Wrapping it up in Baltimore

The end of my trip home was great and packed with lots of food and lots of visitors.

Since it had snowed on Tuesday, my Aunt was not able to take the train down from NYC for the day.  We pushed this back to Friday.  With that came a lot of cramming in to those final hours in the States.

After I picked my Aunt up from the train station we headed to do some shopping (Target and Old Navy).  Then we went to meet my mom at the Stone Mill for some lunch.  Remember how I straightened my hair the day before?  Oh well, it rained, and it rained...of course, but I managed to keep my head somewhat dry.

My Aunt and my sister split lunch.  They had a black bean wrap with fruit.
They also had a veggie wrap.
My mom enjoyed some chicken soup, which I bet was perfect for the rainy weather.
Then she had a Caesar salad.
I had the powerhouse, which remains as my fave sandwich of all time.  I love spouts so a sandwich that has sprouts as the main feature is a perfect 10 in my book.
After lunch we headed home so I could pack a little.  I had to be at the airport Saturday morning so early and had late night plans Friday, so I let my Aunt and sister rest a little while I packed my goods up.

My Aunt brought me these from NYC.  This is mung bean fettucine and black bean spaghetti.  My sister has tried them before and my Aunt brought her more and then some for me to try.
I was feeling the pink while shopping at Old Navy.  I am excited about these pink rain boots.  We got these piggy banks so we can all start saving for a trip together in 2012.  So excited for these plans!
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Can you believe I had enough room in my 2 suitcases for almost everything?  I only shipped 2 boxes home this time.

Dinner was at a favorite vegetarian place of ours in the city, across from the Hopkins campus.  This is One World Cafe.  Most things are vegan, but they do have a tuna fish sandwich on the menu I think.  We also chose this place because it is close to the train station.  My friend Carolyn, who was my roommate during my dietetic internship, drove from Philly for dinner (and drinks later) and met us here.
Both my Aunt and my sister had the vegan stuffed shells. 
 The filling was a tofu mix.
I had the meatless meatball sub with soy cheese, so my Aunt could have a taste.
Then Carolyn showed up and ordered this insanely huge open faced portabella mushroom sandwich.
This thing was HUGE!
After dinner I dropped my Aunt off at the train, drove my sister home, and then Carolyn and I headed to meet up with the gang for drinks at Christopher Daniel.

Here are two of my bestest friends.  Actually, Mer and I have known each other for years.  We danced together when we were 6 and then reunited in High School.  Then we went to Muhlenberg College together, which is where she met Matt.  Strangely, Matt was from Baltimore too, which was super cool.  Matt quickly became part of our family.  They were the couple I ate with the night before at Zen West.
Here is my other best friend, Carolyn.  She is super awesome and drove about 2 hours just for dinner and drinks, then drove home (not drunk I will add) at midnight back to Philly.
Somehow food started to be ordered by Jon (not pictured because he disappeared when we were taking pics).  This is the lobster mac and cheese.  I guess if I did not already eat dinner this would have been great to try.
Instead, we stuck with some beer.
Ok, then I got hungry and ordered a PB cookie ice cream sandwich.  It was worth it.  Glad that Carolyn shared it with me.
That pretty much ended my trip.  It was great, but too short.

The next morning I was up ridiculously early for the plane.  I was flying Space A so I had to be there early.  I stopped by the Kosher Dunkin' Donuts by my mom's house on the way to the airport.  I wish this was a better picture because then you could see that this place has veggie sausage and a veggie chicken sandwich.  Because of the kosher dietary rules, they are a dairy facility and therefore no meat.  This is perfect for me because I love the faux meat options.
Once I got signed in at the airport I sat down to enjoy my english muffin with egg, cheese and veggie sausage.
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Here is where my nerves kicked in.  They called all the categories before to get their tickets.  I immediately knew something was wrong.  I sat and waited and then someone came over to let me know that the plane was full.  I knew there was only 6 open Space A seats, but did not think I would not make it on.  They were all higher categories than me.  

They told me (and another person) that there were still 5 people not yet checked in and that if they did not show, we could make it on the flight.  Now, the week before the same thing happened to this guy, but as he was waiting at the gate the other passenger arrived and he got bumped.  So, I think this week they were being extra cautious and kept us there until 10 minutes before the scheduled board time.  None of the passengers showed and we both got on the flight. Boy was I relieved.  I do not mind an extra week in the States, but I had work and other things that needed to be done.

At one point I noticed there were no clouds and just blue ocean below.
Here was what I was served because there was nothing vegetarian on the menu.  I can't reserve a meal in advance because I never know if I actually have a seat on the flight.
I was looking forward to trying this brownie despite this small treat having 250 calories.  I love how they make it look so healthy and report it is all natural and I think organic too, but in the end, it is still "junk food".  
Too bad we hit some major turbulence and this fell on the floor after it was opened.  That was not nearly as bad as the soda that spilled on me.  The kid behind me tossed his cup over the seat when we hit a rough patch and all the ice fell in my lap.  It was so cold and I was also panicked from the shock of the bumps and the drop of the plane.  I can say this was one time I was extra glad that I had a blanket covering me so I did not end up soaked.

Then we went back to a mostly smooth flight.  I tried to get some good shots from the plane, but it was only on my iPhone.  This is the island of Faial below.  You can see the patch of land just below the wing.
Here is a close up and then the regular shot of Pico, or at least the top part which breaks through the clouds.  If you missed my post about the trip there, I will tell you that Pico and the peak here is the highest point in all of Portugal.
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Well, that concludes my trip home to the States.  My next time in the US will be when we move over the summer.  Stay tuned because in the month of March I will be having a giveaway guessing game for our new location.  Yes, we know.  Nope, I am not telling yet!

QUESTIONS:  Do you have a kosher DD near you?  Have you ever seen the black bean pasta or mung bean pasta?  When was the last time you had a bumpy plane ride?


Unknown said...

hooray for some faces in the photos...not that I don't like food :) That peanut butter thing was GOOD! Glad you had a good time here, it was great to see you and hopefully we'll see ya again (+Ryan) in July! xoxo!

Biz said...

Glad you got to get some much stuff done when you were home Melinda - I am way behind in my blog reading and just catching up with yours.

I've never heard of black bean pasta - sounds interesting!

And I am a horrible passenger on a plane - any little bump and I freak out - on the inside, I try not to freak out my fellow companions!

On our honeymoon we had to take a small plane from Naples, Florida to Key West - It was the pilot and just us the plane was so small! But it ended up being a very smooth ride - whew!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

OH gosh, bumpy plane rides scare the crap out of me. I used to love flying, but now it terrifies me to no end. The thought makes me cringe!

Glad you had a nice end to your trip. The food all sounds wonderful, especially the vegan shells. Why does that sound so good to me? So does the chicken noodle soup. I think I'm craving salt right now!
We had a customer asking for kelp noodles the other day, which I thought was strange, but mung bean?? Even stranger! I'd definitely like to try that.

Astra Libris said...

I love reading about your trips to Baltimore - it's soooooo nostalgic for me, especially the awesome kosher DD! :-)

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