A charmed visit to “Charm City”

We headed out to Baltimore for a visit with our son at Johns Hopkins University.

The United Airlines flight from Sacramento was not memorable, an experience we’ve come to expect in this era of airline deregulation. 

We upgraded to first class as United “Silver Status” members, which — of course — was full of other upgraded “Silver Status” members.

But except for a wider seat, our flight — with an hours-long connection in Denver because of a snow storm — wasn’t much to write home about. We landed at 4 a.m. (instead of 10 p.m. as planned), and we struggled to find a taxi cab at that hour of the morning.

We are settled in Baltimore now, enjoying a visit with our son and his classmates. After a long weekend of warm weather, it has been raining almost nonstop. But we are glad to pad around the beautiful campus, a short walk from our hotel. And the pitter-patter of rain is a welcome sight rather than a deterrent, since it is such a rare occurrence back home (We’re “Singing in the Rain.”)

We’ve had a great time catching up with our son, and hearing about his classwork and campus life. Johns Hopkins is on Cloud 9, because philanthropist Michael Bloomberg has donated a record-setting $3 billion-plus to his alma mater. The donation has allowed the school — ranked in the top 10 of our nation’s universities for its academics — to strengthen paths for talented undergraduates in STEM fields. 

The timing has been fortunate for the Class of 2024-5. Our son’s major is biomedical engineering, one of JHU’s strong suits, and the school is investing even more in the program.

We are enjoying our return visit, eating fresh seafood, and touring some attractions, including neighborhoods such as Fell’s Point, the Inner Harbor, museums, art galleries, and a science center. 

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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