a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us
Tag Archives: baltimore
i’m a lover of bacon like many others. i wouldn’t say it’s my favorite food but a close second or third and can put it on everything. well at camden yards, at the jack daniels stand on eutaw street, they have bacon on a stick. it’s a slab piece of bacon that is grilled/smoked prior to ordering. once ordered by the customer, they get it out of the hot box and dip it in a vat of maple glaze. now, if you thought bacon on a stick was good, maple glazed bacon on a stick is even better. it’s not an every day item, but definitely an occasional snack. watch out, after i ate about half of the bacon, i nearly dropped the other of the bacon on the floor.
oh and it’s a little messy so make sure you get some napkins. i think i had maple glaze on my face until we got into the car. haha. for $5, it was a nice treat and not as expensive as i would expect for ballpark food. it’s meaty and delicious and with that being said, i’d give it an A rating.
this is one of the several new food selections at oriole park at camden yards. next time i might try the crab and mac ‘n cheese hotdog. we also setup a meeting with some of the other partial season ticket holders that sit in our section to try out the new dempsey’s bar. they tried it and although they enjoyed it, they had a really long wait for some carry out soup. i am sure it will get better as the year continues though. @rsharrow had a picture of the new bar on his instagram account last night. it looks pretty good.
have you tried any of the new food selections? beer can chicken, perhaps?
ps… do they have bacon on a stick at the renaissance festival? i’ve never seem them there. guess i was too busy looking at the turkey legs and steak on a stake.
as you probably know, i am a big orioles and baseball fan and with the 20th anniversary of camden yards coming up, my wife got us opening day tickets for christmas (or was it my birthday…). anyway, i’ve been to opening several times as a kid and my buddy dan and i went last year. this year, it was bee, myself, my dad, and dan and his dad. well, needless to say, we had a great time.
with all the new renovations to the stadium, we got down to the stadium early around 1230/1245 to take in the events. first we talked around the stadium on the outside to see the brooks robinson statue since we hadn’t been down that way since it was installed. with all the crazy people at pickles we stayed on the other side and took it in from afar. as we got into the eutaw street gate, we saw the new gino’s stand and the patio area above centerfield. we made our way from there to right field and watched some batting practice and then went over to left field and took in some more BP. i just missed a ball by a split second. guess i should have had my glove on instead of keeping it in our bag. haha.
our seats were in section 13, which is different than our partial ticket plan but still under cover. and boy was it windy under there. there was probably at 10 degree difference from the sun to the shade because of the winds that were whipping through the stadium friday. many of the renovations to the stadium looked nice and well done. can’t decide yet if i am fan of the new lower wall in right field. it’s kind of like when they moved home plate so they could add more seats to the stadium. guess we’ll see how it plays as t he year goes on. as the festivities went along and all the players got introduced, it was great to see markakis and wieters be presented with their well deserved gold glove awards. nick should probably have 2 or 3 by now, but you can’t argue giving him one for having an error-less season and playing more than 150 games in RF. the new rules in voting for gold gloves as probably helped make this possible finally.
the game turned out to be a great one too and arrieta pitched a gem. i knew the orioles would win. they have one of the top 3 win/loss records on opening day in all of major league baseball. i’m pretty sure the only boo’ing on the day was when kevin gregg was introduced. poor guy. then again, they might have boo’d troy patton too for letting up a 2 RBI home run in the 9th in. no one boo’d the caped crusader, er, field trespasser though as the baltimore police laid a nice tackle on him. we also missed it because we were in the concourse at the time when a police officer came running by us and down the tunnel.
all in all, it was a great time at the yard and a fun way to spend the day with some family, friends, and new comers to opening day in baltimore, aka a statewide holiday!
as you might have noticed if you follow my twitter feed, i attended orioles fanfest today with other loyal fans of this great franchise. since the last 14 years haven’t been the greatest, this annual event is one where friends turn out to see what the team has done in the offseason and where the brass thinks the team is going this year.
i arrived at the convention center right around 10 am when event opened for season ticket holders. unfortunately my buddy jason couldn’t attend this year since his wife gave birth to their first child a little over a week ago so i ventured downtown alone this year. fanfest is a nice combination of orioles player and personnel Q&A, autographs, giveaways, and other activities for kids. after arriving, i heading to the merchandise section. this is an area they have every year for new and game used items as well as a silent auction. i picked a up banner, shirt, hat, a couple programs and some flanny patches. they also have a lot of game worn jerseys out and if you aren’t the first person through the door or pick the lucky pile, you won’t get any of the stars. showalter and many of the other tops players are first to go. there were tons of jerseys from players in the minor league system or who were on the team. one guy was very excited about getting a justin duchscherer jersey although he never played an inning here. there were also game worn pants, helmets, hats, and used bats. i considered getting an autographed luke scott back but figured since he was gone, maybe not or $100.
from there i swung into the giveaways area. this was alot better run this year than last. last year the line wound through the middle of fanfest. early on they had brian matusz bobbleheads and orioles magazines featuring matt wieters. later i saw some camo floppy hats. i already had a few from the season. after that i wondered through the main area and listened to some of the panel sessions. after that and wondering around, i got in line for my autograph sessions. last year, when they signed JJ Hardy, i became a big fan of his. he’s my style of player and definitely one this team needs so i wanted to get his autograph. at that station was reimold, hardy, larry sheets, and rick dempsey. i asked rick when he was putting out his next CD. he wasn’t sure yet, LOL.
at the same time slot, i got another ticket to what was supposed to be kevin gregg, jim palmer, and adam jones. gregg had to back out last minute according to @birlandinsider. i asked palmer why he had written his name on the table and he explained to me that one was his signature in 1965 and the other was current. apparently the new one is better for the wrist. it wasn’t as crisp and easy to read so i guess that’s why. darren o’day, who i am not 100% sure who he is yet told me he liked my party hardy t-shirt. he was a recent addition to the team. jones was my final autograph. i had actually gotten his autograph a few years ago at a wendy’s when they were taking players out into the community so it was good to see him again. even talked to him about @baltimoretom per his request. haha.
after taking a spin around the event again, i headed out. i passed on the clubhouse tour this time since my foot was bothering me. it hurts if i stand on it for too long and has for a couple years now but the day was worth it. probably should get it looked at sometime soon. maybe before the next fanfest. hope everyone else that went had a great time too!
last week was my birthday. the big 29 on the 29th. last year, we started a tradition of going to museum or somewhere different for my birthday. we saw the warhol exhibit at the BMA last year and this year we ventured down to the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). i bought the groupon for two a few months ago and it was a great deal so we figured we would put it together since the last couple we purchased we never got around to using in time and have expired.
although you can’t take photos inside, you can take photos outside which is were the attached are from. they have great and different art all around. we enjoyed many of them. i was pretty partial to the mario batali’s recipes on the paper plates and the toothpick city (can’t remember the name). everywhere you turned there was something different and intriguing to look at. the photo on the left is from the glass tree located in front of the museum. it was pretty crowded inside since it was a holiday week and we even saw a lot of families and younger visitors besides the hipsters that there there as well.
we tried to find something in the gift shop, but we couldn’t find anything that tickled our fancy. usually when visit somewhere new we usually purchase a pint glass. we started it over the summer and have grown a nice and random collection going. on the right is a iron little character in one of the outside exhibits. if you haven’t had a chance to check out the AVAM, we would certainly suggest it.
outside, there is also a very large egg made out of mirror pieces and i snapped this photo. one of my favorites in awhile and i tend to take alot of photos when visiting places. after the avam, we went to the abbey burger bistro. it was my second time visiting and we started out with the crab tots and then moved to a build your own burger. both were fantastic and we were stuffed when we walked out the doors. it was a nice little afternoon downtown.
for dinner, i had suggested we try somewhere new and the family gathered at George Martin’s Grillfire in The Hotel at Arundel Preserve which is near Arundel Mills. we had a fantastic dinner and time. it’s probably described as a new american cuisine restaurant. i got the petite filet since i was still somewhat full even after a post lunch nap! others got the meatloaf (a popular choice), ribs, crab cakes, avocado cobb salad, and the salmon wrap. everyone seemed to enjoy their including the free cheese bread they brought out time and time again after we ate the loaves. the wait staff was good and attentive and even brought us out some free desserts for the table after bee told them it was my birthday.
all in all it was a great birthday and i got a partial season ticket plan to see the orioles this summer so that was exciting!
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!
This past (Labor Day) weekend was the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. If you follow my tweets regularly, you would have seen my tweets on Friday about all the activities. (sorry it took me awhile to get this posted)
Not being a big race fan, I was going into this experience pretty much as a novice. Both a novice fan and a understanding. Having gotten free tickets for Friday from The Fan, I got to see the practice rounds that day. After the months of hype and prep, getting to the event at on day 1, I was underwhelmed (at first).
I got into Baltimore around 9:30 am and start walking around the venue.
I start walking down to the Budweiser party area 98 Rock still had their morning show going. Took some photos of the area and moved around the steel walkways into the main area. People were still setting up and come to find out, the race course wasn’t ready for racing, which was a real disappointment. The picture to the right was from around 11 am when they were still welding man hole covers shut. As well, they were still cleaning the course with the street sweeps up until at least 12:30 when they were supposed to have started. Practice was supposed to start around 8 or 9 and then got push to noon, and the was delayed to after 1:30 pm. After noon and the opening ceremonies, no updates were giving as far as time changes and I never heard anything as to the original delays when I got on site. Shortly before the street sweepers came by for the third time, workers will still securing the walls in place. One of the pieces of the metal wall even fell on one of the flag guys on the other side of the street.
As the ceremonies got under way, I was disappointed to not see either Mayor Rawlings Blake or Governor O’Malley. The Lt. Governor was on site and gave a few words on behalf of the Governor and State, but with the city being on the national and international stage, I was very surprised, to say the least, that they weren’t there. with all that being said, once racing started, no one was worried about how they got their and just enjoyed the race. the first lap there was a minor crash right at grandstand 6 where I was sitting. After the first practice race, I shifted locations and moved up closer to the convention center. After that, I walked up through the Paddocks and Camden Yards. From there I saw some of the Le Mans racing which was louder that the Indy races.
For a first race experience and that it was only practice it was all in all a neat experience. I would have liked to have been able to take some photos from the walkways, but we were quickly removed through those areas when we tried.
After the race, Bee and I hit the road and went down to the Outer Banks. There was debris and some minor damage, but it was alot less than expected! We enjoyed the rest of the Labor Day weekend with the sun, surf, and sand.
I posted a bunch of photos of my trip to the Grand Prix on my flickr page for you to check out. I tried to capture the essence of Baltimore in among this neat, inaugural event! And I even got to meet @juliemore to boot!
ps… remember when you say “grand prix,” you have to emphasis the “gra” portion of grand prix. it sounds more european that way. haha.
one last thing, i saw the UTZ girl and the pickle’s pub custom, LOL.
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.