Today marks the last day of summer vacation. Tomorrow we return to school, regular schedules, and a bit more normal! Summer vacation had been so challenging this year shuffling around from this camp to that camp with a few out of town commitments just to make it more complicated. Seemed like to me, we needed a little time away just for the sake of being away. My kid has been completely checked in to all things Cake Boss and has said, “I want to go to NJ” so many times I could hardly stand it anymore. So – we went to Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ!
I love these kind of trips. We pick something, usually something small, and travel around it. We’ve done it this way for events in Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, and NYC. Every single time we end up discovering a city or place we would have never had reason to step foot in otherwise. For this trip, it was Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Baltimore was a good place for us to stop between NC and NJ. Since the trip fell over the 4th of July, it seemed like a good time to be at the Inner Harbor for fireworks!
We left on Thursday, and it was rough y’all. We started to bring Hurricane Aurthur with us and it rained all the way from the VA border to Baltimore. Add horrendous traffic through DC, crazy road changes, a tractor trailer fire, and all sorts of other road non-sense and our drive went from 5 hours to nearly 8! We tried to meet LeeAnna from Not Afriad of Color and her husband for dinner. Sadly, the road weary caught up with my kid and just about when the table was ready, her body gave out. I swear, it happened so fast I didn’t believe her for a bit! To add insult to injury, we pulled into a Subway on the way back to the hotel – they were out of bread!
There are upsides, I did get to see some of LeeAnna’s work and it is, as expected, lovely. She’s quite a talented and focused artist. If you don’t know her work, you should swing by her blog and check her out! We has a pretty good attitude about the whole Griswald road experience and enjoyed it, even if it was crazy. We woke Friday morning renewed with a kid that was feeling good and headed to the Inner Harbor.
The weather was amazing. No more rain, perfect temperatures, and general awesome. As a matter of fact, other than a few minor traffic snags and STUPID high tolls, the rest of the trip was full of most excellent perfect timings. We went to the National Aquarium where I could finally see a Mantis Shrimp. The little bugger was hiding, but I could see a bit of him back there.
We ate lunch at one of our favorite chains that no longer exists here. (I know – crazy, I dont eat seafood. A bit challenging at the Inner Harbor!)
I just can’t tell you how much I enjoyed milling around the Inner Harbor when the July 4th celebrations started. There was SO many people to watch with enough room to move around that I never had crowd anxiety. Check out this fella – he even had stars in his beard!
Behind him – The Naval Academy rock back in their Navy whites. Yep, doesn’t get much more Americana than that! Then – the best part – I could watch the fireworks without anxiety because of the most excellent hotel view.
Saturday we only had one mission – to get to Hoboken. If you don’t know, Hoboken is literally one turn from entering NYC of I-78. Literally – miss the turn, welcome to the Holland Tunnel. We had fun eyeballing the Statue of Liberty and some of the NYC buildings from the road, but really didn’t want to end up trying to drive our way outta there! We made the turn, finally found a parking place and headed to the bakery.
I had done my internet homework and knew we’d be standing in the Carlo’s Bakery line for at least two hours. As I mentioned – we were very lucky. The weather was excellent, we had a nice shady spot to stand, and caught the line when it was around 1.5 hours.
I really didn’t know what to expect in the bakery itself, but was pleasantly surprised. They have kept it very authentic feeling. They were all super friendly, welcoming, and patient. The lady that helped seemed happy to do it, took the time to make sure we left with exactly what we wanted, and smiled the whole time.
Even better – The baked good were all tasty! I’m not sure why I thought they wouldn’t be, maybe just my general mistrust of all things mainstream, but I was wrong. We tried Lobster tails, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crumb Cake and Chocolate Butter Cream Yellow Cake.
Now that’s a bag! We went back to Baltimore for dinner and a nice walk. We intended to go to the American Visionary Art Museum before heading home, but decided that it was just time to go home. Good thing we did right? Gives me tell you about it!
I had my eyes out of textures and patterns too. My favorite of the bunch? This star pattern on the Constellation’s medallion.
So it’s a wrap. I’m quite looking forward to a bit of normal. I miss you guys – can’t wait to start to catch up and see what you all are up to. I’ve been instagram stalking too – if you want to add me @theboredzombie, I’ll surely add you back. You may not see much from me, but I’ll see you. 🙂
Here’s the parting shot – I took a picture of my dinner, I might as well have the stupid foot shot too, right?