When I decided last night that I didn’t want to go home right away I started searching for a stop half way between Washington and home. It ended up being Secaucus, NJ. Nothing against Secaucus but I wanted something a little more waterfront…though Baltimore is hardly a half way point that is where I decided to go after I discovered there is an Inner Harbor. I had been through Baltimore before and never considered it coastal. I searched my Hilton app and discovered they have a lovely hotel as part of their Curio Collection, Pier 5 so I booked a room using points on the water with a balcony. I decided to stay here for several nights but since my room was on the water I took most of the time as down time though I did enjoy walking around the harbor area. A bonus…there are two restaurants here both offering delicious (and expensive) food!
Okay…now that I have divulged where I went I need to back up to when I left the Watergate and headed out. I added a few things to my list of things to see...
My first stop was the Patapsco State Park and Thomas Viaduct in Relay, MD…this is a large park so you can get there from several towns but I put the Thomas Viaduct in Waze and it brought me to this location. I was only going to see the Viaduct but continued on into the Park out of curiosity. I’m glad I did.
Another stop was Sandy Point State Park because when I googled where was the best place to see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge this the location come up as the best spot. I did not know that there was a Polar Plunge going on today to raise money for the Special Olympics. I wasn’t sure I was going to be allowed in but as I was slowly driving in most people were leaving…I was a little sad I missed everyone running into the water. But…the Polar Bear was still set up and it was a gigantic bear! And I had forgotten that there was a lighthouse here, Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse.
I was driving into Baltimore and I saw the First Presbyterian Church…what a beautiful church! A pain to get a picture of since it is so big but I drove around until I could find a place to park.
One final stop before I drove to the hotel for check-in. I had seen a post about a Washington Monument in Baltimore…I was certainly curious so I went looking for it. Another spot that is difficult to find parking for but I really wanted just wanted a quick picture. The Washington Monument is the centerpiece of intersecting Mount Vernon Place and Washington Place, an urban square in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood north of downtown Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first major monument begun to honor George Washington. Part of the reason it was so difficult finding parking on this particular day was because there was a photo-shoot going on in the middle of the rotary behind the monument and there was also a wedding going on and the bride and groom were having pictures taken. I am guessing though because this is an area with almost all one-way streets that parking might always be difficult. A few other things to check out were in that same area.
So you know I checked into the Pier 5 Hotel so once I got settled in I went down to McCormick & Shmick’s for a lovely dinner. When I first arrived the bar was full but the dining room…I had that pretty much to myself for the first half hour or so. Dinner the next night was at Ruth’s Chris…another delicious meal! I also had the small room where they seated me to myself for at least a half hour. It pays to have dinner around 6 PM though I rarely eat that early at home. And the views out the restaurant windows…wonderful!
I pretty much stayed put in my lovely room or balcony the most of the time I was here. It had been drizzling or raining off and on when I first arrived and was nice enough to clear up so I could go out for a walk each night after dinner. Before I left Baltimore I did want to see a little more of the Inner Harbor area though so when I checked out I went exploring. Federal Hill Park was across the water and up the hill from the area I was staying at so I checked TripAdvisor to find the name and off I went. You can see everything from up here! Below are everything I could see from Federal Hill…I was so curious about some of the things, like the hand and the guitar I googled “what is the hand coming out of the side of the building?”…It gave me the name and address of the location and off I went!
What I could see from Federal Hill was the American Visionary Art Museum. I have to say this was one of the coolest place I ever saw and if you are ever in Baltimore you have to go check it out. You can find it at 800 Key Hwy. I have 205 pictures of the awesomeness that is this place! I am going to do my best not to post all of them but it is kind of sacrilege to leave any of this awesomeness behind!
I felt bad about leaving so many behind but I only chose 60…you will have to go there yourself one of these days to see the rest. Note…the images at the beginning and those at the end are murals outside on the sidewalk.
And it is time to head home…no hurry though. If I see something that interests me comes up along the way I do plan to stop and enjoy! Here are a few things seen along the way…
As I was driving north I saw a sign for a Veteran’s park and I decided to get off the highway in Norwalk, CT to check it out. It is Veteran’s Memorial Park and there were quite a few sculptures in this park.
As I was sitting in the parking lot in the park I decided I still did not want to go home and I looked for a Hilton close by in Norwalk that I could get with free points…got the Hilton Garden Inn because it has a restaurant and I wouldn’t have to leave the hotel. It is amazing how I get to see as much as I do considering I ended up taking more down time. The plus to this hotel…dinner night one and dinner night two without having to leave the building.
When I left the hotel on the 27th I looked for some place to grab a bite before heading home…yes, I actually went home. I ended up at the Driftwood Diner in Norwalk. Not really your typical diner but I ordered a chicken salad sandwich on multi-grain toasted bread and it was the best sandwich I ever had!
I did make one more stop on the way home. I saw a sign not too long after I got on the highway for a 9/11 memorial. I was not aware CT had a 9/11 memorial but it certainly makes sense considering the number of people that commute into Manhattan each day and many of those who died that day were from CT. I found the location of the memorial in Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, CT. It is a beautiful, restful spot along Long Island Sound. I don’t believe I saw everything I could have that day but it was in the 30’s with a strong wind coming off the water so I enjoyed my time there but did not stay long! Sorry my reflection is blocking part of the memorial! Below is the Sherwood Island 9.11.01 Memorial.
Here is some of the rest of the park that I explored as well as the Long Island Sound.
I did go home this time so this Washington turned in Baltimore turned into Connecticut road trip comes to an end. I will be home for about a month and I will be heading south again to South Carolina. Be sure to come back for the journey!
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See you on the road!
It is a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.
– Oberyn Martell, Game of Thrones