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Weekend in Baltimore

Erci and went to Baltimore for a little weekend get-away this to see Rodrigo y Gabriela in concert and to have some time to ourselves.

We stayed at Brookshire Suites in the Inner Harbor area (small, but clean with excellent service) and used their complimentary shuttle service to get over to Fells Point for dinner and back. We enjoyed drinks at the hotel, and then a quiet dinner at Louisiana Restaurant (rich, pricey, but delicious) the first night.

We walked over to the Maryland Science Center to see the Leonardo da Vinci the Genius exhibit (which is inspiring, and on display until January 31st, 2010). We also got to see an egg drop competition, hot air trash bags floating in the atrium, blue crabs, dinosaur bones, and all kinds of hands on science exhibits and displays. We continued walking to the Rusty Scupper for a fun lunch and then meandered back through the Inner Harbor doing a little shopping at La Mesa (nice cotton clothing, interesting weaves, unfinished website).

We somehow managed to be indoors through Saturday afternoons biggest downpours of rain; which was a lucky break. We napped a bit and then walked over to the main event: Rodrigo y Gabriela in concert at Rams Head Live!. The venue is really nice, but standing room only. You can get very close to the performing artists; and they have drinks and food; but there is no reservation system other than what the crowd comes up with on the fly, and you’d best be wearing very comfortable shoes. No cameras allowed, and they require you to check any you may bring accidentally. Interestingly this did not seem to apply to cell phones and other flash-less devices… so I suspect they don’t want flashes distracting the artists.

The opening act was Rocco DeLuca (on his own, no band), and he was spectacular. I’d never heard of him, though several of his songs were familiar. This opening act alone would have been worth the trip to Baltimore for a weekend; we liked him so much we bought his CD and I was happy just to see him play live at about 30 feet (amazing guitar technique).

Rodrigo y Gabriela were even more astounding. I think this was the best concert I have seen (and I have seen Jethro Tull and The Who when they were in their prime). The amazing skill at which they play their guitars is astounding and inspirational. Also – I’d only ever heard them and seen a few videos at very low resolution; so I was pleasantly surprise to discover that both are very beautiful people. They played most of their new album, 11:11 and some of their big hits from previous albums. Beautiful, talented, authentic, sublime. I cried. The crowd was a very interesting mix; so Rodrigo y Gabriela clearly connect with an eclectic mix of fans of many ages and demographic groups.

After the show we were famished and we managed to get into Ruth’s Chris just before they closed; and so we got a very quiet and romantic meal in a mostly empty restaurant. A short walk back to the hotel to collapse for the night finished our Saturday.

Sunday we checked out of the hotel and drove back to Virginia on a gloriously sunny Fall day that inspired us to stay outside and taste wines at La Grange (a few miles from our house) where you can sit outside and enjoy the crisp Fall air.

You can get a taste of Rodrigo y Gabriela on Youtube:

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