My family and I had a blast on our week long road trip out East. While in Philadelphia we saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, we ate Philly cheesesteaks (Geno’s is the best! And definitely have the cheez whiz!), and we did the cheesy touristy stuff like have our picture taken at the Rocky statue.
I just fell in love with Baltimore. The Inner Harbor is just awesome! The crab and crab cakes were delicious. We went to the National Aquarium and I have to say I was blown away by it. I don’t think I could ever go to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago again. It just doesn’t compare. My son had a lot of fun at the Aquarium as well as the Children’s Discovery Museum.
While in Baltimore, we went to a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I’ve been to ten different major leagues parks and this by far is my favorite. I love how they incorporated the B&O Warehouse into the design of the park and the use of Eutaw street as a fan walkway. Before the game we saw the Geppi’s Entertainment Museum next to the park. Geppi’s is a pop culture museum and it is very impressive. For someone who has collected toys and comic books like myself, it is a must see. Next to Geppi’s is a sports museum, but we only went into the gift shop. Despite being a Cubs fan, Cal Ripken, Jr. was my favorite player while growing up. When I found a reasonably priced Ripken jersey in the gift shop, I bought it as a souvenir of Baltimore.
Camden Yards had me before we walked through the gates, but the park sealed the deal with me when the ticket taker noticed my 23 month old son and asked if it was his first ball game. I said that it was. He then told us to go to the guest relations office and they would give us something. My wife and I said, “O.K., let’s go.” We went over there and they gave my son Joshua a certificate with his name on it and the date signifying it as his first major league baseball game. I thought this was class. That certificate will be framed in his room along with pictures from the game. It was great taking my son to his first game.
Most of the people around us were Red Sox fans, so Joshua cheered along with everyone else whenever to Red Sox got a hit. He started to get a little antsy, so we started to leave in the fifth inning. The Red Sox were putting a hurt on the Orioles and ex-Cub Rich Hill. It was 9-1 when we left. Before we left, Joshua got to run around all the retired Oriole numbers they have outside the park.
Actually, it was good that we did leave because the rain came and I guess the game was delayed almost two hours. There was no way we could stay through a rain delay with a 23 month old. We were shocked the next day when we heard the Orioles actually won the game 11-10. I guess we can always say we were at that game, despite not seeing the end.
On the way back to Illinois, we stopped in Cincinnati and saw a game at Great American Ballpark. Joshua seemed to have more fun at this stadium. He stayed in his seat, happy, until the seventh inning.
The only reason he started to melt down was because they had a car race up on the jumbo-tron and after it ended Joshua started crying that he wanted more racing cars. I liked this stadium, also. It is a very family friendly park. The best thing of all was that our tickets were only five bucks each and parking in a garage two blocks away was only eight dollars. So for 23 bucks, we got three tickets and the parking. I don’t think you can buy one ticket for 23 bucks in Chicago. Parking at US Cellular Field is either 20 or 25 dollars. Unbelievable. For the record, the Reds beat the Diamondbacks that night 1-0.
So we had a fun, family vacation. It’s great to be back home, however. While on the road, I kept up with the Cubs. Let’s see, our catcher has smoked pot, Milton Bradley was sent home during a game by Lou Piniella, the White Sox took two out of three from the Cubs, Alfonso Soriano can no longer hit, and Derrek Lee has been on fire. We also took the first two games from the Brewers before losing badly Saturday. In the end, the Cubs are .500, but still within striking distance. It’s good to see Aramis Ramirez beginning his rehab stint with the Peoria Chiefs.