While I gleefully rolled out of Melbourne at 6AM, I'll admit to feelings of trepidation. But, what a great feeling to be back on the road, even for less than 48 hours.
Like many of you I've spoken with, I imagined the drive from Florida to Maryland would entail empty highway stretches, perhaps limited gas stations, and arrival to an empty hotel. Quite the contrary, there were many people, from at least 7 states, heading north; the stretch from Daytona to Jacksonville felt like rush hour; and South Carolina was a truckers' domain. In North Carolina, my hotel hosted at least 20 guests from 4 states; and along the way, fuel was readily available, with Virginia winning the award for $1.39/gallon. I was pleased to arrive in my "state of residence," though the location hasn't fully registered, as I continue to be surprised by seeing Maryland license plates!
It's been a week in Baltimore, and while I'm very rested and relaxed, it will take another week to adjust to urban life (and the temperature). My home for 60 days is a delightful apartment with instant access to walking/biking the harbor promenade. So, while I am learning how to be an urban cyclist, I'm simultaneously feeling like a greenhorn as I adjust to using FOBs for doors and elevators, wonder how to clean laminate floors, and realize (after 72 hours) that I have an oven to bake pizza.
Thankfully, I know my way around the nearby neighborhoods of Federal Hill, the Inner Harbor, Fells Point and Canton, as my initial draw to Maryland was based on the TV series, Homicide: Life on the Street. Have you any doubt then, that my first long walk was revisiting both recognizable series locations, as well as a few memorable haunts from my wilder days? And, while I can't belly up to the bar at Bertha's, I will soon enjoy a take-out cappuccino from The Daily Grind.
I had many plans in place for spring that I've now let go of, and I refuse to ponder the plans I had in mind through fall, but I must move on in early summer. Decisions, decisions. In the meantime, lots to do here in yet another unique environment.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover