We last went sightseeing in Baltimore in December 2012. This time around was much different. Daniel’s mom, a Baltimore native, was our chauffeur and tour guide last year, which made getting around simple and fairly stress free. This time, we relied on the hotel shuttle to drop us off at the Inner Harbor (beautiful, but a bit touristy) and walked where we could.
On Friday night, we went to Fridays after Five at the National Aquarium (only $12.00 after 5 pm until March 28!) then sought out a place to eat. On our way to Cheesecake Factory, we spotted a Pizzeria Uno and a wave of nostalgia washed over us both. We ate at one of the original Pizzeria Uno establishments almost every night when we visited Chicago with friends in college. Chicago was the first big city I visited and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Since we were technically there to attend a Religious Studies conference, we spent most of Saturday at the convention center reading, attending panels, and catching up with friends when we had the chance. I gave myself a tour of the premises while Daniel attended a session and found that the 4th floor offered lovely city views. We joined some friends for crab cake sandwiches at the Rusty Scupper for lunch.
After checking out of the hotel on Sunday, we went to Savers, a delightful thrift emporium, then met up with Daniel’s cousin, Dustin, for lunch and a glimpse of the Ravens game at a local sports bar. He suggested we visit historic (founded in 1772) and affluent (situated in the 3rd wealthiest county in the US) Ellicott City. The antique stores were mostly rubbish, but the coffee shop we visited had good hot chocolate. We finished off the day with a quick trip into the city to check out the Walters Art Museum and visit with the girl I used to babysit and her mom at their hotel (they were there for the conference, as well).
A trip to Baltimore makes for a unique, enjoyable, occasionally alarming experience.