Tag Archives: Baltimore

Baltimore Vacation Part II

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The second half of my Baltimore vacation continued along the waterfront. Not far from the National Aquarium is the coolest Barnes and Noble bookstore. It was constructed in a completely re-vamped factory (the above photo shows a building with four smokestacks, which actually houses the bookstore).

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These are a couple of pics of the awesome interior! You’ll be sure to want to allocate some time to exploring this place.

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Heading towards the Baltimore Science Center and the Welcome Center you will pass the USS Constellation and its museum.

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Everybody knows Forest Gump and the famous shrimping duo; and lucky you if you decide to stop in for the view and a delightful berry mixed green salad topped with shrimp!

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There are plenty of restaurants and bars and a few shops. I really liked it that there were some ethnic places where I could get my urge for a Middle Eastern shawarma satiated. It was one of those family owned places where they take extra care and make everything from scratch, including the flat bread. The price was reasonable though the atmosphere lacking. There are several of these kind of stops available on the main drag, just down the road from the Cross Street Market.

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Many of the older homes of the district are row houses, lots of brick, yet trying for their snippet of individuality. Others are the ‘painted doors and shutters and gates and flowers and everything charming’ kinda places. It does seem that some streets succeed more on the charm level than others.

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The next part of the adventure needs be the Federal Hill Historic District. Don’t you love it when cities have quaint pockets of an historic area, still brimming with life and oozing personality? I loved the Cross Street Market where you can get everything from flowers, to chocolate to live steamed crabs or clams (not my cup-o-tea, but every crowd has one). It’s neat and clean and a one-stop-shop for all foods Baltimore.

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The end of this trip needed a bird’s eye view to take it all in and absorb the skyline. So up to the top of Federal Hill it was. This is a wonderful place to take photos.

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I happened upon a magazine bridal photo shoot and asked if I could take this shot. Too bad I didn’t have the right camera with me…but it’s still beautiful! The bottom of her dress is covered in feathers. Goodness!

 

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After descending the hill and walking back around the harbor, I passed by the World Trade Center where these structural pieces from the NYC  tragedy were recovered. It gave pause to reflect on the then upcoming 13th anniversary of September 11th. It also brought to mind the great privilege of freedom we hold dear.

All in all this was a memorable and highly recommended trip.

 

Baltimore vacation – Bi-Centennial Celebration of the National Anthem

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Back in June, one of the ‘Chicks’ went to Washington DC and visited Baltimore, Maryland as well. You can scroll back and see the blog we did on both. Well, the second ‘Chick’, not wanting to be outdone, re-read that blog and decided to spend some more time in Baltimore, and explore some of the sights she’d heard about.

It just so happens that there is a huge celebration coming up this month of September. It’s the bi-centennial of America’s National Anthem, written in September 13–14, 1814. It was during the attack of the fort that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which became the national anthem of the United States.

I spent most of my time exploring the harbor front area, beginning with the historic district of Harbor East. In the previous blog, the Oyster House was mentioned and attended with some great food pics, this time Kooper’s Tavern was the target and the crab cakes did not disappoint. Unfortunately hunger won and there are no food pics this time!

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The National Aquarium is a big draw to the harbor area, which was previously covered, but I explored the surrounding area. There is a lighthouse and an outdoor concert venue, as well as several ships at port, including a ship’s museum. There are also some stores, the best Barnes and Nobel ever, and a four story mall to indulge in. The Maryland Science Center, Baltimore Inner Harbor Visitor’s Center, and an incredible number of places to eat. Many of these are recognizable chains, but some local restaurants, such as Philip’s, stuck it out. When the weather is nice, there’s plenty of opportunity to eat outside, with a terrific view.

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As with any larger city there are both good and bad areas, so best know where you are going and a bit about it before you venture out. The Inner Harbor is certainly where many tourists spend a lot of their time, and there’s tons to do there in a well-lit and inviting atmosphere.

I found it interesting that this major celebration was taking place within a few days of my own visit. Tall ships, fireworks, a visit to Fort McHenry and much fanfare would add a new dimension to any already pleasant vacation to Baltimore. The celebration takes place from September 10th to the 16th, 2014.

Here are some links regarding the festivities:

http://www.friendsoffortmchenry.org/upcoming-events.html

http://www.starspangled200.com/

http://starspangled200.org/Events/Pages/SignatureEvents.aspx

This is the first of a planned two part blog, so stay tuned for part two!

Here are some pics of first, the Harbor East and then the Inner harbor area. Next time we will explore Federal Hill together.

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