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Trip Report Great Trip for a baseball Triple-Header (Baltimore, DC and Philly)

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A few months ago, a friend of mine got married in a spur of the moment wedding to allow his father to make the wedding before his health went further downhill due to his battle with ALS. As a result, we did not have time to do a bachelor party for him nor did a lot of his friends from LA where he used to live have a chance to come to the wedding. We decided to do a baseball trip to make up for it. 3 of us from CT made the trip and 12 ended up coming from LA. I was very leery of this and was worried about group dynamics. Somehow most of the planning fell on me.

We decided on visiting Baltimore, Washington DC and Philadelphia over 5 nights. I laid out our itinerary with input for hotels, etc from everybody. I knew that we would not be doing every together as that is much too big of a crowd so I was trying to put together suggestions for everybody (some had never been to any of these cities). Almost immediately I started emails from some people that they “did not want to go to any museums”, “see anything related to history or politics”, etc. It made me quite worried going into this trip about what was going to happen when we left.

A lot of the people found flights into Baltimore from LA last Thursday (9/12) while some of them flew into Hartford a few days before to head down with us to Baltimore. We took Amtrak out of Windsor on Thursday morning. I went to sit in the Quiet Car because of I did not want to listen to Cell phone conversations. Almost immediately someone got on and sat in front of me and pulled out his cell phone. Yes, he was trying to keep it quiet but it was still too loud. I was in shock when a conductor didn’t even do anything about it. After 20 minutes, I politely asked him to please shut off the phone but he refused…
We got into Baltimore around noon and took the Light Rail to Hilton Baltimore. While this was convenient, it is definitely not a fast mode of transportation and it would be much quicker to take a cab or probably a bus.

Once I checked into the hotel, I walked up to Edgar Allen Poe’s gravesite and then down to the Babe Ruth Museum. Even though I had been to Baltimore numerous times, I had always skipped this museum. It was a very small but a lot of nice exhibits. It took around a half hour to walk through. It was pouring pretty hard at times leaving the game in question. I met up with a couple people at Pickles Pub to have a few drinks and lunch before the game. Great bar for a pregame meal. Cheap beer and good food. I really enjoyed their beer selection: Brewery Art’s: Ozzy Beer named after Ozzy Osbourne, etc. I would go here again before a game.

When we left the restaurant, we entered Camden Yards. This is one of my favorite parks and one of my most frequented. As soon as we got into the gate, the skies opened and thunder / lightning started. We went up to the bar in the Batter’s Eye Bar in CF and hung out for a little while. They announced that the game was going to be delayed until around 8:30.

We met everybody else at our seats just before then and watched the ceremony for Mariano Rivera. As a Red Sox fan, I still have to respect him and he is one of my favorite players ever. It turned out to be a fun game to watch even with the Yankees winning. Yankees blew a 3 run lead in the 8th then came back to win it in the 9th. With an obscure rule, Rivera was given a win even though he entered the game in a save situation. We walked back to our hotel and watched the last few minutes of the Patriots ugly win against the Jets.

The hotel was in a great location next to the stadium but felt like every other Hilton I have ever been in and was nothing spectacular. 1 of my biggest irritants is the charging for wi-fi in rooms and it continued here. I did not bother. Everybody at the hotel was friendly and willing to help.
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