But I do love Baltimore, I must say! And that's where we've been.
And Harley loves a road trip - it doesn't matter to him where we go, just so long as he gets to go.
We drove up for Donald to attend a convention.
The ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) Convention. It's an annual event, held in different cities across the states. Some years Donald attends without me, but when it's held in Baltimore, I like to go along.
The last time it was held in Baltimore was 2007, and I had a great time. Here's hoping this year will be just as much fun.
Harley is with us 'cause the hotel we're staying in, The Hilton Downtown, is pet friendly. And, like I said - he does love a road trip.
Although, it does, sometimes, make him a little sleepy.
Day One -
We drove up thru Roanoke, VA. A beautiful drive.
And, as usual, we got tickled about "stuff." If there's one thing I know for sure in my life, it's that Donald Barley is going to make me laugh. Hard. We've been known to get so tickled we've had to pull the car off the road in order to have a giggle fit and not have a wreck.
This particular giggle fit was caused by me giving Donald a bit too much grief about something and him looking at me with a dead serious look on his face to ask "Why are you here?"
"Pfft!" says I.
"Seriously. What are you doing here? I'm on my way to Baltimore for a convention, and next thing I know you think it's a vacation. I'm just gonna have to drop you off somewhere, Missy, so watch yourself."
"Pfft!" (with a snort)
By now we were both tickled (I know, I know, it's really just not that funny . . .).
Then Harley joins in barking loudly, and we got more tickled. I know - it's still just not that funny.
Next thing I know, Donald is threatening to see if he can trade me to some guy for his motorcycle - and yes, I even thought that was pretty funny. As if.
And just to show you what a fun couple we are, here's one of the places we stopped on the way -
They sell some yummy horsie treats - apple & carrot flavored cookies, that Harley just loves.
And Donald bought me a present.
I love this!!!
I also love have my favorite road trip snackie along
And a good book
We finally checked into our hotel a little later than we had intended 'cause with our usual good luck and timing we hit Baltimore during rush hour traffic. Living in Boone for so long, we tend to forget how horrible it can be to sit on an expressway during rush hour. ugh.
The hotel location is great - it's attached to the Convention Center where all of Donald's classes, seminars, tests and trade show will be held.
It's also adjacent to Camden Yards where the Orioles play. When we made our reservations, we were told we would have a room overlooking the ballpark, but that didn't happen. Grrrrr. But, after a little chat with the hotel manager, he promised to move us to a room that does overlook the ballpark on Sunday.
But, you know, I really couldn't get too upset 'cause we do get to look out our window and see an old Baltimore landmark that I think is just too cool for words. The Bromo Seltzer clock tower. I love this!
We're a few blocks from the Inner Harbor, which I love.
But we checked in, realized there was an Orioles game going on, so wandered outside to enjoy some of the hoopla, which included a few fireworks and found a place to get a little something to eat.
Exhausted, we fell into bed pretty early and I read little of Diane Chamberlain's NECESSARY LIES before falling asleep. I was a lucky recipient of an Advance Reading Copy of this novel which will hit the stands in September. So far, it is outstanding!
Day Two - -
Donald left for class at 7 a.m.
I had a cup of coffee in bed while checking email and Facebook then took Harley for a walk.
Came back and got myself ready, walked to the Inner Harbor,
had lunch at Bubba Gump's (Cajun shrimp - YUM!) then took a trolley tour of Baltimore. Baltimore is a fascinating city. I wanted to kinda get my bearings a little, so I can do some exploring on my own. There are some gorgeous old buildings here that I'm dying to get some pictures of. And some neighborhoods I want to walk around on my own.
Made my way back to the hotel late afternoon, and Donald got back from class around 5:30 and we walked back to the harbor and had a wonderful dinner at the M&S Grill. I meant to take a picture of my gorgeous crabcake but dug into it so fast, I forgot.
Day Three - -
Harley and I mostly hung around the hotel today.
It's the day we're supposed to move to our new room, and I didn't want to take any chances on that not happening.
And - ta da - we moved to our new room around lunch time which was perfect.
Took a few short walks, watched the Oriole game from our hotel room window and read some more of Diane's NECESSARY LIES (wow!).
I unpacked our bags, went to the hotel fitness center and walked the treadmill, painted my nails and just relaxed the whole day.
Donald came back from class, and we took a walk, and then he went to a seminar.
Late dinner at a restaurant close by. I had a chocolate sundae. I've been craving ice cream for days, so it was yum yum perfect.
We walked a few blocks down to Penn to try a little neighborhood place, but The Corner Bistro in the Ridgley neighborhood was closing up by the time we arrived. But, we plan on going back. The neighborhood is one of those wonderful old downtown neighborhoods Baltimore is known for and the little bistro looks like our kind of place. Doesn't hold probably any more than 30-35 people. Soft lighting, nice classy atmosphere, but casual and reasonable prices.
Day Four - -
Donald's class didn't start till 8 a.m. today, so we slept a little later.
After he went on his way, I enjoyed a cup of coffee in bed, then got myself ready for the day. Took Harley for a little walk and made my way to The Gallery across from the Inner Harbor. Browsed thru all the nice shops, had a blueberry muffin at Starbuck's then took the bus to The American Visionary Art Museum only to discover that it's closed on Mondays. dang. But I took some pictures around the entrance and plan on going back later this week.
On the way back, I discovered a carousel I didn't know was here - how cool is this?!
I love Baltimore.
Browsed around the pavilions at the Inner Harbor for awhile and walked back to the hotel. I have never done so much walking. whew!
It's hot and humid here. Really, really humid.
Harley and I went out for a quick walk, then I settled in with a fresh cup of coffee, my laptop and my book. life is good.
Day 5 - -
Today was a perfect day.
I got to spend the day with two totally delightful women who also happen to be cousins - Pat Wilkinson van Drey and Laurie Wilkinson Scott. We've known one another since the cradle. Sometimes too much time goes by between visits, but when we do get together conversation picks up as if we had just seen one another the day before.
The picked me up around 9:30 a.m. and dropped me off about 8:30 p.m. A very fun, very full, day.
We shopped and ate and giggled and shopped some more in Hampden
I even bought some new eyeglass frames, which I've been looking for forever!
And then, we made our way over to The American Visionary Museum
Took a little two hour dessert and chat break, shopped some more and then had a delightful dinner before saying our good-byes.
oh, yeah - we did have another dessert, but forgot to take a picture! dang.
'twas a great day.
Day 6 - -
Went back to the Inner Harbor today and visited the very cool Barnes & Noble Bookstore
and The Holocaust Memorial
Day 7 - -
Didn't venture too far from the hotel, just around Camden Yards -
I did try to find a place to have a hot dog, but was unsuccessful.
Day 8 - -
I went back to the Inner Harbor today
and headed straight to Johnny Rocket's so I could have a hot dog which I've been craving for a couple days,
shopped a little
and caught the bus back to the hotel 'cause it's just too danged hot to walk.
and for some reason, Camden Yards stadium lights were on all night, even though there was no game. Pretty though!
Day 9 - -
Harley likes looking at the stadium from our room too
Donald and I walked down to the Inner Harbor for dinner and decided to eat at Johnny Rockets again. And this time we were treated to a little bit of a show - too fun!!!!
We walked back to the hotel through the Convention Center (thank goodness for air conditioning!), and there's an impressive display of model boats
Day 10 - -
And life is good.