We woke up on Monday to another day of beautifully clear skies. Our flight was scheduled to leave BWI at 10PM, so we had plenty of time to wander the city some more. We slowed down for the morning, and took our time with breakfast at the hotel and packing up our bags. Once we checked out, we left our bags in storage again, and hit the road.
Somewhere between reminders to “Be careful!” and short interrogation sessions – “Why would you even want to go there, what is there to do?” – we planned our visit to Baltimore over President’s Day Weekend.
We weren’t scared off. We didn’t feel scared at all, even walking through some of the trickier neighborhoods. I believe a little common sense goes a long way when travelling, and, let’s be honest, every city has its rough neighborhoods.
Despite all the warnings, we used the weekend to its fullest. Eating some great food, learning quite a bit of history, and enjoying one of the best weekend’s worth of weather I’ve ever seen during February! I mean, seriously, people acted like we were getting deployed into a war zone. I know Baltimore has had its fair share of troubles (recently and in the past) but we really enjoyed the city. It’s got character. It’s got a beautiful harbour. It’s got plenty of history and some great food. Each neighborhood has a different feel. I love cities like that. I want to walk from one end to the other, and see different people, different buildings, new food. That’s what make cites so great, you can find a little bit of everything.
American Express just isn’t what it used to be. (Ask your grandfather.) Sure, there’s this lingering air of prestige* when you pull out the Platinum card, but there are plenty of cards licking at its’ heels. You can make (and probably win) the case that a card like the Citi Prestige or the Chase Sapphire Reserve has already surpassed the Platinum.
Whether you win that argument with yourself or not, I find myself with an American Express Platinum card, so we might as well see how it works, right?
I mentioned briefly a few weeks ago that I’d be taking an overnight train with the family down to Baltimore, and we made it! Honestly, I was a little apprehensive at first. I really hit the rails running, making my first Amtrak journey a nine hour overnight ride. I’m sure many of you are much more familiar with trains than I am. So as a first time rider, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the overnight train experience.
“A whole month of extreme frugality!?”
(I can hear my girlfriend laughing at me from the other room.)
“C’mon, it won’t be so bad! We’ll just – ”
She cuts me off, “I mean, I’ll do it. I just don’t understand why you want to cut even more money out. It’s not like we’re big spenders.”
“Well, the point isn’t really to stop spending money entirely, just to get a feel for where we are. You, know, just kind of measure things.”
That’s how it began. I little resistance, sure, but she came around! And now, the results are in. So, just how did we do with our extreme frugality challenge?
January wasn’t a crazy month for travel hacking in my life. Some points here, some miles there. Just a few things to report!