Thursday, August 29, 2013

And on To Baltimore!

[Kyle]Our next couple of legs from Bodkin Creek weren’t anything special, just a distance we had to pass really. There was no wind to speak of, so after the first five-minute attempt to sail, we motored both days for the short distance from Bodkin to Stony Creek, and then from there to Baltimore. In between, we slept in, read to each other a lot until it was too hot, and then went for a refreshing swim before starting the whole dinner-and-drinks-in-the-cockpit-for-sunset routine. Perfect relaxing, do-nothing much type days.

Bodkin Creak, Where we did very little and loved it!

Once we made it into our slip in Baltimore, I had to immediately make up for all of the time I had off getting us there, so I had no real time to even look around before it was time to get back to work {Maryanne: Although we did squeeze in a trip to a local bar for lunch to save time... that was the excuse}. I'd explore more once I returned for my first “weekend”.

[Maryanne]Baltimore is to be 'home' for a month, and we are at a dock, in an actual marina. Being at a dock brings some additional luxuries in our lives (no need to dinghy ashore, ready power, water, showers, hot water!!!), and neighbours. I was looking forward to it. Arriving at a new town means orienting yourself with where everything is. Additionally, I had a GIANT backlog of boat jobs and maintenance that I'd put off during our stay in Bristol (in favor of fun and entertainment, not realizing that it would of course catch up with me). Of course this work is much easier from the dock too - a trip to the hardware store for any missing items is easy, power tools can be powered/charged; so maybe it was OK that these tasks were delayed, I'd be able to finish them twice as fast! Our short journey south from Rhode Island though has left us in warmer climates (the kind where you don't feel like working much) - Doh!

We are staying in Fells Point, a beautiful historic district of Baltimore and full of pubs, restaurants, cobbled-streets, artisan bakers, ice cream makers and the like (i.e. plenty of distractions). There is a farmers' market every Saturday. A little further afield (and via a pleasant water front stroll) there are good size grocery stores, a West Marine (boat supply chain store), and an Ace Hardware store - everything this gal could need.

There are parks, and historic ships, an aquarium, and even an imminent Grand Prix to race through the down town streets. Plenty of distractions to keep me from working.

Farmers' Market and a beautiful park nearby

I decided to start with the easy stuff: laundry and grocery shopping. Laundry was easy (machines at the marina), and with a slightly out of the way walk, I could get to the grocery store via Patterson Park. After a quick trip to the local farmers' market, I decided to check out the park as a potential running/jogging location (so I could call my detour work, I'm quite happy to lie to myself in such ways).

Down-town sights: the dolphin fountain (outside the Aquarium), and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse (now safely ashore as a tourist attraction)

Next day I decide to actually jog (rather than simply planning to jog) and headed in the opposite direction; anti-clockwise around the harbor. I got an reasonable start (leaving about 8:30 in the morning), and walked/jogged stopping often to snap pictures or read signs (all in the name of research). Eventually I made it to Federal Hill, and was distracted by the bling beyond of the American Visionary Arts Museum, promptly adding this to the 'must see in Baltimore' list (see, my jog really was research).

If the AVAM is this interesting on the outside, I can't wait to see inside!

As I headed back, I realized that the tourist information office was open, and I should pick up some maps and guides. I asked for any self-guided walking tours and was advised that there was one (it cost $4), but if I took the official guided tour, for just $7, I would get the book for free. I hadn't planned to do any official tours without Kyle, but well, it seemed like a great deal, so off I went. The tour included an unscheduled stop at a delightful Little Italy pastry shop (Yummm), and ended right outside yet another historic landmark that begged for a tourist to view it (so I obliged and had a personal tour of the Carroll House (the home of the longest-lived (and last surviving) signatory of the Declaration of Independence). There were additional distractions I daren't list (I believe Kyle actually reads this stuff). I did eventually make it back to the boat around 3pm (so much for a quick jog!).

Pastries and courtyards, this place is yelling out to relax and enjoy!

With the boat sufficiently stocked, and cleaned, and Baltimore researched I was ready for Kyle to return so I could be his tour guide (poor lad, he has to suffer me dragging him about the place).

Yep, I think we will like our new home

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