Summer has arrived! Well technically not. But the month of June is hear and the warm weather which had seemed to be avoiding the Northeast is finally here. However it was finally the time of year when my wife (who is a saint, did I mention that already?) puts up with a “Family Vacation” where I trek us around multiple locations collecting pressed coins. It’s always nice to get away for a week and some trips are further away than others but we do a lot of walking and don’t always get to enjoy every location for as long as we would like due to the tight schedule I create each time. Just wait and see and you’ll be saying “How does his wife put up with this”, trust me she’s a saint.
The main portion of our trip was going to be in Washington, DC but before we got there we decided to stop in Baltimore to check out the aquarium and more importantly the inner harbor. If you have never been you definitely must. The inner harbor is beautiful and there is a lot of stuff to do including historic boats you can climb aboard and take a tour (there’s even a submarine for those that don’t suffer from claustrophobia), street performers and lots of shopping.
Our first stop was the National Aquarium. This place is huge and really one of the best aquariums I have ever in. The exhibits are well maintained, staff if knowledgeable, and the interactive exhibits are really cool. The aquarium does have numerous penny machines throughout, but we had visited a couple years before and to my dismay the designs had not changed since them. The path you take through the aquarium takes you up a number of floors and then you come down this circular walk way through the shark exhibit where it almost gives the impression that the sharks are circling you, very Jaws like.
We spend most of the afternoon visiting the aquarium, but one done we wandered around the inner harbor listening to the live music being played and watching the boats coming and going. Our next stop was an indoor shopping area call the Harborplace Pavilion. Lots of little shops with Maryland and Baltimore souvenirs, lots of places to eat and a nice place to slowly walk through and pick up some goodies to bring home.
Speaking of goodies as soon as we walked in we were met with the aroma of a fudge shop making a fresh batch while the employee’s same some catchy songs during the process. While my wife and daughter stood by to watch the free entertainment (minus the $5 to a piece of Fudge, there’s always a catch) I found the first penny machine of the day.
The machine rolled really nicely and the designs came out clean and detailed. Designs include a lighthouse, the Baltimore skyline, USS Constitution and the Maryland State seal.
By this time I had my pennies and a nice piece of fudge to snack on as we continued walking through the pavilion. As we neared the end of the shopping center we could smell fresh seafood which had to mean there was a Phillips Seafood. Before we could even make it inside I found a second penny machine.
With our stomachs rumbling for some food I quickly pressed the pennies and we headed on our way. These designs also came out nicely with no excessive stretch marks on the pennies (yes they get those too sometimes). Designs include a Butterfly, Maryland Crab, the Inner Harbor and another design of the USS Constitution.
Food was our next stop and we enjoy a great late afternoon meal. Once we were sufficiently stuffed we headed outside to continue our walk along the inner harbor. The day wasn’t done for us and there were more pennies to be found.