Where: Trapeze schools in McLean and Baltimore.
Why: A day of high-flying antics.
How Far: About 50 miles from McLean to Baltimore, or about an hour.
That silly ditty about floating through the air with the greatest of ease -- you know, that daring young man on the flying trapeze -- that could be you. The metropolitan area is home to two trapeze schools. That means multiple locations to learn to fly.
So, forget breakfast. Start the day with a big bowl of exhilaration instead. The Circus Arts Workshop in McLean is open Saturdays and Sundays for freshman, veterans and anyone in between; $32 gets you two hours of airborne acrobatics. You'll learn skills like knee hangs (simply hanging by your knees), splits (hanging upside down by your hands while your legs do a split below the bar) and planches (holding your body in a straight position against the bar). Owner Michel Bigotti, who spends the two hours 23 feet up on the tiny platform with you, sings along to the Muzak and occasionally yells down, "We do parties. We also do weddings."
When you're ready to practice with a partner, Chris Donahue, a former Club Med trapeze instructor, obliges. You're suppose to let go of your bar when he yells "hep" -- and then Donahue, aka the "catcher" grabs you (gulp). If you don't connect -- a common occurrence -- it's down to the net with you.
The ride to Charm City will give you time to cool down and psych yourself up for round two. Trapeze School New York landed in Baltimore last summer. (They're the folks that schooled Carrie Bradshaw on "Sex and the City.") And if you're in the mood for a weekday swing, TSNY is open Wednesday to Sunday in three two-hour shifts.
One of the best parts about the school is location, location, location: outdoors, right on the Inner Harbor next to Baltimore Beach and the carousel. A consent form is the only thing standing between you and an audience of tourists. Your instructors will basically mirror what you learned at Circus Arts Workshop -- but still listen closely! You'll also hear some banter from the crowd: "That guy takes you whether you're ready to go or not," "Ohhh!" "I need Velcro," "Ahhh!" "That was groovy."
Janelle Erlichman Diamond
Circus Arts Workshop, 1153 Bellview Rd., McLean, 703-759-0767, www.circusarts.com. Open Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-noon. $32.
TSNY Baltimore, 300 Key Hwy., Baltimore, 410-459-6839, www.trapezeschool.com. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-noon, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. $40-$49.
Road Trip maps are available online at www.washingtonpost.com/roadtrip, as are addresses and hours of operation (be sure to check before you go). Have an idea for a trip? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.