A travelogue

I’m no travel writer.

Travels with Charley is a great book. Darwin’s Origin of the Species is compelling travel literature too. Sort of. White guys traveling and naming things. There’s a tradition here.

Speaking of people who aren’t white, I’m currently obsessed with Octavia Butler. I’m devouring her pulpy, science fiction. Can’t get enough. Haven’t been this into a fiction writer in years. There’s a quality of travel to her writing too. Through space, time, and the mind. I suppose the fictional character Magic “F$%#ing” Johnson might have something to say about travel too. So maybe I’m a travel writer of sorts. Kind of.

Anyway, I’m taking a stab at a more conventional travelogue here, albeit brief. This is a travel writing blog. You’ll see pictures below. I learned, during my 45 seconds of googling travel blogs, that travel bloggers often include pictures. I don’t usually follow tropes. But here goes nothing. Can you guess what city these two boys traveled to in the image below?

Figure it out? No? Well, let me tease you a little more.

Now, I’m not one to quote presidents in this blog. Unless you’re talking about William Howard Taft.

Here’s a famous quote by Taft:

“The trouble with me is I like to talk too much.” – William Howard Taft.

Poetry. Did you know Taft once got stuck in the White House bath tub?

Anyway, a more recent president of the United States recently suggested that no human being would want to live in Baltimore. In fact, he has tweets dating back to 2015 about the subhuman qualities of the city. The Wire most have really got to him.

Well, dear reader, I felt it my duty to research the quality of life in Baltimore last weekend. The city is only three hours away from my home in Central Pennsylvania where the August hills are lush and green. And I’m a trained ethnographic researcher, albeit a critical one. So I decided to do some field work.

Really, Katie and I wanted a few days away with the boys. A family road trip. And Baltimore is close. It is also home to the National Aquarium. And who doesn’t like dolphins?

So we spent two days on the streets of Baltimore.

What a delightful town. We explored the aquarium. Went to the science museum. Swam in the hotel pool. I even ate (too much) ramen and drank (too much) sake. See?

Solomon marveled at all of the buildings. All of the people.

“I love Baltimore, Dad,” my five-year old son told me. “This city is awesome. It’s like New Donk City.”

New Donk City is a kingdom in Mario Odyssey. We’ve played lots of Mario Odyssey lately. Anyway, Solomon’s opinion was clear. Baltimore was a great town.

I’m biased, of course, but I’ll take my kid’s word over some comment by a president. Unless you’re talking about Taft. Here’s some more gold from the 27th president of these United States:

“I’ll be damned if I am not getting tired of this. It seems to be the profession of a President simply to hear other people talk.” – William Howard Taft.

Poor guy. Sounds like running the country was exhausting work. He should have spent more time vacationing in Baltimore.

Speaking of exhausting work. School starts again soon. Our trip to Baltimore was a short getaway as we brace for another year. Solomon starts kindergarten in the fall. I start my fifth year as a professor.

Time moves quickly.

Anyway, what else did I find out about the city? Not much. I was only there for two days. As a tourist. But here’s more pictures to end this travel blog. You can draw your own conclusions, dear reader. Name the city however you like. I’m not looking to influence your thoughts. Or to win your vote.

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