Family Fun

Weekend Trip to Baltimore

For the past few years, my husband and I have taken a weekend trip with some of our friends in the spring. For a few years, we went to a banquet in Glen Burnie, Maryland and once we went to Sea Isle City, New Jersey. This year, the banquet we planned to attend was cancelled after our friend booked non-refundable hotel rooms for us. So, we decided to go anyway and explore a little bit of Baltimore!

I had been to Baltimore once when I was in high school on a band trip. We went to Inner Harbor, Medieval Times, and a few other places I can’t recall off the top of my head. It’s been a dozen years or better, after all!

Even though I love living in a rural area, I do like to go to cities once in a while and just look around. There are so many different buildings and shops to see, unlike the ones we have around home! As we were driving around, looking for a place to park, I thoroughly enjoyed taking in the sights.

Eventually we found a parking garage and walked to our destination. That’s another thing that’s nice about visiting a city…you can walk to nearly everything! We were looking for The Abbey Burger Bistro. Every time we go to Baltimore, this is a place we need to visit! The entrance is nestled around the corner from the street in a bit of a tiny alley.

They have all different kinds of burgers, made of all different kinds of meats, with many different toppings. A favorite is their peanut butter burger. It shouldn’t work, but it does! I built my own burger, which came out so juicy and delicious! They also make their own potato chips, which are tasty!

We then walked to Inner Harbor. It was so windy and chilly, but the sun was shining, so that was nice! We took our time, took some pictures, and there happened to be a street performer on our way to the Aquarium. He was doing all kinds of break dancing and flips! That was something I have never seen along our backroads!

The National Aquarium at Baltimore was beautiful! My husband has only been to one other aquarium, and that one was small potatoes compared to Baltimore!

The coral reef pool was impressive!

There was also a touch pool containing skates, sting rays, horseshoe crabs, and a separate touch pool for jelly fish. I touched a jelly fish! I was a little freaked out…or a lot freaked out…but it did it!

There were so many fish in so many tanks, and quite a few large tanks as well! I think the puffins, sharks, sea turtle and jellyfish invasion were my favorite exhibits. The puffins were so cute! I couldn’t get any good pictures because they had the glass all splashed with water. There was one puffin in particular who was a little showboat! He was going crazy, swimming and jumping out of the water, and making quite a ruckus! It was so fun to watch!

There were also a lot of escalators, which I enjoy riding very much!

It took us about 2 hours to get through the whole aquarium. We took our time, briefly visited the gift shop after, and just enjoyed walking through and seeing all the creatures.

We then went to Medieval Times for dinner. I found it strange that it was in a mall, but I guess that is just how it worked out. Finding a parking space was a nightmare! I will never take our little local mall for granted!

We were each given a crown with the colors of the knight we were supposed to cheer for and the section in which we were supposed to sit.

The food was quite good! There are no utensils provided, so everything is finger food. We had tomato soup, garlic bread, chicken, corn, baked potato, and lemon sponge cake.

While we were eating our meal, there were knight competitions going on. A king and princess were overseeing all of the events. There was a storyline to the whole show, and I don’t want to give it away because I do not know how often they change it up. I will tell you that our knight did not win, but one of his allies did!

The following day, we went to see Fort McHenry. I am so glad we did! I learned many things that I hadn’t realized before, and I was so excited to go back and tell my students about it!

The Fort is in a nice park where many people were running or walking their dogs. The visitor center was full of information and showed a video about the history of the Fort and our National Anthem.

I love going to historical sites and considering what happened on the very ground I am standing on. We met a nice park employee who showed us where the British ships (in comparison to the Key Bridge) were during the War of 1812. Nearly all on the buildings were open to walk into, including jail cells, underground bomb shelters, the armory, and many of the officers’ quarters.

My husband and I walked around the top of the walls. It was really windy and cold, but the sun was still shining. There were cannons all around the Fort, many of which were made in Pennsylvania, and some of them weighed 50,000 pounds or better!

One of the most fascinating things to see was the actual base of the flagpole from 1814 that was buried underground and discovered later.

On the way home, we stopped at a restaurant named Mother’s North Grille. I had a crab cake sandwich that happened to be probably the best I’ve ever eaten! We hadn’t even planned to stop there, it was a snap decision made by our friend who was driving because we were all getting hungry.

It was a really nice trip, and if you are looking to visit Baltimore, I would recommend visiting each of these places. Or, if you are only planning a day trip, pick one. I would recommend either the National Aquarium or Fort McHenry for a day trip.

Have you been to any of these places? What are your favorite parts of them? What are some of your other favorite things to do or places to visit in Baltimore? I would love suggestions for when we go back!

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