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Trip Report We had a great time in Baltimore. Thanks to all!

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Thank you to so many of you who offered condolences and then alternative ideas after the government shutdown derailed my trip to take my sweet mother to see Washington.
We decided on Baltimore. We had a wonderful time in this delightful town.
We stayed at the Royal Sonesta resort because we got a good deal with a package. It was right on the Inner Harbor and we were able to walk everywhere. The rooms were a bit dated but nice and the service was great. The entrance is very nice and there is a great coffee shop right off the lobby that we used every morning.
Our first morning we walked around the Inner Harbor some and then on to the aquarium. The aquarium reminds me of all the things that are nice when something is laid out in a nice plan. It was easy to get around, there was a nice flow to move you to different areas and it just didn't seem too crowded. We especially loved the penguins! We stayed there for some time and laughed and laughed at a little puffin working very hard to dive in and out of the water.
We then headed on over to Fell's Point. We had a GREAT lunch at Ze Mean Bean (thanks Sassafrass) - on a overcast day it was perfect - warm interior, friendly waitress, and a fabulous borscht soup - I had the pork reuben and Mom had a shrimp lunch plate. We even tried a becherovka (czech bitters) to finish the meal. This was a great meal and a lovely time to just relax.
We then walked around Fell's Point a little more and took lots of pictures of the neat homes and streets, we shopped a little and just meandered back toward the hotel. We decided to stop for some refreshments at the James Joyce Irish pub - sweet momma decided to be adventurous and try her first Guinness. We may have created a monster.:):)
We went to the Rusty Scupper for dinner. Thank goodness they have a good view - that is all that was good about it. I know it is a tourist spot and I should have known better. I won't say anything else.
The next morning we were up and on the road early! We had tickets to the Phillips collection in DC and we were determined to go! There was a Van Gogh special exhibit and we just loved it. This is a great little museum - very manageble and interesting. We both learned a lot. Back in Baltimore we took the water taxi back to Fell's Point - much easier than walking.
Dinner that night - La Tavola - Oh My! What a great meal. Reasonable and interesting wines by the bottle. I had the gnocchi with cinghale, and Mom had the whole sea bass, Great salads and great service. We ended the meal with cognac and cheesecake!

The next day was the Walter's Art Museum right when they opened - it was an easy walk from the hotel. We really loved this museum. There was an exhibit there at the time - The Book of the Faiyum- that we both just really enjoyed. This museum has something for everyone and we spent quite a bit of time here. The Baltimore Museum of Art was just as interesting, but several areas were closed for renovations and the Cone Collection was on tour. They did have Matisse's Margeurite on display and we really liked this. Gertrude's restaurant there was very good - we both had seafood salad with crab, shrimp and scallops for lunch.
We walked back and toured one of the ships in the harbor. This was not my favorite thing to do, but Mom was pretty interested.
Dinner that evening was back in Little Italy at Sabatino's. Another great meal! :)Thank goodness we walked as much as we did or we would have been rolling back home with all this rich food. Eggplant parmigiana for Mom and veal scaloppine for me - we could have licked the plates.
I am not sure what was going on but the evening before we left we looked out the hotel window and saw several (20+) sailboats of all sizes and ages come into the harbor and circle around and head back out. What a great way to end a visit to a city that created some great memories for me with my sweet mother.
A special thank you again to all of you who offered advice - I didn't get to do everything we wanted but your ideas made the whole trip better than i could have done on my own.

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