Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Half: Maryland Half Marathon
Date: June 9, 2018
Finish Time: 1:41
Pre-run meal? PASTA
ROAD TRIPS & ROOM SERVICE
ROAD TRIP, ROAD TRIP, ROAD TRIP. Because, who doesn’t love a good road trip? Also, who knew Baltimore was just 6 hours away? It was such an easy opportunity to conquer another state in my journey in another place I’d love to explore. To be honest, I didn’t know anything about Baltimore, outside from the fact that it has a football team, right? I had zero idea where it was on the US map, zero idea that it was on a harbor, zero idea that it had so many things to see and do. So, needless to say, I was truly in for an adventure with this one.
My boyfriend, Jeff, and I had decided to plan the road trip to Baltimore and had been looking forward to it for weeks; counting down the weeks, and then days, until our first road trip together. Jeff lived in Columbus while I lived in Athens at the time; so, in true gentlemanly fashion, he first drove to Athens to pick me up for the trip. With our snacks, games, and non-stop conversation topics ready, we took to the road. The drive flew by as we talked about everything and anything, laughed about would you rather questions that we both thought wayyy too deeply about, and quickly and effortlessly found ourselves pulling into the city limits of Baltimore.
Jeff is, like, always incredibly prepared. Like. INCREDIBLY PREPARED. Like. Superhuman style prepared. He had the most beautiful hotel all booked for us, the entire check-in process taken care of within minutes, and when we walked into the room, I realized that he had clearly gone just oneeeeee step further in his preparations. I was ecstatic when I walked in and saw the most BEAUTIFUL spread of chocolate covered strawberries, fresh chocolate chip cookies, and those super adorable and fancy small-bite type desserts that you get at one of those quaint little bakeries or restaurants. But, on top of the sugary surprise, there was a card which wished me good luck in my race tomorrow from him. Ugh. Guys. Literally melting my heart over here retyping this now. Our room overlooked the harbor with all of the boats and docks and ports within the inner harbor. It was gorgeous. We settled into our room and decided to go explore – needing to find a spot to eat some dinner before we turned in for the early morning race the next day.
It didn’t take us long to find the most adorable little Italian place called Tagliato (he is very proudly Italian…and loves wine…so we tended to eat a lot of pasta). But, seriously, this place was the cutest. It had these little tables sitting in an alley outside with string lights and lanterns hanging all around above us. It was the perfect quiet evening before the big run.
The next morning we woke up early and drove to the race. In true Amy fashion, I had come under-prepared and was panicked about whether I would have time to poop before the race, where I was going to find a 5-hour-energy, and whether I was feeling my very best for this 13 miles. And, of course, in true Jeff fashion, he had it all taken care of – helping me find the bathrooms while he went to the gas station to find my race fuel, texting me the entire race and reminding me that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. I wasn’t feeling my best, and he reminded me that my health was always more important than my results. I slowed down, took it easy, and ran my own race – but, ultimately I finished second female overall. Lol. Such a drama queen I am. The race itself didn’t find itself on my top 5 list of THE MOST ABSOLUTELY COOL AND BEAUTIFUL 13 MILES IN THE US. But. I did see a store with my last name on it. So that was kinda cool.
After the race, we were ready to ACTUALLY explore Baltimore together. We started our exploration at our hotel pool – because, well, we had one of those sweet infinity pools where the water looks like it’s gonna come out the sides if you get in it, but then it doesn’t. Super cool. Super fancy. And. We even had mimosas and bloody Marys. So far, so good, Baltimore. After some time outside, we finally explored beyond the hotel. We walked around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and found something to eat and, of course, lots to drink. We found this little spot called Lainie Lodge and Beer Garden, a little Leinenkugals area with tons of beer, games, and an awesome, upbeat, atmosphere to hangout on a hot, sunny, summer day. We played connect four, jenga, and got way too competitive (literally, people were watching and cheering for us, making bets about who would win). It was the perfect way to celebrate another state, place, and race.
We continued our walk around the harbor and finally found a spot to sit at Federal Hill Park. Ok. So. Picture this. We are minding our own business, being all romantic at the top of this park, sitting on a bench together, you know, just being freaking adorable after our day of exploring. And. All of a sudden. We can LITERALLY SEE RAIN MOVING TOWARDS US. RAPIDLY. We ran. Like, actually ran. Ran all the way down the hill. Across the street. Down the sidewalk. Until we luckily found this little coffee shop called 3-Bean Coffee Company. And just as the rain started pouring down, we pushed our way through the doors and took cover. Immediately, we realized that it was actually the most perfect impromptu pit-stop. We got some coffee, sat down, and played “never have I ever,” laughing quietly in the corner of this little coffee shop together.
We ended our trip with dinner on the harbor. I tried ahi tuna for, like, the first time ever, which was super delicious and clearly I shouldn’t have been such a weirdo about it. I tried to convince Jeff to wink at this table next to us (which, of course, he didn’t). The next morning, it was finally time for us to venture back to Ohio. But first, MORE ROOM SERVICE – YOU’RE THE BEST JEFF. Seriously, for some reason, I’ve always wanted to feel important and fancy enough to get room service whilst remaining in a robe. So. That’s exactly what we did. He ordered a HUGE spread of breakfast – pancakes, coffee, a spicy Bloody Mary, fruit, peanut butter toast, EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE WANTED. AND. IN MY OWN HOTEL BED. I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO MOVE YOU GUYS. The trip literally couldn’t have ended any better. I left state 17 feeling so thankful for all that we got to do, experience, and explore together in our short little road trip.