryland.  Thank you to everyone for spending so much time with us and your hospitality.  We need to come visit more often and we will.  

Love you all!