7/9 Washington, DC 3627 Miles

One restful night at the Latham, and it was time to check out and head off to see the fishes. The Baltimore National Aquarium was touted as one of the best, and I figured I had no choice but to check it out. It was in fact a very good aquarium, chock full of fish and information and loud screaming children running into me. The best section was the exhibit about fish evolution. Limbs, camouflage, and electrical currents all on display for me. They also had a huge shark and ray tank and a good seahorse setup.
A few hours of fish and fish and kids and fish and it’s time to go. A jaunt around Baltimore and we find the freeway again and Philadelphia awaits us. A stop at the IKEA to say we had been there. Philadelphia seems to be a nice city, but after DC it’s hard to go somewhere and see historical stuff and be impressed. I did get a good picture of a park ranger. I wish I had more to say about Philly, but the Liberty Bell was hidden by construction and Liberty Hall did not have a giant Benjamin Franklin inside to compete with the giant Abraham Lincoln that lords over our great nation’s capitol. I don’t think it’s necessary to make the comparison between the Washington Monument and the wholly inadequate Liberty Bell.
Just to be freakish and obsessive, we had dinner at the Baltimore IKEA. We didn’t buy anything, just ate the meatballs and walked out into a massive Atlantic storm. The way I see it, I live in the tornado belt; there is nothing else that can scare me unless the sky makes like a Hoover and wants to suck me to my doom.
Our new hotel was the Morrison-Clark Inn near Mount Vernon Square. First Milo, our extremely fun Eastern European transplant who loves to travel, greeted us. He checked us in and chatted about traveling around the country. He introduced us to Mohammed, the kindly guy who brought our bags to our room, parked our car and gave us directions around the city. He answered every question we had and lifted a suitcase that was three times the size of him.
After the door closed, everything moved in slow motion as I turned my head and spied an incredible basket of treats on top of a mini fridge that promised to be full of even more tasty treats. A Matrix-style leap across the bed put me at the base of this glorious cornucopia, and I spied a bit of paper that I was sure would tell me that I most certainly deserved to eat everything in this basket and in the fridge and they would selflessly restock as necessary. The world came to a screeching halt as I read the inventory and the PRICES for the treats. Obviously, they just did not understand the situation. I wept. When I lay my head down that night it was on a moist, disappointment-filled pillow.