baltimore

weekend in baltimorebt2 bt4 bt5 bt7 bt9 bt11 bt12IMG_0914 IMG_0915We 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.

spring break: RVA

Daniel and I went on an awesome, two day Spring Break trip last Thursday and Friday. It’s amazing to me that we can visit several historically and culturally significant locations in less than two hours via car. When we lived in Tallahassee, it took almost 3 hours to get to Jacksonville with only small towns and forest in between.

richmond city scape

We spent Thursday in Richmond. Our itinerary was as follows:

  • Hollywood Cemetery – final resting place of two presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler (and president of the confederacy, Jefferson Davis). It has a great view of downtown Richmond. 
  • Stella’s Restaurant – really delicious Greek food in a contemporary atmosphere.
  • Carytown – full of students, vintage and consignment shops, and other cool local businesses. I perused many racks of great vintage dresses.
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Art – features an extensive collection of art nouveau and art deco stained glass and furniture (we love that stuff), as well as works of art from all eras from all over the world. There’s also a a terrifying statue of a woman that looks so realistic I refused to get too close. I bought a postcard of Georges de Feure’s stained glass window.
  • Heritage Restaurant – We shared the charcuterie platter, then I ate some pork belly, Asian barbecue style.

richmond solar flare gravestone mausoleum blossoms looking out over richmond sb10edvirginia museum of fine art virginia museum of fine art graffiti muralRichmond is a well established city with a great sense of community and a small town feel. I’m excited to visit again – and it’s only a little over an hour away, so it makes for an easy day trip.