Surprise! We’re in Baltimore

Day 7 of our American vacation, and a day which began in confusion and near panic has come to a pleasant conclusion.  Pretty much first thing in the morning, checking my e-mails, saw that our reservation at the Air B and B in D.C. had  been canceled.  Don’t know why.  Just was.  So, Helena and my cousin, our host, started investigating alternatives, each on  a separate computer, and Dean, who would probably make a pretty good travel agent if he didn’t already have a better job, came up with a hotel which, after the Senior discount (yes, I qualify for that, and am not embarrassed to take it) actually came out cheaper than the Air B and B place.  Only thing is, it’s in  Baltimore.

Oh, well, we figured.  Close enough.  And I suppose it is, though we’ll see how long it takes us to drive it early  tomorrow morning.

Helena was still worried about two things.  Driving in America, and driving an automatic.  On both counts, everybody has been reassuring her, but she worries.  It’s what she does.  The scariest part, actually, was getting out of the parking lot at the agency.  The brakes are definitely more sensitive than what she’s used to and we had a few short stops.

She relaxed a bit and did just fine on the freeway, and managed to handle the streets of Baltimore fairly well, and Sam did a good job as navigator, and here we are.  Got in about 5:30 and decided to go out for a walk and see some sights, as this is the first unexpected side trip on our trip and that makes it very interesting.

We went to the Inner Harbor, which is a lovely and lively development, sort of a cross between  Venice Beach and maybe Disneyland; there are lots of restaurants and food kiosks, street performers, cool shops, stuff like that.  However, to get there we walked through a bit of downtown, which instilled me with a deep certainty that I wanted to be back in our hotel room before dark, and not out wandering the streets.

Helena and the kids did not seem to share my anxiety, which led to a bit of tension, and they were angry with me, but that’s O.K.  Everything is just fine, and we’ll  be on our way tomorrow.

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