Natty Bohs are the local beers in Baltimore. It’s actually National Bohemian Beer, but locally they’re just referred to as Natty Bohs.
We learned this from Jamie, our new Baltimorian friend. Jamie would say Baltimoron, but not being from Baltimore myself, I feel I should probably watch my tongue!
So yes, we changed our plans a bit when we discovered that it was going to be rainy along the Skyline Drive at the beginning of the week, and instead took a side trip to Baltimore to visit Jamie. I know Jamie from the online course I did, the one that kick-started this whole adventure. We didn’t really know each other, which is why it is especially awesome that Jamie was so open and not phased at all when I emailed her Monday morning to see if she wanted visitors that evening!
We drove all day from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and arrived in Baltimore around dinner time. We met up with Jamie for dinner at a local pub, Ale Mary’s – where I had the hugest mussels I’ve ever seen – and got to know one another over some beers. One of our goals on the trip is to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, especially when it comes to meeting new people. But actually, it all felt very comfortable and fun hanging out over dinner.
After dinner, Jamie’s sister Lacey joined us at another local pub, where we tried Natty Bohs for the first time. Steve isn’t a beer drinker, but it’s no secret to anyone that I am. So I was all for trying some new and local beer, but I was surprised when Steve said that he would have one too 🙂 surprised even further when he had a second! We had a great evening hanging out and sharing stories. Afterwards, we headed back to Jamie’s apartment where we got to meet Rufus, her adorable dog.
The next day we said our goodbyes and headed back to Amelia to make sure she survived the night alone in the big city – she did. The day before we had noticed that her normal “putt putting” sound had escalated to quite a loud rumble. So we started her up and got down to look under the back and found the culprit – a loose bolt on the muffler. We drove to a nearby auto shop and asked if they could take a look. The mechanic, with greasy-hands, and round-belly, and first replied “sorry honey, I don’t go near those old Volkswagen buses.” But I explained that we thought it was just a little ol’ bolt, and couldn’t he just take a look? He agreed and confirmed our diagnosis. We left Amelia in his capable dirty hands and walked around the neighbourhood, looking for some breakfast.
You know when you’re in a foreign city and you really want to find somewhere to eat and suddenly all the quaint cafés and cozy-looking restaurants you’d notice on every corner before, suddenly disappear? We wandered for about 40 minutes before turning to our iphones and using precious data to locate a place to eat. Turns out we found quite a gem! Blue Moon café – definitely check it out if you’re in Baltimore. Apparently on the weekends, the line-up can be an hour-long wait. But we only waited about 10 minutes, it being a Wednesday and all. I had the biggest, tastiest, homemade cinnamon bun I’ve ever laid eyes on (yes mom and auntie Kay, better than my homemade cinnamon buns). Steve had some delicious veggie potato cakes…which were like giant hash browns filled with vegetables.
We picked up Amelia and found out that, not only were ALL the bolts on the muffler loose, but we were missing a gasket in the muffler as well. He said we’d be fine without it for now, we’ll just lose a bit of gas so our mileage won’t be as good, but it’s something we should look at replacing eventually.
I’m learning so much on this trip. I didn’t know what a gasket was before! Here’s something else I learned – when going on a three-month trip with a new used VW Love Bus, go on a small trip ahead of time to work out the kinks.
So we didn’t really see much of Baltimore, but we had a wonderful time meeting two new friends, make that three new friends (how could I forget Rufus!). The skies were looking overcast, but we made our way towards Virginia and the Skyline Drive anyway, hoping for sunny blue skies ahead.
But Skyline Drive will have to be another post. In other Amelia news, the auxiliary battery doesn’t work, so all of our technology is slowly dying! Including the laptop on which I am writing this post. Just to keep us on our toes, Amelia likes to throw a new problem at us every day!
So from high up in the mountains of Virginia, surrounded by forests holding hungry bears and deer, I bid you goodnight!