August 4, 2014

Delmarva; Day 5: "Blue Crabs"

Thursday, July 10, 2014: For the 5th day of this trip and our 2nd day in Baltimore, we began the morning with a leisurely walk from our hotel, down Charles Street, and through the Inner Harbor. I enjoy looking at all of the architecture and buildings in the morning just as a city is beginning to wake up. The feeling in the air is one that is perhaps hopeful. In the Inner Harbor, the brick promenade that runs along the water, with its fancy street lamps and many shops and vendors, is truly an active and lively place to be. There are lots of things to see and do.

So, what would happen if we tried to move water using only the power of sound waves or to ring a bell inside of a vacuum? What happens when lights of different colors get blended together? How much electricity can be generated using bicycle pedals? I found the answers to all of these question and more at the day's first destination, the Maryland Science Center. This place features multiple floors of hands-on experiments and activities, as well as exhibits dedicated to topic such as dinosaurs, outer space, electricity, and human cells. There is also an IMAX Theater and a Planetarium on site. It was a fun place to start off the day and, being that we had arrived 10 minutes prior to opening, the kids got to play with the center's unofficial mascot, a little dog named Peaches.

Just down the road from the Science Center is the American Visionary Art Museum. The museum is made up of two buildings and an outdoor display area that are filled with all kinds of outsider art pieces, often very large in scale. An aluminum foil gorilla. A wall of flatulence. A giant silver egg. A septet of colorful robots. A hot air balloon. The artwork here definitely resides outside of the box. I enjoyed it very much.

For a late lunch/early dinner (which we dubbed "dunch"), we stopped off at a restaurant called the Rusty Scupper. Our friendly waiter gave us a window table with a view that overlooked the Patapsco River. While in Baltimore, I simply had to try the Maryland Blue Crab Cake and the Rusty Scupper makes a good one. About halfway through dunch, the skies turned gray and started pouring bucket-loads of rain on the window. Seeing the surface of the river erupt with ripples was a cool sight. We stayed at the restaurant until it started to let up a little. Then, we put on our ponchos (always in the backpack) and stepped back out into the damp city. This was the only rain that we would experience during the whole trip and it made for a nice moment. Walking Baltimore's Inner Harbor in the rain is fun!

Through the raindrops, we made our way across town to the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum. Being a baseball fan, I really enjoyed touring the early home of one of history's most beloved players. Lots of great photographs and memorabilia, including the Babe's boyhood glove.

While on our way back to the hotel, I made sure to plot a route on the map that would take us by Baltimore's famous Lexington Market. Operating since 1782 and referred to as the "Tastiest Place In the World," Lexington Market features aisles and aisles of the most amazing food stalls. Included among these is Faidleys Seafood, known for having what many believe is the world's best crab cake. Lexington Market is a true Baltimore tradition and a must-see on any trip to Maryland.

After getting back to our hotel room, cleaning up, and resting for a little while, we had one last place to visit in Baltimore for the evening, the Walters Art Museum. Located just two blocks from our hotel, it was only about a four minute walk. I was also astounded to find out that admission into the building is absolutely free. There was so much to see here. Medieval arts and armor. Statues from Ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Roman Empire. Asian sculptures from India, Tibet, China, and Nepal. Old-World manuscripts, jewelry, textiles, and coins. Paintings from Renaissance Europe and the 18th and 19th Centuries. This was perhaps my favorite attraction in all of Baltimore. Definitely a great way to close out the Maryland leg of our Delmarva-inspired journey...

"He who dwells
in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD,
"He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

~Psalm 91:1-2