Some days are almost perfect.
I drove from my home in eastern Pennsylvania south to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to have lunch with Paul, a long-time friend. Paul and I worked together years earlier at Microsoft—he managed the Washington DC consulting practice while I had responsibility for the East Coast. We grew to be close friends, and we get together for lunch about every three months or so at the Inner Harbor. Paul also helped with a critique of my novel Unholy Domain, and I thanked him in the acknowledgements.
The Little Italy section is just north (3-4 block walk) of the built-up Inner Harbor. There must be a dozen or more old-fashioned Italian restaurants in a three block square. You know the kind I mean—old brick front, a couple of steps up, long and narrow inside, white tablecloths and waiters who have eaten just about everything on the menu. Places that look like they have been providing Italian food to the residents for twenty, thirty, who knows how many years.
Paul and I have sampled all the Italian restaurants in Little Italy over the years, and we picked one of our favorites. Not to imply that any of these places are bad, just that some are better than others. Fresh pasta, great seafood, the usual delicious food as we caught up with each other’s lives.
Then came the athletic segment of our day, walking around the Inner Harbor. I have to admit that the politicians in Baltimore have done a great job. The Inner Harbor is a big tourist attraction, with people from all over coming to enjoy the aquarium, the stores and restaurants, the lighthouse, the ships and the pier. I stopped to buy chocolates for my wife—always earns me points—and Paul and I enjoyed browsing at a bookstore and a big electronics retailer. Of course, we checked out many attractive women walking around the harbor. We’re old married guys, but we’re still breathing.
Just a simple day enjoying the Inner Harbor with a friend. Not everything has to be a big deal.