Hi all! I’m back with part 2 of our spring break adventures with the kids. (If you missed part 1, read that first!)

On Wednesday morning, we checked out of our hotel on the eastern shore in Maryland after breakfast, then drove towards Baltimore to spend one night there as we wanted to check out the aquarium.

On the way, we stopped in a cute town called Easton for some playground time and lunch. We had lunch at a cute spot called The Ivy.

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It was fairly cold out and about to rain, but we ate outside because the kids were pretty wild and we didn’t want to deal with keeping them corralled in a cafe. I had the strawberry, feta, and almond salad and a sausage and kale soup. Neither blew my mind, but they were tasty enough.

It started raining minutes after we got back in the car – good timing! We made it to Baltimore, checked in to our hotel (the Inner Harbor Courtyard Marriott), and then drove over to Port Discovery Children’s Museum.

We had a special treat at Port Discovery – we met up with my friend Lisa and her kids! Lisa and I were roommates in college and she lives near Baltimore. It was so good to see her and Riese loved her kids, especially her youngest who is also a 6 year old girl. Perfect!

I highly recommend Port Discovery if you’re in the Baltimore area, it was nice and big and had all sorts of cool things to do. I wish we’d had more time there!

After the children’s museum we went with Lisa and her kids (her husband Shawn, who also went to college with us, was unfortunately working and couldn’t join us) to grab dinner at a spot called Johnny Rad’s. It’s a dive bar with great pizza and one of the rooms has some arcade games; that’s the room they put us in and we had it all to ourselves which was awesome so the kids could run around and play.

I had the beet salad and shared some pepperoni pizza with Matt and the kids. Delicious!

It was so nice to spend some time with Lisa and her kids! We were all sad to say goodbye.

On Thursday morning, we had breakfast at the coffee shop inside our hotel to keep things simple. I was expecting very limited offerings and was really pleasantly surprised to find they had all sorts of delicious stuff on the menu!

I got a breakfast bowl that had kale, quinoa, parmesan, sun-dried tomato, guacamole, and over easy eggs. Delicious! And the kids were thrilled to have lots of berries. 🙂

kale and quinoa egg salad bowl

After breakfast, we walked over to the aquarium via the waterfront, which was nice to stretch our legs a bit. It was a gray day but the trees were flowering and beautiful.

flowering trees along the water in baltimore

As for the aquarium, it was… a lot. It was outrageously crowded – like, I can’t believe they sold that many tickets and thought it was a good idea crowded, which really detracted from the experience. I also didn’t love how instead of getting to kind of wander around as you wish, there’s a specific path that everyone follows and we were all just kind of shuffled along in massive crowds.

Wes spent most of the visit crying/tantrum-ing and saying he wanted to go home (poor guy, I kind of felt the same way… I don’t love crowds), but we did get him interested here and there in some of the action.

He did like all the birds (especially the rainbow parrots) in the tropical rain forest area!

rainbow parrot at aquarium

For most of our visit, Matt ended up taking one for the team and staying with Wes while Riese and I explored and tried to enjoy the exhibits amidst the masses.

Our favorite part of the aquarium by far was “shark alley” at the very end of the tour which was so cool – you walk down a really long circular ramp to get all the way back down to the main floor, and along the walls of the entire walk are huge tanks with lots of sharks, rays, etc. There was a Largetooth Sawfish (it has a body like a shark but apparently is actually in the ray family) that swam right next to me and Riese the entire way down. So cool! I couldn’t get a picture because he was moving so fast, unfortunately. We loved him!

We planned to go to Miss Shirley’s Cafe in the Inner Harbor (a short walk from the aquarium) for lunch as Lisa recommended it to us, but when I called ahead they said they already had a 20 minute wait and with how Wes was doing, that just did not feel like a good idea. So, we went to Chipotle instead as there was one a very short walk away. It was fast and did the job!

On the walk back to the car, Riese convinced us to take a tour of the USS Torsk, a submarine that is parked in the harbor as a tourist destination. The USS Torsk was in operation from 1944 until 1968, and its claim to fame is that it sank the last two enemy ships of WWII.

the USS Torsk

Matt and I were not loving the idea of touring the submarine because by this point we kind of just wanted to get Wes home, but Riese was VERY adamant about it, and since Wes had perked up after lunch, we decided to go for it.

We were glad we did as the tour ended up being really cool! It was not crowded (yay), and you were able to walk through at your own pace and explore, which we liked. Fascinating to see the inside of a submarine! Man I could not imagine living on one of these… so claustrophobic.

touring the USS Torsk submarine

Wes liked the submarine a lot more than the aquarium. 🙂

Since our fee to tour the submarine also included the ability to tour a few other ships in the harbor, we decided to tour one other one – the Lightship Chesapeake – which was right next to the submarine. I had no idea what a lightship was until this – it’s a ship that functions as a lighthouse! Neat. Apparently life on a lightship alternated between being incredibly dull and boring, and incredibly dangerous (during storms). Yikes!

And on that note, we headed back to the car and closed out the travel portion of our spring break. Thanks for following along on our adventures! I always enjoy writing travel recaps and I appreciate you reading. And for those of you who prefer the recipes, have no fear, there’s more of that to come later this week.

Have a great week!

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