Baltimore, You Are Lovely

Baltimore. I always heard it was a filthy, crime-ridden city that seemed to be cold and gray year round. My expectations of this city were quite low before I visited some friends there last weekend so, I was quite impressed when I learned that the fore mentioned statements were mostly false. Of course, there is crime as any large city has, but I got to see Baltimore and it’s beauty and see that it really is quite… lovely.

My trip was supposed to start in a Thursday afternoon, but unfortunately, my flight was cancelled after sitting on the plane on the runway for 2 hours. TWO HOURS. Hurricane Arthur came inland a little more than expected so all flights were grounded to the Northeast. But thanks to Delta’s fantastic customer service, I was able to get on a flight at 10 am the next day and arrive at BWI by noon.

I was visiting my friends Caleb and Emily, who is one of my best friends from college. We spent the first couple of hours catching up and walking around Fells Point with a pit stop for some frozen custard which is a fantastic pre-late lunch snack. Soon after, we were chowing down on some AMAZING pulled pork and BBQ ribs (also enjoying some of the once-locally brewed “Natty Boh” beer) at one of their friends’ homes that lives just down the street.

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The weather this day couldn’t have been any better. Seriously. I can’t remember a 4th if July where I wasn’t dripping in sweat! Maybe that’s the Southerner in me, but I never knew it was possible to not sweat in July. Incredible.

Anyway, we went to another friend’s home later that lives just around the corner from them as well. So, they all live in these cute, little row houses that are mostly 3 stories tall. Luckily, this friend has a wonderful rooftop deck with a 360 view of the city and also happens to be the best spot for watching fireworks. Never did I imagine that I would be wrapped in a blanket on the 4th of July. Never.

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Day 2 started out with a walk to Ale Mary’s in Fells with C, E, and their awesome roommate Mark who just moved to Baltimore a few days prior. Brunch was delicious. I had a Bloody Mary and breakfast burrito and neither disappointed. Again, it was a gorgeous day so it was really nice being able to sit outside and to know that I was going to have a nice day to see the city.

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After brunch, we all walked to the square at Fells Point to check out the farmer’s market. I think we caught the tail end of it, but people were still bustling around the vendor’s tents.

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Later, we decided to take a water taxi from Canton around the harbor to Fells Point and then on to Inner Harbor. We didn’t really want to do touristy things, but the boat ride was so nice and worth the $12 all day pass. I loved just being on the water and getting to see the city from that angle. They also give you an incredible “adult” coupon book that has deals for bo-go beers and of course food at restaurants and bars in the area.

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Our stop at Inner Harbor was pretty short. We walked through one of the shopping centers and down past the sand volleyball courts and past the Visionary Museum on our way to catch another water taxi back to Fells Point. We decided this was a good time to stop and get some drinks and crab dip at Riptide by the Bay.

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Oh, the crab dip. Creamy and so, so delicious. Getting crabs was going to be a little too much work, but I was really happy with this choice.

We continued our journey throughout Fells Point with our next stop at the Wharf Rat, Emily’s favorite bar because “it’s cozy”. I think that was a good word to describe this pub. If it was cold outside, it would have been nice to sit by the fireplace in the back, but I’m definitely not complaining about the weather that day. We had a drink and caught up on some soccer and then headed out for the next stop.

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Dog Watch was our next destination in hopes of playing “Bear Pong”, but the bar was taken over by a pub crawl so we just found a spot at the bar to hang out. The guys ordered some weird beer. All I remember is that it had Old Bay in the name. You know, like the seasoning? Gross. Don’t try it. Ever. Anyway, we were greeted with the song “Sweet Home Alabama”, so this bar is a winner in my book.

The rest of my visit mainly consisted of us hanging out at the house which I didn’t mind after all the walking we did that day. E and C took me down the street to a nice, big park that was beautiful. Again, I was impressed.

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All in all, it was a great trip. I loved spending time with my friends that I don’t get to see often anymore, and there is nothing better than exploring a new city!

Baltimore, you’re wonderful. I hope we meet again soon!

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