Nationals Park...and Lifehouse?

I really didn't have any expectations for our Nationals Park experience.  In fact, on the way there I was bummed that, "this isn't really a baseball town."  I would later eat those words as I left thinking quite the opposite.

Nationals Park was great.  They had some good food options, including Ben's Chili Bowl, but as you know, we had just eaten at the street location, so we skipped that.  There was a Shake Shack, which is supposed to have great burgers and shakes.  Al had a black & white shake, which was SO DELICIOUS.  Probably the best shake ever.  I had my umpteenth order of fries for the trip.  But they were the same Parmesan fries I had at Citi Field and I just couldn't pass them up.

The park was very open and airy and clean...much like the rest of the city.  And the staff was very friendly.  People offered to take our photo without asking, and Al made friends with Jim, the usher in our section.  Jim recommended the shake, so after that we knew he was legit.  

They had these cool TVs in every section so you didn't miss a thing.

And what a great night for a game it was!  The weather was absolutely perfect, we liked our seats, we were very relaxed and we ended up seeing one of the best games of the trip.  Tom Milone was pitching in his first major league appearance for the Nationals.  But it wasn't his great start on the mound that was the talk of the park, it was when he crushed a three-run home run in the 2nd inning on the first pitch he's ever seen in the major leagues.

Home run.  Pitcher.  First MLB at-bat.  First pitch.  Pure excitement.  The energy of the crowd after that moment lingered for the rest of the game and exploded when Ryan Zimmerman had a walk off hit to end the game.  There was no doubt that this was a baseball town.  

The 9th inning came too soon, and we were not at all ready to leave.  Lucky for us there was a free concert after the game!  That's where Lifehouse comes in. 

Alessandro totally enjoying him some Lifehouse!

This guy was scary.  But he and I own the same tank top.  Pictured here.

Scary guy played an electric guitar performance of the National Anthem before the game and it was really good. 

As non-Lifehouse fans, we actually really enjoyed the concert.  The left-over crowd rocked out to their big hit, "Hanging by a Moment" like it was 1999...or actually 2001.  It was good times.  And we liked some of the songs off of the new album.  One in particular is this one:  

And you know how it is that once you hear something or become aware of something you start seeing/hearing it all over the place?  When we got home we heard Lifehouse in every single store we stepped foot in whereas before we wouldn't have been able to "name that band" if someone paid us.  At Bed Bath and Beyond, we both stopped in our tracks and said, "Did you hear that?"  "Everytime I see your face my heart takes off on a high speed chase.  It's Lifehouse."  At Ikea, we were in different sections of the store when we heard it but we both came together and said, "Did you just hear Lifehouse?"  Sorry.  Our Lifehouse experience was really interesting to us.  Anyway...

After the concert...as we were still loitering, an usher from the park came up and gave us a game ball.  Possibly as a sign to say, "What more do you people want.  Shoo!" 

Love that smile.  Could he be any cuter?  (Yes, like now when he's napping on my lap while I write this). 

Jim suggested that we take the subway back to our hotel and promised us it would be easy and cheap.  We had wanted to take the metro while we were in D.C. just for the experience, but before Jim's suggestion we were fully prepared to take a cab as the lazy-give-our-traveling-minds-a-break way out after a long night...and trip.  Since he was right on about the shake, we heeded his suggestion and we were glad we did.  The subway system in D.C., unlike in NY, was super clean, very handicap friendly, easy to use and only smelled like urine in one elevator...not all of them.   

After getting slightly lost during our walk from the subway to our hotel, and more than slightly annoyed with each other, we called it a night in preparation for our next day's commute to Pittsburgh. 

Up Next:   The worst Greek restaurant ever and PNC Park

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