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Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Dave!Ooh! It's a day in the life of Dave2!

Last night I arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport around 11:30pm. I was exhausted from traveling for over 12 hours, and was in no mood to mess with a car rental, but since I had to drive out at 6:00am I didn't have much choice. After getting my stall number from the Hertz #1 Club Gold board, I made my way to the car, tossed my crap in the back, sat down, grabbed the keys, went to start the ignition... and noticed my "keys" were not keys at all. They were some kind of magical transmitter that communicated with the car. Turns out I had been given a Nissan Altima Hybrid, and all I needed to do was have the "keys" inside the car and press the "start" button...

Nissan Altima Hybrid Key
Photo taken from a nice review at

From there it was only a short drive to the Aloft Hotel at Arundel Mills.

SIDE NOTE: I love, love, love Aloft Hotels. I'm usually a Hilton Whore, but any time I find an Aloft where I'm staying, it is my absolute first choice. Very nice rooms at very nice prices, and service that is second to none. This is the fifth Aloft city I've stayed at, and I have nothing but raves for the chain. If I were to build my dream hotel, it would be an Aloft. Highest possible recommendation.

This morning after waking up, getting showered & dressed, and heading to my car... I noticed it was pitch black and raining... hard. Not the best conditions for a two hour drive into Pennsylvania, but I've had worse. Until it started raining even harder and I could barely see the road. Accidents were everywhere, and the extra hour and fifteen minutes I had added "just in case" was gone before I knew it. I barely arrived to my meeting on time.

Fortunately, the return drive to BWI was much easier. I got back around 1:30, worked for two hours at the hotel, then drove back to the airport so I could drop off the Nissan Altima Hybrid (which I ended up liking a lot!). From there... I decided to hop a train down to Washington, D.C. for dinner in the rain. All my photos are from the crummy camera in my iPhone, so you've been warned...

White House
The White House. I thought for sure President Obama would have come out to say hello, but he didn't. Maybe he wasn't home?

Washington Monument with Construction Vehicles in Front
The Washington Monument. I love this photo, and titled it "Monumental Construction" when I uploaded it to Flickr.

It's the FBI...
The J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building. Conveniently located across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe.

The Hard Rock WA DC
The Hard Rock Cafe Washington, D.C. Kind of boring on the outside, but vintage Hard Rock on the inside!

Hard Rock Cafe Washington, D.C.
The Embassy of Rock. A very nice dual-level Hard Rock property with plenty of nifty memorabilia.

After dinner, I hopped a train back to the airport. But along the way I somehow decided that I should continue on into Baltimore since it was only 8:00. Fortunately, the conductor was able to upgrade my ticket onboard, and away I went...

Carnival Cruiselines
Tired of Pants? This is the first thing I see when I arrive at Baltimore's Penn Station. My kind of city!

Male/Female Statue at Penn Station
Klaatu Barada Nikto? The first thing you see when exiting Penn Station is a freaky giant aluminum statue called "Male/Female."

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore
Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore. My iPhone obviously does not do well in the dark.

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore Interiror
Inside the HRC Baltimore. Yet another classic, beautiful, memorabilia-packed Hard Rock property.

Waterfront in Baltimore
Guardrails?!? Every time I'm in Baltimore, I'm shocked as hell that there are NO GUARDRAILS at the waterfront! What keeps drunks from falling in? Or kids from goofing off and being pushed in? It's just mind-boggling that nobody has been sued over this yet.

I had thought I was in Baltimore just a couple years ago, but I can't find any record of it on my blog. Maybe I wasn't able to blog about the trip? I dunno. The last time I can verify that I was here was six years ago on a layover to Reykjavik, Iceland. I know I wasn't here in May of this year, because the Baltimore Sun News Building is still standing.

Anyway... I was too tired to track down a light-rail train back to BWI and arrange for a shuttle, so I just bit the bullet and paid the $35 to take a taxi back to my hotel. I still had a couple hours work to get done, so any time saved would be worth the cost.

And that was pretty much my day today. Now it's time to get some sleep.

Categories: DaveLife 2009, Hard Rock 2009, Travel 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. Ren says:

    Our Infiniti M35 has that same starter. I love it.

    Your DC picks remind me that I really need to take the kids there soon. Maybe next summer. Good to know there’s a Hard Rock I can visit while we’re there. 🙂

  2. I’ve always wanted to go to Washington DC. Wait, I had a layover in Dulles though, does that count? And for the record, I can’t believe the President didn’t come out to say hello. How rude is that?

  3. kilax says:

    I wonder why I didn’t go to the Hard Rock when I was in DC. Hmm.

    Steven and I both have cars with remote start like that. It’s convenient!

  4. Lisa says:

    It’s been over 15 years since I’ve been to DC. We did a really quick trip when we lived in VA, so I didn’t get to see nearly as much as I would someday like to.

  5. A. Lewis says:

    Oh yeah baby….our Camry Hybrid has the same system…..I love it. But, I’m jealous, I wanted to test drive the Altima Hybrid before we bought the Camry….but at that point, they were only selling the Altima in 8 states, which did not include Oregon (does now).

  6. John says:

    I live in Baltimore.

    The absence of gaurdrails is our “ODPTD”-Over Drunk Population Thinning Device!

    Although, they tend to cloud up the water… we should get special drunk skimmer boats to remove debris!

    As for the kids, it thins out the dumb ones. But that does seem kind of harsh…the boats could have emergency child care on board! We can have our cake and eat it to!

  7. Iron Fist says:

    They just opened an Aloft hotel in Portland in the last year. It’s way out by the airport, but it’s only a five minute walk to the closest MAX station and, well, you know how that can get you downtown in less than half an hour or so. The hotel looks pretty awesome.

  8. Sarah says:

    I’m not even old enough to rent a car. True story.

  9. kapgar says:

    The Toyota Prius we had last year in Florida was the same way with the key. But it also had a cool little slot you could stick the whole fob in to let the internal battery charge.

    Thank you for clarifying that photo wasn’t you. I was going to otherwise comment on what smooth skin and long nails you have.

  10. I’m always so impressed by your energy – I like to get around when I travel and explore, but I have to collapse in the hotel every once in a while. You are constantly on the go and you always take advantage of being in interesting places. I admire that.

    Also – thanks for the hotel recommendation! I keep info like that and rely on it later.

  11. martymankins says:

    Now I want a Nissan Altima Hybrid.

    And to visit Baltimore. And DC (the last and only time I’ve been to DC was in 1972).

  12. yellojkt says:

    You came to Baltimore and there was no DaveFest! I’m so bummed.

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