Plenty of places to visit from Md. to Pa.
What destination in Maryland can afford you up-close views of creatures with strange-sounding names such as the sooty grunter, eartheater and saucereye porgy?
This place has tanks full of gelatinous blobs with trailing tentacles and unique monikers like blue blubber jellyfish and lion’s mane jellyfish (native to the Arctic, of all places). There’s even a touch tank where you can gently pat the top of a moon jelly.
You can see rainbow lorikeets on the wing, along with scores of cockatiels and parakeets, emerald doves and green and gold tanagers. You probably know the place, but just in case you haven’t guessed it yet, here’s one final clue.
This place has a rainforest exhibit and if you are a patient observer — and have a little bit of luck — you might catch a glimpse of one of the elusive sloths that call the National Aquarium in Baltimore home.
One of the best things about living in Southern Maryland is our close proximity to the city, the mountains and the seashore, all within reasonable driving distance for a day trip or short weekend away. During the colder winter months, getting outside to do family activities can sometimes be challenging. And a trip to the National Aquarium is just the ticket to enjoying nature without having to worry about the less-than-pleasant aspects of February like the cold wind and early dusk.
On our way to Pennsylvania for the Great American Outdoor Show this past weekend, we stopped over in Baltimore to tour the National Aquarium for the afternoon.
The exhibits are top-notch and varied — from regional ecosystems to the coral reef, to a wing dedicated solely to a menagerie of fish, reptiles and birds on loan from Australia — and there is something for everyone to enjoy.
If you haven’t made a trip to the National Aquarium before or you’re a frequent visitor, there’s always something new to learn and discover. For more information about exhibits and to purchase tickets, go to https:// aqua.org/
Mom-and-pop eateries getting scarcer
It was the end of an era when the Cozy Restaurant in Thur- mont closed in 2014. The iconic restaurant was a place my family always stopped when we took a road trip north.
With its close proximity to Camp David, the walls were decorated with presidential memorabilia and the restaurant counted among its visitors Churchill, Mamie Eisenhower, Ari Fleisher and George Stephanopoulos. It was the oldest restaurant in Mar yland owned and operated by the founding family, in business for 85 years.
In an age of fast food chains and restaurant franchises, dining at a family-run restaurant is like stepping back in time. Mom-andpop eateries are getting scarcer. It’s hard to find a one-of-a-kind diner along the crowded Route 301 or Route 235 corridors.