We left right after church, McChicken in hand, and zipped down I-83 toward Towson. When we got to Matt's, we learned that Ian was with his other grand-parents for the afternoon.Next we headed downtown to see the snazzy new "green" office building where Matt works for Legg Mason. It's right on the water's edge. We showed ID and were admitted to the elevator lobby by the guard (who, instead of an hourglass was counting down the shift using Hershey's-kisses-in-a-line). Matt told us that his card is programmed to let him in and even tells the elevator what floor he wants. Imagine! "Look ma, no hands!"
Matt has a nice glass-fronted office, painted in a bright orange color. That must help to keep him awake or something. His room was very neat, with everything in its place. I am imagining his room when he lived at home -- we had to step gingerly through the piles of stuff to get to the other side of the room.
Susanne was particularly interested in the break room, a sleek glass box where one of those coffee makers whipped up a tasty cup of java from little individual cups of ground beans. I think she'd make a great attendant in such an operation. Maybe Legg Mason has an opening.
We walked around Matt's floor enjoying views of the harbor and the cityscape. We saw some great conference rooms overlooking the harbor crowded with sailboats, water taxis, and in the distance, a cruise ship. Only the grey skies spoiled the view.
A short drive to Little Italy, that wonderful permastone enclave nearby, led us to Chiapparelli's, a modest looking restaurant -- Italian, of course -- with a very comfortable interior. Everything on the menu was appealing. We all had the house salad, which was outstanding, a concoction with lots of crisp lettuce, olive oil, and cheese. Susanne chose shrimp and pasta, Matt preferred the lasagna, and I -- being unable to narrow down so many choices -- choose the "Tour of Chiapparelli's," a plate with eggplant parmesan, fettucini Alfredo, and lasagna. Fresh bread (enough to feed the five thousand) filled the basket on the table. The "Tour" was among the best Italian food I have ever eaten, and the Alfredo was heaven. Our waiter was a cool little dude who looked right at home there.
After retrieving the car from the valet, we headed toward Marylee's parents' house to pick up Ian. The ride took us through some very interesting older neighborhoods of Baltimore. We saw block after block of 19th century row homes, many with (formerly) beautiful stone façades. Some blocks were well-maintained and others had not a single house that was not boarded up. We passed the Johns Hopkins medical campus, too, with its impressive modern and Victorian buildings.
Marylee's mom, Pat, came out to the car to say hello when Matt came back with Ian, who had a cookie in his grasp and seemed to like the sound of "cookie" spoken through a cookie!