Posts Tagged With: Sports

Chicago or Bust: Baseball, Pizza and Beer

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Vacation is finally here, and my buddy Tony and I are heading to Chicago for the week to stalk the San Francisco Giants while they’re on the road playing the Loveable Losers, the Cubs. This is our fourth year going on a road trip with the Giants. In years past we’ve gone to Miami, St. Louis and last year Denver and Cincinnati. These trips have always been super fun, but this year is different. We’re going to Wrigley Freaking Field the second oldest park currently being used for Major League Baseball and it’s their 100th anniversary.

Wrigley Field is just one of those very very special places in baseball history. The Cubs sadly have the moniker as the “loveable losers”, a team everyone loves even though they just stink most years. They have not won the World Series since 1908 and have not even been to the Fall Classic since 1945 although have made seven trips since 1908. Beyond all of this futility, it was not till 1984 that they even made the playoffs again. Since 1984 they have been to the playoffs six times and have only won one series back in 2003. Needless to say their habit of not winning can’t be matched by any other baseball team, there are a few that have never been or won a world series but we’re talking 40 years or less not 106. Ouch.

So besides heading to Chicago to catch three Cubs games, we’re also going to a White Sox game as well. That being said we’ll also get a chance to sample some deep dish pizza, beer and get in a few sights too. I’ve only been to Downtown Chicago once and it was back in 1998. I was there for work, so I didn’t get much else in besides that, so to be able to get a week to see the city, eat food from some amazing places and check out the ivy in the outfield is just phenomenal. I’m so excited.

Stay tuned for future posts on our flights out to Chicago, the amazing food, the hotel we’re staying at and of course on the games. Did I mention we’re sitting in a Luxury Suite one of the games? What what.

If you’re into instant gratification, I’d recommend following me on Twitter or Instagram for up to the minute postings, or of course you can just wait till you see my ramblings

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Categories: Baseball, Food, Sports, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting Birdland

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Another week another Major League Ballpark ticketed off the list. This past week I had the pleasure of visiting one of the “new” retro stadiums Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. This park opened in 1992 and really started the renaissance of retro parks. It is the benchmark of which many park strived to achieve, and I was really really happy to finally get to see it in person. Below you’ll see a short photo essay of my visit. If you’re into baseball recommend a trip here you won’t be disappointed. Continue reading

Categories: Americana, Baseball, Sports, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Yeti Up, Yet’s Go!

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The shirt my wife and friend designed for their Expedition Team

Our trip to Florida is finally here, We’ve been in desperate need of a vacation. As a Christmas gift to my wife I had signed her up for the Run Disney Expedition Everest 5k Challenge. She’s become a runner, and has done several 5, 10k and half marathons, like there no big thing. Two of her races have been at Disneyland, and I know she really wanted to do a race at Walt Disney World. So I though what better then to sign her up. No I won’t be running, someone has to watch the kid while she runs. Pretty good excuse huh?

I waited to book airfare, till after I gave her the gift. Just in case this was not her idea of a good time. I knew the running part would be easy since she can roll out of bed any morning and do 5k, before I even wake up. But I had no idea if the scavenger hunt part would be something that she’d be into. Thankfully she was up for it, and my gift was not a flop.

Stay tuned for more about our trip. From planning a weeklong vacation at WDW, flying across the country with our almost three year old and even a few packing tips.

 

Categories: Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The Mother of all Stores

The amazing entrance

The amazing entrance

The massive Facade

The massive Facade

For those that know me, the last thing you’d probably hear me say is “let’s go to Bass Pro Shop.” I do like to fish but don’t have a permit, it’s been years since I’ve even had one I don’t hunt and I’m not a gun totter. But when two different people tell you that you have to go to Bass Pro, I listen. Continue reading

Categories: Americana, Review, Sports, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes it’s OK to be Addicted

My 2 year old daughter is addicted to Disney. Well that’s not really true, Mom and Dad are addicted to Disney, so “S” really has no choice but to be too. In her short time on this planet this is her fourth visit to the Mouse Kingdom in Anaheim, and she has an upcoming visit to Walt Disney World at the end of September too. To think she’s been to the park more times in two years then I had high school is crazy. I guess that’s what happens when your parents are addicts. Now to be fair, I wasn’t addicted till I was in high school. I worked at a movie theatre, like every other teenager in the 90’s we had our fair share of Disney films, and in between shows I was “lucky” enough to clean the theatres. This meant you got to hear and thusly memorize all of the songs, and during your breaks pop in for a quick listen. There was a point in my life where I could probably recite any line or song lyric from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin. Just writing this post has me thinning of the songs from Aladdin and singing them in my head. Please make it stop! So by the time college rolled around I was really into movies and took a class on The Short Film at DVC, this was circa 1993. We spent a lot of time discussing Pixar and it’s genius, watching all of the Pixar Short Films to date and a bunch of other crazy stuff too. So when Toy Story came out in 95, I was in hook line and sinker.

Fast forward several more years my girlfriend (soon to be wife) gets a great job opportunity that ends up including annual season passes to all Disney Parks Worldwide. Jackpot!!! Because of this we’ve taken full advantage and have since been to all five parks around the world. And make a few treks to Southern California to visit when we can. Last year I even had a long layover in Hong Kong, so I went to HKDL for the day. Just Crazy. Also for those of you who have enjoyed the amazing corndog they sell on Main Street an Disneyland, will understand when I say this. On many occasions when I’m in Anaheim for work, I’ll drop in just for a corndog for diner and head back out of the park. I know sounds silly huh. As I said we’re just addicts, and enjoy spending time down here.

So what’s the point of this post? Well manly to say we’re here again for the weekend, but this time it’s for a very very cool reason. My amazing wife has really gotten into running and has dedicated a lot of her early mornings training, with the culmination being her second 10k run this month, and her first Disney run, with many more to come I imagine. I’m lazy I don’t have a bone in me that makes me want to run, whatsoever, but seeing how hard my much better half has worked for this special day is pretty cool. She goes for a run three times most weeks and in the month of August has already run over 40 miles. Who does that. She does that’s who.

Well we’re here in Anaheim and we’re “S” and I are getting up early early early tomorrow to root on mommy. I can’t wait to congratulate her at the finish line, and tell her how proud I am of her, this is a huge accomplishment and deserves some quality time at Disneyland to celebrate.

Stay tuned for lots of pictures of our Disney trip, and tips on how to travel with kids here.

Categories: Americana, Disney, movie, Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Traveling with kids, Trip Report, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bucket, Bucket Bucket

So the Year of Rahul has got me thinking I should finally put my bucket list down on paper. I’ve been very very lucky to have had the opportunity to do so many things during my almost 40 years on this rock, and with hopefully at least another 40 more to go I look forward to the challenge of crossing some of these off the list. By no means is this list complete, but it’s a good start in the process.

• The Great Wall of China
• See Terra cotta warriors
• Visit all 7 continents (Antarctica and Africa) are all that’s left
• See the DMZ in Korea
• Visit Vietnam
• Visit Thailand
• See the Oscars live
• Hold an Oscar
• Go to the Super Bowl
• Go to a Rose Bowl game
• Go on safari in Africa
• Go whale watching in Alaska
• Play an event at the World Series of Poker
• Transit the Panama Canal
• Fly around the world in one trip
• Go to The Vatican
• Visit St. Petersburg
• Ride a gondola in Venice
• Visit the Sistine Chapel
• Go to the Sundance Film Festival
• Go to the Cannes Film Festival
• Drive a Ferrari
• See the Amalfi coast
• See the Pyramids
• Visit the Forbidden City
• Watch a taping of a TV show live
• Go to the Opening or closing Olympics ceremony
• Go to a World Series game
• Go to the Baseball all-star game
• Visit Fenway Park and Wrigley Field
• Go to Cowboys stadium
• Go to Mardi Gras
• See a no hitter live item accomplished July 2, 2013 SF vs. Cincinnati
• See Mount Rushmore
• Meet a former or current President of the United States – any will do
• Be at Times Square for New Year’s
• Go to Patagonia
• The Galapagos
• Go to Oktoberfest in Munich
• See Tibet
• See the Berlin Wall
• Visit Dubai
• Visit all 50 states (four to go)
• Cruise around the world
• Visit the Guggenheim Museum(s) in LA and Spain
• Visit la Sagrada Familia, Spain
• Eat at the French Laundry
• Eat at La Bernadin
• Eat a Philly Cheesesteak at Genos
• Go to Unos in Chicago
• Take my family to India
• Visit Quebec City
• Visit Pisa
• Visit Giza

Categories: Airlines, Art, movie, Ordinary Life, Random, Review, The wish list, Travel, Trip Report, Uncategorized, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When NO NO is a good thing

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Ok first off let me say that if I could pick I would rather see a No Hitter for my team and not against. But since you can’t pick if you’ll ever get to see a No Hitter or a Perfect Game live I’ll take what I can get. “T” and I were in Cincinnati for the second part of our baseball road trip. The Giants lost two of three in Colorado (they won the game we didn’t go to). They had four games in Cincy and we were seeing the first two there. We still had high hopes for a few wins, but with the way the team was playing my hopes were not high.

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After a miserable loss in game one where the Reds scored 8 runs in the first two innings and the Giants starter was pulled after two innings with almost a 14 ERA, there was really no shot for a win that day. So after three games in four days we’d seen three losing affairs. In fact the Giants were riding six losses out of seven games. Ouch. So June 2nd rolls around, Tim Lincecum was pitching against Homer Baily neither of which were having good seasons, both had losing records Timmy was 4-8 and Homer was like 5-7. After a few lackluster seasons I didn’t expect much from Timmy, I think I have not seen him win a game since 2009, and I’ve been lucky to see him play many times over the past five or six years, and have even seen him pitch in the 2010 playoffs. For a guy to have two Cy Young awards in back to back seasons just a few years ago, and fall as far as he has minus an amazing 2012 playoff stint from the bullpen. Oh well, but the Giants had history against Baily he was throwing a one hitter last year in the playoffs, and Dusty Baker, the Reds coach, pulled him in the first round series and the rest is history. Oh and by the way Baily threw a No No last year only 19 starts ago.
Anyhow, by the fifth inning I was thinking we were looking at something special. Baily was efficient on the field he had a few strike outs and was managing to keep a sad line up from making any contact with the ball. By the sixth, the Reds fans around us, “T” and I thought of the almost impossible A Perfect Game. By the seventh the stadium was electric; with every out the fans were going crazy. I was saying everything you would normally not talk about during A Perfect Game. If you’re a baseball fan you know what I mean. This was the Reds for crying out loud, if it was the Giants throwing this amazing game, I would never ever ever say Perfect Game or No Hitter. Alas in the seventh Bailey gave up a walk, the fans were still cheering but we were all a bit sad that the Perfect Game was not intact. Just in case I have a few readers that don’t know the difference between a Perfect Game and No Hitter.Alas in the seventh Bailey gave up a walk, the fans were still cheering but we were all a bit sad that the Perfect Game was not intact. Just in case I have a few readers that don’t know the difference between a Perfect Game and No Hitter. A PG is not allowing any batter to reach base in any fashion. There are 27 outs, so that means recording all 27 out’s by strike out, fly out or ground ball. In the history of Baseball there have only been 27 PG’s. A NH is when a batter reached based either by walking, error or hit by pitch. In other words, not getting a hit, but still allowing a runner to reach base. In the 100 plus years of baseball there have been 327 No Hitters. In that span there have been roughly 200,000 regular season games. So seeing a No No is incredibly special. I personally only know four people besides myself that have seen one in person. I know I’m geeking out here, but what can I say. I never thought I’d get to see one and I’m just tickled pink that I got to check off another bucket list item.
So fast forward to the ninth inning and the Gants have still only had one base runner on that walk in the seventh, no one else has even gotten close to getting a hit, so the No No was still intact. By this time, there was no choice but to root for the No No, we were standing and cheering along with the other 27,000, hoping to see history in the making. I was cheering and getting horse like everyone else. With two out and Gregor Blanco at bat, all it took was a soft liner and the ballpark exploded when history was made. What a damn cool experience to be a part of. To think “T” and I planned this trip in February with no other criteria that this series was after Colorado, and I could get the time off from work. Plus it let us see four games on the road and knock off another ballpark, neither of us had seen.
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Some funny stats form the game and more recently. The No Hitter was on July 2, 2013 the losing pitcher was Tim Lincecum. 11 days later Tim Lincecum on July 13 threw his own no hitter in San Diego against the Padres. It was the first time since 1906 that a pitcher was involved in two No No’s in the same year. Crazy, let’s hope that they can keep this crazy stuff up. The Reds are in San Francisco this week to play four games against the Giants, and Timmy is pitching but not against Baily. Stay tuned.

Categories: Americana, Baseball, Ordinary Life, Photography, Review, Travel, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Baseball or bust in Denver, Colorado

Well my second road trip of the year finally happened. Unfortunately the results were not so great for the SF Giants, but for my buddy “T” and I we had a great time. Our trip started at the end of June in Colorado, we were here to see two of the three Giants games against the Rockies. Unfortunately coming into the trip the G men were on a 3 game losing streak, and sadly they continued this awful streak of losing the next two games we saw. Worse yet they were walk off affairs that the Rockies managed to steal away from the good guys.
Regardless of the results, we had a great time. The city is beautiful with a very active outdoor vibe. There were tons of walking trails, lots of outdoor activities and to boot 16th Street in downtown was a great hang out spot to have a few suds before or after the game.

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The ballpark is in LODO (lower downtown), and has revitalized this area, like a lot of other newer ballparks have done over the years in their cities. The park itself fits really well into the area with lots of brick and has an old warehouse vibe. The sightlines inside the park are also pretty sweet too. It was a pretty nice hang out, and if I wasn’t so partial to AT&T, I may rank this as my number one park, that being said its top five for sure.

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Well man can’t live on baseball alone, so what do you do with all that free time between games, you eat of course. I’m not known for missing many meals and although “T” will never admit he’s a foodie too, he’s not one to ever complain about a good meal. So I did my best to find a few good places to eat at. As a big fan of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on the food network I do my best to eat at the ones that intrigue me when I can. And most of the time Guy Fieri doesn’t lead me astray. Lucky for us there were three in Denver that sounded great with one of them across the street from our hotel. Score!
We managed to hit The Atomic Cowboy first. This was a really great food spot, but a weird restaurant. It was three places in one. There was a bar and two food joints, the Atomic Cowboy, Denver Biscuit Company and Fat Sulley’s. So basically three places in one. I had the chicken biscuit with honey and whole grain mustard and it was to die for. In fact quite possibly the best biscuit I’ve ever had. It may have been a very simple meal but it was just delicious. Perfectly fired chicken and a light but dense and soft biscuit. My mouth is just watering as I write this.
The second spot we tried was Sam’s No 3. It was diner and had a huge huge menu with breakfast served all day. We went there for a late night snack after drowning our sorrows in beer and another Giant loss. I know that plate seems like a huge pile of gravy and yes there was a lot, but below that gravy goodness was a fried bone in pork chop, home fries two over hard eggs and for desert biscuits with more gravy. This was a damn good comfort meal, I could have done without the biscuit and gravy, it was just ok, but the rest of the meal kicked butt. Sadly if we had not had two other outstanding meals this would rank higher on the list, but when you seek out good restaurants, there’s bound to be a bottom choice even if the bottom choice was still good. Is there such a thing as third place winner?
Lastly was probably the best of the bunch Prohibition Bar, this place epitomizes the Dive. It was close to downtown in a neighborhood, but maybe on the edge of the good part. There seemed to be a homeless shelter or halfway house nearby, and a lot of stores with bars on the windows. Don’t get me wrong I felt very safe in this area and would have no problem going back. In fact the place was packed for a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon. I had the best burger I’ve had in a long time, well that is until later in the trip in Cincinnati (review to come). It was two beef patties with bacon, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, sliced apple and of course blue cheese. It was damn good. To wash it down I had a Kentucky Mule Whiskey, lemon and ginger beer in a cold cold copper cup. If I had to be honest I don’t know which was better.

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I don’t have much to say about out hotel, except to say I would definitely go back. It was the Curtis Hotel; it was downtown 2 blocks from 16th street and was a cool hip spot. It’s actually a Doubletree Hilton Hotel so I earned points too and got free breakfast. I’m always looking for ways to earn points and continue my quest for status. Besides a few discrete Hilton touches you’d think this was a very unique boutique hotel. The lobby was small but hip and had a lot of 50’s throwback touches. Notice the lamp straight out of A Christmas Story, I wonder if it’s fragile.
I would definitely stay here again, it was a really good location, had a cool vibe and was attached to an even hipper Martini Bar, and although I’m sure I brought down the hipness 10 points just by stepping in there. But hey they didn’t kick me out, for being uncool, so it’s not my fault.

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So to sum it all up, if you find yourself in Denver be sure to visit the Prohibition Bar, catch a game at Coors Field, and be sure to stay at the Curtis. Denver is a town worth visiting.

Categories: Americana, Baseball, Food, Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Photography, Review, Travel, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Boys of Summer Continued

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I’m about to take my second leg in my Boys of Summer Baseball tour. I’m very very excited about going to Colorado and Cincinnati to root my hometown San Francisco Giants the 2010 and 2012, World Series Champions, in case you didn’t know. My buddy “T” and I are heading to Colorado in the morning and catching two of the three games there and then flying onto Cincinnati to catch two more, before coming home. This should be a fun trip it’s our third year in a row doing a Giants road trip. Sadly our away record is not too good the last two seasons I’m constantly reminded by “T’ that it’s 2 wins 4 losses. If we could come home on a 3-1 trip that would be great. I know I’m complaining about a team that has won the WS 2 of the last 3 years, so a few losses are no big thing. But seriously to go on the road and be heckled for rooting the visitors on, you just need some good breaks to go your way. Anyhow I’m just thrilled to take a few days away from the grind and have a few cold ones and watch some baseball. So stay tuned for a few fun posts about my Giants and the friendly confines of Denver and Cincinnati.

As a side note, to my two readers (just kidding I know there are three), if you’ve got a food recommendation or a killer watering hole to suggest please pass it my way. I’ve not been to Denver in years and I’ve not had much better food then Chipotle or Quodoba there, and I’ve never been to Cincy. I’d prefer to not repeat my last food choices, so please pass anything along that would be unique or just damn good. My belly thanks you in advance.

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Categories: Americana, Baseball, Food, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Boys of Summer- Seattle Mariners

I love baseball, let me say that again I love baseball. In general I’m not the kind of nut that must watch every game or know every stat, but I do like to sit and watch the game whenever I get a change. Now to be fair I always want to watch MY 2010 and 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. They are they team I root for and I’ve been a fan since Will Clark hit a line drive up the middle in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs back in 1989. I don’t know what it was but that play and that game did it for me, fan for life. That being said when I have the opportunity to visit another city that has an MLB team, I try and catch a game if I can. I haven’t been to as many stadiums as I’d like to, but I’m doing my best, I know I’m lucky to have visited as many as I have. So far this year I did my fourth straight Spring Training trip, I’m going to Colorado and Cincinnati at the end of June to root on my Giants on the road with my buddy “T”, we’ve also done road trips to Miami and St. Louis (any suggestions for next year).

So when I found out I was going to Seattle, I looked to see if the Mariners were in town. I’ve been to Seattle several times before but it had been about five years, and as bad luck would have it the times I actually had a night free, they were out of town. But this trip the stars aligned and I was able to visit Safeco Field, and boy was I impressed. I know we’re spoiled in San Francisco, but we went through almost 50 years of sub-par stadium fun at Candlestick. Don’t get me wrong, going to games there on a Monday night with 5000 of your closest friends in cold cold weather, and betting your buddies on how long you could keep your shirt off was a blast, and AT&T is great too, but I’ve got to say Safeco was nice. Really great sight lines, good food and the ability to get super close to the bullpens. You could almost touch the players as they warmed up. I’ll really let the pictures speak for themselves, but if you ever make it to the Pacific Northwest, make sure to stop by Safeco, if for nothing else then to get a beer across the street at Pyramid.

One of my favorite micro brews, give em a try.

One of my favorite micro brews, give em a try.

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The first Mariners hall of famer. Much respect Dave,

The first Mariners hall of famer. Much respect Dave,

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I swear I tried to smile

I swear I tried to smile

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The bullpen

The bullpen

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Hey they even have Giants love here too.

Hey they even have Giants love here too.

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Parks I’ve visited:
Candlestick-SF Giants
AT&T-SF Giants
Oakland Coliseum- Oakland A’s
Dodger Stadium-
The BIG A-Angels Stadium
Coors Field-Rockies
Jack Murphy-Padres
Joe Robby-Florida Marlins
Miami Marlins Stadium
Old and New Yankee Stadium
Ballpark at Arlington-Rangers

Categories: Americana, Baseball, Ordinary Life, Photography, Travel, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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