Monday, August 03, 2009

Another Busy Weekend

Actually, it was a four day weekend, since I took Thursday and Friday off so Judith, the girls and I could take an overnight getaway down to Baltimore.

We drove down Thursday morning after Judith confirmed that the Hampton Inn on East Redwood Street would be able to accomodate an early check in.  We arrived shortly after noon, then after settling into our room, we walked down to the Inner Harbor.  Our plan was to visit the National Aquarium on Friday morning, but we had "will-call" tickets and wanted to see if we could get in on Thursday.

We lucked out and were able to get tickets for 14:30 on Thursday.  That left us with some time to kill, so we went to McCormick & Schmick's Grill for lunch.  Their crab soup and crab cakes are very good.  The marinara sauce they put on spaghetti is rather spicy, too spicy for a kid, so we had to send Amanda's lunch back and get another plate, this time with just butter on the pasta.

After lunch we walked back to the aquarium and went through.  I hadn't been there since some time in the '80s and there was quite a few new exhibits.  Compared with the Mystic Aqaurium in CT that we visited back in May, the National Aquarium is much larger.  Highly recommended, especially if you have kids.

For dinner we wanted to get Maryland style steamed blue crabs, but surprisingly, there is nowhere within walking distance of the Inner Harbor to get them.  As a Baltimore native I was quite annoyed.  We wound up having dinner at Phillip's in the Inner Harbor, which was OK.

On Friday we had hoped to tour the USS Constellation Historic Ships Museum, weather permitting.  Unfortunately, the forecast for the day included thunderstorms and we did not want to be walking around in that, so we came home early.

Yesterday we had a 40th birthday party for Judith.  The original plan was to have a barbecue, but the weather was horrendous during the morning and early afternoon.  The last time I saw it rain so hard was during the last hurricane which blew through.  Several roads in our vicinity were closed due to flooding.  Luckily, we didn't get any water in the house, unlike some of my neighbors.  Rather than using the grill, I would up cooking burgers and sausage in skillets on the stove.  I added beer to the skillets so that the sausage was being boiled as much as fried, and they came out quite good.  This probably also helped with later cleanup.

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