After a 2,000 mile road trip to the hockey hotbed of Austin, Texas (my temporary home) I am back...
Although as you all know I am a hockey fan, baseball dominated this trip. Here's a little recap:
Drove from Boston to Mohegan Sun (word to the wise, HORRIBLE idea for the first day of your trip). Lost my shirt at the blackjack table. After hundreds of trips to the casino. Here's some advice. Just leave when you're up. Even if its 5 bucks. Leave. I didn't heed this advice, and lost some serious gas money. Went from Mohegan to New Haven, CT. (Yes, CT is not my favorite place, nor do I like Yale at all. However, GREAT pizza. UNBELIEVABLE, and stayed w/ some friends and hit up a local establishment. Bought a round for 4, it was $10.50, I almost fell over) The savings continue as I head further south.
CT>Baltimore. Camden Yards. Ok, the ballpark is gorgeous, however those upper deck seats are HIGH (that i bought for 3.75 a piece on stubhub, it's no $19 season ticket to the B's, but hey). A couple observations about Camden Yards. First off, you can drink outside on the street. Literally. There are a bunch of bars (one called Pickles that was enjoyable) and you can just booze on the sidewalk. Not to mention they sold dollar beers outside. Has anyone else heard of Natural Bohemians? (Natty Bo's?) It was a buck. Therefore delicious. Imagine if they sold dollar beers outside Fenway? Also, a quick observation. They sell beer everywhere inside Camden. It was a Saturday night. The crowd was in control, no one was plastered, really. You go to Fenway on a Tuesday night. Everyone is obliterated, and to get a beer takes 3 innings. Interesting.
(also went to Hooters before. Any trip to Hooters is awesome. RIP Hooters on Friend Street...Screw you DJ's at the Garden)
Baltimore> Salem, Virginia. Why the hell would the Mayor go to Salem, VA? The Salem Red Sox of course. High Single A Ball for the home town team. First year in the Sox organization. And as usual completely wh*red out by the Sox. Get this people. They play "Shipping up to Boston, " Tessie", yes and even "Sweet Caroline", during the 8th inning. However, great little ballpark. Sat next to the dugout first row, and had a heckuva time. If you are ever in Salem, VA (doubtful) check this out.
Day 4 & 5
Salem, VA> Nashville, TN. Stayed with a great friend of mine in Nashville. Was only going to spend one night, spent 2. Went to the Nashville Sounds game. Hilarious. Triple A. Worst baseball stadium ever. However, they have a guitar scoreboard in the outfield. If you like country music at all. Heck if you can stand it. Nashville is a time. Great bars (CHEAP) I recall drinking 5 dollar pitchers of PBR at a trailer park themed bar. (vaguely), and live Country in every bar. They played Sweet Caroline at one. I know the damn song followed me all over this great nation.
Side note. Sat 5 feet away from the famous EL Duque, of Yanks fame as he was in the bullpen. He's making a comeback in the minors. Pretty funny
Day 6, 7, 8ish
Sorry at this point down South everything meshes together. Especially the fact that it was HOT . Went to a West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx game in Jackson, TN. A couple highlights. Phil Plantier (yes that Phil) was manager of the team. It was a day game. The stadium was called Pringles Park (yes the chip). It was a Wednesday. The only people there were us and summer camp kids in groups from all over TN. It was "Super Splash Day" everyone in attendance got sprayed by 2 giant fire hoses. Yeah, welcome to the minors. Double A ball. Also, Phil LOVES small ball. The game was like 4 plus hours, and all he did was steal bases and bunt. And lost.
So after the game, was having car problems. Find a Ford dealership in Jackson. Go in. (this is the south, rebel flags everywhere). I tell the guy my problem he goes, go in there, but don't talk with that accent. Yeah, that bad. But got on my way with a loose tire. Thank God.
That night went to Memphis. If you haven't been to Memphis. Go. Now. Beale Street. You can drink outside, it's like Mardi Gras. You can smoke cigars in the bars. Music everywhere. Go. Now.
Next Day hit up Graceland. LOVE Graceland. Nostalgic, nothings been touched. a CASH COW. 33 bucks a head, and 10 to park. Not to mention the millions of gift shops. The King's family will be taken care of FOREVER.
Where are we? Day 9?
Either way. Went to Little Rock, Arkansas. Why? To buy cigars at Bill Clinton's gift shop. Actually, Arkansas Travelers. Triple A. GORGEOUS little ballpark on the Arkansas River. Trashy as hell. There's a restaurant that sold a 2 pound pooh bear challenge burger and fries. If you finished, you got a tshirt. Challenged my cousin, he almost died. They deep friend the whole thing. Enough said.
In North Little Rock, Arkansas, the team is ALL there is to do. Girls were done up to the NINE'S. high heels, dresses. You could smoke in the bleachers, beer garden. Arkansas at it's finest. DO NOT GO. But Go.
Arkansas to Texas. Ballpark at Arlington. Great stadium. This and Camden Yards reaffirmed my belief in that we need a new Fenway. Now. Great time. 6 dollar parking. Beer everywhere. I hope to drive back up when the Sox are in town early next week.
Austin, TX. Hot as all get out. 105 every day. Happy Hours. Found a bar with 2 dollar Tecate's and dollar tacos. Cheap. Great music. No Hockey. Enough Said.
Will update soon. If you got through this. God Bless You.
PS-Winter Classic at Fenway is a joke. At least $250 face on each ticket ($1,000 scalped). Not being able to fit in the seats. No tailgating. See you there.
PSS- Sick of all these bandwagon fans wanting to go the Classic. It's all over people's facebook pages, I"m getting E-mails up the wazoo. These same people I couldn't give away a ticket to three seasons ago. While we are sitting in the cheap seats every game. Bandwagon chumps.