As fascinating as Comi-Con was, we weren't quite ready to say goodbye to the madness after we left. So we decided to drive around Baltimore a bit... mainly because The Dormouse had asked me where they film Ace of Cakes and I, having been there before, told her I'd show her where it is. But also knowing that the good folks at Charm City Cakes weren't going to want us to bother them while they worked with requests to come in and look around, I warned her that we could only drive by and see the building. Stopping to peer in the windows and stare would be creepy and wrong. Besides, you can't really see much through their windows.

So once the twenty-second drive by was accomplished, we needed something else to do.

That's when I reached back into the recesses of my brain to remember a cafe I'd been to three years ago that was pretty cool and I thought the kids would like. The problem was I could not recall the actual name of the cafe, the address, the street it was on, or even the general area. I did, however, remember that there might have been the word "moon" in the title and it was pretty brightly colored from the outside.

I'll have you know that it took me only about ten minutes of driving around aimlessly before I found it. Take that GPS systems of the world!

The Paper Moon Diner is one of the best things about Baltimore; that best thing being that quirky little places like this not only exist, but thrive. There are many, many things I love about Washington, D.C., but I love Baltimore equally as well and for completely different reasons. There is no way in hell a restaurant like this could exist in D.C. but in Baltimore, fun, unique places with awesome food like this are nearly as common as gas stations.

Since this place was 1) AWESOME and b) so full of things to gawk at it was almost impossible to choose from among the fifty or so photos I took to share with you, I narrowed it down to twenty and finally started twitching and shaking, yelling, "Don't make me choose, they're like my babies!" at no one in particular. What that means for you, dear reader, is:

Another long photo essay.

And there was much rejoicing.

The outside planters reminded me vaguely of the Boulder Garden sculpture outside Frank Lloyed Wright's studio. But only vaguely.

The outside of the diner is only slightly less intricate and decorated than the inside.

This little mannequin was blowing kisses into a toilet. Never really got a good angle to show them both.

This lovely lady greeted us in the foyer...

and presided over the army of Pez dispensers, standing in formation below her.

There really isn't an inch of real estate that isn't decorated in one way or another.

See what I mean?

The child care section of the restaurant is conveniently located on the wall above the front door.

As is the telephone company/farm animal division.

This photo seems like it belongs in a Chucky movie... I expect all those faces watching her to come to life and attack her any minute.

Someone is watching ominously from above.

The latest in haute couture.

Mom: keeping watch over the bathroom by night (and day).

This boat hanging upside down from the ceiling reminded me of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The Dormouse LOVED this.

I'm irked to no end that this photo didn't come out better in focus, because I didn't realize when I took it that I'd happened to hone in on the seven blocks that spell out "Believe."

When I first looked at this picture on my computer, I thought, "Drat, who walked into my frame and spoiled my photogr.... oh wait, that's not a person."

I believe this is where the "paper moon" reference in the name gets all tied up in a metaphorical bow. But there are probably a few real bows somewhere in there if folks don't want to go the metaphorical route.

Who doesn't want a jar full of plastic, dismembered heads on their counter?

One of Santa's helpers decided to stick around after Christmas.

So there you have it: The Paper Moon Diner. If you live within a two hour drive of Baltimore, you simply must make plans to go, because you have seen but a small portion of what there is to see. And the vanilla custard french toast is to die for.