November 5, 2011

Charm City

First, to follow up from last night, I’m happy to report that “camping” at the Wal-Mart in Cockeysville, Maryland, was a great experience.  We had a small parking lot to ourselves, there were security cameras everywhere and there was a great area where we could walk the cat.  The only drawback was the amount of light that entered the RV from the bright parking lot lights (I should have brought an eye mask).  Best of all, we were close to Noreen and Mike’s home, so convenience was a huge plus.  I really have to thank the powers-that-be at Wal-Mart for the corporate decision to allow RVers to park overnight free of charge.  It really is a great service, and we’d do it again.

Tim and I are fortunate that our friends are willing to take their time to drive us around and show us their cities.  Noreen did just that today, and we had a wonderful tour of Baltimore, sometimes known as “Charm City.”  Although I grew up in Baltimore, and my parents continued to live there, the city has changed so much that a large part of the Inner Harbor area is new to me.

We started with a visit to the B&O Railroad Museum, which contains the finest collection of restored steam locomotives and railroad cars in the country.  While I enjoyed viewing the exhibits and exploring the railroad cars, my favorite part was touring the building itself.  The museum is housed in a spectacular roundhouse, which was built in 1884.  It is a 24-sided brick structure that contains a turntable and 22 bays where passenger cars were repaired.  The interior space is just amazing.  In 2003, half of the roof collapsed during a snowstorm, so most of the roof structure is a reconstruction.

B&O Railroad Museum Roundhouse

The Interior of the Roundhouse

Two of the "Newer" Locomotives on Display
Next, we drove through the Inner Harbor area, where we saw lots of new (at least to me) developments.  Tide Point and Harbor East, in particular, are well-executed areas along the harbor that have reclaimed former industrial areas.

Around the Inner Harbor

Looking Across the Harbor Toward Fell's Point
We stopped for an early dinner at Fells Point, one of Baltimore’s oldest neighborhoods and one of the earlier ones to be gentrified.  After indulging in mussels and scallops at Bertha’s Mussels, we walked around the area, admired the restored buildings and shops and watched English folk dancers perform on the dock.  What a great way to end a wonderful day.  Thank you Noreen and Mike.

Fells Point

Restored Houses in Fells Point

Robert Long House, Built in 1765,
The Oldest Surviving Urban Residence in Baltimore

View from Fells Point

Street Entertainers

We Did Eat Bertha's Mussels, and Scallops


  1. You're almost here. Call me. Would love to see you and Tim this week. I will be away next Saturday and Sunday, so I want to be sure to see you.


  2. Manny, We'd love to see you. I'll call you and we'll figure out a time and place. Sarah