Even after we got back to the Capitol Hilton, we were in for a long wait, as our bus driver could not find a way through the parade roadblocks to the side of the city where we were waiting. The Congressional Black Caucus was having an inaugural ball at the hotel where we were waiting, and I caught a brief glimpse of the old-school rapper Doug E. Fresh in the lobby. Our bus finally arrived about 9 PM, and we got back to the hotel in Maryland with just a brief window of time to get to the Outback Steakhouse for dinner.
On Sunday evening, January 20, the buses took us to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for dinner. While some of our group went to Phillips Seafood, I decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory, which has always been one of my favorite restaurants. Upstairs, Uno’s Chicago Pizza had the Ravens game on, and I walked upstairs to watch it just as Tom Brady threw an interception that helped seal the game for the Ravens. Within a minute after the end of the game, horns starting honking all over the downtown area, and cars began racing down Pratt Street with heads sticking out of sunroofs and Ravens banners waving. Revelers in Ravens gear also began to appear on the street, and one vehicle had a paper-mache Ravens player on their car roof!. The police soon arrived as well and started pulling some of the more excessive partiers over and writing them tickets. We had by this point gotten back on the bus for the ride back to our hotel.
Our hotel was about 18 miles from downtown Baltimore, but fortunately, there was a large shopping mall across the street called Hunt Valley Town Center. There were quite a few restaurants, a coffee bar, an Italian dessert cafe, a specialty book and gift shop where I found a Ray Lewis shirt for my best friend who’s a Ravens fan, and a cool burger joint called Boardwalk Burgers and Fries, where I grabbed a late lunch before the restaurant closed early due to the Ravens/Patriots playoff game. Actually, all around the shopping center were evidences of Ravens mania. Not only were many of the customers wearing Ravens shirts, but the shopping center had placed Ravens gear on the two decorative statues of horses in the central park of the center.
On Saturday January 19, 2013 I got on a bus with my friends from college days and the Law and Order Crew to ride to the Inauguration of the president in Washington, DC. Despite long hours on the bus, cold weather and a bus breakdown, we had a ball and managed to arrive all in one piece. Our hotel was the Embassy Suites in Hunt Valley, Maryland outside of Baltimore, as hotel rates in the District of Columbia were outrageous, if you could get a room at all.