Jack & I spent the weekend in Baltimore for his niece’s wedding. The little non-wedding time we had we made the most of, exploring. We stayed in a very cute B&B, the INN at 2920, which comes complete with everything from breakfast to a beta fish. The hosts are thoughtful and there are many nice extra touches to make you feel at home. And it’s just a block from Canton’s Square with a variety of bars and restaurants close enough to easily walk to but far enough away not to create noise.
Below is a photo of the lobby, where there is a cooler filled with fruit and soft drinks. Up a short flight of stairs is the dining area where they serve you a delicious breakfast in the morning, and a small library with some books you can borrow during your trip. It was one more flight up to our room.
We had lunch at Plug Ugly in Canton Square, and I highly recommend it. I had some very hot and crispy fries that hit the spot, and I almost tried the house specialty cocktail because it sounded delicious but also highly dangerous (I counted at least five kinds of alcohol). Maybe next time!
As part of my wedding preparations I also had a manicure at a little salon just off Canton’s Square, which was lovely.
Friday morning we explored the harbor and the Aquarium which, even though I’m not a huge fan of aquariums general, was one of the nicest ones I’ve ever seen (similar to the great one in Monterey, California). There was one area with at least 20 exhibits of different types of jellyfish, from tiny to some with tentacles that could reach as far as 200 feet. And, whatever the size, gorgeous.
I’m not keen on seeing them when I’m in the water WITH them, but when they are safely behind glass I find jellies fascinating.
There were plenty of other fish to see at the Aquarium, of course, including this really cool shrimp …
and a dolphin exhibit that reminded me of SeaWorld.
After our time with the fish we spent some time in another of my favorite activities … shopping! There were plenty of shops from which to choose, and J Crew was having a sale, so I would say the day was a definite success.
The next morning we made it out to Fort McHenry, and we felt fortunate to be there the week after the 200th anniversary celebration. (Apparently there were huge crowds the week prior, for the actual anniversary celebration, which I wasn’t sad to have missed.)
Of course I’ve heard The Star Spangled Banner hundreds of times and have heard the story about the writing of the song as well, and in truth I put Fort McHenry on my “to do” list because I love history, but I wasn’t anticipating much. It exceeded my expectations — you enter into a small room where they show a video retelling the story of the battle Francis Scott Key witnessed and, at the end, the screen disappears and you have a perfectly framed view of the huge American flag just as he saw it “at the dawn’s early light.” It brought out the patriotic bones in my body and if you looked closely you might have seen a tear in my eyes.
To be there and see the relationship between the river and the Fort makes you appreciate the story much more. The tour of the Fort was worthwhile; I hadn’t had any idea that it once served as a prison for captured Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, as well as holding Southern sympathizers and political prisoners. In the rooms of the Fort they have exhibits from the various time periods, including the beds from when prisoners were held here, rooms set up as they were for the officers, etc. From 1917 until 1923 the U.S. Army hospital was housed here to serve WWI veterans, before it eventually became a National Park.
Jack was a little tired of all the touring, so he enjoyed the benches the Fort so thoughtfully scatters around its site.
After that it was all wedding, all the time. So while there are plenty of other sites of interest in Baltimore, we had to save them for a follow-up trip. And our little taste of Baltimore definitely left us interested in exploring more. Until next time!