July 17, 2012 (Day 2 - Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.)
To me, this is the true beginning to our road trip. Boston to NYC is simply driving home, NYC to D.C., now we’re talking. Personally, this is also a special drive. At the ages of 5-10, I lived in the D.C. area and frequently visited my grandparents who live in Hackensack N.J., a town a short 10 minutes away from the G.W. Bridge. As I watched my parents make the drive from D.C. to Hackensack many times, it was especially meaningful to make the drive myself as an adult.
J. Rho and I awoke early Tuesday morning and decided to take a quick trip to my gym to burn some calories. Since we are going to be eating plenty of hotdogs and fast food over the next four days, this seemed like a bright idea. After visiting my grandparents in Hackensack, we were back on the road. The drive was amazing. We passed the iconic (iconic for me at least) Delaware Bridge, went through Baltimore and its tunnels, and saw the huge Mormon Church in Northern Virginia before arriving at our destination in Falls Church, VA, our lodging for the night.
One hour later, we were on the Orange Line to D.C. for our second baseball game of our journey. The ride was uncomfortable to say the least. It was 100 degrees outside and we unluckily chose the only car without air conditioning. Besides the lack of air conditioning, the D.C. Metro is fantastic. It’s fast and efficient and I love how each station looks the same. The tunnels also have a futuristic look that makes me feel like I am in the Matrix (Yes, I know perfectly well “in the Matrix” doesn’t make any sense but the tunnels reminded me of the movie).
Stadium: Nationals Park is a true park. The stadium is very open and the main entrance is very inviting. As an added bonus, the fans were very into the game and the stadium was packed. I, however, credit this enthusiasm to the winning record the Nationals currently have. My father and I visited this same stadium three years ago (when the Nationals were awful) and barely ten thousand fans were present.
Food: The locals eat Ben’s Chili Bowl so, naturally, that’s what we ate. We ordered a “Half Smoked,” which consisted of a sausage in a hot dog bun topped with chili, cheese, onions, and jalepanos. It was amazing.
The Nationals played the Mets and ended up winning in extra innings on a wild pitch. Tomorrow Cincinnati, stay tuned.
J. Rho - day 2:
I haven’t worn a regular t-shirt in two days because it’s hot everywhere. It’s hot in Carlos, it’s hot on public transportation, and it’s hot at the baseball games. We saw the Washington Nationals host the Mets. We ate an hour before the game so I wasn’t hungry. I was just going to get a regular dog in the 6th, but we saw the half smoke on the menu and asked a local what it was. She said it was great and that if you are visiting, you had to try it. What gave it away that I was a visitor? Was it my wifebeat? My moustache? My Mexican complexion? So I ate it. We slept over at Joel’s house, a college buddy of mine, and had a quick beer to catch up. Thanks for letting us crash at your place. I’ll see you at my place in TX, meet half way in Nola, and/or your place in FL.