I am happy to say that I finally made the trip out to Baltimore to visit my bestest buddy in the world, Mary, and her lovely wonderful fantastic family. I had planned to go last year while I was pregnant with Emil, but I got very sick the weekend before I was supposed to go and so it was postponed. I would have been traveling with a very small belly full of Baby Emil, but this time I traveled with a very real, very mobile, very active (and very happy) 9-month-old Baby Emil.
“Crawl this way, Emil!”
Mary lives in this storybook place just north of Baltimore and honestly, I had no idea just how beautiful and magical this place was until I stayed there for three days. Before, when we lived in Baltimore, my visits to Mary’s house consisted of play dates and birthday parties and Halloween parties and the occasional hike in the woods (Loch Raven Reservoir is literally in her back yard!), but we never drove around and had the time to explore the windy hilly roads and cabins and cottages tucked into the belly of this beautiful place. But this time, with time to kill, stories to tell, and secrets to reveal while trying to get a cranky Emil to take a nap in the car, I was lucky enough to really see the place that Mary and her family call home. And their home is gorgeous, by the way. Every. Single. Detail.
And Ben, Milo’s very first friend, had grown tremendously since I last saw him at Thanksgiving. The sweetest, funniest, most thoughtful (and rivaling Milo with craziest) little boy who turns 5 next week (WOOT!) who loves babies and does NOT love pictures:
Showing me his strawberry plant
Ben invited Emil out to the trampoline so he could show him some of his best tricks:
… Followed by offering to help me bathe Emil (but swearing that he wasn’t going to get into the tub with Emil):
And Greta. Oh lordy this girl is just as plump and sweet as a strawberry, and reminds me of Oliver in so many ways:
Seriously, watch out. Because she could ask me for the moon and I would actually try to get it for her if she really wanted it. Sigh. But really, they’re all great. Jamie, Mary, Ben, Greta, even their sweet doggie Bella. Aside from making me feel welcome in their home, they cooked me amazing food, like this pizza that Jamie whipped up (with four eggs on top in little red onion circles- amazing!) and then Jamie took the kiddos to his parents’ house for two days so Mary and I (and Emil) could spend some quality time.
And quality time it was. I was completely spoiled when Mary dropped me off to get an hour-long massage (which was so relaxing I think I dozed off for part of it) while she took Emil. After that, we enjoyed lunch in the Inner Harbor and shopped around in our old stomping grounds (which have only become more amazing since we moved away 3 years ago).
Fells Point. Baltimore, MD
The Corduroy Button: quite possibly the cutest children’s store I have ever seen.
The Daily Grind: one of my regular coffee stops when Milo was a baby- great food, great people, and fantastic coffee & baked goods.
After lunch, we walked around Fells Point with a very sleepy Emil and enjoyed the boats and water and local accents.
But we did not enjoy the smell, thanks to a fish-killing algae that has recently taken its toll on the marine life in the Harbor:
Yes, it smelled as bad as this looks.
But actually, I know the smell of fish doesn’t bother me for some reason. Must be those Baltimore family roots (I was born there, after all).
The rest of that day was rough, as I barely kept a migraine at bay and nearly upchucked in Mary’s car before she dropped me off at her house to lie down for a while. And yet again, took a sleeping Emil for a drive so I could
go hug her toilet hide my eyes under a blanket. Thank goodness I was able to recover quickly. Ugh. I hate migraines.
That night I put Emil down early and Mary and I ate all kinds of delicious goodies (including beets with goat cheese, a delicious lentil salad, arugula on toast with melted cheese, and lemon ice cream with raspberries for dessert!) in front of a movie while giggling and making dumb jokes. It was heaven.
On Sunday, Mary took me to Belvedere Square, a great market near Towson that boasts all kinds of local produce and goods:
Yes, the market was great- but isn’t her dress amazing?!
And timing it perfectly, we did a little shopping before taking a nice sunny walk at the reservoir before Emil and I had to be at the airport. Seriously. Mary timed it perfectly. To the minute!
And just like that, it was time to go home.
It was an incredible trip, and I miss my friend already. But no worries! We get to see each other in a month for our beach trip to Hatteras Island!
Hooray for Mary!!! Hooray for Jamie! Hooray and we love you!
And quite possibly the best part of this trip? Pulling up in front of our house to see two beaming little faces waiting up for me in their pajamas with glow sticks and a very tired (and tan) papa! Oh, and not only did Andrew wear those two out with activities like a train ride to Central West End and a long walk back through Forest Park and the zoo; a baseball game; a trip to the swimming pool; a bowling alley adventure, and trip to the newly-opened playground splash pad, but I walked inside to a completely spotless house and it turns out he also fixed the back hatch to the van AND cleaned it inside and out AND watered all the plants. I mean, seriously. Make me look bad at my own job, will you?
I am, without a doubt, the luckiest woman alive.