We enjoyed our mini “International Tour” last year immensely. We have many friends and family dotted along the southern corridor, so it made sense to head that way this time. We fixed on dates and began the task of calling, e-mailing and messaging prospective places where we could play some music and drink beer. This proved much more difficult than expected. Let’s just say that the “Southern Hospitality” of lore wasn’t readily availing itself. We nearly gave up but through some friends connecting us and some random good luck we were able to book enough gigs to subsidize a (working) vacation!
Over the next seven days we’ll be playing four shows, driving through twelve states, staying in four different Air BnB’s and crashing with some very gracious friends and family.
We loaded up the car with gear, luggage and an obscene amount of snacks and headed out. Our first stop was chosen simply because of its location. We would drive about seven hours and land in Baltimore for an overnight rest. Strategically this made sense. However, the only knowledge I had about Baltimore was from watching “The Wire”, which wasn’t so glowing. I chose an Air BnB in a seemingly safe area and hoped for the best. This was the first of many delightful surprises awaiting us on this journey.
Ok, so this isn’t our Air BnB. I forgot to take a picture, but it was just as cute as this, I promise.
To say I was nervous about staying Air BnB would be an understatement. My daughter recently had a great experience, which made me lean towards going for it, but I had also heard some real horror stories. Our first stop on the list put me at ease. My priority for booking rooms was to have a private room and bath. For this stay, we had the whole lower level to ourselves. It was clean comfortable and had nice touches from the hosts.
Now that we were settled in, we set out to explore the city. I had no idea what we would discover. This area was just beautiful! It reminded me of my favorite seaside city, Portland Maine.
We savored our wine until the sun disappeared over the skyline and took a walk about.
Just before our trip I met a super nice lady from Baltimore. I asked her where we could get some stellar crab cakes and she set me up with a short list, one of which is right here in the neighborhood. This was a Tuesday night, post tourist season, yet it was insanely busy! We put our name in and hopped next door to the bar to wait it out.
We just barely downed our local beers when our text sounded.
We must have gotten the last of the summer menu, because our accompaniments were quite light. The crab cake was satisfying, but less “Lump” than I hoped. The wee bit of sauce was watermelon, weird but it worked. The current menu listing is served with squash and brussels sprouts. I’m glad we got this version.
The lobster roll was supposed to the the kicker, but it overshadowed the crab, by a mile.
Our adorable server cleared our empty plates and asked us if we were up for dessert. I started to give our pat answer of “no, thank you” when Jeff shut me down. What? We never get dessert!
This was just a dream. My only regret was having the super sweet Grand Marnier with it. An Espresso Martini would have been perfection!
We took a stroll and circled back to check out a couple bars that advertised live music, enjoying the beautiful city along the way.
We just stumbled upon the place, but it turns out it has quite a HISTORY, Including the fact that it was Edgar Allen Poe’s last stop before he fell ill and died days later.
We enjoyed a couple beers at the Saloon and stayed through two music acts, so we got to hear “Wagon Wheel” twice! Seriously, we had such a great time here. We will no doubt be back sometime, and plan to do more eating, drinking and maybe playing some music too.
We’ll be moving on to Washington D.C. in the morning, so we best get some rest.