More holiday festivities in Baltimore

I left the apartment around 11:30am. Unlike last week, I was in no particular hurry to get anywhere since I only had three items on my itinerary.

I arrived at the B&O Museum at 12:18 for their “Holiday Festival of Trains.” What? I was there last week? Yeah, I know, but the layouts change every weekend this month so I decided to check it out again. Sadly, I wish I hadn’t. Not only was it crowded and hard to navigate through but the layouts themselves weren’t nearly as good (a shame since I like HO-scale). I tried having lunch at their café, not only were there no tables left, but there was a line stretching nearly to the door. I left the museum, both hungry and disappointed, at 12:54pm.

I got to the Inner Harbor at 1:30pm, and made a pass through of a nearly deserted McKeldin Square. Those ugly tents from a few months ago are mostly gone, and the protesters seemed MIA – even the intersection of Pratt\Light streets was deserted!

“Ha,” a young woman said getting off the Circulator behind me (to her friend).”Maybe they got cold and went home.”

The city should be so lucky as that’s been their strategy for the past several months. Unfortunately for them, Mother Nature has been quite generous with the protesters so far.

I cross the street into The Gallery Mall to try and find something to eat, but realized that the only thing there I liked was Sbarra and that Chinese place. I took the escalator down to the third floor so I could cross over to Harborplace via the overpass, and as I did I saw about dozen men in yellow shirts entering the mall. I figured it had to be a late lunch break.

Harborplace, like the Gallery, was simply yet elegantly decorated. The trees on either end of the balcony were decorated with the names of various stores within the struggling tourist mall. I went into the 5 Guys there, and ordered a bacon cheeseburger and when I sat down to eat it I could see several police cars parked outside the Gallery.

I made my down to the Power Plant complex at the end of the promenade where the city was hosting something called “Rock the Dock.” I figured it would be small, but I was expecting it would be bigger than one tent. Even the whole “trackless train” they had a disappointment.

I then head inside Barnes & Noble to buy a coffee and browse books for an hour. I really wasn’t all that thirsty, but I had nearly 2 ½ hours to kill before the light show at 5pm. I even went over to the Best Buy across the street and went through their discount game bins, and still had more than enough time to find a seat before the show started. In fact, I could have made it all the way back to the apartment, grabbed a heavier jacket and still make it back in time for the show (believe me, I considered it as it got cold after the sun came down).

The sun had gone down, but the sky was still relatively light when the laser show started at 5pm. This meant, I could see the red\green laser lights while the overarching spotlight effects were nearly invisible. It was still an impressive show… but it was only 7 minutes long.

I made my way back to the Circulator, figuring I could see the rest of the show some other time. The police cars were long gone, but there was a crowd of people waiting at the stop. By the time I reached my stop, it was dark enough to hold a light show (the new moon now hidden behind thick clouds).

I had barely enough time to shower, check my e-mail and charge my cell phone before having to head out again. Actually, I forgot to plug my phone in until I was about ready to leave for Station North so I left it behind, grabbed a heavy jacket and made my way to the new Chipotle on Charles St.

Despite the efforts of the neighborhood’s homeless population, I managed to eat dinner and get to the theatre with only a few minutes to spare. The show was nice enough, the plot wasn’t all that complicated nor was the acting perfect, but I was sitting down in a heated theatre so it wasn’t all bad.

I got back to my apartment – for good – just in time for the fire alarm to go off. I headed back outside into the cold, and into the shadow of the three fire trucks in front of the building. As soon as I found someplace with enough light to begin writing this post, I was told it was a false alarm and to head back inside. The actual alarm however, kept going for another 20 minutes, more proof that holidays in Baltimore are never boring…

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Categories: adventures, attractions, Baltimore, Charm CityCirculator, entertainment, festivals, holidays, news, theatre, transportation, writing | Leave a comment

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