OK, I’m super-sick, but I am determined to soldier on. I AM A BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER. I went to a play tonight and now I am home and feel like utter crap but at least I feel like crap on my couch. That’s the best place to feel like crap, probably. Or your bed. Your bed is also a good place to feel like crap. Preferably with a Dumbcat curled up purring next to you because Dumbcats make you feel better when you are coughing and feverish. Or at least they try to.
And, before I get started, happiest of all happy Mother’s Days to all the mothers who are reading. This is all-inclusive and includes everyone who does mothering, even those who haven’t birthed an actual child through their actual birth canal in an ouchy-ouchy way. So, all mothers of all things, and people who adopt, and same-sex couples, and dads who single-parent, and moms who have lost children, and anyone else I might be forgetting - you are all wished the happiest of days from me and I celebrate every one of you. All the love to all of you. Amy’s Mom received so many roses this year and was so surprised because I could never afford that before, and they are in many places in her house and I got a “YOU ARE THE BEST DAUGHTER!” so that was a total Mother’s Day win in Amy-land.
So, now we are on to our last day in Baltimore, which was Sunday. We decided to not do a billion things on the last day, mostly because we were very tired. Well, at least I was. And R. and A. were nice enough to agree they were as well, whether or not they REALLY were. We did so many things! It was time for a little calmness.
Our trip Sunday was to something MERKAN! And NATIONAL! And PATRIOTIC! Any guesses?
Now maybe you don’t know about Fort McHenry. I didn’t know about it. Other than it was something Merkan. Here are some bullet-points about Fort McHenry if, like me, your school was sadly lacking in good American History classes (or perhaps you kind of had a little crush on your American History teacher so you spent time daydreaming about him and not paying as much attention as you should have, I don’t know your life):
- It is three things: a National Park, a National monument, and a historic shrine
- It was an actual fort in the war of 1812
- It defended against a British attack in Baltimore harbor in 1814 (were you aware the war of 1812 was so LONG? I wasn’t)
- While watching the battle, a Washington lawyer was so impressed by the fact that the men at the fort held off the British and that the American flag stayed flying the whole night through, he was inspired to write a song. What do you think the lawyer’s name was? Well, it was Mr. Francis Scott Key. And that song was the “Star Spangled Banner.” BAM, MOFOS!
Yes! This is the actual place that inspired our NATIONAL ANTHEM! MERKAN HISTORY, YOU GUYS!
Now, I feel the need to give you a disclaimer. I know I kind of bag on Merka. Mostly by calling it Merka. And shaking my head at things that happen here in Merka, like Truck Nutz and Fox News. But here’s a huge secret, that, ironically, will not be a huge secret once I tell you: I love Merka. So much. I am so jazzed by the history of my country. It makes me have goosebumps. It makes my whole heart thrill. I love the thought of my scrappy forefathers who believed so strongly in our country holding off against the British. I love the national anthem. I love history and battles and monuments and things that made our country great. I think our country could still be great. I believe a great deal in our country, and it makes me sad, what it’s become. Dad finds this fierce patriotism of mine funny. “For someone who’s part of the enemy’s team, you really do love our country,” he says. (The enemy’s team = Democrats.) “You might be the only Dumb-o-crat who actually loves America. So that means you’re not really a Dumb-o-crat and you’re just confused. Any day now you’ll come over to the right side.”
First we walked all around the fort. Guess what I stood on? NO, GUESS!
THE RAMPARTS! The ACTUAL “o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming!” I WAS ON THE RAMPARTS!
There were many cannons. This whole place was surrounded by cannons. ALL THE CANNONS. I wanted to ride on a cannon because that seemed very Merkan, and we even found one cannon that didn’t say “Don’t climb on this, Amy” but it was kind of rusty and I was afraid I’d get my pants dirty.
This is the view when you’re walking around the Fort. It’s beautiful. The bay is right there and you can see all the boats. It was a little chilly and windy, but that’s what happens when there’s water.
I kind of forgot to take enough photos. Luckily, A. took some photos and he’s GOOD, you guys. Like, artistic-good. He said I could steal. I’m giving credit, so it’s not as much STEALING as it is kind of borrowing, I suppose.
Look, he has this awesome setting on his camera where he can take a bunch of photos and make them into ONE LONG PHOTO! Isn’t this so pretty?
So we walked all around, then we went INTO the fort, and you could go into some of the rooms. One of them had teeny-tiny cells in it where TRAITORS were kept. Traitors, you guys! Here is an interesting historical tidbit. During the Civil War, one of the traitors kept there was Francis Scott Key’s grandson. He was an editor of the Baltimore Sun, and he wrote an editorial that said although he didn’t approve of the South’s decision to secede from the Union, he didn’t think we should use military force to get them back, and he also criticized the Lincoln administration. WELL! That did not sit well with the powers that be, and they not only locked him up, they shut down the whole paper. SHUT DOWN THE WHOLE PAPER! See, civil liberties were limited during the Civil War. Anyone could be jailed if they were accused of disloyalty or treason, without a trial; martial law was put in place; censorship of journalists and papers was the norm. Doesn’t this scare the shit out of you? It does me. I had no idea about any of this.
Look, I was making history today by visiting the fort! MERKAN HISTORY!!!
There were things in the different rooms like exhibits and tableaus and various things. There was a big flag that was a recreation of the actual flag that inspired the national anthem. It was all very historic and I liked it all very much.
Then we had a picnic! With baby CeeVee!
It was her first picnic. As you can see, she enjoyed it a great deal. That’s A. in the background. I think this is the only photo of A. I got the whole time I was there. But look, he does exist!
CeeVee and I played a game called “Grass is the best!” in which she would pull up all the grass and then hand it to me, and I would say, “Oh! Thank you!” and she would laugh and laugh and give me MORE grass. Grass is her favorite. Even better than grass? Dandelions. She LOVED dandelions. R. told her not to eat the dandelions, and then she picked another one and almost ate it, and then looked at it very sternly and said, “NO” to it, which made ME laugh and laugh.
Then she decided to go adventuring and did an homage to a famous painting.
…and the Baby CeeVee version…
I like CeeVee’s version better, but I’m biased.
Then we went to the gift shop, where you could buy things like weaponry and muskets and swords (I didn’t buy those things, I mean, would they even let me bring them on the train?) and then we went on a long long looooong tour of Baltimore and A. and R. showed me a lot of beautiful buildings that I hadn’t seen yet. Dear Baltimore, I am very much in love with you. You are just the most beautiful city full of endless wonder. I am looking forward to returning.
Oh, a thing I noticed in Baltimore that made R. laugh because I kept noticing it was very brightly colored pants. Like, RED! or GREEN! and I think they were jeans. Is that a thing? I don’t know that that’s a thing around here. Whenever I saw them I would stop what I was doing and say “MORE BRIGHTLY COLORED PANTS!” and R. would laugh. The first time I did it, R. said, “You are the most random person I know, Amy.” And yes. Yes, I sometimes am that. But in my defense, those pants were VERY brightly colored.
Then we spent the rest of the day relaxing and I did some internetting and we ate some delicious Chinese delivery and talked and laughed and R.’s friend stopped over to visit for a little while, and that was nice, and then we watched a little television and then it was bedtime, because the next morning was early early early departure for the train.
Then the next morning it was goodbye to R. and Baby CeeVee so R. could get to work and CeeVee could get to daycare! (And since I left? CeeVee is WALKING now! I knew while I was there she was so, so close! SHE IS WALKING HOORAY!) And then A. brought me to the train station, and it was time to make my way back home to my very lonely Dumbcat who thought I was dead and was SO pleased I was not.
The trip home was mostly uneventful. At one point I fell asleep and I think I might have snored, as I do, because when I woke up I had post-snore sore throat and people were looking at me like I was a crazy-person. Sheesh, calm down, it’s not like I was in the SILENT car. It was just the NORMAL car. And in the New York waiting area (which is in Penn Station, and Dad calls that “Grand Central Penn Station”, as in “Don’t go getting murdered in Grand Central Penn Station, Amy, people get murdered in that Grand Central Penn Station all the time!”) some sort of cop was hitting on me until I pretended I was furiously reading so he stopped talking to me. Explain, please, why it is that no one in the history of my whole life has ever randomly hit on me that I’ve been in the least bit attracted to?
Thank you for sticking around for Adventures in Baltimore! It was the best time and I’m so glad I got to go and see some of my most beloved people. Thank you so much, R. and A., for being the best hosts! Now it is time for this sickie sickerson to go to bed and sleep like the dead. Or at least like a person with a weird feverish sickness. Happy weekend, everyone!