Do you believe in faeries? What about, magical beings with mystical powers? Maybe, wee people with their own language that seems foreign to your own, but if you listen to it closely you sort of understand what they’re saying? Do you believe in all of that power, that ethereal presence in the beauty and wonder of a small child?
(Dude, do you hear him? Did he, like, take ‘shrooms or something? Naw, I think he must’ve had some bad seafood in Baltimore or somethin’. He’s obviously wack. I know, talking ’bout Harry Potter or some shit…he’s obviously trippin’. Well, let’s listen and see if it gets any weirder.)
I know when I started this blog I said I would attempt to keep the “dad” posts to a minimum and this one is only slightly about fatherhood. But y’all, my daughter is the sweetest, most amazing, beautiful work of art on the planet. And, she was an absolute treasure this week while we were in Baltimore. It was hot there. I’m not talking hot like, egg on a sidewalk or desert terrain. I’m talking hot like shoe-melting, slap your mother hot. I swear that one day my shirt actually became part of my skin. The seafood was as fresh as it could be because it fried itself in the harbor. There was a thermometer on the bank near the hotel that actually read “Does it matter?” But, did my child complain? Never once. She never uttered a cross grunt from being out in the heat. I dragged her to the Mount Vernon neighborhood to see the FIRST Washington monument. I pushed her to the west side to see Poe’s grave. I lugged her to Fort McHenry where we participated in unfurling THE Star-Spangled Banner Aside: Okay, not the original, but a darn fine replica, 30×42 feet of flag and where the British, while failing to take Baltimore, apparently succeeded in removing all the trees from the Star Fort because there was no shade. In short, we went all over Baltimore and she went with me. And, she was an absolute trooper the entire time. Never fading, never complaining, just wonderful. And, at night, when we’d come back to the hotel, she would giggle for mommy, laugh at the TV, and go to sleep just like a little angel. Also, you should know that her first word was “cat.” We have three, so it’s not unlikely that it would be her first. Her second word is “meow,” which pretty much follows, doesn’t it? So, while we were all at the aquarium, everything that moved…any animal, up to and including rays, sharks, jelly fish and, yes, even frogs…they all “meow.” So, we haven’t done a great job of differentiating animals, but it’s just so much fun to hear her say meow that you don’t like to quibble.
So, yes, we were in the Charm City for C.’s work conference. We saw lots of things, but seriously, it was so ridiculously hot there that it was hardly worth getting the camera out. I’ve got some photos over on Flickr, but they’re token photos. They don’t really do Baltimore justice, and for that I’m sorry. It’s a pretty decent city and the waterfront is really great…plus, the various neighborhoods are very nice and I didn’t run into any rude people. As a matter of fact, everyone seemed very genial. A few things to note if you’re planning a trip to Baltimore sometime soon…
- The Washington Monument is closed until further notice for repairs. So, don’t expect to go up inside it.
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a great place to catch a ballgame and is walking distance from the Inner Harbor.
- When you’re going to be on the harbor, buy tickets for the Water Taxi rather than walking everywhere.
- When you’re not going to be on the harbor, take the Charm City Circulator, it’s free.
- Stop at Maisy’s (313 N. Charles Street) for a great, inexpensive meal (and ask for Levi if he’s working)
- If your only impression of Baltimore is The Wire, that’s unfortunate.
- Definitely do the aquarium, but be forewarned it’s a bit pricey. Still, worth the money.
- If you go to Ft. McHenry (which you really should do), tell Park Ranger Catherine Holden that she’s awesome. She’s the one that did our flag demonstration and I learned twice as much about the War of 1812 in that 20 minute presentation than I did in years of school.
- Go in the fall when it’s less hot, presumably.
So, there it is…pictures will be up soon if they’re not already. And, remember, earlier when I was talking about that vision of light and wonderment that is my daughter, here’s a picture of her so that you’ll know what that looks like.
See you in the funny papers!