A Stevenson quote to start things off melodramatically. I’ve mentioned my trip last month to Baltimore a couple of times, mostly in a “yes, I’ll be writing about that sometime tomorrow” capacity. It’s because I’m actually useless a blogger. Still, I finally pried my lazy fingers off the remote long enough to log Day 1, or Part One in My Seven Part Series: Baltimore, I Went, And I Came Back. It Was Nice.

When I came home from Baltimore, guilt-stricken over the complete abandonment of my commitment to document every moment of my trip, I wrote down everything we had done by day until I could develop the list into a proper post. Then a week went by and I lost that list. I wrote another, much shorter and shame-ridden list later on.

I left Hometown on Sunday, arriving earlyish afternoon at the airport – which is outside of the city somewhere between Baltimore and DC. My sister is currently doing her part to uphold the proud family tradition of not driving until well into middle age, so her ex-boyfriend had the honor of hauling all my crap into town. The drive to Charles Village was the greatest introduction to the city as usual (last time it was a bus, a commuter train and a taxi – also a great intro to the city, for the poorer student. But we’ve moved up in the world since then, so, car). The highway was so tiny I didn’t realize we were on it. If the regular roads in Hometown looked anything like the highway just outside of Baltimore I wouldn’t have all these hangups about driving at all (she declared arrogantly). My sister and I spent some time mockingly referring to everything as quaint, which is slightly bitchy, but there’s not else you can do when presented with this out of a car window:

baltimore from a car

(That was driving past an area called Little Italy – supposedly [there’s always a healthy chance that my tour guides lied about everything I now claim to know about Baltimore]). Actually, I think it really is incredibly quaint looking, which is not a bad thing.

Here’s what my list looks like for “Sunday”:

– Sweeney Todd
– Shopping
– Nature walk (?)

By “shopping” I mean grocery – we stopped in for some basic necessities my sister had been doing without. There’s nothing like having a guest over to make you start living like a proper human being, I guess. She has one of those little neighborhood grocery stores I hear tell of – not a gas stop convenience store or a supermarket, but an honest to god grocery store, the kind owned by grocers. We even ran into someone she knew while we were there, and there was a brief and friendly conversation, which should tell you the kind of neighborhood she’s running around in.

Then we did go home and watch Sweeney Todd on video, because dammit, my sister knows how to show a good time. It actually was a great movie, and a month later I find myself listening to several of the songs in my ipod and singing “Half a minute can’t you sit – sit you down – sit! All I meant is that I haven’t seen a customer for weeks” obnoxiously over many a sink full of soapy dishes. Although I was a little disappointed with Johnny Depp’s acting in that movie. Yes, I said it! I still love the boy, but I just wasn’t taken in by his part in the movie. Of course, I’m also going to say that a lot of that was Todd’s underdeveloped character – you really never know much about him, and he doesn’t have much of a personality besides being a bit of a moralist, perhaps, and then whole “vengeance” and “mental instability” thing. He doesn’t even have a particularly obsessive personality for all that. Mrs. Lovett was by far better developed (and also – sorry Johnny, I do still love you – probably better acted). Made the movie, for sure.

We may or may not have gone for a walk down at the park. Not on Sunday I mean, but then maybe so. The point is, there’s this nature trail slash dog park slash children’s playground to which we made several visits throughout the week. It’s a fantastic mix of dangers, with severe pitfalls and potential axe-murders throughout the trail, man-eating, vicious dogs roaming the unenclosed (possibly completely impromptu) “dog park” (or possibly, football field illegally being used by the neighborhood dog owners), and children all around the playground (total swing hogs).

That was a bunny we saw not on the nature trail (which was amusingly completely devoid of life), but in the sidewalk on our way to the apartment. Because Baltimore is occasionally unbelievably quaint.


* This isn’t me endorsing R.L. Stevenson in any way as a poet, novelist or human being. I’d never even heard of the guy until yesterday and haven’t read any of his work. I just like the quote.