Some ol' Baltimore charm!

Sunday, June 19, 2016
Hello from the other side... across the pond to be exact! 

Since the last time we spoke (because we're friends, you and me), I've been pretty much living my teenager-on-a-school-holiday life, going to sleep at late hours because I'm up at night watching Korean dramas (I've started watching Monster), only to wake late in the a.m. to read some much missed fiction (specifically Inferno by Dan Brown), the difference being: a) I am no longer a teenager and b) I'm doing all of this in good ol' Maryland, USA. 

After spending a solid 3 days without leaving the house, my mom and I finally decided to explore the city via free Uber rides - (Promo code: 'ubertiffanyk' if you're a first time user for free credit) and headed to Inner Harbour, where most tourists flock for some of that Baltimore charm! 

We were meant to take a nice slow walk along the water and check out the malls along the way. But me being me aka completely hopeless with directions, led my mom away from the shopping area, towards the fishing boats, all the way to the backyard of some very fancy and most certainly private Ritz Carlton residences, only to realise that despite my frequent glances at Google Maps, I was heading in the exact opposite direction. 

Have you ever confused the 'you' dot on the map with the destination dot? Yeah, well that was me. Ha.

Thanks to the scenic view and pleasant breeze, the 23 minute walk back in the other direction felt more like a helpful addition to the goal of 10,000 steps we're meant to take daily than a dreadful trek beneath the scorching sun. And well, it definitely didn't hurt that we had adorable ducklings bobbing on the water alongside us! 

I've been here for about two weeks now and the more time I've spent in this city, the more I've come to realise how deserving it is of its moniker - Charm City. And what better way to charm than with blue skies and blue waters? 

Despite the presence of a water taxi, this charm isn't anywhere close to the Venetian sort, or even any other European city, with their cobbled streets and proud history. Although Baltimore showcases its history with its Star Spangled Banner flying high and naval vessels populating the waters, it isn't their history that grabs you. It's how everything comes together that does. Standing at Inner Harbour, ships on my right, restaurants and huge malls on my left, with laughing, jostling people all around, I wanted to look at everything, but at the same time, wasn't particularly interested in anything. 

Maybe it's because it was so easy to get a feel of the place, that I didn't find the need to search for it in its history or in its shops. Baltimore just feels like an easy place to be in, a medium-sized city with just the right amount of hustle and bustle. 

I happily touristed it out, taking pictures with every stationary object till the sun got the better of me. I ended up wrapping myself in a scarf lest the dreaded 'construction labourer tan' ends up featuring in all of my graduation photos.

And with America being glorious, great America, land of the free the do-whatever-you-want, not a single soul looked at me funny and I went on with my day dressed exactly like that, topping it off by finally having a taste of some Cheesecake Factory goodness.

Mmmmmmm. That's some great cookie dough right there! 
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