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Maryland Vacation 2013
Day 2 - Oct. 11

The weather forecast was rain for the day and the forecasters hit it on the head. It was still raining when we got up and pretty much rained all day. There were a few brief periods when it stopped, but essentially it rained all day.

Rain at 9:30 AM - Looking at the inner harbor in Baltimore.

We arrived in downtown Baltimore a little after 9AM and parked in a garage just a block from the visitor's center. We walked over to the visitor's center and discovered that they didn't open until 10AM. The first walking tour was scheduled for 10AM so we had assumed that they opened before that. Wrong!.
So we walked around to the lightship Chesapeake which can be see in the photo above. We did have a big umbrella but by the time we got back to the visitor's center our shoes and pants legs were pretty wet.
At 10 AM we went on the guided tour - it was just us and the tour guide. Mark had an IBM conference call at 11AM so at that point we were near the Civil War museum so Mark ducked into the lobby to take the call while Connie continued on the tour. The customer never showed for the call, so Mark missed the rest of the tour for nothing.

We met back up at 11:30 and stopped at the Eight Foot Shoal light house that is part of the Ship Museum (the free part). We toured that and enjoyed being out of the rain.

Connie on the Eight Foot Shoal Lighthouse

After the lighthouse, we toured the USS Constellation (seen in the top photo), a Civil War era battleship - the last sailing power battleship built by the US Navy. Most of it's career (after the Civil War) it served as a training ship. It did serve as the flagship of the Commander of the Atlantic Fleet at the start of WWII - all of the truly capable ships were fighting Nazi submarines at that point.

After touring the USS Constellation, we walked over to the Rusty Scupper restaurant and had seafood for lunch. It wasn't cheap but the food was good (the dipping sauce for the bread is outstanding) and the view is probably the best of any restaurant in the area. We enjoyed it.

After lunch we walked over to Federal Hill and climbed to the top. Then made our way back to the car and the hotel room. It was only about 2:30 by then but it was over the 5 hour time limit at the parking garage so parking cost us $28.00. Ouch!

View of the inner harbor from Federal Hill

We had intended to tour Fort McHenry this day, but due to the government shutdown it was closed. We drove out and looked at the closed gate and a bus load of Japanese people taking pictures in front of the sign and through the crack in the gate. This was one of the primary things we wanted to see, as it was just a few days past the 199th anniversary of the attack on Fort McHenry, but when it was all said and done, we didn't really care that much. The vindictiveness of the National Parks director and the Obama administration shown through loud and clear as I expect it cost them money to shut down the park, as opposed to leaving it open and selling gifts and tours and concessions. They simply closed it out of spite, not economic sense.

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