Saturday, October 18, 2008

Belated Baltimore

After our whirlwind tour of DC, we ventured to Baltimore, Maryland for my conference. While I was at the conference the 500Jerk family toured the Inner Harbor area and enjoyed hotel luxuries. Like nonstop TV.

Although the Inner Harbor is easy enough for visitors to enjoy, Baltimore is a gritty city. I know some people love it, but I don't. I think I'm a country mouse at heart.

We passed up the opportunity to enjoy Baltimore's ethnic restaurants and had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory . . . twice.

The Cheesecake Factory cheer:

The Baltimore Aquarium is fantastic. There is a dolphin show and an open aerie-type area with bats, sloths, tropical birds, and tarantulas.

Get this, we went on a Monday evening, and we were basically the only people there. We got the royal (presidential?) treatment. We had two tour guides personally attending to us and showing us all the cool things at the aquarium. They even tried to wake up the sloth for us. (No dice, he's nocturnal.)

BoyWonder loved our tour of the docked submarine, Tursk. Somehow the Navy fit 80 men in it. There only seemed to be two toilets (one for the men, one for the officers), and based on the ashtrays, pipes, and cigarettes laid around as props, everyone smoked even though there wasn't any fresh air. GAH.

BoyWonder liked the torpedoes, though.

This submarine never had an accident and is now docked in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The guide told us that some of the oldtimers who actually sailed in it come back to visit it. I bet they don't recognize the shark's jaws painted on the front of it.

The DC-Baltimore trip was an amazingly enriching experience for the 500Jerk kids. It opened their eyes to the Wright Brothers, sharks, George Washington, submarines, rockets, Amelia Earhart, and Abraham Lincoln. And it was a blast.

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