Today we visited you, Baltimore. I have some suggestions and criticisms. First and foremost? Your aquarium, the crown jewel of your Inner Harbor, is second rate thanks to the Camden Aquarium. Yes, you have a LOT of sharks and rays but so does every other aquarium; Camden has hippos for Christ's sake, not to mention the coolest jellyfish exhibit ever. You guys need a new "money shot" - the rainforest is an impressive structure but it has about four birds and some crickets. Woo hoo. Most aquariums are letting you touch shit now, sharks, mantas and starfish can be "pet" at any self respecting aquarium. Lastly, you have too many big brown and grey fish, they come in crazy colors you know...
Where to begin with the rest of the day? I'll start with the overpriced seafood restaurant. I won't say which restaurant because they're all a little overpriced for the average food you get. This one charged too much and had no AC on a 90º day, so that by the time your waiter got there with your food he was drenched in sweat. Tasty.
Then we get to the "Historic Ships in Baltimore," which has a very cool submarine tour. I love a good sub tour. I have to say that it was pretty awesome to sit on a torpedo like Slim Pickins in Dr. Strangelove. Even if I wasn't really supposed to. My only criticisms are these: In this day and age you can air condition any enclosed structure, even a submarine. Your sub smells like old people and wet dogs.
Well, after a super fun day we wanted ice cream. Our first try was the Historic Ships snack bar, we waited in line only to learn that they were out of EVERYTHING. So across to the markets we go to find ice cream and are pleased to find a Ben and Jerry's. We wait in line for some smoothies and ice cream. When we order we're told that there's no ice (really Baltimore? No ice in your ICE cream stores?) so they can't make smoothies. Ok, fine. When we order our various ice cream treats we're told there is no ice cream. Why the fuck was the guy in the stupid hat even standing there? Why Baltimore? Why? So off we go to a convenience store where we get some Jack n Jill shit from a cooler and eat it outside watching smooth jazz musicians wilt in the blazing heat. Surreal.
Parking was no better. We entered on Gay street and exited on Lombard to make our way to the aquarium. When we went to get our car we tried to enter on Gay Street. NO. We went to Lombard with confidence high. NO. Turns out we needed to go to Market street to re-enter the garage and get our car. What the fuck Baltimore?
We parked on the "Manatee" level and when we got in the elevator there were buttons for every fucking fish and sea mammal ever. But not the manatee. Twilight fucking zone. We flag down a friendly garage employee patrolling in his golf cart (really, Baltimore?) who tells us there is NO manatee level. But then he pauses to think, "......oh you mean the M level? That's one flight down" Every goddamn button in the elevator had a stupid picture of a stupid fish. The manatee? A letter M.
So Baltimore, next time I think I'll try Hartford or maybe Dover, home of tax free shopping.