The Inner Harbor

Exploring at the Harbor

 

The Inner Harbor

I really consider it a gift from God to be able to enjoy the sites and sounds of a unique place. God could have created everything boring and ugly, but He didn’t.  I have found the Inner Harbor in Baltimore to be one of God’s beautiful creations. Yesterday, Ricky and I decided to go exploring.

Because parking is pretty expensive downtown, we decided to look into the metro. For $3.50 you can get an all day pass for the metro; much better than the time it takes to drive down there with traffic and pay for parking. I think we will take the metro from now on. Now, Ricky and I have been to the Harbor several times, but usually it was with a specific place in mind that we wanted to visit: a restaurant, etc. So this time we decided just to walk everywhere we could  and discover things as we came across them with no real plan in mind. Ricky looked at the map ahead of time so we knew what train to get on, etc. We packed the backpack with sweatshirts, water, and some snacks.  Then, I put my tennis shoes on. You know it’s serious when I wear tennis shoes. There are probably only 3 times out of the year that I wear tennis shoes: the one camping/hiking trip that Ricky convinces me to go on, a random volleyball game that someone tells us about, and now, exploring at the Harbor. This, of course excludes the times I exercise, which I wear tennis shoes. But you get the point.

So, we drive a few miles to the train station, get our tickets and hop on the train. It’s not crowded. We have about 8 stops before we have to get off.  We walk up the stairs to go out of the train station, and at first we aren’t sure where we are. We hope we’ve gotten off at the right place, and are at least near the Harbor. Once we walk a few steps, familiar sites come into view. We are right where we want to be. Cool!

First we see a cool children’s museum to the left of us.  We will have to check that out another day. Then we see to the right of us a huge 3 story shopping center. It has Filene’s Basement on the second level. Ever since I’ve seen this store I have wanted to visit. So, we hop on the elevator to the second floor, only to find out we can’t get to the second floor because it’s been out of business for a few months now. Our excuse for everything when we look stupid in front of people (like me hitting the floor 2 button over and over again) is “We just moved here!”

Barnes and Noble, Inner Harbor, Baltimore

Our first stop is the downtown Barnes and Noble. This is one of our favorite places downtown. It’s huge. It has an upper deck overlooking part of the Harbor where people can sit and eat, drink, study, etc. We spent a few minutes looking through the bookstore, then it was time to move on.

We stopped at the Baltimore World Trade Center memorial and picked up some more information about the lookout view. The lookout opens in the spring, so we look forward to doing that some other time. We also stopped in at the Aquarium. We cannot wait to do this. On Friday evenings you can get in for 5$ after 5:00. Then we stopped in at the science museum to read more about their attractions. These all look like great things for children, as well. I hope we can take my nieces and nephews sometime!

As we walked,  we took in the fresh air and beautiful springlike weather. The breeze was refreshing; the sun warm.   There were joggers everywhere. They looked so fit and professional. I wanted to yell, “I jog too! I’m a jogger!” But I didn’t.

The Inner Harbor from Federal Hill

The highlight of our day was going up to Federal Hill. We had seen this place from a distance at the Harbor, but we had never walked up before. There seemed to be a million steps to walk up before we reached the top.  But, with all the joggers everywhere I tried not to look like I was struggling too much. Once we reached the top, we sat down on a bench overlooking the Harbor. It was absolutely beautiful. We could see everything: boats, water, people, buildings. There were children playing in the park, there were more joggers with their pets, and then there was us, just taking it all in. We decided to walk through a couple neighborhoods of town homes on Federal Hill. They were old homes. Beautiful. Anytime I would see someone near one of the houses I wondered if they lived there. In the window of one home we saw a beautiful grand piano. My mind instantly imagined who might live there. We saw an older lady coming out of her home, and decided to try to ask her a couple questions. We talked for about 25 minutes and received a little history lesson about these homes.  Most of them are at least 200 years old and have been gutted and renovated. She told us that mostly professionals live in these homes, like doctors, lawyers, and other business people. She talked to us about the history of Federal Hill. The house next to her was especially beautiful and oddly shaped. It was painted dark, and looked different from others. The lady informed us that the man there combined 3 homes into one. His wife wanted the entire floor of one of the homes to be her gym room, and since they have 2 children now, the house is not big enough. So needless to say, they are moving out. Our minds were trying to comprehend the capabilities this family has to live absolutely wherever they want. But we were reminded that money does not buy happiness. We enjoyed our chat with the lady, and then moved on.

We headed back down the hill as the sun began to set. What a wonderful day! We decided to go back to B&N for a coffee and scone. We sat out on the deck overlooking the Harbor, and were thankful for the great day we had of exploring.

Coffee on the B&N deck

This is Joy Under the Sun.