“I will NEVER travel to Baltimore again!” exclaimed my boyfriend/now husband B. I cringed and agreed. We just spent a lackluster weekend driving in and around the city of Baltimore, bored, disgusted but laughing at our comical misadventures.
After eight months of long-distance dating, this was the first vacation that B and I took together. We’d become accustomed to the arduous, New Jersey-wide drives and the lurking parents, but this time we wanted privacy, so we planned a quick jaunt. This trip could either make or break our relationship.
Friday evening, I drove 2 ½ hours straight from a company picnic in New York to his parents’ house in South Jersey. The next morning we drove to Baltimore where we stayed at an economy, express motel in the outskirts of the city.
We drove toward the city that evening, and I pointed out a woman walking in the dark highway, wondering what the hell she was doing. “Well, MB,” B dryly remarked, “those ladies aren’t waiting for a bus; they’re waiting for a ‘john’.”
Searching for exciting life beyond the aquarium, Fells Point bars and Inner Harbor, because we were too cool for the usual attractions, we rode around, looking for unique restaurants. Barely any businesses were open except for a street of adult entertainment venues, so we ended up at a place that served “sour beef.” As B tried to choke it down, he was told it was an area specialty. So much for haute cuisine…
In the middle of the night, snuggled together in bed, we heard two men loudly talking outside our motel room. “Just three years ago, you couldn’t stop in this area without getting carjacked!” After that delightful comment about our beautiful surroundings, B whispered, “I’m scared!”
The next morning driving back to the motel after a breakfast at a quaint cafe that actually whipped up delicious omelets, my new car ran over two overstuffed black trash bags that probably ruined the suspension for good. We left the next day. At an ubiquitous New Jersey diner where we ate brunch upon returning, B grabbed a sugar packet for his coffee with a famous Oscar Wilde quote: “If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want.” And, for better or worse, we’re still enjoying vacations together, 15 years later…
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog by M.B. Sanok, a New Jersey mom.
Photo credit given to Fark.