Country Roads, PLEASE Take Me Home!

Enoch Pratt Library

Enoch Pratt Library

This past weekend, the Commander and I headed off to Baltimore, MD to pick up my brother and sister-in-law at the airport for a long weekend in the city.  Brother John wasn’t in the car a minute before stating, “I’m ready for some crab cakes.”  It looked like his main objective for the weekend was to eat.

We checked into our hotel (obtained via a bargain travel site) which turned out to be right downtown.  The desk clerk did some scrambling to give us adjoining rooms but when we got upstairs we realized that she had instead given us rooms that shared a common wall (think bed headboard to bed headboard) but which were on different corridors.  Oh, well, it wasn’t much of a walk from one room to the other.  The clerk had warned us that a big group was arriving that evening so we decided to stay put, rather than see if she could find us other rooms.

Next order of business was to find some lunch.  By then, it was 3:30 p.m.  What in the world?  Most of the little restaurants around the hotel appeared to close up shop around 3 p.m.  What a strange thing.  I remarked to my sister-in-law that I felt like I was back in Germany on a Saturday afternoon.  We finally found a little sandwich shop and “filled the tank”, but not with crab cakes.  They weren’t on the menu.

Children's Section

Children’s Section

On the way back, we passed the Enoch Pratt Library.  I had conducted interlibrary loans with that library over the years and told the group, rather wistfully, that I always enjoyed visiting libraries in the towns I pass through.  “Let’s go see it,” my sister-in-law suggested.

What a lovely example of an old, classic building that is filled to the brim with library users.  We ooh’ed and aah’ed over the architecture and Rose (my SIL) and I headed downstairs to the Children’s section to snap pictures of the lovely fountain and sculpture for our little Mika and Luke.

Baltimore Basilica

Baltimore Basilica

On our way back to the hotel, we passed the Baltimore Basilica.  This is the first Catholic cathedral built in the U.S. and we were able to slip in to view it during the visiting hours.  What a lovely church!  Mass is still conducted there as well as the Reciting of the Rosary and Stations of the Cross during Lent.  Unfortunately, we weren’t there at the right times for any of the above.

You lost your weave!

You lost your weave!

We all crashed in our rooms for the rest of the afternoon once we got back to the hotel but not before encountering THIS.  It was sitting on the side table opposite the elevators on our floor.  Apparently, the large group had arrived for a conference of “Wise Women.”  I don’t know how wise you are if you don’t have the sense to throw something like this in the trash or put it in your pocket.  In fact, all throughout the weekend, we kept finding all sorts of trash either on the carpet in front of the elevator or on the table there.  Ugh!

Ah, crab dip!

Ah, crab dip!

After our naps, it was time to head out and find some supper.  John was still plaintively crying out for crab cakes but he didn’t want to spend a lot of money so we compromised and found a neat Irish pub near the hotel that had some tasty crab dip.  That was our starting appetizer and then we all enjoyed different meals.

That's a LOT of cider.

That’s a LOT of cider.

The waitress had brought Rose a sample of an Irish hard cider to try and she had tasted it but decided on ordering something else.  I tried a taste (the sample was in a small tumbler) and decided that I liked it.  I was going to just finish what was in the tumbler but when I looked away for a moment to look at the menu and then turned back, I discovered that my brother had drained the glass so I ordered a glass of it.  I was pretty surprised when it arrived in a huge glass.  Wow!  I was able to get down about an inch of it but since I’m not much of a drinker, that was about it for me.

“Are you going to finish that? John asked.  Nope.  He was welcome to finish it for me.  He also finished a good portion of my fries.  The guy can pack it away.

Push Rummy

Push Rummy

We aren’t bar-hoppers or night-clubbers so our final excitement for the evening was to head back to the hotel, break out the deck of cards that I’d packed, and play ten hands of Push Rummy to the tune of “Rose!” and “You ALWAYS win!” and “John, do NOT throw your cards.”

Our first day in Baltimore ended with each couple retiring to their respective rooms and we’d just turned off the lights and snuggled down for the evening when the Wise Women decided to get social.  At 1:30 a.m., they were still pounding on doors, yelling in the hallway, and, in general, being a real pain.  I amused myself by thinking of different names for their group.

– To Be Continued –

 

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