I was in Baltimore a few years ago for a truck safety event, but I never left the hotel. This visit was different. We began at Fort McHenry, which has been active in some fashion for every war, but is most notable for it’s involvement in the war of 1812.
It’s also known as the fort that flew the flag that inspired the writing of our national anthem. In 1813 General George Armistead requested a “flag so large that the British will have no difficulty seeing it from a distance.”
Mary Pickersgill sewed a flag 25 feet by 17 feet, and it was flown the day after a British bombardment, to show that the Americans’ still held the fort. Francis Scott Key saw the flag and was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem.
We walked along the waterfront below the fort, the sky turning grey with the promised rain. Still, it was a beautiful morning.
Just down the hill a tall ship was moored. The Pride of Baltimore II was getting ready for a summer voyage up the coast and through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes! She’ll be in Lake Huron sometime this summer.
We hope to see her near Bay City later this year.
It began to rain as we headed into the city of Baltimore. Wandering the inner harbor area we enjoyed all the shops and sights through a slow drizzle.
The USS Constellation is in the harbor and you can take a tour. It’s under renovation at the moment, and we didn’t take the tour as there was many other things to do. But it’s a beautiful ship.
There are a number of towers dominating the Baltimore skyline. Though it was beginning to rain harder we decided to climb several blocks up to the top of the hill to figure out what this tower was.
Turns out it is the Bromo-Seltzer tower, built by a man named Emerson as an advertisement for his product. In fact originally this tower had a huge Bromo bottle on top!
Apparently he saw a similar tower in Florence Italy, called his architect and said he wanted something similar, but instead of one clock like the Florence tower he wanted four clocks, and he wanted them to be larger than the clocks in Big Ben in London. No ego there!
As we were standing outside the building looking up at it in what was becoming a downpour a man opened the door and invited us in out of the rain. He explained that the tower is now being used as artists’ studios, and he was the curator. Though it wasn’t officially open he took us up to the 15th floor in an old manual elevator…
…where there was a Bromo-Seltzer exhibit. And then we were allowed to walk down the 15 flights of stairs where the artists in residence were displaying their work. It was a fun example of the interesting things you might find if you just follow your curiosity.
It was raining harder on our walk back down to the harbor and the car. We noticed another interesting tower of sorts but decided it really was time to get out of the rain.
After our tour of some of downtown Baltimore we headed out of town to visit a friend and his lovely family. I’ll share two of them with you. Griff….
Our friend has human family members as well. But…you know me and dogs. And I bet you think that the dogs were the sweet part of this post didn’t you. Well. They were sweet.
But this morning we stopped by Hershey Pennsylvania and took a little tour. We learned all about Hershey candy from a sweet little friend…
…and we shopped in the largest candy store in the world. It was almost as though sensible eating for months was thrown out the window. There was so much stuff! And suddenly I wanted it all.
But we were good and walked out of there with only $12 spent. It’s still more chocolate than I’ve had anywhere near me in a very long time. In fact tonight it’s out in the car so that I don’t eat it all at one sitting.
It’s calling my name. But it’s not going to win. Yet. I don’t think.
Tomorrow is a new adventure as we work our way home. It’s pretty here in Pennsylvania’s mountains. I don’t know where we’ll be, but I’ll share it with you after we get there.
And of course…there’s still Williamsburg.