Saturday, March 15, 2014

Playing Hooky

I know I know, I'm so rebellious...
...Everytime I say that, I just have to think about the fact that my school mascot is the Rebels, so it's only fitting ;).

Anyways, I technically didn't skip school. My mom had a doctor's appointment in Baltimore and didn't want to go alone, since her pupils were getting dilated and she wasn't sure how well her vision would be afterwards. Since I'm such a wonderful daughter, I made the extremely difficult decision to miss school Thursday to see that she got home safely. As much as I just love going to school every day, family has to look out for each other right? I mean we only had two snow days that week, and God forbid I have to go to school three days in a row. The horror! P.S. We're expecting even more snow next week, so stay tuned for Winter Break Part 6!

Anyways, we woke up at 4:45 in the morning and made our way to the train station. Let me tell you, there are some very interesting people getting off the train in the middle of the night! Anyways, we quickly took our seats in the quiet car for some sleep...only for me to discover that it's impossible for me to sleep in a train. Same with planes, cars, it's a wonder I managed to sleep on our cruise last spring break! Actually, I don't know if it's that I can't sleep in moving transport, or just the fact that once I'm up, I'm up. Even if that's before 5am.

We got to John's Hopkins and my mom's appointment was finished at noon, so we checked our backpacks at some hotel and wandered around Baltimore for a little bit. At some point, the smell of baking bread completely overwhelmed us (and I really do mean overwhelmed-baking bread has to be the best smell in the world!) and we found ourselves across the street from the H&S bakery. Unfortunately the bakery is purely for production, so we couldn't go inside. Instead, we went across the street to the bakery outlet, where I came across none other than Berger cookies.

I had heard about Bergers from Pinterest, the blogger claiming that these cookies (which you can only find in Baltimore) are the best she'd ever had. Eager to see what all the hype was about, my mom and I bought 2 boxes. Oh. My. God. Boy did these babies live up to my expectations! A thin shortbread/sugar cookie, literally drowning in a dense chocolate icing. Actually, it's more like a cross between icing and rich chocolate fudge. Needless to say, these truly are my favorite cookies now! I only wish we'd gotten more boxes...

Anyways, after stopping by Whole Foods to get some goat cheese apparently only sold in Maryland (we're big on exclusive foods in my family), our stomachs started rumbling so we went over to my mom's favorite restaurant in Baltimore-Bertha's.

Bertha's is very...whimsical. It's made up of a few 19th century houses that had been remodeled into a restaurant. You wind through several different rooms and hallways-it's incredibly easy to get lost! The decor is so fun to look at-it seems like they could find somewhere to place anything, no matter how random.
Even if that means turning a tuba into a chandelier. Somehow, though, all these random odds and end work together perfectly! Not to mention the fact that they have a delicious menu...
They're famous for their mussels, imported from Canada, so we each got an order.
They offer all sorts of different dipping sauces, ranging from capers to basil to garlic. However, I've always liked my seafood as plain as possible-I just love the true flavor of the seafood itself, and don't like anything to mask it. So I opted for plain butter, barely using any of it. I guess I'm just boring!

After our delicious late lunch, we tried to wander around the city for a little longer, but the fact that we were running on hardly any sleep soon kicked in, and we stopped in Barnes & Noble to relax a little. 
The Baltimore Barnes & Noble is actually pretty cool! It's built from an old power plant, so massive rusted columns climb up the center of the bookstore.

The columns have been hollowed out, and on the inside they've put in some murals of the city's history. 

My favorite photo-the Preakness Stakes!
After flipping through books for a while, I came across this one, which I would have bought if it didn't weigh more than I did!
1001 Ways to Cook Southern...the things I could make with this book! I probably spent upwards of 30 minutes imagining the recipes I could whip up. 
I also came across this quote, and found it very relatable :)

That evening, though, it was time to catch our train and head home after a very eventful day. Still unable to sleep, I resorted to eating Berger cookies and excessively Snapchatting my friends
Get it? From Catching Fire? I was on a train...I had to take advantage of it.

And finally...the answer to the riddle from my last blog post. Just as a refresher, this was the hint:

We're five little items of an everyday sort, you'll find us all in a tennis court.

And the answer is...drumroll...

The vowels! A, E, I, O, and U...all of them are in the phrase "A Tennis Court!" I thought that was pretty clever ;)

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