Our topic... a Baltimore excursion! We wanted to make time to see some of the cooler Baltimore sites before we head out for Michigan, so we listed the places and activities we wanted to visit and started planning city trips.
Our first "last days in Baltimore" adventure took us to Mt. Vernon. This part of the city is absolutely beautiful. We began with a visit to the Baltimore Basilica, which is the oldest cathedral in North America. The Cathedral is open for the public to view and tour most days. They have beautiful art work on every surface, a crypt, cathedral museum, and an organ overlooking the congregation from a balcony. While we were there, a gentleman was practicing a vocal piece for the next days service. It was really beautiful.
After the cathedral we visited the oldest Baltimore city library and also went once again to the Walter's Art museum to see the exhibits we hadn't been able to see during our first visit. The Walter's museum is amazing. I absolutely LOVE that the museum is set up like an old mansion. Instead of having paintings and artifacts hanging on the white walls of a huge hall, the art is displaced in rooms. They hang on the walls and in cabinets, just like Mr. Walter would have displayed them in his own house. It feels just like a home (a very expensive home with fine taste, but still, a home). In fact, the man who lived in the town home next to the museum donated his house when he died. The house is now part of the museum and the art is displayed over the original house's furnishings, over fire places, and around beautiful bay windows. We discovered this portion of the museum during our last visit. Here is a picture of James walking up the spiral stair case of the adjoining town home.
Our last stop was to see the grave site of Edgar Allan Poe. The monument below is the grave stone for his mother in law, himself, and his wife. Poe's last home is also in Baltimore. Since it's quite literally in the ghetto and I don't believe that it is open for viewing on Saturdays, we did not get to see the house. However, the grave yard was very neat.