After Pittsburgh and the PNC Park, we are driving back east to visit both teams of the Washington area: the Nationals and the Orioles. On our way, we stopped at Gettysburg, PA, to visit the biggest Battlefield of the American Civil War. The park surrounding the battlefield contains 13 000 plaques and monuments. You follow a path of 25 miles (with your car!) that presents you what happened there between July 1st and July 3rd 1863. At the end of the path, you can visit the cemetery where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.
The next day we arrived in Washington DC. There, we were received by Meg and Brian, a Nationals fan couple living in DC. They helped us getting around by car and by subway. They also offered us lodging for two nights! Washington is a great city to visit. First of all: almost everything is free to visit! Second of all: the variety of museums is huge: American history, air and space, holocaust memorial, art gallery, etc. Finally, we could visit many outdoors memorials that honor great Americans (Roosevelt, Luther King, and Lincoln) and past wars (WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War).
Before the game, we were meeting with Dany, an expos fan from Montreal who was doing a Washington\Baltimore baseball trip! We are not going to talk about our experience at the Nationals Park in this report because the game was postponed due to rain (after letting us waiting so the fans would buy food…). Hopefully, we were in good company. We met with Meg, Brian, David and Mark. All big Nationals fan and during the delay that explained us everything surrounding the Nats but we will talk about all of this when we will come back to Washington.
We then went back to Meg and Brian’s place to get a good night of sleep and to think of a way to come back to Washington during the trip. Next day we visited again Washington (so much to do) and we headed to Baltimore to meet again with Dany to visit Camden Yards together before the Orioles- Nationals game. Montreal should take example on Camden Yards for a new ballpark. First, the view is really important: we have a great view of downtown Baltimore that gives the fan a great experience. You can walk on a big alley that goes from center field to right field where you have food, shops and other attractions for the fans. The warehouse, longest building on the east coast, is an old red brick building that adds to the beauty of the ballpark. We also saw plates from some of the longest home runs at this park: one by Oh Henry Rodriguez himself! Inside, we had a great fan experience: easy to walk around and many things to do. The stadium employees were extra nice to us and many fans (more than in Washington!) recognize our Expos gear and stopped to talk with us.
We also met with David, who was at the Nationals Park the day before, so he could talk with us about the Orioles. David grew up as an Orioles fan but started to root for the Nationals when they arrived to Washington. Without a team in Washington when the Senators left, many people from the Washington area choose the Orioles. We had a special chance to see those two teams playing against each other. David told us that Orioles fans are real baseball fans and know their baseball history, which explained why so many people recognize us there. Those fans have to live with a difficult division playing against the Yankees and the Red Sox. They are really proud of their team and so many of them were showing the black and orange colors of the Birdland. A team with a great history, diehard fans and one of the most beautiful ballparks in the league = Recipe for great baseball experience.
Baseball talking, the Orioles pitchers had trouble giving home runs and walks to the Nationals players. At least, Many Machado gave us a little excitement going 3 for 4 and hitting a home run at left field. Leaving to many players on bases, the O’s dropped it 6-2 to the Nationals. Positive thing: it was free t-shirt day. A t-shirt honoring Nick Markakis, who’s playing with the team since 2006.
Even though the team lost, we were really happy to live this experience in Baltimore. We met many fans who told us they’d love to see a team back in Montreal. We can hope to live similar experiences in Montreal in a close future. Until then we recommend to everyone to take a weekend and go down to the Washington area to visit Washington DC and its museums and to drive to Baltimore to get an awesome baseball experience!
Since we wrote our website and ballgame dates on the car people stop us to talk about the tour even in traffic jams!
En route to Philadelphia!
P.S: We learned that the Star Spangled Banner was inspired by a victory against the British in Baltimore so when singing it at the ballpark, the fans Yells a big ‘O’ during the: Oh, say does that Star – Spangled Banner yet wave. It’s surprising but really nice to see.