Between Christmas and New Year’s we had a weekend celebration for Camille’s birthday…in Baltimore!!! Absolutely understand your surprised look, but remember, Frank is working there and couldn’t make it for the Holidays. Seemed perfectly natural to travel there…..and what a great idea this was!
Baltimore is a small city, but very welcoming and has been selected as one of the Coziest Cities in the US. It’s a walking city, full of life and friendly people. We were happy to find imaginative and different places to visit. Important lesson learned: Baltimore is surprisingly interesting and true to its moniker, it’s Charming!!! Be open to enjoy any place you visit and you’ll find wonder.
This is what we found. From our hotel, we walked to the Emerson Tower, also known as the Bromo Seltzer Tower. It was built in 1911 for Captain Issac E. Emerson…….he of bromo seltzer fame. Remember that? It’s a copy of the famous tower at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. In 2007 it was converted into 33 artist studios by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. A fabulous concept to help promote local artists. We met Kathryn Holt, a visual artist, who showed us her studio and gave us a brief history of the tower and some of the artists in residence. Her work is amazing!
Another excellent find was the American Visionary Art Museum. It specializes in the preservation and display of visionary art (known as outsider art, “raw art,” or “art brut”). It is a place of wonder not to be missed if you visit the city. Here you can see the many, vibrant and unusual faces of art……quite unique!!!
Last, but not least the National Aquarium. It is connected to the National Aquarium in Washington D.C., hence the name. Beautifully constructed, it shows you all the water habitats: from the reefs, to the coastal marshes, to the rainforest. Perfect visit on a rainy day to learn how to preserve each ecosystem
We visited quaint neighborhoods, like Fells Point. This historical waterfront part of the city has cobblestone streets and it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Districts. There are 120 pubs in this area and a sense of old-fashioned seafaring town that is very appealing. Lots of antique shops, boutiques and small restaurants to keep you busy. This was also a port of entry into the US. You can still visit the building where immigrants were processed all those years ago. This is a must visit spot, for sure. Fells Point can be reached by water taxis, small barges that transport people around the Inner Harbor. You buy your day-ticket and go around the harbor….so convenient!
Along the way, you take a good look at the USS Constellation, a sloop commissioned in 1854; and the USS Torsk, a WWII submarine commissioned in 1944. Of course, you can go up Federal Hill. Nowadays, it’s a park. It has the best view of the Inner Harbor. The picture of us at the top was taken here.
On Camille’s birthday, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant: La Scala Ristorante. Located in Baltimore’s Little Italy, it was an experience. Family owned, it features an indoors bocce ball court and a wine tasting room. Relaxed atmosphere, excellent food and gracious service, we will go back!
The weekend was a resounding success. The city has a lot to offer and I think we only scratched the surface. We still need to explore what there is to know about Chessy!!!