Earlier this month we spent a long weekend in Baltimore, Maryland! We were headed up there to see a doctor at Johns Hopkins for some ongoing issues I’ve been having with my neck, arms, and hands. My appointment was on a Thursday so we decided to make a trip of it. I’d never been to Baltimore and Chris had been once for work a while ago. I have a friend from Baltimore and had heard a bit about it – and I love port cities- so we were very excited.
I spent a couple of weeks looking at maps and menus of Baltimore, asking advice, and planning out an itinerary for the days we would be there. There are many hotels in the Baltimore area that offer discounts and free shuttles to visitors coming to Baltimore for Johns Hopkins. We looked at a bunch of hotels and settled on a place in Fell’s Point. I choose it because it looked like it fit my travel needs – in an area where we could spend hours walking if we wanted to. We could get to a 7-11, multiple restaurants, and the water taxi stop in minutes. I like to be able to park our car in a city and not get back in it until we are ready to leave.
We woke up early Wednesday morning and headed out. We talked about making smoothies for breakfast but McDonalds won out.
The drive was smooth and easy until we got to the DC area. I did some research and asked a friend in Pennsylvania if she need of any good places for lunch along I-81 and there didn’t seem to be anything we would want so we packed a cooler with PB&J Adam Sandlers, some Sunchips, something fun to drink, and a bit of chocolate.
We have a diesel car and could have made it the whole way on one tank but we decided to stop at a 7-11 and fill up for the ride home. Chris noticed they had a Slurpee machine and when I said I had never had one we decided to try it out. Whoa it was sweet. We both took a few sips and couldn’t drink the rest. I am sure my eight year old self would have loved it.
Do you see those candy straws???
The traffic in DC was rough. I watched our car moving tiny little bits on the map on my phone as we made the loop around Washington DC. I had made reservations for dinner at 6:30 and we got a bit nervous we might not make it but we ended up there in plenty of time. It turned out it was Fleet Week in Baltimore while we were there! Lots of Navy-men and women strolling about in the city.
We pulled right up in front of our hotel The Admiral Fell Inn and parked in the valet parking area. It was a relief to get out of the car and know we wouldn’t need it again for a few days. There were no empty parking spots in the area as we drove in so we were also very happy for the valet garage parking available by the Inn.
We stepped in to what felt like classic Baltimore and I started to relax as I listened to the hotel music and Chris double checked that we did get a nice discount since we were headed to Johns Hopkins. The entry area has beautiful hard wood floors, soft lighting, sofas, and little replicas of ships. There is a pub directly below the Inn that you can get to through the Lobby or from the street. When you approach the elevator it opens automatically for you and then you work your way through a maze of carpeted hallways that reminded me a lot of being in New Orleans or Savannah. All the rooms had names of authors and we got the Poe room!
The room was huge and clean and had a warm homey feel with the wood floors and rugs.
You can see that the Inn is on the first road back from the water. We thought it was great that we had a slip of a water view and I loved watched the boats passing. And the seagulls.
We had about 45 minutes before our dinner reservation so we decided to walk up and down the street for a bit. We had reservations at Thames Street Oyster House– less than two blocks from Admiral Fell Inn.
Since it was Fleet Week there were some giant ships!!
We saw the Phantom 4 Drone in action live for the first time. I really do think I would like one of those.
After we hung out at the water a bit we made our back towards the Oyster House.
We hopped in to let them know we were there and were told it would be about ten more minutes (we were early) so we walked down the rest of the block and into a more residential area.
Thames Street Oyster House is a super romantic, quaint, cozy two story restaurant. The downstairs has a bar and the upstairs has table seating.
We noticed as the people next to us were about to leave our waitress gave them her card. It seemed really reminiscent of European restaurants where you wait for a table with the same waiter every time.
Chris got a delicious Heavy Seas Loose Canon IPA and I got a diet coke. We eyed our table neighbor’s food – a skillet crab cake and lobster roll – as we decided what to get. Chris loves scallops so we decided to split the scallop dish and add on a pumpkin lobster bisque and some fried oysters. I’m wishing now I had tried the Oysters Rockefeller! It took us a while to decide on a dessert they all sounded amazing. However, our waitress recommended the Caramel Bread Pudding topped with cream and it was incredible.
The man next to us was having a birthday. He got the blueberry cobbler and I thought the sparkler was a nice touch.
There was a nip in the air when we headed back out for our room.
We got back to our room and my nerves started to kick in. I had forgotten why we were in Baltimore for a bit but it all came back in a rush. So I focused on what I always do to make myself comfortable enough for a good nights sleep in a new place. I put my eye drops, my chap stick, and a comfort book by the bed. I fixed the blanket that we brought with us and settled down to read.
My appointment at Johns Hopkins was not until 2:00 and we scheduled a shuttle for 1:00 so we had the whole morning to ourselves. We decided on Blue Moon Cafe for breakfast. It was just a few blocks walk from our Inn- an even shorter distance than it looks on the map. While Chris was getting ready I spent a few minutes watching the fog lift and the seagulls flying through the streets.
We use the Maps.Me app and before we left Chris entered in a list of the places we were interested in going. Then he just had to choose our destination – Blue Moon Cafe – and it generated the walking map for us. (See how far we were from Hyde Park?)
Chris got the Cap’n Crunch French toast. He got a half order and had a hard time finishing it. It was insanely delicious. There was a pregnant woman sitting next to us who got a whole order and ate every bite. 😉
I got poached eggs and hash browns. Chris gave me some of his bacon and fruit and I gave him some of my hash browns. True love.
After breakfast we decided to just start walking. About this time I realized that I was doing one of my favorite things. Waking up in a brand new city, breathing in the fresh cool air, and walking about exploring with the whole day in front of us. And Baltimore is a very cool city. Every time we stay in a place like this I realize more and more that I want to live near water.
We stopped by the CVS for some Tylenol and Whole Foods for something to drink. I spied this Salmon Caesar salad. This is what I look for at home all the time but can never find!
Around 11:00 we headed back to the room and I took a shower. I always feel better when I take a warm shower. And I wanted to be fresh and clean for my appointment. We decided to get a bite to eat at Eight Ball since it was just next door to where we were staying. I was pretty nervous so I ordered a side salad that ended up being mostly just lettuce. It did have a wonderful dressing on it though – very light and just a bit sweet. I loved all the nautical themed napkins in Fells Point.
The meatball sub was very tasty – Chris gave me a couple of bites. It was really nice to sit outside to eat and get some fresh air and people watch. After we ate we headed back in to get our shuttle to the hospital. The Admiral Fell Inn will shuttle you anywhere within a mile of the hotel and back and forth from Johns Hopkins. You tell them when you need it and they will schedule it for you. Unfortunately ours didn’t get put on the schedule and we had to wait about 30 minutes for our shuttle. This is why I am always early!
Everyone was incredibly kind and gentle at Johns Hopkins. I was praying for that specifically and so relieved. When you are on your fifth doctor and eleventh month of pain you just want kindness. And extreme professionalism – which is what we found at Johns Hopkins. They were on time for our appointment and we spent about 20 minutes in the ultrasound room and then another hour or so talking with Dr. Lum and his PA. We hopped back on the shuttle and walked across the street from our hotel to Barcocina – I picked this place before we even left our house because I knew we would be tired and it was super close to where we were staying. They have a great view of the water and very delicious fresh corn chips and guacamole. I got a cranberry mojito and Chris got a regular. He said mine was better. I asked for it on crushed ice- a crushed ice orange drink is really popular in Baltimore and I had been wanting one. We got some tacos to split but I didn’t really eat them. I filled up on guacamole and mojito.
After dinner we went for a nice walk and watched the sun set. It was stunning to see the colors change over the water and behind the boats.
And I loved watching the lights of the city come on. There were runners everywhere!
The next morning we decided to try a crepe place- Sofi’s Crepes– we saw across the street from our hotel. It was incredible. Better than the crepes we had in Paris! I got cinnamon sugar with banana and Chris got banana with peanut butter. So good!! I want to try every one of them. Also, the woman working there was super nice and let me photograph her making our breakfast.
We walked around the corner to get tickets for the Water Taxi. This was my favorite part of the trip. You can get a day pass and a stamp on your hand and ride around all the routes.
We rode the Water Taxi to Inner Harbor and started walking towards Federal Hill for a view of Baltimore. You can walk around and up the hill or take the stairs. I wanted to do the stairs – every since climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe I actually enjoy stair walking. We had a great time walking around Federal Hill and looking at the views.
We spent the rest of the day walking through Inner Harbor and riding around on the water taxi. We walked through quite a few shops looking for a neutral colored Baltimore hat without any sports stuff on it but couldn’t find one! I really wanted to try some crab cakes but we weren’t super hungry so we ended up at Phillips right in the center of Inner Harbor and split the crab cake appetizer.
We came across this 9/11 memorial and I got very emotional. It’s the most beautiful memorial I have seen. Make sure to find it if you go to Baltimore!
For dinner we walked along the harbor to Little Italy. This was so much fun!!! We ate dinner at Germano’s. This was another very romantic place. We split the artichoke appetizer. I got lasagna and Chris got a mushroom dish. This was good but the next place we stopped in was incredible. Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop is a wonderland for Italy lovers. We got a bag of cookies. We will be going back. The best thing we had was the amaretti cookie. They deliver!!
We took a nice relaxing sunset cruise on the water taxi and headed to bed early. I’m so glad we added an extra day to our trip and explored Baltimore a bit! I can’t wait to go back for my next appointment at Johns Hopkins. You will definitely find me on a water taxi eating an amaretti cookie.