a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us
Category Archives: travel
It has been a long, amazing year that has taken us far from our blog for many a reason. And yet, in the past few weeks, we have both been saying that we should get back here. So, here we are. Highlights from the last year in one sentence recaps.
Ravens superbowl win – 1.3.13
A triumph for a long-time Baltimore fan, a tragedy for a long-time Steelers fan, and a truly bittersweet day for reasons that will not be detailed here.
Chicago – 5.13
Zack drove to meet me in Chicago for Memorial Day weekend (only people who know him really well will understand how that sums up so much!).
Toronto – 6.13
Continuation of our quest to see the Orioles in as many stadiums as possible and a perfect long weekend completely outside of our comfort zones. Plus, slowly it turns . . .
New addition – 8.13
The greatest thing that has ever happened to us arrived on 8.15.13. Still going strong, six months later!
Sad end to the season – 9.13
After last season, it was hard to see the Orioles not advance to the playoffs; rest assured, we are counting down the days to the 2014 season – 35 as of today!
Elon’s 125 – 11.13
I know what quasquicentennial means, do you?
Sad end to two seasons – 12.13
And again, after last season, it was hard to see Baltimore not make it to the playoffs but thrilling to see the Steelers try to one-up them.
Not prolific, but a recap no less. Now, on to 2014. We will try our best to do better.
a few weeks ago after baseball promotions came out for all of the local teams, my buddy and i circled the april 14th bobblehead night for strasburg of the nationals. everyone who follows baseball knows that he is a flame thrower and has really brought the fans to the stadium. well, as time went on, he found out that he couldn’t make it so bee said she would go with me. she’s really gotten interested in baseball the last few years now that we have a partial season ticket package to the orioles and i think it makes her happy to see me doing something i enjoy.
since the game didn’t start until 4:05, we decided to do something else we enjoy, check out some great art and with one of my favorite artist’s having a special display at the national gallery of art, we made the trip down earlier in the day. not to mention, we had to get to the stadium early to ensure we got one of these prized bobbleheads. so anyway, we got down there and checked out the Picasso drawings exhibit. the detail and intricacies of his works are incredible and something i really appreciate about his work. the variety of this collection was also large and spanned several decades. there were many different techniques and not just the usual cubism or blue period drawings that one might expect. the detail on some portions of the work versus the other pieces make you wonder what he was thinking or if he was working on his early skills. unfortunately, i didn’t take any pictures in exhibit to post and one guy got yelled at for being on his phone so i didn’t want to be that guy. as we finished with the Picasso drawings, we walked through some of the Degas, Monet, and some Rodin. we didn’t get much time after that to move through many of the other exhibits and there were a ton of people checking out the japanese scrolls exhibit, but we didn’t want to wait or really have time. after we left, we stopped by potbelly for a quick bit to eat and then headed over to Nationals Park to take in a ball game. ps… you can see a full size version of the thinker at the BMA and you won’t have to leave baltimore.
this was bee’s first trip to nationals park and my first one of the season. i made a couple trips down last year to see the orioles play as well as one game against the braves when her dad was in town. once we got there and got our tickets, we waited in line for about 20-30 minutes. we probably could have gone in earlier via the centerfield gate, but didn’t want walk around. plus we were calming down from almost blowing through a red light that i never really saw. those stoplights on the right and not in front of me get me every time. that’s neither here nor there but needless to say, we had a good time after not getting in an accident. we got to see edwin jackson pitch a great complete game. hopefully he signs with the orioles next year. we liked the open air feel of the stadium and the different food selections they have. we got some nachos and a couple free sodas. after the game ended, we went over to bee’s father’s favorite pizza place in rockville. when we called him about it, he recited the phone number exactly even though he now lives in nebraska. giuseppe’s makes a really tasty pizza and has a great crust. it’s more doughy then any other local pizzas that i have had. we left full, happy, and with a burnt roof of my mouth. all in all, we had a great day. enjoyed several of our favorite things to do and even ate some pizza.
You know your life is not normal (at least not like you think it is) when you arrive at BWI at 5:00am to go through security, run into the same security screener you saw last week on the same day at the same time (literally), and he takes pity on you from your previous conversation (about people who do not fly often) and moves you to the VIP line. Or maybe you are simply not normal for actually talking to the security screener and being remembered in the first place?!?
And on that note…if you do not fly often, please have pity on those of us that do. Come to the airport prepared. Do not have twelve thousand bags to carry on. Empty your pockets – everything from your pockets. Remember that you cannot take full size bottles of liquids on the plane with you. And most of all, pay attention to the noted signs and placards : )
yesterday, bee and i took a trip to the air and space museum, the udvar-hazy air and space museum. bee had never been to this one but she’s always loved the main museum downtown. now that one is her second favorite, haha. if you haven’t been, it’s out by dulles airport and holds tons of different airplanes as well as the enterprise space shuttle (s00n to be replaced by the discovery). if you have been to the other museum, you will know that it has more of the history of planes and aviation where as the udvar hazy museum has lots of planes, many of them military and/or donated by companies or private collectors.
we arrived around noon and started with the space shuttle. they have a separate whole hanger/wing for the the shuttle and lots of the other different NASA paraphernalia as well as the history of space flight and rockets. if you haven’t been to a shuttle launch or seen a shuttle in person, the sheer size of it is incredible. to think they were all built in the ’60s and have flown for years as technology has grown leaps and bounds is amazing. as a child after a trip to key west, we stumbled upon a shuttle launch on the way back and stayed an extra day so we could see. what an incredible experience to see it lift off and take that crazy adventure. anyway, from the picture to the left, you can see the scale of the enterprise and the building itself.
after we wandered around the space shuttle and the different NASA items, we moved through the main portion of the building. when you enter the main part of the facility, you come across an SR-71 blackbird. at over 100 feet long of stealth technology, it’s a sight to see. from there there are lots of war planes and civil aviation items. a whole section of stunt planes and different planes from the early decades of aviation hang from the ceiling. a supersonic, concorde from air france spans across what felt like half of the floor. on the other side there are planes from WWII, both US and German, as well as an F-15 Tomcat and JSF X35B and many more. there was a speech taking place from several members of the tuskegee airmen as part of a black history month celebration. we took a lot of photos of different propellers and hope to do some sort of photo display of them. we did not get a chance to go up in the observation tower because the line was pretty long and decided not to wait as i am sure we will be back. it does cost $15 to park, but to enter the museum it’s free, so there’s that.
we took lots more photos and posted some of them on my flickr page here.
after the museum, we went over to the outlets in leesburg and did a little shopping. we bought some new beach towels, which was entertaining because at one point there were flurries coming down. afterwards, we met a couple of our good friends and fellow elon alumni who live down that way for dinner at dogfish alehouse. after a whole day of hanging out and relaxing, we got home and passed out. surprisingly, bee didn’t even fall asleep on the way home in the car.
in no particular order…
1. visit more national parks.
2. get a passport.
3. take more photos.
4. visit a minor league ballpark.
5. visit at least 1 away baseball park.
6. visit another zoo.
7. fly in a plane.
8. visit a different country.
9. spend bee’s birthday in the same place as bee.
10. visit 10 states.
11. ride on a ferry.
12. watch the rest of star wars.
13. laugh and love everyday.
14. learn something new.
15. get on tv.
16. start a foundation.
17. visit a cheese monger.
18. be a better encourager.
21 Orioles Games
1 Shorebirds Game
1 Ironbirds Game
2 Baysox Games
2 Nationals Games
1 Nebraska Football Game
2 Ravens Games
2 Elon BBall Games (at MD and at Navy)
1 Baltimore Grand Prix
From starting about this time last year, it’s been a fun year of attending sporting events. As a big baseball fan, I’ve always enjoyed going to numerous games a year at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but the variety increased this year. Last October, I attended my first professional football game. Sat on the 50 yard line about 30 rows from the field. Fantastic time and nothing like corporate seats. Shortly after that, we made our way to Nebraska to see my wife’s dad. There we had the opportunity to attend the Nebraska vs. Missouri game, a great rivalry and exciting game. It was their 306th or 309th consecutive sell out. I have a separate blog post on here all about our trip if you are interested.
As the fall turned into winter, Elon’s basketball team travelled for the season to play teams locally and we saw them at Maryland and Navy around the holidays. We had a great alumni attendance at both games and certainly gave Maryland a run for their money. (Should I mention we also went to 1 or 2 Elon football games? They play 1-AA in football in the SoCon.)
At the end of the year, I found out for my birthday, Bee got me/us a partial game season ticket plan for the Orioles. Section 15 if you want to see us out there next year! Between FanFest and the season starting, I laid low with getting some autographs and collectibles. As spring started, I made it to my first opening day, with my buddy Dan, since I was in high school. We had a blast and were ready for what we thought would be a great season. Between season tickets, random Friday or Saturday games, giveaway nights or alumni games, I made it to at least 21 games. In between, we went to the Shorebirds and Baysox games for bobblehead giveaways. I also finally made it out to the Ironbirds stadium after 10 years for a work night at the the game. Hadn’t been to a minor league game in years. I also finally made it to Nationals stadium, once to see the Orioles and once with Bee’s family when they were in town. Nice place but I still enjoy OPaCY! Even wrangled in a batting practice ball at a Orioles game and a foul ball at a Baysox game. The ball hawks weren’t around at the time. Haha.
Once the season wound down, we got to the much anticipated Grand Prix. I made my way down to practice and had a good time. Lots going on and lots of energy. Neat experience but couldn’t go the rest of the weekend since we were going to the beach for the holiday.
And as we end up in October again, I got to go to another Ravens game for the weekend. Another corporate section and hospitality tent event. What a way to tailgate! This time it was Bee’s first professional football game and we won to boot. Talk about a loud, rowdy environment at M&T Bank these days.
I’m not really a fan of professional basketball and only a semi casual fan of hockey so who knows if I attend something like that soon but we shall see what the next year of sports brings. I know it will include lots of Orioles games though!
well, i finally got around to downloading the photos and looking threw them. there are a couple from a trip to salisbury to see the shorebirds on july 1st and a great shot of the fireworks at the orioles game last week.
the fireworks is probably one of my favorite fireworks photos to date and i took some nice ones on the 4th of july as well! maybe i will post them later.
for those who haven’t been to a minor league stadium, and this was my first trip in a long time, it is generally a great experience. lots of fan interaction and lots going on at the game. the stadiums are smaller and don’t necessarily have the most comfortable seats, but are still enjoyable.
the other picture on the right is of the delmarva shorebirds first baseman, mike flacco (brother of joe flacco, raven’s QB if you didn’t know). he has been hitting clean up for the shorebirds this season and seems to be making strides on improving his game.
not sure about you guys, but summer time is one of my favorite times of the year. it combines two things i really enjoy, the beach and baseball. and although you can enjoy baseball all year around, there is nothing like sitting in the stands of the stadium.
the beach is a place i’ve enjoyed since being a kid and still enjoy as an adult. i just got back from being there over the 4th of july week. as i spent time at the outer banks, i continue enjoy it as a place that keeps me calm and serene. the sun, the surf, the sand, the salt air, i enjoy it all. and who doesn’t love a good tan?
as many others, when i think of america’s pastime, baseball immediately comes to mine. if there was one sport that is my number one, it is definitely baseball. as some might remember, my wife got us a partial game plan for the orioles this year and although the team hasn’t won in awhile, it’s something we enjoy doing together. and it is something i can teach her all i know. having played and umpired since being a young kid, i can say, i know a lot and have seen a lot. from the days of going to memorial stadium as a young kid and seeing stars of the late ’80s and ’90s to being at camden yards for 10-15 games a summer from being a kid to being an adult. this year i have also made it to nationals park for the first time and experienced my first non-baltimore stadium. nice little stadium they have down there in dc, but it’s no oriole park at camden yards. #justsaying. as well, my buddy and i are making our rounds to some of the minor league affiliates. on july 1st, we rode down and caught the shorebirds game and also got our manny machado bobbleheads. we even met @2131andBeyond finally. later this summer, we are going to make it to a game or two at bowie and next week, my wife and i are going to head to aberdeen to see the ironbirds and ripken stadium. we got tickets through my job so they were easy to get a hold of. i’ve wanted to see it since it was built and have driven around it several times, but this will be my first visit inside the stadium. we even went to an outer banks daredevils game as well. they are a summer wood bat league for college kids and are part of the coastal plain league. it’s really a neat experience and as one friend it’s probably like summer catch with freddie prince jr. haha, that’s almost true!
so any way, that’s what i’ve been up to this summer so far. i have some pretty good pictures from the fireworks on the beach the other day and will share those a few from my first visit to the shorebirds stadium once i get them downloaded. i really intend to blog more so look out!
so for the last year or so, my wife and i have been talking about a cross country trip this year and we had settled on a 3 week adventure and she had all the plans put together. after 3 days into the trip, i was having bad anxiety issues and we decided to turn around. we had made it from maryland to elon, nc and then to just out of knoxville, tn where we stayed in seiverville, which is just a few minutes from the great smokey mountains. our next destination was memphis.
it was a frustrating experience because i thought i had gotten past my anxiety issues and would be fine. apparently not. as i have explained it others, it’s like walking on one leg when you are having anxiety flare ups and for me, the nausea related to it. you can limp around, but you know you aren’t right and you can’t fix it like you hope you would be able to. had i really wanted to lose 10 or 15 pounds by not eating properly, it would have been a good way to do it, but would have only gotten worse and me being miserable wouldn’t been enjoyable for the wife either. so we decided to turn around and went to the Outer Banks instead. having vacationed there all my life and a free place to stay allowed us to get to a place we knew would be okay. after a few days, i was feeling better and we enjoyed a week and a half at the beach. since it was a joint decision to not continue, i don’t feel like it was the wrong decision, but disappointed it’s how it ended.
when we started out, we said we were going to go as far as we could go and that was what we did. ultimately, i am annoyed, frustrated, sad, disappointed, upset, and happy that we tried. i am disappointed for her more than anything because we were supposed to visit her dad in nebraska over this coming weekend for father’s day and that would have been a great time for her to see him since we last saw him in october. he will be out here july so we will at least get to see him soon.
upon returning to maryland from the beach, we took a couple day trips to annapolis and philadelphia to see America’s first Zoo as well as the Liberty Bell. if you haven’t seen the Liberty Bell, it’s smaller than you might expect but still worth a visit!
unfortunately, it’s back to work and telling them the same story. at least someone told me they were happy i was back.
i will post some more pictures of our trip and the fun adventure in the great smokey mountains, the Appalachian trail, gambling in Cherokee country, the weird towns of seiverville and gaitlinburg and more.
the last couple weekends i have traveled down to my alma mater (Elon University) for some alumni events and it made me wonder, how do others travel? I don’t fly because of control issues so driving is my number one item. I also always over pack. Left last Friday and returned Sunday afternoon and was barely. I easily had 4 options for clothing, 3 pair of shoes, 3 hats, and more. i guess this is a result of me always worrying that if i get stuck somewhere, i’d want to have an extra pair of clothes, not that i couldn’t buy another pair if i got stuck somewhere though.
outside of clothing, we always pack snacks and lots of drinks. i usually eat breakfast in the hotel and avoid the free breakfast, although i always use their milk for my cereal in the morning.
do you have any special quirks when you travel?