Writing this from the airport in Chicago—Midway, not O’Horrible.  Much smaller.  I like it muchly.

Today was another early one, simply because we wanted to make sure we got in everything we wanted to do before we got to the airport.  Breakfast at the hotel was impossible—a school group already had their muzzles in the trough, so we decided to grab breakfast elsewhere.

Found nothing until we got to the harbor in Baltimore—a little bakery/café with the best coffee I’ve had in almost two weeks.  And enough oatmeal to choke a mule, but it was so expensive I figured I’d better finish it.  Urgh!  It was an effort.  But it did stay with me most of the day.

Wasn’t hard to find the Hard Rock Café, since the guitar logo lorded it over the rest of the signs on what looked like an old factory of some sort.  But it wasn’t open yet, so we wandered around the harbor for awhile.

Because of the weather and high winds of the night before, the walkways were littered with harbor debris—mostly wood, but also a lot of junk.  We watched a harbor “vacuum” of sorts—a boat that had two doors affixed to the front.  They swung open like gates, revealing two belts that rolled up into the boat.  The operator would drive the boat up to the floating debris, open the doors, grab the junk, and then close the doors to allow the belts to carry the stuff into the boat.  Looked like he’d been busy for awhile—the hold was already pretty full.

Workers on the shore were busy too—sweeping, gathering branches, and running a shore version of a debris vacuum.  There certainly was enough to pick up!

At the foot of Baltimore’s World Trade Center was a memorial to the people of Baltimore who lost their lives on 9/11.  It was a huge piece of twisted girder atop a white granite slab, with a timeline etched into the side of the slab.  Very simply done, but evoked the memories and emotions it was meant to do.

We saw various ships moored there, including the last sub to shoot a torpedo in WWII and the USS Constellation.  Nothing was open to the public because of the weather of the previous night.  Oh well—like I said earlier, I’ve been on ships before.   Just last October, we were on the USS Constitution.  Can’t be that different.

Stopped at Hard Rock Café, got the shirt, then went back to the car.  Off to Ft. McHenry, which we found easily, thanks to Gertie. 

We were in time to accompany a docent through the grounds, as he explained the history behind the fort.  This time, we were immersed in the War of 1812.  After he was done, we listened to some of the musicians play fife-and-drum, and checked out the exhibits inside the fort buildings.  After that, we walked along the sea wall for a bit, then in to the Visitor Center for the movie.  It centered around Francis Scott Key and how the words to the Star-Spangled Banner came about.  The movie ended with the playing of same, and as the movie screen was raised, we could see, out the windows, the flag flying over the fort.  Very inspiring!

Then to the airport, said good-bye to the car, and here we are.

I’m tired, my shoes are shot, and I am looking forward to my own bed.  At least I’ll always know where the bathroom is when I wake in the morning.


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