Posted by: Jamie Stamm | June 27, 2008

A Weekend in Washington – Day 2

While the baseball game and concert were high on my list for Sunday, I may have been most looking forward to the chance to sleep in. My kids were staying with my parents, my husband and I had a bed to ourselves, we had been out late partying … and, of course, I was up before 9 a.m. and couldn’t fall back asleep. Aargh!

Once our entire crew was showered, dressed and ready to go, we walked the short three blocks from our hotel to Nationals Park for a matinee between the Washington Nationals and the Texas Rangers. I hadn’t been to a major league game since high school, when my friends and I would catch the Philadelphia Phillies at the old Veterans Stadium for just $6, and I was excited.

Nationals Park, which opened at the end of March, is smack in the middle of downtown D.C., although you would never know it. It has all the trappings of a modern-day big league ball park – from a full-service restaurant and bar to nine team stores to dozens of small eateries to – I kid you not – a Build-A-Bear Workshop where you can make your own Nationals mascot. (For the record, the official mascot is an eagle named Screech, but my sister and I were more impressed with the Presidents, big-headed versions of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt who roam throughout the stadium and also race on the field in the middle of the fourth inning. Katie and I are pictured below with Jefferson, whose jersey simply read “Tom.”)

Our seats were in right field, which provided a great view of the stadium …

as well as of North Carolina native Josh Hamilton, who plays right field for the Rangers.

Anyone who’s been to a major league game knows the experience isn’t just about the baseball, it’s also about the food. We started with Philly cheese steaks and fries, followed by vanilla ice cream (served in a plastic baseball cap) and a soft pretzel, and finally a bag of Cracker Jack (because we had to – it was a baseball game, after all). I was so full that I thought someone would have to roll me out of the stadium.

The game itself was exciting, with the Nationals tying the game at 3 in the bottom of the seventh before giving up two runs in the top of the eighth. And despite our boys donning their rally caps …

the game ended as a 5-3 Rangers win.

We headed back to the hotel for a quick refresher before boarding the shuttle for dinner in Chinatown. The meal, once again, was excellent, although we had to rush through it to make it to the Verizon Center for what was the impetus for our trip – a Pearl Jam concert.

I am a casual PJ fan, but everyone else on our trip was … well … obsessed with the band (my sister and her friend Amanda were actually on the fourth leg of a six-concert East Coast tour that took them from Virginia Beach to New Jersey to D.C. to New York). So initially, I was more excited about the baseball game than the concert (much to everyone else’s dismay), but … the show was awesome. PJ played popular stuff, they played obscure stuff, they played Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower.” And they sounded just as good as when I first saw them 12 years ago. Maybe better.

The concert didn’t wrap until 11:30 p.m., so we followed the throng of people rushing to catch the Metro before the last train at midnight. And we were just in time. As we exited at our stop, a voice boomed through the PA system: “Attention, attention. Anyone waiting on the platform, there are no more trains tonight. You have been left behind.”

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Responses

  1. How fun! The Kodak moment with “Tom” is my favorite.

  2. Just because I haven’t listened to any other band but PJ for the last 2 years doesn’t make me obsessed. I consider myself appreciative to the point of not needing to diversify. That concert was incredible.

  3. No , you guys are obsessed! Every time i get in the car following Steve , I get blasted by- Pearl Jam!


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