Once Stephen's boss found out his family was coming, he decided we needed a SHMANCY hotel on the Inner Harbor. Ooh-la-la. Very nice!
Of course, as providence would have it, downtown Baltimore was basically shutting down for a Grand Prix race of some sort which was actually going to take place on the same road on which our hotel was located!
So we somehow manage to get to our hotels even though half the roads are closed. We pull into the courtyard (which would close later, as well) and they want to do valet parking for us!!
I look around. Mercedes Benz, another Mercedes Benz, a Cadillac, A FOR-REAL-GRAND-PRIX-RACE-CAR!!!
Um....NO! No one is getting in my dirty white mini-van covered in tree sap and filled to the brim with cereal crumbs. Thank-you-very-much!
So we manage to park our own car and tote our own luggage in. And while I'm trying to pretend I don't notice how out of place we look....Lucy starts taking pictures of every feature in the lobby while Stephen walks up to the counter and says to the concierge, "I SO don't belong here!"
Well, lets skip to where we're all settled in :)
Let's not forget the dolls! No one can go to bed until they are taken care of!
We wake up the next morning, have breakfast, swim under the close watch of our own personal life guard, do school in our window seat while admiring the stunning cars being polished in the courtyard and this sculpture! We have quite the view! And they never seem to stop polishing the cars during our entire school day!
Then we decide to see if we can leave our beautiful jail and have an adventure! We sneak across what is now a race track (with barricades EVERYWHERE!) and finally make it to the infamous inner harbor.
At this point I receive a phone call from my mother-in-law. She was on her way to Michigan to visit Stephen's brother and had a layover in Baltimore. The plane was over-booked and they offered a free ticket to whomever would be willing to delay their flight one day. She volunteered. Another unexpected blessing during our trip!
Plans were made for Stephen to pick her up when he left work and bring her to frolic with us. (He had the only vehicle.)
There's a nice breeze blowing, we've had a hearty breakfast and lunch so I decide to stretch my wings and by passes for the kids and I to ride the water taxi to historic Fells Point!
Fells Point has cobblestone roads!!! I LOOOOVE cobblestone roads!! We go in shops, art studios, free museums, and buy a $5 (yes, you read that correctly) lemonade.
The kids and ride the water taxi back to inner harbor and await Daddy and Nana at the two-story Barnes & Noble. We have already checked with the Hard Rock Cafe and they can accommodate us, so.....
Here we are in front of the U.S.S. Torsk....
and the U.S.S. Constellation....
and a really big anchor!
Then we took Nana back to the hotel with us and visited until Daddy had to take her back to her hotel and I put the kiddos to bed.
The next morning the race cars woke us up! Clyde was about to POP!!! I was determined to somehow let the boy see some racing....even if it was only practice or warm-up laps! He didn't know the difference :) I thought maybe our hotel's breakfast room might look out over the track?
We met one of the drivers on the elevator. He had that "Yeah, it really is me." kind of smile when we met him. Kinda cracked me up....have NO clue who he is...but the ferrari patches and advertisements on his shirt kind of gave it away.
Well we walked into breakfast and when the hostess started to seat us, I told her my son would REALLY like a table next to the window.
These are the pictures where his nose was NOT glued to the glass! He would, however, gradually inch closer, everytime I pulled him back.
To keep him from drooling on the window, I handed him the camera.
Iris took some pictures she wanted me to share....
We did school, ate lunch, checked out and waited in the lobby for Stephen to pick us up after work. They had some toy race cars set up in the hopes that the hotel guests would buy them....so of course we played with them :)
Baltimore was very beautiful! I really enjoyed it much more than I thought I would and would love to visit again!