Falling in Love with Charm City

This past weekend Kevin, my husband, and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. Yeah – wow where did that time go right? So for the first time since our first anniversary we went away for the night. No kids! How devine!

When planning the trip I pondered over where to go. I didn’t want to travel too far from home because my kids – all teens- have only been left to their own devices overnight one other time and that was last December when we headed down to see a blues band in Bethesda MD.  Should we head to DC? Maybe Annapolis – or Saint Mikes on the Eastern shore? One place kept popping into my head over and over again. Baltimore, MD….some of you may be a little familiar with B’More as old and industrial (and in the past some may have said dirty) and wonder why we might want to head there. Those that are more familiar with the Baltimore of today might find themselves a little jealous that we got to spend a couple days tooling around the area. It is a really great town!

Baltimore was once the second largest port of entry for immigrants in the United States. In the 1700’s it was a port of entry for the Maryland tobacco trade. The port is still used today for a multitude of imports and exports. Early on it was an industrial town but over the years has be revitalized. Today it is not only have a thriving tourist trade it is also home to some major corporations like Pandora and Under Armor. Baltimore is a very fun place to visit. It has the famous inner harbor that was created in the 19070’s to bring more tourists into the area – but it also houses many great neighborhoods rich in history that are fun to visit.

I loved the inner harbor but I knew there was more to explore. My brother had attended Loyola College in Baltimore and raved about the culture and of course the bar scene that could be found in the city. Nicknamed Charm City as a marketing strategy in the mid 1970’s, the city has become just that. Many neighborhoods have undergone revitalization and many areas of the city are considered trendy places to visit and to live. I wanted to explore the city outside Harborplace (which is great) and Camden Yards (the home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball- and awesome park with unreal food). So I booked a room at the brand new Hyatt Place right near Little Italy and Fells Point.

I can tell you that I was stoked to be getting away for a few days in early spring with just my husband and I . When you can actually leave your kids alone and know they can generally care for themselves (I left them with a crockpot full of Mac and Cheese and cupboards of lot of junky food) it is freeing as…well it’s just freeing! Being away without your kids reminds me of being away before we had kids except that its not quite the same because once you have kids they are like part of you so you never really totally forget them when you leave them. There are the texts checking on things  and when its too quiet (no texts) you begin to worry a little. But for the most part it was Kevin and I – not texting our kids- doing what the heck we wanted. No one (teens) rushing us or complaining that they were bored or hungry or bored or bored.

So here is a bit of our 18 hours in Charm City…

Below is our view from our room at the Hyatt Place – a new hotel- and I would recommend it. When we checked in our room wasn’t ready – no prob- but as it turns out a cheerleading competition at the convention center had the place filled with kids gearing up to compete – I sort of wondered how noisy it would be there. Turns out we had booked a queen room but they only had a king room (I didn’t book a king room bc they didn’t have a king room when I was booking). Did I want a King room? It was on the top floor great view-? Um Yes! And it turns out it was a great room and the views were awesome. And our room was tucked back in the hallway and the rooms are super quiet – I did not hear any cheerleaders!

A room with a view

Looking over at Little Italy

 

I was like a peeping tom looking inside all these passages!

When we got settled into our room we headed out to see Fells Point. All my years as a bar-hopping party girl had never brought me to this area. I even spent a semester at Towson State University which is right at the edge of the city but never went to Fells Point. My brother had frequented this area and if he reads my blog he might recognize some of the places in the pictures. One cool thing about Fells Point was the cobblestone streets. I wondered how many partiers had fallen or turned an ankle on those streets. They are very cool though.  Turns out in Fells Point there are lots of neat places to see. And great streets perfect for picture taking.

 

Notice those cobble stone streets…  

I was fascinated by these gated passages. Some had pretty gardens hiding inside and others were bland or messy.

The waterfront is never a disappointment. You can grab a water taxi to get from different neighborhoods. The city also has a free bus line (the Charm City Circulator) that goes between different areas of interest. Notice all the ships in the harbor.        

The bar and restaurant area of Fells point is kitschy and fun. I was so happy to see that youngsters of all ages frequent these establishments. You don’t feel out of place at any age. We saw a number of bachelor and bachlorette parties – I can see why you might pick this area because one need not get into a car and drive from place to place – you can walk to many of the place in Fells Point – or take a water taxi or the bus.  Or….

…you can peddle by your own power and your friends power…

This is one of the many marinas in the city..

A cargo ship with the Domino sugar factory in the background.

Maryland is for Crabs (our old Maryland slogan from years ago). You have to have the token blue crab statue – Maryland is home to the very tasty blue crab.

  A boardwalk area along a water front in Fells Point.

It was a great day to hang outside and many of the local restaurants were packed full with people enjoying the warm day.

A schooner sitting outside the Schooner Inn in Fells Point….

  We walked and walked along the neighborhood streets and were treated to the cutest homes…How could I not photograph these adorable row houses?

THIS is no ordinary church! It is an old church that houses a personal training studio and yoga studio. If I lived in Fells Point I would come here to workout! How serene would it be to workout in an old church? The building’s architecture was lovely…(we couldn’t get inside- bummer!)      

We walked by some newer condo homes and I loved how the light hit the camera in this shot.   We ate dinner at an open air restaurant called Barcocina– and dined on tacos and more tacos. They were a bit spicy for me but it was a nice place to stop and rest for a while.  (I did not get a picture of it- duh Anne?)

This is the view from or room as the sun was setting. There was an O’s game going on and if you look at the real orange in the photo you can just see the stadium lights. We came home for a quick rest and planned on heading out into Little Italy for dessert…you would think we would end up at a wonderful Italian Bakery –no…I had read about another place and heard the food was awesome…and they had bowling so…

Sunset over Baltmore

…..we ended up at Mustang Alleys…What a great place! We didn’t bowl but we had an unreal dessert- okay 2 desserts that we could not finish. Worth every calorie! They even turned on the Nationals game for us! I am going back there.      

OMG….!! It was so good!

Finally we headed back to the hotel for the night..I have been charmed by Charm City. I think it might be love. I was thinking it might be fun to have a little place in the city someday( a pied-à-terre’?). Well one can dream can’t one? Anyway, it really is fun to talk with Kevin about the possibilities.  I am a country girl at heart but there is nothing like stepping out your door and being able to find something cool going on at any hour. No lawn to mow…and there were tons of dogs down there -so there you go! That must have on my list is now checked off.

I am not sure if this photo is scary or neat!

 

When I get away with my husband it makes me realize that when the kids are gone it won’t be boring. We wont just sit and wonder what to do everyday- we wont be bored with each other. Kevin and I love being together. He is truly my best friend. And its just easy to be with him. He gets me- I get him. I didn’t just fall in love with Charm City last weekend. No that was just a bonus. The best prize is that I fell a little bit more in love with my husband of 16 years. What a blessing he is…

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Thanks for reading….

2 thoughts on “Falling in Love with Charm City

  1. Well, I’m all tears now! What a super-fun anniversary celebration you guys had! Please remember to do this every year on 4/11 – you’ll never regret it. I just realized that I still have my Maryland Is For Crabs T-shirt – it’s pretty threadbare but still wearable. Love and hugs to you both, Mom

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