Hanging in the Inner Harbor

“The only trip you will regret is the one you don’t take.”

This past weekend we took a mini road trip to Baltimore, the largest city in the state of Maryland. It was very last minute, but it worked out perfectly! The history of the city was well worth braving the 100+ temperatures all weekend! 

When we arrived, our first stop was brunch at Raw Bar, Baltimore’s newest restaurant and social scene in Canton’s waterfront. Their motto, “ EAT. DRINK. SOCIALIZE” did not lie. From the moment you see this establishment you get that laid back, lounge-out vibe. They had patio couches throughout their outside seating, along with corn hole and an outside bar overlooking the waterfront. What an awesome first impression if you ask us! 

We made our way inside and the staff was very friendly and eager to greet us. We were sat right away, with a beautiful view of the water. Unfortunately it was too hot to sit outside, but we were just as happy to be seated inside in the AC. 

We were served bottomless mimosas to start. Can you say YAY? They were just what we needed on this hot afternoon. We were also presented with unlimited bloody Marys but since we had the kiddos with us, we stuck to the mimosas!

Since I’m not a huge fan of seafood, I opted for the buttermilk pancakes with whipped honey maple mascarpone. They were absolutely delicious! Shayla ordered the lobster mac and cheese and it was safe to say she loved it – not one noodle left on her plate! 

Once we finished eating, we took our drinks and went on a little stroll out to the waterfront to take in the view one last time before leaving. Thank you again Raw Bar for hosting us for brunch. If you are ever in the Baltimore area, make sure to check out Raw Bar for some fab food, delish drinks and lots and lots of laughs. 

Next stop: Little Italy – a charming, cozy neighborhood located in the heart of downtown Baltimore. Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop was the perfect place to stop in for some gelato on this extremely hot day. 

A little history on this fine shop – Established in 1956, Vaccaro’s to this day is still a family owned business – celebrating 62 years of cannoli bliss! Gioacchino Vaccaro was born and raised in Palermo, Italy. It wasn’t long after his opening in 1956 that Baltimoreans were raving about his homemade cannoli and rum cake recipes! Vaccaro’s is now Baltimore’s leading manufacturer of fine Italian pastries. 

When we walked in you could instantly get the feeling of home. We felt like we were in Italy – one of our favorite countries – the Italian ambience was perfection! We started with the pastries sampler: 2 assorted mini cannolis, 2 assorted cream puffs, 1 pignoli cookie, 1 sliced almond cookie and 1 wedding cookie – WOW! And if that wasn’t enough we were then served the Oreo Sundae  – vanilla gelato topped with hot fudge, oreos and whipped topping! It is safe to say we left with our stomachs still on the floor! 

Thank you Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop for hosting us and showing us your hospitality. Please make sure to stop in for some delicious Italian treats when you are in the Baltimore area. I promise you, you will not be disappointed!

After a fun afternoon of stuffing our faces we headed to our hotel – The Best Western Plus Hotel & Conference Center. We were greeted by Michelle, the Catering Sales Manager, who was nice enough to give us a tour of the hotel and answer any questions we had. Thanks again Michelle, it was lovely to meet you! 

Our room was beautiful – Michelle made sure we had the best experience possible and gave us the mini suite! We had two queen beds, a sofabed and an oversized arm chair -plenty of room for the kiddos to run around. We were on the 10th floor which gave us a great view of the city – the boys loved standing in the window looking out. They are really starting to love the city life.

One of Shayla’s must haves while traveling with the boys is a refrigerator. Every room in this hotel has one – along with a microwave, coffee/tea maker, safe, cable television, Wifi, hairdryer, ironing board, AM/FM radio stereo and a desk! 

Our favorite part about the room was how there was an extra vanity and sink outside of the bathroom. It was very convenient to have that extra counter space! We also loved the double closets! We each had plenty of room to store our luggage!

Michelle gifted us with complimentary dinner at the hotel’s on-site restaurant – Tradewinds! It was delicious. I tried the fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken and Shayla opted for the chicken parm. We ate every last bite! Another plus of the hotel is it’s complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. We were in heaven – unlimited eggs, toast, bagels, cereal, fruit, pancakes and waffles! 

Something we found very convenient was the free shuttle that brought you to and from the inner harbor. It also made multiple other stops – to the cruise port for example! So if you are ever cruising out of Baltimore make sure to take full advantage of Best Western’s cruise package! 

Another amazing feature this hotel has to offer is their comedy club – The Comedy Factory! Every weekend they host different comedians for guests 21 & over. Unfortunately we were unable to attend but the line out the door to get in proved for it to be a hit! We’re so sad to miss it!

We rode the shuttle into the harbor multiple times. We could not get enough! And the boys thought it was the coolest thing ever. Gianni felt on top of the world sitting in a big boys seat. He did not want to get out! 

Even though we were in the middle of a heat wave, we didn’t let that stop us. We walked around the harbor, took a stroll through the shops, stopped and had a frozen lemonade and took in all the beauty the inner harbor had to offer. 

On Saturday we went to Six Flags America – only a 45 minute drive! We have season passes and since it was so hot out, we spent the majority of the day splashing around at the water park. With our meal plan, we were able to have lunch, dinner and an ice cream at no cost! We had a fantastic day to say the least! Until next time Six Flags America – you are a gem!

Before we left on Sunday we made a trip to The National Aquarium. The hotel offers discounted tickets and we couldn’t pass up that deal! The boys had a blast. We saw turtles, and touched stingrays, we found Nemo and Dory! We even got to see some dolphins do a few tricks. It was a great ending to a great trip. 

 Thanks again to Raw Bar Baltimore for the delicious brunch and mimosas, Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop for the mouth watering gelato and cannolis, and a huge thank you to Best Western for hosting us for the weekend. We had the best time ever! 


Katie and Shayla

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