Sunday, November 19, 2006

This move is starting to feel real now! We spent the day getting things together that we'll move down to Texas ourselves and then getting everything else ready to be packed by the moving company tomorrow. Last night we went to the Barnes' house for a farewell dinner. They really outdid themselves with a delicious bacon-themed dinner (uh, yum) and parting gifts for all of us! Eric made the coolest toy chest for Emmylou that has an inlaid checkerboard on top and slide-out drawer to hold the checkers, not to mention an automatic slow-hinged top so she'll never accidentally smush a finger! We'll be sure to show you all a picture of it once we get it into Emmylou's new room (I can't wait!). They gave Gary the new 2007 Tiger Woods Playstation game, which means I'll see him about 25% less a week now than usual, and as for me, I am SO excited-- they gave me something I will get hours and hours of enjoyment from:

Could that BE any better? [Chandler's voice] It's already in my suitcase to take down to Texas so it doesn't have to go into storage while we live in the hotel.

Here is a pic of Emmylou with Aaron and Alyssa and one with them and Bella:

Thanks for everything, you guys-- we love you and will miss you so, so much!

Now, back to the move...

Several people have asked us how we feel about leaving Baltimore and what we'll miss most about living here. While we've had a lot of good times, I have to admit that I haven't written much on this blog about the negatives of the city itself and what makes it rather easy to leave. For example, I don't think I've mentioned to y'all that Baltimore's crime rate just happens to be 6 times that of New York City's-- the reason I haven't been outside after dark in almost 2 years-- nor the fact that "Charm City," as it's so called, is actually the Syphillis and heroin capitals of the world. Charming! Gary and I have to stifle a little laugh every time we pass the benches at bus stops because they all have "Baltimore: The Greatest American City" painted across them. We have a theory that it's an inside joke among the natives, but no one ever let us in on it while we were here. Hmmm. But really, regardless, even with all of those things to deal with, living in downtown Baltimore was an incredibly interesting experience and one I don't think we'd trade for anything. We knew when moving here that this was the only time in our lives we could do something like this so we went for it, got the complete urban experience, and don't have any regrets.

Here are a few things I'll really miss:
- The four seasons: more than just a band from the 50's (who knew?!),
- Food: Lamb chops and baklava from Samos, crabcakes from just about anywhere that really are THAT much better than the ones down south, the specials at La Scala in Little Italy, burgers from Five Guys, and getting everything from Indian food to a $15.95 lobster delivered to our front door,
- Living in a BLUE state and, as an added bonus, in a city with a mayor who's in an Irish rock band,
- Yuengling beer and getting a wink from Natty Boh at night out on the deck,
- Orioles games at Camden Yards,
- Radiators and wearing sweaters more than twice a year,
- Going to the drive-in, the American Visionary Art Museum and the aquarium,
- Feeling close (or at least some connection) to New York City and DC,
- Patterson Park and the Patterson Perk for walks and coffee,
- My jobs at Sheppard Pratt Hospital and Towson University and the people I met there, and
- I'd say Ikea and Anthropologie but both moved into Austin this month!

Other things I won't miss so much:
- Ghetto birds with spotlights over our house at least 5 nights a week,
- Living in a house that leaks in at least 3 places every time it rains,
- Living blocks from a bay so polluted that 70% of Maryland's most famous commodity, the blue crab, is actually imported from the Gulf of Mexico,
- Hearing generators used for rowhouse renovations starting at 7 am and lasting the entire day, every single day of the week (I'm wondering how Emmylou will ever be able to nap in silence considering what she's used to now),
- A hefty 5.5% state income tax (still trying to figure out where all that goes),
- People who don't wave when you let them in when you're driving,
- Shoveling snow on a sidewalk as long as half of a city block (okay, Gary mostly did that),
- Wearing out the RatZapper (we just zapped mouse #18),
- Having to keep the Mini Cooper- not exactly the ideal car for transporting an infant around town- because it's the only car that will fit into the 1890 carriage-sized garage and we don't want to get into any fistfights over street parking,
- Taking Lola to the park to pee three times a day since we don't have a backyard, and
- Living with people who've never heard of breakfast tacos.

Still deliberating on:
- Listening to karaoke from the lesbian bar across the street until 2 am: sometimes annoying but other times tempting us to jump out of bed and belt out a little Fleetwood Mac and Def Leppard ourselves. Hmm.

Anyway, we really will take fond memories of Baltimore back with us to Texas. It was the adventure we were hoping for and it will always be extremely special to us because it was where Emmylou came into our lives. Can't wait to come back to visit. Yeehaw for Texas!

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