Monthly Archives: June 2010

Baseball Trip – New York City

Baseball Trip – New York City

We caught an early train out of Philadelphia last Tuesday morning and headed to New York City.  Once we arrived, we navigated our way through the extremely confusing New York Penn Station and figured out the New York City subway system and eventually arrived at our hotel, just a few blocks north of Times Square.  Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we left our suitcases, figured out where we were going and took off to start seeing the sights.

We wandered around over by the Ed Sullivan Theater where David Letterman is taped.  We went inside, filled out the forms to see if we could get chosen for that night’s show and left…pretty sure we wouldn’t hear back from them.  An hour later, Matt’s phone rang and we found out we had gotten tickets!  It was really fun – we got to see Kate Hudson, some race car driver (haha), and Sarah McLachlan performed at the end of the show.  We also spent some time in Times Square taking pictures and people watching, wandered through Rockefeller center, we walked down 5th avenue looking in all of the expensive stores, and finally walked into Central Park before heading “home” to the hotel.  Our feet hurt by the end of NY day 1!

us in Times Square

me in Rockefeller Center…behind me (sunken below ground level) is ice rink during winter time

NY day 2 we started with a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Both were really cool, but I think we enjoyed the tour of the Statue of Liberty the most.  The weather on our second day was pretty gross…it was gray and rainy pretty much all day long…which didn’t bode well for the Mets game we had tickets for that night.  We took the subway out to Citi Field that night and we were packed with our ponchos and rain gear…but as soon as we got off at the Citi Field station, we heard the announcement – the game had been canceled.  Workers there told us it was rescheduled for the next night.  We rescheduled our dinner reservations for Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay’s restaurant) for that night, so we could go to the game the next night and raced back to the hotel to get dressed for dinner.  Mesa Grill was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I didn’t want to set my expectations too high, but OH MY…it was delicious.  I haven’t eaten that much in a very long time and I LOVED every single thing that I put in my mouth.  If you ever go to NY or Las Vegas, you MUST eat there.

NY day 3 was devoted to shopping.  Our first stop was B&H Photo…a huge photo, video store that Matt likes to get his camera stuff from.  I’m not all into the camera stuff like he is, but it was a really cool store.  Then we wandered around the enormous 9-story Macy’s.  That place is incredible…there’s just so much stuff in there to look at it’s completely unbelievable.  Entire floors devoted to shoes…can we say heavenly?  We headed back to the hotel for the afternoon just as the rain was starting again and packed our ponchos and rain gear for the Mets game that night.  Luckily though we didn’t need any of it!

view from our seats

us after the game

Times Square at night…INCREDIBLY bright, crowded, loud, oh and there were cops EVERYWHERE.

NY day 4…our last full day in New York.  We went to Ground Zero, but were kinda disappointed…it’s just a giant construction site.  I expected there to be some sort of memorial or something around there.  Next we walked to Wall Street which is so tightly guarded and secured it doesn’t even feel like you’re in the United States anymore.  We also walked across part of the Brooklyn Bridge.  After walking the bridge, we took the elevator up to the 70th floor observation deck of Rockefeller Center and got to see the entire city.  We left Rockefeller Center just in time to go back to the hotel to get ready for the Yankees game that night.  They were playing the Astros…we prepared ourselves for the worst…haha.

the Charging Bull in the Financial District

us on top of the “Rock” – Rockefeller Center – Empire State Building in the background

After the game…our Astros lost :(

we got off at the wrong subway stop & as we were walking to our hotel…we happened upon this…not a bad mistake.

Phew…I’m tired just thinking about all of the stuff we did in NYC…our next stop – Boston!

Baseball Trip – Philadelphia

Baseball Trip – Philadelphia

After the Orioles game in Baltimore, we hopped on a train and traveled to Philadelphia.  I had never been on a train and Matt hadn’t been on one since he was really little, so this was basically a new experience for both of us.  Train travel is SO simple.  There’s no crazy security screening, no removal of shoes, no naked x-ray machines, etc.  You just get your ticket & ID checked and hop on the train.  The seats are bigger and you have at least twice as much leg room as you do on an airplane.  Definitely a much more pleasant way to travel.  Too bad we don’t have passenger trains in Texas.

We arrived in Philly a little late.  It was close 9:00 pm, so we caught a taxi from the train station to our hotel and then ran across the street to grab some supper at a Chili’s.  My worst fear came true when we walked out of the train station…it was cooling off outside…and QUICKLY.  I had not packed clothes for cool weather.  I had 1 long sleeved shirt to keep me warm on the plane/train and p.j. pants…definitely not things that would keep me warm in the New England “summer”.

We started off our first full day in Philly with breakfast at…Dunkin’ Donuts.  I swear…these things were on every freaking corner up there.  Every single city we visited seemed to have them about as close together as we have Starbucks.  It was weird.  After breakfast we hopped on the subway and rode over to the tourist spots…Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the U.S. Mint.  There were TONS of tour groups and school groups at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall…I guess the schools in the Northeast aren’t out for summer yet?  Too bad for them.   The U.S. Mint was pretty cool too…unfortunately there were no photos allowed, but it was neat to see how our coins are made and all of the machinery that’s used.

Independence Hall…it was so cool to think about all the things that took place in this building.

the liberty bell…the little museum we walked through before seeing the bell had tons of interesting facts about the bell that neither of us knew.  Apparently it used to tour the country and it served as a symbol to ending slavery and ending Apartheid in South Africa.  So interesting…

Ok…now for the Phillies game.  We took the Subway out to Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies game against the San Diego Padres.  It was a night game, so I packed my sweatpants so I wouldn’t freeze during the entire game.  I was a little non-impressed when we arrived outside the ballpark in Philly…it’s not much to look at from the outside, but the inside was pretty awesome.  And…they definitely had the best food out of all 5 ballparks we visited.  Matt had a cheesesteak which was pretty good and I had definitely had the best dinner I could ever ask for…French Fries!  But they weren’t just any french fries…they were called CRABFRIES and they were HEAVENLY!  I’m pretty sure they were just crinkle cut fries with crab seasoning on them, but holy moly…they were amazing.

outside the park…not overly impressive

yes…that’s an entire cup of french fries…and it was my dinner.  I love vacation!

Citizens Bank Park…view from the outfield

view from our seats

the hot dog cannon

the Liberty Bell in the outfield

us after the Phillies game

Great game, great park, great food, and the home team won!  We loved our time at Citizens Bank Park…but we were not impressed with Philadelphia.  If you have family there or are from there, I’m sorry, but Philly is gross and dirty and the bums are EVERYWHERE.  Some of the old historical buildings were impressive, but that’s about it…we were glad to leave and get on with our trip.  Next stop…New York City!

Baseball Trip – Baltimore

Baseball Trip – Baltimore

We left Houston last Saturday and flew to Baltimore, Maryland to watch the Baltimore Orioles play the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.  Our flight was uneventful (always a good thing) and we arrived at the fabulous Hilton hotel right across from the ballpark.  After getting checked in and relaxing in the room for a little while, we walked down to the Baltimore harbor and had a delicious dinner looking out over the harbor.  After dinner, we walked around the harbor, mostly people watching.  Apparently it was high school graduation night and the harbor was packed with unruly kids.  It was quite humorous in a way and also inspired us to head back to the hotel to get away from the crazies.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped by the ballpark to get some night pictures of the entrance all lit up since the game we were going to was the next afternoon.  We got some great shots and then headed in to the hotel for the night.  We slept late the next morning, walked to a nearby donut shop for breakfast, and then went back to the hotel to check out of our room.  We checked our bags with the bellhop since we wouldn’t be leaving Baltimore until after the baseball game and then we wandered across the street for the game.

the Sports Legend Museum at the entrance to Camden Yards

the entrance to Camden Yards

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a really cool ballpark.  It is a very simple & classic park, but yet has a very new and modern feel to it.  The game was great.  The Red Sox were in town for the weekend series and there were a ton of Boston fans there for the game.  This was actually the very first game Matt and I had ever seen in the rain.  Since we have an indoor stadium here in Houston, rain is never something we have to worry about with baseball games.  They continued to play in the rain, and when it got bad enough, we just pulled out our ponchos and continued to enjoy some baseball!  Luckily, we were able to see the home team pull out a win!

the view from our seats

the outfield

us after the game!

Our Dream Vacation!

Our Dream Vacation!

We’ve been talking for a few years now about seeing games at all of the major league baseball parks.  In order to really get a jump start on crossing parks off our list, we thought the best place to start was the northeastern United States because there’s lots of parks and the cities are all within just a few hours of each other.  Our original plan was just to see a Yankees game and Mets game in New York and then head to Boston for a game at Fenway, but when we realized that there were home games in Baltimore and Philadelphia that same week, we added two more stops to the trip and off we went!

We flew to Baltimore last Saturday and traveled by train between each of the cities before flying home from Boston today.  We splurged on great seats at the parks and some nice hotels in a couple of the cities and really had a fantastic week away.  It was a great way to relax after finishing a hectic school year and a very busy several months of Matt working 60+ hours per week.

Of course while we were in each of these cities, we did more than just baseball.  There’s so much history and so much to see in all of these places, that our days were full of sightseeing and our nights full of baseball games…what could be better?

Pictures from each city and ballpark coming soon (we took over 1,000 pictures)!!

I’m a cousin…AGAIN!

I’m a cousin…AGAIN!

My newest cousin FINALLY arrived yesterday afternoon.  Sweet miss Adley Ann was born weighing 8 lbs, 1 oz and 20.5 inches long and has the most adorable chubby cheeks.  She’s definitely a stubborn one and didn’t want to come out, but they finally did a c-section and she joined the rest of our crazy family!  She sure is a cutie and I’m definitely glad she’s here…I can’t wait to see her in all those cute clothes and bows!