Friday, March 2, 2018

Capital Transitions - Riding the Rails to Washington, D.C.

While we fell in love with the food at Supano's in Baltimore, it is a bit spendy with a final bill in the three figures for the three of us. I'd like to have one more meal there before we leave but it would push the budget.

Not to worry, our new favorite Charm City restaurant has a nice happy hour where we can eat without feeling the pangs of poverty.

A good size, delicious pizza is only $8 with liters of Natty Boh only $3.  Luckily, the hotel is only a hundred yards away and we can easily walk over to it to sleep off this pile of pizza and booze.

Derek, the host we met our first night, sits with us as we chat.  We find out we both have media work to talk about...our blog, Tim's voiceover and announcing work, travel articles while Derek tells us he's lined up financing to film a pilot and pitch it for a reality show he wants to make.

Talk turns to family and we find he's putting two of his through college while ours already made it through and he tells us one more thing: the trial of the cops that were in charge when Freddie Gray died is starting this week so he'd like us to be careful and on our toes.

Watch the Video!

We'd heard quite a few riot tales from various people while we've been in town. We've met plenty of local citizens on both side of the divide and found most people in Baltimore to be friendly and down to earth but there seems to be a distrust of the other side and a lot of anger bubbling under the surface and it would not be a place where we'd want to be if and when it boiled over.

It's our last night anyway, we're leaving in the morning.

During our time in Baltimore, we fell in love with the Charm City Circulator, a fleet of free, wheechair friendly, and air conditioned buses with friendly drivers. We found that the Purple Line stopped in front of our hotel and went to Penn Station. That's what we're going to do when it's time to leave.

Packed up with two suitcases and a duffel bag, we're at the bus stop in the morning. Bus should be by within 10 minutes.

We wait.

We wait some more.

Finally, a lady walks by and says "are you waiting for the bus to Penn Station?"


"They're not running because the Freddie Gray trial started and there's a protest on the next block."

We do notice the news choppers circling above like vultures and plenty of sirens in the area. We decide to hoof it five blocks to the nearest light rail station and take that to the train station.

Once there, it takes another 45 minutes and three trains that are not going to the station passing us by until we finally get on board.

It's another hot and muggy day and my plan of taking a comfortable air-conditioned bus to the station has been dashed. We're sweaty and a bit grumpy by the time we get to the wonderfully air-conditioned lobby of Penn Station.

Luckily, the ticket vendor is a very friendly lady and exhanges three tickets to Washington, D.C. for the twenty dollar bill I hand her.

It's fairly uneventful after that as we settle into the comfortable MARC train for the short trip to Washington's Union Station. We transfer to the Red Line of the Metro subway system for a one-stop ride to the NOMA station.

The Courtyard by Marriott sits adjacent to the subway station, which as this point is no longer subterranean, and we check in to a very comfortable, accessible room featuring a huge bathroom with roll-in shower, double sinks, a tiny little kitchenette (microwave, coffee maker, and fridge), along with a king size bed with a queen size sofabed.

Our windows look out on several sets of train tracks just a few feet away. Trains go by ever few seconds from before sunrise to midnight. Uh oh...that's what we were thinking too but the Courtyard has invested in some quality sound proofing and multi paned windows.

Now, we just have a very nice trainspotting view without the sound that comes with it.

It's time for us to unpack and rest up for the D.C part of this trip. We'll catch up with you in the morning.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
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