Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Beer and Baseball in Baltimore

This was going to be a laid back, relaxing weekend for me, with no plans on the horizon,  until Steve called Friday afternoon saying he'd been given 2 tickets, by his company, for the Orioles game on Saturday. That sounded awesome on its own but also, food, beer and a hotel room were included. Fabulous!
So, taking an overnight bag and my G15, we drove to Baltimore. Free parking was also included with the hotel so all we had to pay for was food and drink outside the event. After leaving our bags at reception we walked to the inner harbor and ordered a small lunch at the M&S Grill.
Not wanting to eat too much, we just ordered a couple of appetizers, choosing mussels and also the fiesta pulled pork nachos. Lunch was superb, full of flavor and washed down heartily with good beer. It was lucky we were walking quite a lot so we'd have a chance to work it off. We trailed around the harbor, people watching and stopped to watch a performer.
I couldn't even start to imagine how he was enduring this. Jumping a blazing skipping rope in long pants with the temperature already in the 90's. I was wilting under the fierce sunlight. Oh, but he did have a hat...
Some slick motors parked outside the hotel; mine's on the right!
I loved all the reflections on the hotel's windows, certainly made for some interesting photos...
...and these ladies down in the foyer obviously liked the fire. Really? A fire in July?
Once we'd dumped our bags unceremoniously and had a quick look round the hotel, we trotted off to the park, which was only a couple of blocks away.
What a great fan outfit! Orioles and Ravens in one.
We didn't have to wait long to get inside and because we were part of a party, we were allowed in through a different door. The first 25k fans were presented with a free bobblehead.
If it had been a player then I was going to give it away, but it was a Maryland themed Oriole bird, which I thought was cute, so I kept it.
We had a great view from The Banquet Room if you stood by the window. We managed to get seats on that side but couldn't see while sitting down.
The free beer were domestic brews, boo, but they did have Natty Boh's so we were more than happy with that. The buffet was usual baseball food with burgers, hotdogs and brats, and was pretty good. It was nice to meet some of Steve's work crowd, who were a really friendly bunch, and I have to admit that I realized I missed working with a bigger crowd. I'd always worked in a corporate field in England, and these guys brought it all back. But then Steve started mentioning some of the ups and downs in work relationships and politics, and I came back down to earth. I'd forgotten about that aspect. But it was still a wonderful lunch and we had a lot of laughs with his colleagues, and then someone mentioned the game was starting, so we all grabbed one more beer, then piled outside, eyes squinting in the bright light.
We found our seats and got involved with the game, the Orioles were leading against the Detroit Tigers and playing well. But then we noticed that we couldn't see any of the other guests from Steve's party, they'd disappeared. During the whole of our time watching the game we didn't see one person we recognized. So either we were in the wrong seats or everyone else had left!
As evening progressed our enthusiasm waned a little. The O's were on a winning streak, so trusting they'd finish the game with a sensational score, we left to have a last drink or two back at M&S Grille.
The harbor was pretty with it's water reflecting the lights and we enjoyed the cooler air while supping on our beers. The crowds had also thinned out and folks were quieter than earlier in the day. I had been a little apprehensive since there have been frequent shootings in the city triggered by the death of Freddie Gray back in April. Click here for an article. Apparently though they hadn't ceased for our baseball visit, we heard the following day that there had been another shooting in the north of the city. Thankfully, not a fatality, and thankfully not near us... And the Orioles added the finishing touch to a great weekend with a score of 6 - 2!

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