The Land of Pleasant Living

When people ask me where I’m from, naturally I say Belmar.  But that answer never satisfies.  It doesn’t explain my slight southern twang of an accent and almost always makes people say, “Are you sure you are from NJ?”.  That’s when I tell them about my 9 years in Maryland, how I started out going to college at Salisbury University on the Eastern Shore, and how I began my career in education across the bridge, in a lovely rural area located on the outskirts of Baltimore City.  Yes, this is why I say phone and home in a sort of way that only my Maryland friends can understand.  Baltimore is truly, as Natty Boh simply puts it, “The Land of Pleasant Living”, and while I can’t say my twenties were always pleasant, living in Baltimore was.  Read on to find out why I love B-more so much and why Paul has come to love it too.

First, this post is not about the Inner Harbor.  While the Inner Harbor is one of Baltimore’s biggest attractions, it’s also its biggest tourist trap.  Go once, gather around the magician, gawk at the sharks in the big tanks at the aquarium, and get out.  There is so much more to Baltimore you have to experience and it’s not there!  Now don’t get me wrong, I like the Inner Harbor.  After all, it had a great deal to do with how Paul and I became “Paul and I”.  I love it for that reason.  Beyond that, you must exit the Inner Harbor immediately and explore!

Camden Yards.  Trendy and tasty home of the Baltimore Orioles.  Our most recent visit and reason for this blog post, was for our now annual mighty Mets weekend, where tickets are cheap, food is fabulous, and good friends abound.  While I didn’t get to meet up with any of my Maryland girls this visit, we did get to spend some quality time with some close Jersey friends and fellow Met’s fans.  Camden Yards wins Michelle’s favorite baseball stadium award.  Not only is it beautiful and quaint, its overflowing with amazing food!  In fact, if you are planning a trip to Camden Yards, spend the extra money and eat in the stadium.  Don’t go out for a big overpriced dinner in the Inner Harbor.  Trust me, wait til you get to the stadium….its sooo good.  I made sure to get a pork sandwich with barbecue sauce and if I wasn’t trying to be good due to all this dieting for the wedding, I would have had french fries with vinegar and Old Bay, and perhaps another barbecue sandwich, this time pit beef.  It’s amazing the kind of self-control one can gain when dress fittings are involved…

The poor Orioles.  Our Mets swept them in the series and blanketed their city in blue and orange.  Hotels were sold out and Mets fans were smiling as they embarked upon their cheap weekend getaway.   We saw two games-Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.  It was glorious to be able to buy last-minute, great seats, for affordable prices.  That’s rare, if not impossible, in New York.

Sunday morning, pre-game, Paul and I ventured into Hampden to check out my fave breakfast restaurant-The Golden West Cafe.  If you love southwestern fare and hot sauce on your eggs, Golden West is the place for you.  The menu is overflowing with breakfast quesadillas, burritos, and huevos rancheros.  They have possibly the best french toast I’ve ever seen and if I ate french toast, I’d tell you how tasty it is.  The fact is-I hate breakfast and french toast and cousin pancake.  Yea, yea, I know it’s the most important meal of the day and all, but lunch and dinner are my most important meals and I am one to think it is totally appropriate to eat last night’s leftovers for breakfast.  In fact, just ask Paul about some of the Italian leftovers he’s found me munching on at 8am on a Saturday morning.  I don’t know who made the breakfast rules of America, but I think we should all have the freedom to eat whatever we want for breakfast.  That’s why I love the Golden West so much.  Quesadillas for breakfast with hot sauce and black beans.  So much more than bacon and eggs and ten times better.  If you ever travel to Baltimore, this restaurant is a must.  Check it out here http://goldenwestcafe.com/index.htm .  I promise it won’t disappoint.

So Paul and I are getting married-in 20 days!  We must apologize for our lack of blogging and promise to be back in full swing after we tie the knot.

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