Friday, August 3, 2007

Four Hours by Sea, Eight Hours by Land

Boheme Cafe
400 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 347-9898

Ah, the wholesome bounty of a continental breakfast!

After returning from the dizzying heights of the Brookshire's "Cloud Club," where magical breakfast is served daily until 9:30 (at which point magic simply must rest and prepare for lunch), Mint and I stowed our luggage and wandered over to The National Aquarium. This Baltimore favorite has been praised by everyone we've talked to who have passed through its doors, and even by a few folks who have themselves heard nothing but high praise. We can confirm the praise is all well-warranted.

While hardly the most sprawling aquatic institution I've ever been in, and a little lacking in penguins for Mint's taste, the three buildings that house the Aquarium's exhibits and installations are both compact and comprehensive. Its "permanent collection," a towering hall criss-crossed by escalators with a tank of sea turtles and sting rays below and walls of fish tanks encircling its edges, a saltwater version of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim in New York, was particularly impressive.

Visitors to the aquarium would do well to stop by the Boheme Cafe, just a few blocks away on Pratt Street, to grab a quick breakfast or lunch away from the aquarium's masses. My "Lil' Italian" breakfast sandwich of scrambled eggs, steamed spinach and provolone on rosemary focaccia made a great lunch to go, as did Mint's eggs and sausage on toast. Both are served all day, both $4.50.

Our plan had been to spend five hours at the aquarium and six hours driving south to Wilmington, NC; we managed four with the fishes and about eight stuck on I-95. Not quite the numbers we were hoping for, and certainly not ones that were going to arrive us in Wilmington in time for dinner. So, consoling ourselves with a third breakfast in one day's time, we pulled off the road somewhere in Virginia in search of a Denny's. I'll spare you the details.

Delicious as only Denny's can be delicious

We made it to Wilmington with enough energy for a few drinks with my already-drinking brother and ma at Hell's Kitchen before staggering over to our room at the nearby Hilton. There, we found a pile of pirate-themed presents awaiting our arrival. Thinking at first we had stumbled across some "Wilmington Magic," a closer examination of the pirate map included with the treasures showed signs of my brother's involvement (an arrow pointing to the pirate's "booty" and a "stoned dolphin" gave him up).

And so we plunked our Grow-A-Pirate into a glass of water and fell magically asleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

could we see how big the pirate grew?