For BF's birthday each year we try to take a road trip and watch the Mets play somewhere fun and exciting. It's great fun and we really get to see parts of the country by way of a road trip that we wouldn't otherwise discover. This year the Mets played the Orioles in nearby Baltimore, Maryland, so our road trip was not the big pilgrimage like other years. So instead of the "Great American Road Trip" ("GART") as I've dubbed the last few year's trips, this was more of a one night "Good American Road Trip" - but it was great just the same. Even though we were only gone for two days, we really enjoyed Baltimore's inner harbor. We got up early in the morning and drove six hours (with stops, of course) to Baltimore, checked into our hotel and walked around the inner harbor and explored Baltimore.
BF is not much of a seaman, so we avoided all the wonderful museums aboard ships. They look like great fun - and I would definitely put them on a list for touring for those who do not get seasick just hearing the word "water" - so instead of a ship museum, we meandered down the street and chose to visit the Star Spangled Banner Flag House where the huge flag was sewn and flown over Fort McHenry in 1814 (oddly enough, during the Battle of 1812) which inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the lyrics to our National Anthem.
Here's a great view of the Pickersgill Flag House and the museum in the background. You can read more about it on the Baltimore Heritage site. We got there late in the day but had a wonderful time watching the brief film, touring the house (I *love* historic old houses!) and learning about a bit of Americana. BF even noted that I somehow managed to wrap a "textile, historical, military, and gun stop with a strong female lead" on our mini-GART.
After a little rest, we walked to the Oriole Park at Camden Yards early so we could walk around, see everything, and eat before the game. I learned that this ballpark was the first to really think outside the box and create a pleasing downtown stadium, blending the old and the new, creating an ambience for fans with shops and restaurants for a full game experience. BF and I go to a lot of ballgames and I think that this is my favorite ballpark to date. Additionally we had great seats (not amazing - but great) and they did not cost a fortune. That's the way a ball game should be. You should be able to take the family and root for your favorite team without breaking the bank.
The game was very exciting from the very first inning. We stayed until the bitter end when the Orioles hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th to win the game. Disappointing -- yes. Great game -- that too.
But the best part of all was stopping to visit friends on the way home. We stopped in Media, Pennsylvania to see a dear friend from BF's college days. We arrived early - as usual - so we walked around a bit and stumbled upon the Pennsylvania Veteran's Museum in the old Armory (and underneath Trader Joe's). It was very well done and it even had some great representation of Women in the Military. I especially loved the female Sergeant Major's uniform (with a more current photo attached on the lapel). Who was this woman? I'd like to know.
Some have suggested it was SgtMaj Grace Carle. I think that would be pretty darned cool. Unfortunately, the uniform wasn't identified on the display - just this photo dangling from a lapel pin with no name. Of course, I didn't think to look on the inside collar of the uniform. Maybe if I thought I could have gotten away with it, I would have!
After our visit in Media, we drove to downtown Philadelphia to meet with BF's 4th grade teacher. So.much.fun. We shared stories and memories and had a great time. We were also very fortunate to avoid the rainstorms as we were walking around during the day. I took some great pictures of the visits, but BF's rule is "no pictures of BF on the blog" so you'll just have to trust me that everyone looked wonderful. It was a fantastic, albeit brief, Great American Road Trip. I can't wait to find out where the Mets will be playing next year. I'm quietly rooting for a game against the Atlanta Braves or the Florida Marlins next August so we can plan a week-long Southern US trip. Scratch that. We could fill in a two-week long trip to stop and visit everyone and everything I want to see from Florida to Philadelphia!
Let's Go Mets!