Baltimore in 2 days with 3 kids, Pt. 2

It was this kid’s 16th birthday!

We got tickets to the National Aquarium for 9 am…just in time to see the sharks eat their breakfast of fish and squid…They’re kept well-fed so they don’t eat their smaller tank mates:

This giant sea turtle was a rescue. He had to be amputated because of an infection, but he’s doing just fine now.

My favorites were the Jellyfish:

We got a couple of little bitty shrimp at the gift shop for my birthday boy:

We did a quick stroll through the Baltimore Civil War museum, which happens to be right across the street from our hotel. It’s located in what used to be the President Street Station…

And then we walked to Miss Shirley’s for lunch. It was worth the longish wait:

We were excited to take a ride on the Chessie boats:

…but sadly, they were not running.

We took a water taxi instead. It’s a great deal at $14 for unlimited rides all day.

It turned out to be a relaxing way to get great views of the Harbor.

We hopped off to go to the American Visionary Arts Museum, a place I’ve been wanting to visit for years. The description of “visionary art” is a bit vague – “art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” Although it was not always the case, in many instances the art was created by people who were mentally ill.

You can’t even imagine how sad I was not to be able to take pictures inside the museum! It is filled with extraordinary art. It also has a spectacular museum shop.

Word to the wise: It was only after we were taking the water taxi back to our hotel for dinner that I realized the booklet we were given when we bought our tickets was full of coupons, some of which we could have used for a lower entrance fee at the museum.

After dinner we went for another walk along the water. We strolled to Fell’s Point, an historic neighborhood with bars, restaurants and boutiques.

By this time, my daughter was flagging and wanted to get back to the hotel. We thought we’d take a short cut back, and blundered into a not so nice neighborhood. Once we hustled our way out of there, we decided to make one last stop at The Power Plant to visit the enormous Barnes & Noble café:

Back at the hotel, we watched another movie and then hit the hay.

And that was Day 2 of our Baltimore Adventure. We were sad to be leaving Baltimore, but excited about the amazing adventure my sister had planned for the kids in Washington DC the next day…

Baltimore in 2 days with 3 kids

  • We were thoroughly charmed by the two days we spent in Charm City. Here’s our itinerary…

Wednesday

We left C’ville for Baltimore at 9 am.

We drove straight to Fort McHenry, arriving around noon (after one impromptu stop to visit Yoder’s and the petting farm). My 13 year old history buff was especially anxious to visit the star-shaped fort, the scene of the epic battle during the War of 1812, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner.

Inside the Visitors Center you watch a short movie in which the battle is reenacted. At the conclusion of the movie, the screen dramatically flies up to reveal a huge window overlooking the fort over whose ramparts flies the American flag. Everyone stands up and, hands over hearts, sings The Star Spangled Banner. I have to admit, I got caught up in the moment. There just may have been a tear welling in the corner of my eye. And then I heard my 16 year old say, “This is so cheesy.” And it totally was. But stirring nevertheless.

We drove to the Homewood Suites by Hilton Baltimore, where we would spend the next couple of days. The hotel is in an excellent location, not quite overlooking the water, (at least from our suite), but a very short walk away from the Harbor. They serve a complimentary breakfast every day and a complimentary dinner with wine and beer Monday through Thursday. The food was not spectacular, but decent. There always seemed to be at least one standout item at every meal that was actually delicious: buttery croissants, hash browns, super fresh caesar salad, etc.

After checking out our room and having a brief rest, we headed out to walk around the neighborhood:

We walked over to the World Trade Center and went up to the Observation Deck to get 360 degree views of the city:


We walked back to the hotel for dinner and then headed to Little Italy for dessert  at Vaccaro’s:

We may have gotten a little carried away:

Despite our valiant efforts, we had to bring almost all of it back to the hotel to stash in the freezer.

We watched a movie and then headed to bed. We had two double beds and a sleeper sofa, but my silly girl insisted that she wanted to sleep here:

(She eventually did crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night)!

Day One: DONE!