On Wednesday morning, I was surprised to wake up feeling so good. I packed up my bag and took the red line back up to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch the Megabus. I had arrived a bit early and was able to hop on an earlier bus to Baltimore. What do you know, they have standby on Megabus. The trip to Baltimore was about three hours. I was able to catch up on some writing and work as the rain poured down outside. The last thing I wanted was to run in rain again, but I lucked out.
Rob Turning was kind enough to pick me up at the White Marsh Mall Park & Ride. The Baltimore stop was the only one that left you far away from downtown. Rob is a volunteer for Phi Delta Theta, and he and his wife Melissa both work at Johns Hopkins University. Our first stop was JHU, and I was able to thank Andy & Kelsey Tu again. Johns Hopkins has an awesome lacrosse program, so this statue was fun.
We stopped through Rob’s office where I found a small gift that I had sent him at one point. Rob and I have a mutual love for the Bagel & Deli Shop in Oxford, OH.
From JHU, Rob and I swung by the grave site of Edgar Allan Poe, the author, poet, editor and literary critic best known for his tales of mystery and death. Poe was the first American author to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. The stop also brought back fun memories of Tillie and I eating at Poe’s on our honeymoon in Charleston. I remember the food and the company being delightful. Here, I was able to thank Geoff Wood. Geoff is an Iowa State Phi Delt doing some awesome things in the Des Moines startup community.
For you sports fans, ever wonder why the name the Baltimore Ravens? Well, the team is named after Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem The Raven and their mascot is even named Poe.
Speaking of the Ravens, we drove over to M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens to take this picture of Johnny Unitas. Here I was able to thank my loveable buddy Brad Becker. Brad is a fraternity brother from Iowa State and the two of us enjoy sports, bad jokes, and the Jackass movie series. Brad and his fiancée Kelly are getting married this year in Kansas City. My dad was a fan of Johnny Unitas as well, so this was fun. Johnny actually played for the Baltimore Colts before they moved to Indy. Not a good subject to talk about in Baltimore.
Rob then dropped me off at Ben Kaufman’s house. I was excited to run with Ben. Ben and I had actually never met each other in person, but we’ve interacted through the Iron Phi program. Ben went to school at the University of Michigan and is an Iron Phi. More on his half-marathon story later. The rain had stopped thankfully, so Ben and I began our run at Fort McHenry. Fort McHenry defended Baltimore against the British invasion in the War of 1812 and is also the birthplace of the National Anthem. Here, I was able to thank my mom & dad once again.
After performing the National Anthem in two-part harmony (kidding), Ben and I ran around the grounds to look around. I was extremely excited to find one of my favorite things – cannons! I have a weird love for taking pictures of me looking into cannons. I have no idea where it began, can’t explain it, but it’s always a good time.
From Fort McHenry, Ben and I took off towards the headquarters of Under Armour. Luckily, Rob and Melissa had equipped me with my very own red Under Armour headband. Pretty stylish, eh? It even matched the sign. Here, I was able to thank Sean & Michelle Wagner for their gift. Sean has been my supervisor at Phi Delt for many years now and is a great friend. Sean asked if I’d stop through Philly to take a picture, but I wasn’t able to convince the bus driver or my fellow passengers that it was a good idea. By the way Sean & Michelle, did you know that the Yorkie is the most popular dog in New York City?
Ben and I then ran to the inner harbor. On the way, Ben told me about his journey with running. Ben has lost a third of his body weight since college and attributes it to running. I had no idea, but hearing about his success was awesome. I also learned about the social work that he does in Baltimore. Pretty darn inspiring. We reached the Inner Harbor, a beautiful area, and I was able to thank my sister & brother-in-law again, Anne & Don Davidson.
From the harbor, it was time for the baseball section of our run! We ran to the home of my second favorite professional baseball player of all time, Mr. Cal Ripken. I grew up an Orioles fan, so I always enjoy visiting Camden Yards. It is one awesome place. Here, I was able to thank Ernie Chan again for his gift.
We were heading towards the Babe Ruth Museum and on the way found his statue at Camden Yards
We followed the baseballs in the concrete….
And ended up at the birthplace of Babe Ruth, famous Yankees slugger. Here, I was able to thank my aunt & uncle, Colleen & Tom Good as well as my cousins Matt & Jessi Good. My Uncle Tom and his boys are collectors of sports memorabilia so it was fun to capture these pictures for them.
On the way back to Ben’s house, we stopped by this crazy narrow house in Baltimore. Here, I was able to thank my bud Keith Brown. Keith is a volunteer for Phi Delta Theta in West Texas. How cool is this house!? I figured I should stand skinny and turn the thank you side sideways.
Ben and I ended up at a market near his place and celebrated with Baltimore’s own National Bohemian Beer. Ben dropped me off at Rob & Melissa’s and went on his way. Thanks again Ben, I had a great time on our run.
My Baltimore experience was capped off how it should be, with a delicious sandwich. We made the trek to Chap’s Charcoal Restaurant for their famous pit beef. So good…
Once again, thank you Rob & Melissa for a great visit.