Sunday, April 26, 2009

BaltiMORE for LESS Weekend

Well, it was more like BaltiMORE for LESS "day" for us, since we only went on Saturday. But I'll tell you all about it anyway :)

Our adventure first began at 9am on Saturday morning when we went to our friend Ray's little league baseball game. We were picking him up from here to take him downtown. It was interesting to watch the game. The kids were all around 6 years old so they weren't stellar players by any stretch though a few of them showed promise. Ray has been interested in and playing baseball since he was big enough to throw, so he's a little more skilled than his teammates. Either way, the real comedy of it all was in the moms. We've all heard of soccer moms. I don't even know what you'd call these moms. The word pretentious comes to my mind, though. I'm talking about massive designer sunglasses, dress clothes, heeled sandals, and french-manicured toenails...... at a 6-year old's baseball game at 9am on a Saturday!! Mind you, they all have 2 carat rocks on their fingers as well, so it's not like they're trying to pick up a man [or maybe they were...?]. The dads weren't a whole lot better. One was decked out in his Mt. St. Joseph Athletics gear [I know I was instantly impressed], and another in his polo and gelled hair stood behind third base with his stainless steel travel coffee mug. Wait! I know the word! It just came to me - TOOLS. Hahahaha. I will give credit to the one dad who was sporting his own size team t-shirt. By the way, best part of it all was that the team was called the Sand Gnats! You can see the team logo on Ray's shirt in later pics.

Our first stop once downtown was at ESPNZone. We were meeting two Orioles players, Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara with their wives and children to play some games. Here is Ray playing air hockey with Koji:

You can see Koji's wife and baby behind Ray. They didn't speak English so we didn't get
to interact much with them.

The games went on for a while [Ray's parents were also there with us] and we finally decided to stop and have some lunch. ESPNZone wasn't seating anyone else for lunch or dinner so we went to Hard Rock Cafe next door.

After lunch, we parted ways with Ray's parents and ventured out toward the Ravens' Stadium where their Spring Football Festival was just about to start. On the way we stopped into the World Trade Center building and went to the observation deck on the 27th floor. Part of BaltiMORE for LESS was that you got buy-one-get-one-free admission. And although Ray is 6, the very nice lady at the desk considered him "less than 3" so he was free! This is why we heart Baltimore :) And because of the lovely pictures below:
Harbor Place & USS Constellation

Looking west up Pratt Street / part of Harbor Place

The Camden Yards Warehouse and Oriole Park!!

Partial view of the prettiest, purplest place on earth -- M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens :)

Maryland Science Center

Famous Baltimore landmark, Domino Sugar plant. You can see the sign in the very center of the picture if you look carefully. It was midday, so the sign wasn't lit up yet.

Shot tower, Port Discovery, and Power Plant :)

Mr. Ray sat himself on this bench on our way over to the stadium. He was not a fan of walking and made that abundantly clear every 12 seconds or so....

And this was the only way to quiet him.

When we arrived at M&T Bank Stadium, we realized very quickly that this was one of those events that offered a lot, but you could only do one or two things if you tried. We arrived maybe 30 minutes after it began and the lines for all the kid activities literally snaked around the entire field. Plus it was out in direct sunlight and we couldn't bring ourselves to get in a 45-minute line just to kick or throw a ball. So we wandered around and took pictures instead!

Josh and Ray on the 50-yard line!

Ray in the endzone doing his touchdown dance - he wasn't very spirited, haha

Where the players run out! There was actually a pretty massive line right in front of this to take your picture there too. We refused to stand in it and just took our picture from here.

Running in for a touchdown!

The ONE thing we stood in line for only because it was under the shade of the concourse. It was about 30 minutes wait for him to attempt this field goal twice.

First in line at Oriole Park to get our purple Os hats!

Ravens Marching Band and cheerleaders helped get the game started. Also notice "The Bird" on the left getting the crowd pumped :)

Baltimore Raven LeRon McClain threw the first pitch

"The Bird" sporting his Ravens jersey while signing autographs

Nick Markakis warming up before the game

Tut-tut, looks like rain! There was thunder and lightning and enough rain to make me put on a giant orange poncho! Fortunately it all passed by very quickly :)

Poe on top the Os dugout helping The Bird lead the 7th Inning Stretch

An Oriole on first base was an uncommon occurrance at this game, so I had to snap a picture while I could to demonstrate the awesomeness of our seats [super thanks to Ray's parents!]

Possibly THE only other time there was an Oriole standing at first. Adam Jones almost saved the game in the bottom of the 9th, but we couldn't squeek out the one last run needed to tie things up for an extra inning. Good game, boys :)

After a very long day, we got home, showered, and slept like babies :) It was a lot of fun though.

Next weekend.... I'm painting the kitchen! We still haven't found the exact floor we want to use yet, but figured we need to go ahead and get the kitchen painting done anyway so when we find the floor, we'll be ready to install.
Wish me luck!

PS - I'm down to 8 weeks left of school! Hooray!

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