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Baltimore, 2003

Saturday, February 8th

Once I arrived in Baltimore, I went to the National Aquarium. This is an excellent one, probably rivals Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Went to the the Baltimore Brewing Company/DeGroen's Restaurant for lunch. The beer was excellent and the food was good. The didn't have any pint glasses for sale, which kind of annoyed me. Que sara.

Once John Hudgens got into town, we went to Capital City Brewery for dinner and a beer. The Inner Harbor is a really cool place to visit, but you do need to watch for the bums. They aren't threatening, just something you need to be aware of.


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Sunday, February 9th

I got up early and decided to go to Fort McHenry. It was easy to find the bus and pay $1.30 each way to get to the fort. The only people there at the visitor center were the park ranger and me. His name was Vince, a very lively fellow who was very enthusiastic about history - a little too much. He showed me around the visitor center, and then said he had a video he wanted me to watch. I went into the auditorium, which on the north side had an entrance and exit, the east side had the video screen, and the south side had a very long curtain. The video started and I was alone in a place big enough for 100 people. The video provided information on the War of 1812, which is when the Star-Spangled Banner was written. It was an enjoyable show. At the end of the video, the big curtain was pulled back by an automatic pulley system. I could then see Fort McHenry and the flag. At that point, our nation’s anthem started playing and I saw a sign that asked everyone to please stand. So here I am, in this large auditorium, with the Star-Spangled Banner playing, trying to be respectful. Then, after a few seconds after the music started, the flag outside is lowered (I found out later they were just changing flags). So the song is playing, I’m the only person in a huge place, and now there’s no flag.  I stood at attention and was glad when it was all over. It was very strange.

The conference started at 1 pm. There were some good talks. We went to Boccaccio's for dinner. A little more upscale than I would normally do, but I had a great time with the group I went with.

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Monday, February 10th

Conference all day, then we had the poster presentation from 5 to 8 pm. We talked to a lot of people. For dinner, we ate at Legal Seafoods, then went to the Wharf Rat for a beer. Got a couple of pint glasses. Good beer. It was the first time I've eaten at Legal - I would definitely go again!

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Tuesday, Feb 11th

Walked around the Inner Harbor early in the morning, finished the conference, and came home. A good trip. Baltimore is a city I wouldn't mind returning to.

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