Last Friday I headed down to Baltimore for the day/overnight with my family because it had been a few years since we’d been there and we all wanted to eat/bring home some crab. While the trip was a nice time, there were weird things happening left and right the entire 24 hours there. Then, I remembered it was Friday the 13th so maybe it was just Friday the 13th vibes!
Without making this post super long, let me just quickly recap through bullet points what we did and the bizarre things will be sprinkled in there.
- The drive to Baltimore was pretty smooth and uneventful. It took us about 3.5 hours to get there.
- When we got into town, it was too early to check in to the hotel so we drove a few blocks away to Lexington Market because my dad had heard on one of Andrew Zimmern’s shows that there’s a restaurant at the market that makes the best crabcakes. We were about to pull in to a parking garage next to the market when (luckily) my dad stopped to talk to a traffic cop and asked if the lot was open to the public. She told us that the market was closed and that it wouldn’t be reopened until after the weekend. We were so lucky we found out before we paid for parking there! We thought it was super bizarre that the market was closed, especially for an entire weekend. My cousin looked it up online and found out that a video had gone viral the day before of a rat running over the baked goods in a bakery at the market!!!
- So we parked at the hotel and since we couldn’t check in yet, we walked down to the inner harbor. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Baltimore but the harbor has changed so much. A lot of shops were closed either out of business or under renovation. There are only a few places to eat and they’re all chain restaurants like Hard Rock, Cheesecake Factory etc. So disappointing! After failed attempts to get food at a few different places we ended up at McCormick & Schmick’s, which was called M&S Grill (did it go through a name change?). It was so hot outside and you could tell the AC was not on inside. It wasn’t really hot inside, but they had all the ceiling fans going at full speed and you could just tell the AC was not on. We waited for a while without even any water before a waiter asked us if we were being helped yet and when we said no he said he would take care of us because he had no idea who was supposed to be helping us. He was really nice and even told us where we should eat for dinner.
- After more walking around, we went to the hotel to check in. Only one of our rooms was ready. This went on for a few hours – keys not working, the other room taking forever to be ready. Having to move the second room to another floor because the room that wasn’t ready had a cat in there with the prior guests and they had to shampoo the carpets.
- While we were waiting for the room stuff to get straightened out, we had appetizers in the executive lounge. We stayed at the Hilton right by Camden Yards and since my dad is a gold member we have lounge access. We were able to see people coming in to the stadium waiting for the game to start as we snacked on cheese, lobster puffs, chicken skewers etc.
- We finally figured out where we wanted to eat dinner (Nick’s Fish House recommended by our lunch waiter) and when we got there the parking attendant told us the lot just became full. Friday the 13th strikes again! So we had to park down the road and a golf cart would take us back. Did that. Decided to walk because we didn’t know when the golf cart would be back. Left the lot, then the cart came. Insert face palm! The walk was short though when we followed the gold cart path along the water instead of trying to cross the highway.
- We got to the hostess stand to find out it was a 2 hour wait! And it was already 7:45! What was cool was they take your phone number and give you a link to check your status. Every time we saw people leave I would refresh the page and see how many parties were ahead of us and estimated wait time. We ended up only having to wait 45 minutes so it wasn’t too bad.
- Dinner was great and we ended up getting through an appetizer of garlic bread, clams, crab cobb salad, and a dozen and half blue claw crabs. Oh and a brownie sundae at the end! We sat inside because we asked for quickest available table, but the outside looked so pretty. We did get a view of some of the outside portion from our table though haha.
- On the drive back to the hotel, roads were closed due to the Orioles game at the stadium next to our hotel. That added time getting back to the hotel since when we had to do a u-turn there was nowhere to turn around again until we were pretty much back at the restaurant! But wait – the bad luck isn’t over yet! When we were able to get back to the hotel our one way in to the side street of the hotel where the entrance to the parking garage was was being blocked by a Holiday Inn Express van! Why the Holiday Inn van was in our parking lot is beyond me. When they finally moved out of the way, we turned the corner and then the entrance to the parking lot was blocked by taxis and the taxi drivers were out of the cars watching the fireworks from the ballpark! But the taxi driver who was directly blocking us saw us right away and got in his car to move out of the way so that was nice.
- So parked the car near the elevator – or what we thought was the hotel lobby elevator but it was a different elevator so it wouldn’t bring us to the lobby. It brought us up a floor and then we’d have to walk across the garage to the hotel elevator, but when we got out we heard lots of loud, drunk people and police sirens so we got back in the elevator, back to the car, and found a spot closer to the hotel elevator. Crazy!
- The next morning we checked out Patterson Park because the place we wanted to pick up crabs to take home didn’t open until 11. My mom read in one of the hotel brochures that the park was really big and had lots of little sites to see like a pagoda that was built in the 1800s. So we get to the park fairly easily but then we couldn’t find the pagoda! We saw it from afar when we first parked. Then re-parked to a spot that we thought would be to a side of the park that was closer to it and then we lost sight of it and could not find it. After walking around for 15-20 minutes we decided to call it quits. On the drive out we decided to turn down a street on the other side of the park and lo and behold the pagoda was right there.
- Lastly we went to get our crab order at Nick’s Farm & Crab Market – no relation to the restaurant from the night before. The gps took us through a really sketchy part of Baltimore, but luckily the shop was in a better area.
And thus ends the bizarre, but overall good 24 hours in Baltimore. The crab was delicious and I had a good time with my family despite the weird things happening nonstop.