On Saturday morning, we checked out of our hotel, and returned to our French cafe for breakfast. Then, we headed back to DC. We walked around the city for a while, and yet again, missed the tickets for the Washington Monument. Instead, we headed over to Capitol Hill to explore.
The dome of the Capitol building is as ubiquitous as the Washington Monument, and with good reason, it is HUGE! The Capitol building is gigantic and beautiful. We walked entirely around the building. Of course, as impressive as the Capitol was seeing the US Supreme Court building across the street from the Capitol.
Of course, as impressive as the buildings, it is such an amazing feeling to think of how people in these buildings have shaped the course of world history.
It was also exciting to see all the preparation for the inauguration all around the Capitol. It was thrilling to stand in front of the Capitol and imagine President Obama giving his inauguration speech to the crowds. After standing there, I am even more filled with anticipation for the upcoming inauguration.
We headed out afterwards, towards Baltimore. For me, the trip to Baltimore was the most exciting part of the trip, after meeting with Kelly of course. I haven't been back to Baltimore since my graduation day, in 2001. Returning to Baltimore flooded my memory banks, as I remembered all I experienced during my four years at Loyola.
Between DC and Baltimore, we stopped in Owings Mills, MD for lunch. Jörn was quite happy to find a Fuddruckers, the burger chain he fell in love with in Boston.
Jörn was also quite happy to introduce Marcel to Fuddruckers.
We also stopped in Wal-Mart, where Jörn and Marcel, who had packing difficulties the entire trip, were able to stock up on some much needed clothing, and I was able to find a Ravens sweatshirt.
Once we got in to Baltimore, I felt at home. It was so much fun to point to buildings and streets, some of which I had taken Jörn to, and some of which I had visited on my own or with college friends. We stayed in the Sheraton Baltimore City Center. The room was very nice and we had a wonderful view of the city.
Once we freshened up, we headed down to the Inner Harbor for dinner. We were really lucky, and were able to get a ride to the Inner Harbor from a van service from one of the Inner Harbor restaurants. The ride downtown was free, and the driver gave us his number when we wanted to be picked up. It was so kind!
The Inner Harbor was just as I remembered. The Domino Sugar and Rusty Scupper neon shone across the harbor just as always.
We walked around the USS Constellation and the rest of the harbor.
We went into the Harborplace shops. I did some obligatory Baltimore souvenir shopping, including a Baltimore Christmas ornament for our one-day Christmas tree. I bought a Vaccaro's Cannoli for later in the evening. Vaccaro's is a pastry shop in Little Italy. Mention the name to anyone with any links to Baltimore, and they'll rub their stomachs and say, "mmm, their Cannolis are the best!" They are incredible.
Then, we went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. After dinner, we headed over to the Power Plant, so Marcel could buy a hat at the Hard Rock Cafe.