Monday, March 24, 2014

Baltimore Or Bust!

Saturday morning we made the 1.5 hour drive south to Baltimore. We've been wanting to get there since we moved to Hershey but couldn't find an open weekend where it would work. We did a little research and decided to explore the Inner Harbor of the city because there was a lot of fun things that Amelia and Barrett would enjoy!
Our first stop was the aquarium...we were so excited to see all the fun animals.
The aquarium sits right on the water in the harbor and it is filled with five floors of bright colored, fascinating animals. Strollers weren't allowed inside so Amelia had to walk and Barrett had to be carried in his bjorn.
Taking pictures while holding a curious 6 month old proved to be a little more difficult than I expected. I didn't take as many pictures as I thought I did..I was scared that my phone would get dropped in a tank! Here are some pictures of our time exploring the aquarium.
 
Amelia enjoyed looking at all the animals but the tight, dark walking paths were not too exciting. Jason ended up carrying Amelia through most of the aquarium so she could see the displays and so we didn't have to worry about her getting away from us.
She loved seeing all the big boats in the harbor...she was fascinated with the submarine painted like a shark and the pirate ship.
We finished out the morning with a stop at the dolphin center. We loved watching the trainers interact with the different dolphins.
They were giving them Jello and ice cubes for a treat (helps them get the water that they need) after they would do some small tricks.
We left the aquarium, after getting our hand stamped, so we could go eat lunch, explore the harbor and run off some built up energy.
We enjoyed Bubba Gump Shrimp for lunch...it reminded us of California!
Amelia got a fruit slushie in a souvenir cup that sparkles and lights up. She thought she was big stuff when it was dropped off at the table.
After lunch, we walked off our shrimp and fries with a stroll around the harbor. The city is beautiful, especially with the buildings reflecting off the ocean!

Federal Hill Park was on the far side of the harbor and we knew we wanted to climb to the top to get a better view of the city. Barrett took a short nap during our walk...nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby in your arms!
The Hill was the first spotting of John Smith so it can sometimes be referred to "John Smiths Hill". The Hill provided a great view...I'm glad that we walked up!
We thought that we would make it back to the aquarium to see more of the animals but we were ready to hit the road. We didn't want to overstay our welcome and the kids needed to nap.
We didn't make it out of the city before Amelia was sound asleep. She had such a fun and tiring day. Did I mention that she walked all the steps up the hill and all the steps down the hill?! She wanted to do them all by herself!
We made sure to stop by the famous Chaps Pit Beef on our way home. The restaurant/diner was featured on Man vs. Food, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and by the Food Network.
The line was out the door at 3:30pm on a Saturday but since we were passing through the area, we had to get a couple of sandwiches for the road.
The restaurant was so small but it smelled SOOO good! The owners were working (which was neat to see because I just watched them on TV) and they made some yummy sandwich recommendations for us.
The sandwiches and the tiger sauce (horseradish and mayo) were so good. I'm so glad that we stopped there on our drive home...we would have been missing out on some yummy beef!

Baltimore was a great weekend! The weather was beautiful, we had some great family time and we got to visit a city that we've been wanting to see for a couple of years! I'm looking forward to the next couple of months...a few more cities on our to-do list!

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