Finally an update on a busy weekend.
Saturday morning we (me, Mark, Alan and my MIL) left for Baltimore. We stopped once on the way at the rest area in Delaware for a break. Poor Alan is still scared of dogs. We saw a 3 month old Corgi puppy named Thomas (cute) - but Alan backed away.
We arrived in Baltimore about 12:00. Drove around a bit and found cheaper parking (10.00) for the day. Then we ate lunch at Five Guys Burgers
at Inner Harbor. It was ok, my choices of what to eat with Alan and Mark can be limited (especially Alan who ate bun and pickles rather than any burger).
We then met up with luscious_purple
(Patty) outside the National Aquarium
. We had a very good time at the aquarium - we saw lots and lots of fish which Alan loved. We also saw the dolphin show which Alan liked. (At one point someone from the audience was petting a dolphin's belly which prompted Patty and I to think of cats!) Most of the exhibits were kid friendly having a step so Alan could see the tank. The touch tank didn't have a lot of living creatures in it, but it did have a conch
. I was fascinated since I'd never seen a live one, only empty shells on the beach and in gift shops. Speaking of gift shops, there were several of them, but we didn't buy anything. We did see Thomas Aquarium Cars
in the gift shop which was a surprise - who expects Thomas the Tank engine there. (Alan didn't notice them).
After Alan got tired and restless, we headed back to the motel. We stayed at the Motel 6 in Linthicum Heights
since we had 2 free nights from our trip to Florida in January
where we complained about the Motel 6 there
. Then Mark insisted on finding the Old Country Buffet
nearest us in Baltimore. All of us including Patty piled in one car and off we went. A few wrong turns later we found it. Everyone ate well, and then we checked out the Aldi's
across the way. After that we headed back to the motel where we chatted a while (Alan watched Cartoon Network as Motel 6 doesn't get Nickelodeon or Noggin.) After Patty left we went to bed. I didn't sleep so great, especially with a noisy drunk argument outside at 2 AM. Alan apparently slept through it (and my MIL also - but she was on the otherside of the closed pool area.)
The next morning we went to McDonalds for breakfast. Much cheaper than by us. I knew I was in the south though as they advertised sweet tea
for 1.00! After that we drove into Baltimore. We got in so early (9AM) that the cheap parking we'd used the day before was closed. We saw a sign for 7.00 parking, but wound up in one that had a sign for 10.00. So we figured we'd park. Then we walked around. We saw the Coast Guard boat
Mark's uncle had been on. We wandered by the Baltimore Public Works museum
which has a steam roller outside (it looks like Trevor
from Thomas the Tank Engine). I wanted to go in the museum, but everyone else thought Alan would be bored. We then walked around Little Italy which was pretty empty - we found an open bakery
and bought some cookies (had to get 1/4 lb). They were a little on the sweet side though. We then went to the Barnes and Nobel bookstore next to the aquarium. It has a huge aquarium on the second floor (courtsey of the National aquarium) and a nice kids area with a train table. If you can't find something to read there, you don't like to read anything. After that we decided to walk some more and Alan wanted to take the water taxi.
So we did - it was only 8.00 for adults for the day and 4.00 for Alan. We got to see a lot of things we wouldn't have seen. We got off at Fell's Point
and checked out the Oyster festival
(kind of small and dull) and a spice store
. My MIL got some flavored mustard there and the owner was very friendly. It was amusing all day to see the Baltimore Ravens fans and Oakland Raider fans out and about as it was the home opener for the Ravens against the Raiders.
We then taxied over to Ft. McHenry
and back. We didn't see the fort, but the park around it was nice. Alan played in the dirt and checked out the pigeons! Then we went back to the harbor and had lunch at the McDonalds next to Port Discovery
. We then went back to our car and drove out. They wanted to charge us 13.00 as the sign for 10.00 was wrong. They weren't nice, but did let us go with paying 10.00.
(When we got home we contacted Central Parking
who owned the garage. They made things right - I got a call that they'd refund our money, send us free parking for our next trip and look into the problems we had, the person I spoke to was very nice.)
Our last stop was to be the B&O Railroad museum
. Going there, we passed some not-so-nice areas - like the sex district. Parts of Baltimore off the tourist destinations appear to be somewhat iffy. We got there at 2:55, the last train ride left at 3 and the museum closed at 4. So we didn't go in, but did look at the trains outside. Then we decided to head home before the football game got out. I had no trouble getting back on I-95 to go home, but the ramp from I-395 to I-95 North is one of the SCARIEST ramps I've ever been on - way, way, up high with a sharp turn. I don't want to take that again!
Alan slept most of the way home which was good as we got stuck in traffic on the NJ turnpike and didn't get home till 7:30 (with a short rest stop). We passed the NY Jets game getting out at Giants stadium, but fortunately we head up a back road without much traffic from the game.
We had a good time. I hope to get my photos up this week (I took a ton, hope some are decent!)