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Ellicott City & Fell’s Point

July 27, 2009

Saturday, Josh and I spent a lovely day together to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. My mom came and picked up Duncan and Owen for their first overnight trip without us! They looked like such big boys riding away in my mom’s jeep!

Josh and I made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s before heading to explore Ellicott City for the day. I rarely go to Trader Joe’s because it’s off the beaten path for me and not easy to go to with the boys by myself. We stocked up on whole wheat bread items (the cheapest place to get pitas and English muffins that I know of) and some canned goods. Then we were off to Ellicott City, a place I’ve wanted to visit for several years now.

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First, we got lunch at The Trolley Stop. It was a dark and cool tavern with a historic atmosphere. They’re apparently known for the Caesar Salads and homemade croutons. I had a Caesar Salad wrap with a side of cole slaw. The wrap was delicious and filling and the cole slaw creamy and crunchy–the best I’ve actually ever had that wasn’t homemade! Now, fortified for the rest of the afternoon, we got some cold coffee at the Old Mill Bakery Cafe, which was right next to The Trolley Stop. I got a frozen Mocha with a shot of coconut. It was one of the best frozen coffees I’ve ever had!

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We walked around for several hours just checking out the shops, the B & O railroad station (although we didn’t go through the museum), and Ellicott City’s firehouse museum. There were tons of independent owned bakery/coffee houses that looked cozy and lots of restaurants. I’d love to go back to check more of them out in the future! The shops were a fun mix of antique, fashion, home goods, french country furniture , and baby boutiques.

We found some lovely stone stairs where we took pictures . . .

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A fountain at one of my favorite shops, The Good Life Market . . .

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After spending most of the afternoon in Ellicott City, we headed to Baltimore for dinner. We had reservations at Mezze, a tapas or “small plate” restaurant in Fell’s Point.

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For dinner we tried stuffed peppers with rice, mushrooms, and herbs (actually ended up tasting a bit bland), roasted eggplant (my favorite of the vegetables–so flavorful!) and spinach fritters.

The spinach fritters . . .

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We also tried Shark fritters, baby lamp chops, and oven-baked oysters topped with sauteed spinach, feta cheese, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The oysters were my favorite of the meats.

The lamb chops . . .

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We wondered around Fell’s Point for a while to walk off dinner. We watched Domino sugar unload unrefined sugar onto conveyor belts until a storm blew in and we got caught in a down pour. It was beautiful to watch the storm come into the harbor.

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However, not wanting to get drenched, we ran to Pitango Gelato for dessert. It’s a rather new establishment in Fell’s Point with a clean and modern atmosphere and serves delicious creamy gelato. The main difference between a place like this and, say, Vaccarro’s is that Vaccarro’s is more traditional in flavor and you get more for your money. Pitango offers more creative flavors than traditional gelato but is rather pricey. I got two flavors: Banana and Chocolate Noir. Josh got Bourbon Vanilla. It was very good and I’d love to go back and try their Affogato.

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It was a lovely day to do one of my favorite things: explore the city and eat good food! And not to mention spending the day with my favorite person ever in one of my favorite cities. I love the energy of Baltimore at night. And Fell’s Point has this grungy yet urban sophistication that attract me to it. Josh and I just love being around the water and Josh took me the back way home to see the huge ships docked for loading and unloading. He knows all the ins and outs of the city, from working and going to school down there for so long.

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It was a perfect day.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2009 3:46 pm

    It truly does seem like the perfect day. The meal you had looks and sounds absolutely fabulous. I love tapas…though shark fritters…I’ve never seen that on a menu.

  2. July 27, 2009 4:24 pm

    Awh…

  3. July 28, 2009 8:07 am

    Looks like the perfect day. Okay a few questions:
    1. How do you get that ultra-lighted effect in your photos? Do you photoshop it or is there a camera setting to get thst? (the one of you, one of Josh looks extra light).
    2. I love teh fountain shot.
    3. Did you actually shoot your plates of food in the restaurant? I’ve wanted to do that but it embarrasses my family. They’re like., “C’mon, mom, it’s just food….and we’re in public!”

    • July 28, 2009 8:38 am

      1.) It’s the 50 mm 1.4 lens and I shoot manually, so I control the lighting. I rarely shoot in auto mode (although sometimes for quick shots). But I mostly use at least a partial manual mode like the A mode on my camera. So, the lighting is mostly due to the fact my aperature was very wide. Also, if you mean the bokeh (blurry) background, that’s also caused by shooting w/ my aperature wide open. I photoshop my stuff very meagerly, usually. All of these photos only had some sharpening done to them or I heightened the contrast a bit.

      2.) Thanks

      3.) We were seated outside for dinner, or I probably wouldn’t have taken pics of the food! I’d feel too weird to do that . . . 🙂

      • July 28, 2009 8:43 am

        Re: 1.) I shouldn’t say I “control” the lighting, but manual shooting does help you shoot lighter or darker, depending on the situation. That’s what I was trying to say.

        The biggest way you can get your photos to improve is to learn how to shoot manually. “Understanding Exposure” is a great book and Pioneer Woman Photography has easy to understand tutorials.

  4. bethyoung permalink
    July 28, 2009 9:22 am

    Great pictures and sounds like such a wonderful day! Chad and I did something similar in Annapolis on our 9th Anniversary and it was great.

  5. July 28, 2009 9:29 am

    Okay, I was so spaced-out yesterday, I forgot to note that I just LOVE that photo of you in this post… I can see trust and love and hope and your simple enjoyment of your time with Josh. You’re so beautiful!

  6. July 28, 2009 9:35 am

    I feel so inept, technically. I know my camera is capable of so much more than I have learned to use it for. (That was an awkward sentence if ever I read one.) Would you be interested in giving me a lesson or two ? Email me with your thoughts.

  7. July 28, 2009 10:16 am

    Excuse my poor manners. I didn’t mean to just compliment the photography. The subjects (you, Josh) are beautiful, too. Tell Josh iit’s okay to be a beautiful man. It’s not the same as being called a pretty boy:)

  8. July 28, 2009 11:27 am

    Looks like a great time! So glad you and Josh were able to do that. Happy belated anniversary!

  9. July 28, 2009 2:06 pm

    Oh Happy Anniversary! Looks like a fun weekend away. What a cute place. Love all the photos. You look sooooooo beautiful too. You have the best hair!!!!

  10. July 28, 2009 2:21 pm

    I LOVE the storm shot. It’s so professional looking. Well done, girl.
    Sounds like a lovely day. I think I’d like to celebrate our anniversary again now…let’s see, our 7 yr. 4.5 month anniversary…I think that’s cause for a day off together. How did your boys do overnight w/ your mom? How did you guys do w/out them?

    • July 29, 2009 8:35 am

      The boys did GREAT at my mom’s! She suggested taking them for an overnight once a month. I think that’s a fine idea! We did great too, although I missed them!

  11. July 28, 2009 8:46 pm

    how fun–happy anniversary! sounds like a delightful day. and that’s a gorgeous picture of you–you are beautiful!

  12. July 29, 2009 8:35 am

    Aw, you guys are so sweet with the complements you’re making me blush! 🙂

  13. July 29, 2009 9:28 pm

    wow; an overnight once a month! Major score. If there is a month you just can’t part w/ them but your mom still wants some crazy twin boys overnight, have her call me. We could part w/ ours for a night, I guess, for her to get a twin fix. 🙂

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