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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The National Aquarium, Baltimore

My sister Suzanne and my nieces Sam and Maddie left Delaware about two weeks ago now and flew home to Denver out of Baltimore. Instead of waiting at the airport for them to take off, we opted to go up to Baltimore's Inner Harbor and sightsee. We figured if there was a problem with the flight we would not be far away and could go back to the airport if they needed us. Their flight took off on schedule and we spent a lovely afternoon at the Aquarium. (I'm sorry to say our posts are a bit out of order but we had these ready to post, so here they are! Hope you like them.)

The National Aquarium in Baltimore's Inner Harbor was named the nation's #1 Aquarium in the U.S. by Coastal Living Magazine in 2006, and having recently been to the Aquarium in Monterey, that's saying something! It really is a spectacular place. It has five levels that are accessible by escalator and you feel as if you are in the middle of a giant tank of water, as the fish are swimming all around you from floor to ceiling, or at least it feels like that! Dolphins, shark, rays, there are over 16,000 specimens of over 600 different species. There are 3 buildings that house the entire collection and the incredible rooftop rainforest draws you in from outside the building through the wall of glass on the exterior. There is so much to explore, we would return again.

National Aquarium Exterior

View from inside the Aquarium of the Hard Rock Cafe in a former warehouse, shops and ships in Baltimore's Inner Harbor

Pink Anemone

Leapin' Lizards!

Can't resist watching the jellyfish

Croc Eye (where's Captain Hook??)

Aquarium Levels

Lastly, we enjoyed a meal at the Cafe Gia in Little Italy, owned and run by Giovanna Aquia who emmigrated to the U.S. with her parents and brother from their native Sicily when she was just a child. This Sicilian bistro's colorful exterior caught my eye and the interior did not disappoint with it's contemporary renditions of historic posters and artwork, the atmosphere is charming and delightful. And the food! Che buonissimi! If you are in the Baltimore area, give it a try. Little Italy, 410 High Street. 410-685-6727 for reservations.

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