After a few days in D.C., we decided to take a train up to Baltimore the day before flying home. We planned on touring a submarine and maybe walking around after that. What we didn’t expect was the adventure we had getting to and from the city. When I say adventure, I mean things that wen’t awry that we decided to laugh off.
See, when something goes wrong during travels a person has two options. The first is to be angry and upset, and the second is to make jokes and roll with what comes to you. Only one of those options leads to a positive time after things go wrong. For this trip, our time in the city was shortened and we were definitely exhausted, but the jokes we had and friends we made along the way made it all well again.
The adventure began on the DC subway system; the metro. We knew that Union Station was only a couple of stops away from where we were staying, and from Union we would take a Marc train to Baltimore. As we rushed through the metro station a train pulled up. I half looked at a sign before jumping onto the train with my mother and son. It didn’t take long, only after leaving the first stop, to realize we had boarded the wrong train. It was the first time in my adult life that I had gotten onto the wrong subway! In my defense, though, I’m more familiar with the Boston system.
Once we were back where we started and found the correct platform, we met a woman who was also traveling to Baltimore. The four of us talked about what had just happened, along with other things on the metro itself. She then told us that she would lead the way to where we would purchase tickets and where the boarding area was. We were so grateful! That part went rather quickly, too. Everything felt like we were all set and on the right path again after the metro confusion.
Then it happened: A power outage north of DC delayed all of the trains. I searched online for how long it would take before it was fixed, but there was no end in sight. At this point we started to talk about what we could do in the city instead, but my mother and son really wanted to go to Baltimore for the day. The woman we had met needed to get there, too. After discussing all of the possible options, we decided to call an Uber with a car seat to take us all to Baltimore, including our new friend.
The ride there was lovely! The Uber driver was surprised to hear that we had just met on the train, because we were already talking like we were old friends, or even family. It made for a pleasant drive, and definitely helped the stress of that morning fade away. We said our goodbyes in Baltimore and went our separate ways, but I was happy to have that encounter!
With a few hours to spend in Baltimore before (hopefully) catching a train back to DC, we decided to tour two of the ships in the harbor and grab some food. There wasn’t much time for anything else by that point, but we were happy to still be able to experience something in the city, and to check another state off of Brayden’s 50-state-goal.
We started on the USS Constellation, a sail-only navy ship. Brayden really enjoyed exploring all of the decks, and especially loved seeing the cannons.
Next, we went to the USS Torske. This WWII submarine was incredible to explore. For such a big sub, we were surprised by how narrow the interior was. It was interesting to see the living quarters, and to hear some stories from Navy vets who happened to be touring at the same time.
After grabbing some food we went back to the train station. Thankfully, we thought, the train was on time. That made us think that everything was fixed and we would be good to go! However, the signals were still down close to DC, and the hour trip ended up taking twice as much time. Still, we enjoyed our short time in Baltimore and made jokes the rest of the night about the luck we had with the trains. We even googled how to say “we apologize for the delay,” in different languages.
After all, there’s no use in getting upset over what we can’t control. Instead, it’s best to look on the bright side. We made new friends and had time to relax, and we got to see another city. With such a short time in Baltimore, I’d like to go back in the future. From what I could tell, there were lots of other great options for families.
PS: Have you been to Baltimore? What should we see the next time we go?