Rainy Baltimore

Memorial Weekend (May,2001) was very rainy and we didn't know what to do... So, we've decided to visit Baltimore (3 hours drive), just for fun if you can call it so. We together with our 2 friends almost woke up at 7am and left our home on the rainy grey day. Mike was driving all the way and we were studying(what do you suppose?) ...hmm... technical memos about Java performance and multi-thread issues. Isn't it cool ;-)
   After arriving there and driving to the downtown we've observed surrounding regions.Folks, it looked bad, dirty and just like Philadelphia if you know what I mean. Downtown is small and nothing special I think. Our first goal was to visit National Aquarium, rain seemed to be finished, and we just got out of our car and moved forward. The line of people was huge and rain started again. Only Mike was clever enough to have rain coat that supposed to protect his photo camera and him (exactly in this order!). So, in 30 minutes we got our tickets for the evening only, one can't go inside before the specific time. Nevertheless we found a pool with very handsome seals for free and were very excited to observe those cute animals.
   In the meantime our friends decided to eat and they wanted to go in Italian restaurant only, so we walked to Little Italy which was really very little and had about 10 restaurants on 3 streets. We found one without line of people and mild prices. After we have been seated everything became worse. First they didn't have lunch menu, it was only on the street and instead one should use dinner menu and they just reduce price accordingly for the lunch size (new practice in a restaurant business, isn't it?). Soup was good but salad was very strange with main component as raw artichokes (anybody, is it possible at all?) and the funniest thing of all was my order of mushroom ravioli. Just imagine a big round plate with 5 small raviolies on it for the price of $10. Isn't it exciting to eat $2 ravioli? Everybody was shocked and didn't say nothing...
   Finally we got back to Aquarium and walked through it. It has large aquariums but not so many. The best was sea dragons and sea horses (like fairy tale animals), then colorful frogs and many different squids. Unexpectedly dolphin show was simple and dull :-( So, Sea World rulez!
   The best thing about Baltimore it promenade around Inner Harbor with many seafood restaurants. Even it was rainy many people was walking there,eating and talking. Mike and I ordered 1lb of creamed mussels and were completely satisfied. Walk on the promenade was so romantic...
   Next day was sunny and even more people were around. We've visited Walter Art Gallery and saw very interesting exhibition of Asian art. Then we've eaten in one more seafood restaurant even better than a day before. What else? There is Charles street with many good restaurants on it and very strange building with Barnes&Noble carved in the old power plant. (I hope it's true).
    Don't be worried, this day wasn't finished yet. Our friends had an idea of visiting Annapolis, capital of Maryland. After arriving we've spent 30 minutes searching for some available parking lot. Annapolis is small city, it has a great view of the harbor with private yachts standing by. Also there is one street with several dozens shops and restaurants. After very long discussion all four of us decided on French restaurant. The food was delicious and tasty and the waiter was very courteous. We left it with empty wallets but with full stomachs and warm feelings. Exactly when we were getting out of the parking lot a heavy rain started and it was going on forever more or less till we get back home. My driving experience was disturbing with sleeping passengers behind.
Conclusion: Even in on a rainy day people can travel and have fun, right?