I recently took a Baltimore staycation. I have always loved to travel but mostly with friends or family. The problem is that most of my friends are married and cannot travel as freely as I want to do. So although I like to travel, I also knew I may have to consider traveling alone. Since I have never traveled alone before, my first solo trip was to the Baltimore Harbor. I live in the Northern Virginia areas this was really a Baltimore staycation, seeing as how it was not that far. I did not have to book a plan ticket or anything all I did was drive.
Baltimore Staycation ~ Parking
I am one of those people who have to plan for my trip. Since parking can be unpredictable at any high tourist area, I paid for a deck next to the hotel online. The only thing I had to do was to print the confirmation and scan the document at the parking garage. This way I had guaranteed parking since the decks can fill up pretty fast. I allowed my car to stay parked there the entire weekend and did not move it. That way I did not have to continue to pay while I went in and out of the parking garage. Nor did I have to pay the valet at the hotel, which would have been more money. The best thing about Baltimore Harbor, is that you can do a lot in the area without having to drive.
Baltimore Staycation ~ Hotel
The parking garage was less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel. I stayed at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore. It is a four star hotel and so it is in the pricey side. But it is right across the street from the harbor. AND as luck would have it, as I arrived at the hotel I was given a free upgrade to a harbor view. I opted for this hotel because the last thing I wanted to do was to get a hotel that is too far from the harbor and I would have to walk in back streets and alleys in order to get where I wanted to go. I am a single female after all. And plus for a good hotel and a good view, sometimes it is worth it to splurge sometimes.
Friday evening I was tired. It took me way longer to get to the harbor than expected because of the traffic. So I opted to eat and drink at the hotel restaurant, Explorers. When I went there were people there but it was not packed. It was mostly older people like 65 plus and they were engulfed in their own little topics and so I did not meet anyone new. I had two drinks and the grits with seafood. The grits were really overcooked and they tasted like instant grits or something. I have had better. I went back to my room, took a really hot shower, and chilled out for the evening.
Baltimore Staycation ~ What I Did
Saturday I already had my day planned to visit some museums and chill on the harbor. I woke up to look out of my harbor view window and saw a marathon and the streets were blocked off. This put a damper on my plans a little because the free bus that takes you to museums was across the street and could not run until the marathon was over. I decided to order in and have room service for breakfast. French toast with mimosas. And this time the food did not disappoint it was so freakin good. At around 12 p.m the streets were open and the bus was running again.
I caught the which is a free bus that takes you places around the city. It was ghetto experience to say the least. The bus was supposed to run every 15 minutes and I was waiting longer than that, much longer than that. As I got on the bus with about 15 other people on it, the bus driver promptly got off the bus and sat down at the stop, without saying a word. After sitting on the bus for a few minute a passenger decided to ask the bus driver what was going on. The driver stated that it was none of her concern because she was not our driver any more. She refused to even give an answer when we could expect the new driver to come. So we all sat on the bus and waited until the new driver came. And then due to the extensive traffic in the area because of various events, it took me almost an hour to get to the museum that was less than 15 minutes away.
I went to the Walter Art Museum which was free to the public and had the type of art that I liked, which is old religious type art. I also walked around the area outside to see some of the statues. It was a nice area and a nice day. I did not get to all of it but I was ready to go back to the harbor. I went back to the bus stop with the long wait time again. Once the bus came it was really pack and barely anywhere to sit.
Baltimore Staycation ~ Impromptu Date
On the bus ride back I met someone. We started chatting and he revealed that is was 56 years old even though he did not look it. In the meantime while talking to him, another guy with a baby started trying to talk to me as well. Which to me was not that serious but it started to really irritate the 56 year old, a lot. To the point that he told me later that he was ready to fight! Maybe it is a Baltimore thing. The guy with the baby told me his baby mama just left him and he was raising the little girl by himself. Although admirable, I am not sure why he revealed this information to me. It certainly did not turn me on. It just sounded like he had a lot of drama to deal with.
He ended the conversation by giving me his card. As for myself and the 56 year old, traffic was so bad that he and I got off at a stop and decided to walk to the harbor. We went to the Cheesecake Factory on the harbor and got some drinks and an appetizer. It was pretty packed and our waitress was absent for the most part so we were there for quite a while. And after eating we decided to people watch on the harbor for a few hours.
The 56 year old wanted me to come to a lounge with him later but from what he described it did not sound like anything I was really going to be into. Also, I was not interested in him romantically not just because of his age, but because of a lot of “red flags” that revealed themselves as we were talking. But he was good company for the time being. After parting ways I walked around the harbor for a while going to the shopping centers and the little mall they have there. I was going to go to a bar on the harbor for dinner but everywhere was so packed that I decided to go back to the room and get room service. I had a long island ice tea and veggie burger. The veggie burger was pretty nasty. Maybe it was just my taste buds but I was not feeling it.
Sunday I was so sore from walking around all day and having my waist trainer on all day that I was really ready to go home. I went back down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast and had the Caribbean French toast. It was so freakin good I cannot explain it to you enough. They had a breakfast bar for almost $20 that had some berries and cereal on it. It was not worth it to me so I ordered off the menu. I had a view of the harbor as I ate my breakfast. I went to the parking garage buzz out and that was my “staycation.”
I learned that traveling alone was not so bad. I did not feel lonely or in danger I thought about my son a lot as there were many things to do that he would enjoy like the National Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum, and boat paddling on a dinosaur. I told myself I would bring him there so he can experience those thing. But it was a fun start. Now time to plan my next trip!