On to Baltimore, and the drive was very enjoyable, since I got to knit my fair isle vest the whole way. We went to the Hotel Monaco, WOW! Totally awesome interior, amazing flower arrangements, and a historic building!
Later they asked to see Hub's ankles when we saw them at the elevator! And I got to hear a bit about the building, which apparently is the quite famous headquarters of the B&O Railroad. Who knew! Hubs returned, and come to find out, it was Restaurant Week in Baltimore and the restaurant we wanted to go to didn't have an open reservation till 10, so Hub asked the receptionist if she had an alternate recommendation. The Oceanaire, she said. The concierge walked in and says, “Oh, yeah, that's a really great restaurant, but you'll never get a reservation tonight! I know a guy, I think I can get you a reservation.... and lo and behold our concierge got us into the Oceanaire at 8pm... he told them we were VIPs and got us a car... I mean a private, black, window tinted, leather upholstered car driven by a chauffer. Well, I had to change clothes, of course!
Then: “Mr. D., your car is here.” and off to the restaurant in our private car (how much are you supposed to pay a private chauffeur?) When the host hears our name, he says, “My name is Nick, Mr. D, you let me know if you need anything at all.” Off we went, immediately, to a table squeezed into the back (it was obviously not part of the normal seating) where we were served so quickly and with eager attention, the surrounding tables complained! The food was sooooooo amazingly wonderful that I'm spoiled for ordinary calamari from now on, and the crab cakes were to die for, plus we had asparagus in hollandaise, yum. Then Jeremy called our chauffeur (he gave us his number), who said “I'll be there in five minutes!” Soon, I was handed back into the car while I saw people on the curb whispering to each other, wondering who we were. Of course, we're nobody, and I think the waitress figured that out about halfway through dinner, not that her service changed, but she wasn't sooooo much fawning over us anymore. Still, it was really fun being VIPs for one night! We went back to our world class boutique hotel and slept on a VIP cloud, which was quite restful. I highly recommend VIP clouds.
The next day it was breakfast and coffee at Caribou Coffee then a walk to shopping for sunscreen and a chunky, beady, artsy necklace to grace my VIP neck, and a tour of the USS Constellation, then a shortish walk to Camden Yards and a Orioles game. Can you say giant roasting oven? It was hot, so hot the ballpark had free ice stations set up on each level so people wouldn't die of heat stroke. I had nachos. The Orioles did not provide a particularly stellar performance, except when one outfielder jumped waaaaay up to catch a ball over the center field fence which prompted me to jump up with both hands in the air and “WoooooooHooooooooo!”. It was too hot to knit, but I was diligent enough with sunscreen that I didn't burn at all, yay! Then we left early so that we could shower and nap and go to dinner. We went to Bertha's and ate mussels and rock fish and cream shrimp and scallops. And sourdough bread. Mmmmm. Also, we met people who had just left the ball game in the 14th inning and were hot and sweaty. I'm glad Hubs was thinking of my delicate constitution. Then we went to the Cat's Eye Pub and made friends with Danny the bartender and listened to live music and watched locals do the Lindy Hop, which was really fun... then back to the hotel at 11, with a cabby that tried to run me all over Baltimore (the one bad note from a wonderful stay). We had breakfast at the Brasserie, which was wonderful, then a drive to Culpepper to look around and see a real estate agent and rescue our lovely friends from our children. Did you know that it can take 4 months to close on a short sale? Which means we need to get pre-approved for a loan and be ready to look at bargains on short notice. Our impending move date is now around 6 months away. Terrifying and exciting at the same time.