Despite all appearances to the contrary, this is in fact a couple’s blog, never mind the fact that to date 100% of our posts have been written by Tiffani. I will admit that I’m rather tardy in making my appearance in written form here, especially considering I’m writing about an adventure we had just a shade over a year ago now.
As some of you may know, the genesis of this blog, including our many baseball-related puns, is Tiffani and my mutual love of baseball and our desire to visit every MLB stadium and take in a game, It’ s something we talked about pretty early on in our dating, and though at the time we had no idea we’d be doing it together, it was at least in the back of my mind that she’d be a great traveling companion. So far we’ve checked two stadiums off the list, with a third coming at the end of this month. Today’s post, however, is about those first two.
Our first Christmas together, in 2014, we got one gift that was unique from the others, the opportunity to fly anywhere within the U.S., from Tiffani’s parents. We talked a while trying to come up with the idea of how to use our trip, and of course immediately we realized we wanted to do a baseball trip. Eventually we settled on going to Washington DC, so that we could visit the sites and museums, and hopefully find time to make it to a game in Baltimore as well. finally the date was set, arrangements were made, and on April 6 we started our trip. Thankfully our travel was uneventful, and the first night we were there we stayed with the Croy family in Maryland, whose daughter was good friends with Tiffani.
The next morning Brother Croy took us up north to Gettysburg PA, where we walked all along the battlefield, learning a lot from our host along the way. it was a surprise just how big the battlefield was, and hearing the many stories of how it played out was beyond interesting. after spending the morning and most of the afternoon in Gettysburg until we were rained out, we returned to Maryland and I took the opportunity to introduce Tiffani to a place that’s been close to my heart since my first week in New York- Wegmans. We spent a considerable time enjoying the cheese selection and getting subs, and finally we started our trip further south into the DC area.
We stayed the rest of our trip in Laurel, MD, not far from either Baltimore or Washington. Tiffani was pretty apprehensive about driving in unfamiliar territory, but as I’m still under 25 the rental car was left in her hands. She did admirably though. The next day we had planned to visit as many of the landmarks as we could, but in the end we only made it through the national gallery and the air and space museum. I take the blame for that, as staring at airplanes will keep me entertained for hours. After a brief stop to get gyros from a truck we started to make our way out to National’s park for our very first Major League game together.
It was anything other than typical baseball weather. We came early for batting practice, but soon found ourselves taking shelter from the sleet and cold in the restaurant within the stadium. When we were finished we immediately found hot chocolate to keep ourselves warm on the inside, and bought a souvenir blanket for Tiffani to use during the game, which ended up being delayed by an hour due to the rain. Thankfully, the game was played and we had a blast watching as the home team beat Atlanta. That night we slept very soundly, finally being out of the rain and after a considerable amount of walking for the day.
The next day we visited the Washington DC temple, going through the visitor’s center and then going in for a session. It being a weekday in a temple built huge to accommodate an influx of weekend travelers, we had it very nearly to ourselves. It was very peaceful to be in such a large building almost completely devoid of any hustle or bustle, something that is, understandably, hard to come by in the Utah temples. That night we made another stop at Wegmans and made ourselves a dinner of Rochester white hots and baguettes with Brie and jam.
Our second to last day we met up with Brother Croy again, who this time took us to Dulles, VA, and one of my favorite places to visit- The Stephen F. Uvdar-Hazy center, more commonly known as the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (and yes, another, different one from the one we visited two days before.) once again Tiffani was a great sport as I regaled her with the history of the Concorde, waxed lyrical about the lines of the F-4 Phantom II, droned on about the benefits of a radial piston configuration for airplane engines, took countless pictures, and so on.
That night we went to a sushi bar in Washington, the kind with the conveyor belt and endless plates of sushi revolving in front of our table. I ate well, if somewhat modestly. Tiffani, on the other hand, likely reduced the ocean’s population by a full third that night. I had five or so of the small plates that I’d cleared in front of me, and Tiffani had towers of them. Yellowtail, Bluefin, salmon, shrimp, crab, and mountains of sticky rice finally satiated the appetite of the girl who, on that night, could have given any shark in the ocean a run for it when it came to a craving for seafood.
On our last full day of our trip we were really hoping to see an Orioles game, but there was a problem. Their first series was away, and this day was going to be the home opener, and so our only chance to see them in Baltimore. Tickets for the game we only available in bundles, and resale tickets we prohibitively expensive. Finally the night before the game they opened up single game tickets and we snagged two of them. The game was not near as cold or rainy as the Nationals game was, but we still were happy to find a vendor who sold hot chocolate. The game itself was very fun, we got to watch the Blue Jays, who would end up making it to the ALCS that year, walk roughshod all over the Orioles. Needless to say, the home crowd was upset with the game and the team and life itself.
When it finally came time to come home, we were happy for the chance to rest a bit, but so happy we were able to do and see and experience all that we did over the course of just under a week. We had an absolute blast on our trip to DC and Baltimore, had a great time getting to know each other even better in ways that we couldn’t just at home, and we got even more excited about our goal. I can’t think of any better way to kick off the Decker’s tour of the majors than exactly how we did it. 🙂