Charm City

Dear J—

Ten years ago we went to Baltimore together; it was in the time before kids and theVet had a conference she wanted to go to. The vagaries of flight scheduling mean that I’m flying SFO-IAD, then BWI-LAX-SFO on the return, meaning that I’ll be in Virginia and Maryland both in the next week, however long that takes. Life, I guess. At this point I’m supposed to offer up a resigned shrug but it all comes from booking travel late and … yeah. I’m not looking forward to telling theVet there’s at least three more trips planned for this year, possibly all happening next month, not after even once a month is too much. I come back to thinking about the three weeks in Canada and what that meant.

How old was the boy? Let’s think; those trips were in March 2013, so he would have been two and change, old enough to recognize me but who knows what they thought of stuff bought at the Ottawa gift shop, or whether I had time to do anything else (which I did, and I didn’t; I remember walking around Deep River in the hastening dark of late afternoon, how all the shops closed directly at five and the few restaurants were all you had to choose from, well, except for the Giant Tiger that I lucked into, but what else was there? Would I have the opportunity to go back, and if I did, would I get to skate Rideau Canal? You choose your battles carefully and there’s nothing quite like missing out on kids while you’re off somewhere on travel.

The Goldilocks of travel, then: there is such a thing as too much and too little and just right. It’s nice to be going off somewhere but not terribly (not at all, then) fair to theVet and the kids to not be there, though. We like to think that we’re unbreakable but the truth is we all have limits on what we’ll tolerate before running off, screaming, into the night. So, Baltimore; I’m looking forward to it, though there’s no real reason to be hopelessly optimistic, and DC, I’m happy to go see as well; how much free time I’ll have for myself, though, that’s not clear and not as important as getting back again, soon as I can and with minimal effect.



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