Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Day trip to Baltimore, Maryland

Despite the drive up I-95, and the many highway exits into the city that are curved bridges, a day trip to Baltimore can be a wonderful thing!
One of my favorite parts of making the trip is the skyline!  This Industrial city is packed with character, with its bustling smoke stacks and old brick buildings in the foreground as you approach from the highway and its tall, modern sky scrapers in the background, one can't help but be dazzled:)

Founded in 1729, this major seaport town dominates the Mid-Atlantic United States!  The Inner Harbor was the second leading port of entry for immigrants behind New York!  Can you imagine, being trapped on a ship bound for America in the late 1800's for weeks, and then finally docking upon the bustling streets of Old Baltimore.  Ladies walking off the ships in dresses holding onto their babies and bags.  Men beside them, their lives in luggage in one hand and the hands of their daughters and sons in the other.  I picture many people starting a new life! Some becoming fisherman, doctors, shop owners, bankers and politicians!

The city grew into a hub of manufacturing, the tobacco trade was well under way and the city also became a storehouse for sugar producing colonies in the Caribbean.  Today, you can see the Domino Sugar building among the Baltimore skyline and it will transport you back to a different Era:)

My day trip took me to the Beautiful, Stunning Evergreen House!  This lovely home will enchant you around every turn.  Only a few tours are given a day because they are roughly and hour and a half long, and filled with history, art and culture:) By far, one of the best historic tours I've ever been on!

John W. Garrett, president of the B & O Railroad (I mentioned in my Ellicott City Blog) purchased this house for his son, T. Harrison Garrett in 1878.  Originally built as a square, two-story vacation house for the wealthy from the city, the Garrett's made many modifications and additions over a 60 year period to accommodate their ever changing needs and tastes.  Inside you'll find mosaic floors, carved wooden benches, hand painted archways, paintings adorning the walls, and the very famous "gold bathroom ".  You'll also notice that the house seems to just keep going!  That's because it does, The Garrett's added wings to the home to house a Billiards room, Gymnasium, and Bowling alley for their boys, John, Horatio and Robert.  They were active little guys!  If they weren't studying, they were in motion:)

After the deaths of his family members, starting with his Father, two brothers and then his mother after many years, John, the only survivor of the family, inherited Evergreen House, and in 1920 John and his wife Alice moved into Evergreen and made it their own.  Having studied voice as part of her European education Alice entranced me!  She converted the gymnasium into a dramatic theater and performed for her and her husbands many distinguished guests.  She was a very talented painter and musician, she read anything and everything and she collected anything she found beautiful!

A walk through this historic home will leave you wanting to sip champagne in the theater while watching Alice perform a scene from an Opera, it will warm you with the beauty of exploration and study, you'll be transported to far away countries just by strolling through the Reading Room! It is a place you'll want to visit again and again for years to come:)

Minutes from Evergreen is the Baltimore Museum of Art!

This museum offers up Renoir  Matisse, Botticelli  Degas and Monet, just to name a few artists!  Walk along great works of landscape, still life, portrait and more and take in the lushness of every piece of canvas ( including a large work by Matisse that hung in his office ) to sculpture:)

Once you've worked up an appetite, be sure to have dinner at Gertrude's!  This lovely restaurant inside the museum has a delicious menu and the service is excellent!  Great for any palette:)  My personal recommendation: The Lamb Stew with a hearty glass of Shiraz, perfect for winter weather! 

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun day it must have been!! You describe it so vividly and... cutely!!


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