Oriole Park - Our 15 seconds of fame

We said our goodbyes to NYC and hours later said hello to Charm City.  Our second destination was Oriole Park, home of the Baltimore Orioles.  Two things we were looking forward to in Baltimore (besides the obvious baseball game) were:  (1) steamed crabs and (2) pretending we were in the HBO drama, The Wire.  Hands down, the best series ever.  We are super fans, and Alessandro has watched the complete series three times...and counting.  

We stayed at the Radisson Lord Baltimore.  Don't judge us.  It was a Priceline "Name Your Own Price" situation gone wrong.  It was not the nicest place on earth...the name alone will tell you that it is too old for its own good.  And by the smell of our room, I swore that Lord Baltimore himself was still hanging around somewhere.

Luckily, we had to head to the baseball game shortly after check-in, so we didn't have to hang around that place too much.  

We forgot all of our housing troubles as soon as we got to the park.

Al was a HUGE Cal Ripken Jr. fan as a youngster.

5 is just my favorite number, duh.

Oriole Park had a really cool place from which to watch batting practice.  There was a large gated area immediately behind where Alessandro is standing in the picture below, and the occassional BP home run ball was hit up there.  

After BP, we walked around, scoping out the stadium and of course the food concessions.

Baltimorians love them some Old Bay!  They had containers of Old Bay seasoning anywhere you could find ketchup and mustard.  And they even had an Old Bay sausage, which Alessandro really enjoyed. 

Of course I had the boardwalk french fries.  Don't tell the fry gods, but they were actually not very good. 

And I tried a Natty Boh.  It is the local Baltimore brew and I could see why.  Tasty and smooth.  Plus Alessandro couldn't stop talking about how the Natty Boh guy must be related to the Pringles guy.  Possibly distant cousins I guess. 

With our tummies full, and the stands quite empty, we sat back and enjoyed the game. 

Oh yeah...forgot to mention that we first snagged some Orioles gear.  I told you before that Alessandro had a big crush on Cal as a tike, plus he used to play on a travel league and his team was the Orioles, so team gear was a must here.  And we got lucky because everything we bought (Alessandro also bought a 3/4 length sleeved shirt, not pictured) was half off!  Booyah.  Bargains and baseball. 

The Orioles played the Toronto Blue Jays, who were on a home run hitting spree that night.  We were on TV when Jose Molina hit one out in our direction.  And when I say we were on TV, I mean our bodies were little blurs, but it's the closest we've ever been, so we're going with it. 

And then I was on TV a second time when Bautista hit his 39th home run.

After the game and our quick brush with fame, we strolled Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor. 

Then we went back to Lord Baltimore where I discovered that my sleep number is 35.  By the way...sleep number beds are terrible.  And creepy.

Up Next:  How to Eat Steamed Blue Crab - A video bonus you don't want to miss!


Citi Field - Our New York Oasis

Boy, were we excited to get to Citi Field, the home of the Mets.  It was the first ballpark we visited on our Baseball Stadium Road Trip (BSRT) and we were anxious to get the party started!

The entrance to the stadium reminded me a little bit of our very own Ford Field.

And do you see those floors?  They were beautiful.  Made you really not want to drop anything or get them dirty.  And it doesn't look like anyone ever did.  They were this clean and shiny throughout the ballpark. 

Citi Field had very cool food selections, like brick oven pizzas, southern barbeque, mole sauce and skirt steak tacos and garlic parmesan frites.  Since french fries are my favorite food, I had to get them.  And they really didn't disappoint.

Alessandro had a Nathan's hot dog...and I reluctantly let him eat some of my fries.

And do you see that beverage in the background?  Yes, they serve Dunkin Donuts coffee at Citi Field.  How cool is that?  It pretty much made my day and was probably the best thing that could have happened to me at the time.

What I didn't tell you was that the day before we visited Citi Field we had walked all over Manhattan and I was so exhausted that I could hardly move; and it was only 2 days into our BSRT.  We visited Chinatown, ate lunch in Little Italy, saw the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park, ate dinner at Grand Central Terminal, hung out in Times Square and visited Dangerfield's, where amongst other comics, we saw this guy who we both really enjoyed.  The only thing I could muster enough energy for this day was to lay around in Central Park, which ended with me, spent and searching frantically for a coffee.


Lunch at Sofia's of Little Italy

Statute of Liberty viewing at Battery Park
We really enjoyed watching kids splashing around in the Battery Park fountain

Hustle and bustle at Grand Central Terminal

Times Square


Lounging in Central Park

 And when I say we walked, I mean I walked while pushing Alessandro in a wheelchair.  A wheelchair + NYC streets + NYC subway = not fun at all.  It might have been fine if the sidewalk corners were wheelchair accessible, but often times, they looked like this:  

And, not all subway stations in NYC are handicap accessible.  Aint that a shame?  So, we had to do some reasearch to find out which stations had elevators, and out of those stations, which elevators were actually working.  (We did pay our fare at one station only to find out that the elevators were broken and we couldn't get to the platform, so we had to truck it a few blocks to the next station).  Also, sometimes when you do get a working elevator, even though there are signs that say something like, "Please let the elderly and disable board first," we had situations where a slew of perfectly able bodied people would be waiting for the elevator at the same time that we were and no one let us on, so we had to wait for the next elevator (which always smelled like old pee).  We self-proclaimed NYC the most handicap-unfriendly city in these United States...or at least in the few cities we've ever visited.   

And of course I digressed from the original point, which was that I needed coffee that day.  And there really is nothing I enjoy more than a DD coffee.  So when I saw that beautiful orange and pink sign in the concessions, I knew it was going to be a good day.  Sitting at the game that night was the first time since arriving in NY two days prior that we were able to really relax.  And as we sat there, in the perfectly cool air, with our shoes off, drinking coffee, eating hotdogs and fries, we breathed a sigh and exclaimed that this was the reason we love baseball.  There is nothing more relaxing, and there is no better way to break from life, than to be at the ballpark. 



This kid was so cute, I wanted to take him home in my purse.

Up Next:  Our Visit to Oriole's Park!

P.S.  For those who may not know:  Alessandro has Multiple Sclerosis.  He walks daily with a cane, and he can walk short distances, but long distances are not an option for him as he gets fatigued and his body shuts down.  He was such a champ during this trip.