Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Home Away From Home

I was born and raised in (and very near) Daytona Beach, FL. For good or ill, I consider Florida home (although I'll be the first to admit that Fark.com has a specific "Florida" section for a very good reason).

As I talked about recently, the last couple weeks have been the roughest of my life having to bury Dad. But there were some positives to the fateful trip north. Getting to see family I hadn't seen in a long time. And getting the opportunity to finally show my wife and kids my home away from home... Baltimore, MD.

I hadn't been there in a couple decades so I was afraid I wouldn't recognize the place. There were certainty some changes, but recognizable enough to bring back the kind of memories I had with my Dad - that I was finally able to pass along to my own family.

Harborplace had apparently been overrun by big corporations since the last time I had been there. Specifically the Light Street Pavillion, which was taken up mostly by a Hooters, Bubba Gump, and Ripley's Believe It or Not. Pratt Street Pavillion still had a lot of little shops and was laid out a lot more like what I remembered. We also finally got to see the Gallery at Harborplace - a five-story mall tucked inside a hotel lobby.

As an added bonus, there was snow! Being a Florida kid, this marked the third time I'd ever seen snow in my life. It wasn't of blizzard proportions or anything, but it was freely coming down. We all got a kick out of that as well.

I don't have to recap the whole day or anything, but suffice to say it was a joy I won't forget. It's not easy for a big family to just up and take a trip several hundred miles north, so I had to take advantage of the opportunity while I could. I'd like to think we all got a little closer, and I know I was able to get closer to Dad, even though he may have been watching from afar.

LIstening to: Prince - "3 Chains O' Gold"

No comments: