Saturday, January 1, 2011

Downtown Walks: A New Routine

In the last year I was in NJ, my visits to NC would be topped off with a walk with the babies in the downtown area. I could have walked them in our neighborhood, but considering my experiences with people trying to hit me with their cars, throwing things at me, threatening to shoot me or having dogs try to attack me, a Sunday walk seemed like a jaunt in a minefield rather than a relaxing moment with the babies. No, instead, I took them to the downtown Raleigh area. On Sundays, the north part is where much of the government offices and buildings are. The place is isolated and I had it essentially all to myself. I especially liked going by the Victorian homes by the Oakwood district. Many of those houses are over a hundred years old and are quaint and picturesque. A movie (part) was filmed in that neighborhood in the early 80’s, Brainstorm. That movie would be Natalie Woods last.

Anyway, the downtown area on Sunday isn’t completely desolate. There are churches seemingly on every block. I avoided those areas and besides, parking was terrible on Sunday mornings. At one of the downtown churches, Edenton Street Methodist Church, John Edwards is a member of the congregation. Elizabeth Edward’s funeral was held in that church. I’m glad I wasn’t living in Raleigh at the time because I would have been tempted to heckle those Westboro Baptist Church protestors who showed up at Edwards’ funeral.

I didn’t have to twist the babys’ arms to get them to go bye-bye. All I had to do was ask these words: Do you want to go bye-bye? Their heads would pop-up like a jack-in-the-box and head straight towards the door. I would put the seats down in the hatchback so Andy could sit while Abby would sit in the front seat. Andy would actually lie down the whole trip and watch me and Abby. Abby would sit up statuesque straight so she could see what was going on.

Parking is easy and free in downtown Raleigh on Sunday mornings for the most part. I’d roll into a spot on the street, put the leashes on the babies and head out to the sidewalk. The babies and I would go around a mile or two. I had to monitor their heat level so they wouldn’t get in trouble. They took in all the smells and sights. We had the place to ourselves. Needless to say, this was a good way to exercise Abby. She always had weight problems, bored easily and had tendencies for laziness. These walks always grabbed her interest and she never tired of them. She eagerly went bye-bye every time. Andy liked going bye-bye but he also liked being around us. He loved our company.

These jaunts to downtown Raleigh would affect where I lived when I moved back after living in NJ a few years. While I was taking the babies for these walks, I never thought about exactly where I’d live in Raleigh if I moved back. I didn’t even know they had condos there.

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