Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nationals Park

Nationals Park
1500 South Capitol Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20003

August 31, 2012
We left Long Island nice and early (10 am) because we knew that we were going up against Labor Day traffic, New Jersey, and DC's infamous rush hour. 10 am might not seem that early to you because most of the corporate world reports for duty between 8 and 9 am, but let us tell you why leaving prior to 10 am would've been unbearable. The night before, we participated in the Inaugural NFL Back to Football Run, which was truly a fantastic time. We'll talk more about it at a later date, but to sum it up, we ran 4 miles uphill around Central Park, didn't get home until 11:00 at night and then we had to shower before bed because we're hygenic individuals. So while leaving Long Island prior to 10 am would've been unbearable, leaving at 10 was still pretty damn hard.

We flew on the 495/LIE (for those of you unfamiliar with the Long Island area, here's a tid bit of history for you: the 495/LIE is where Harry Chapin met his unfortunate end in a car accident. You know him, right? Singer of "Cat's in the Cradle." Look at you learning all about the TBB's home planet). It was downhill from there. We hit traffic in Staten Island, which is really just one step above New Jersey in terms of lists of places in this country that should go missing in the Bermuda Triangle (oh, but the New York Giants, Bruce Springsteen, and Bon Jovi get to stay here, capische?). Then we hit traffic on the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), which is not shocking because there's never NOT traffic on the BQE. The only bright spot in this is that Lisa got to take a few pictures of the local New York sites for you to enjoy. This picture featuring her in the rearview mirror is Serena's personal favorite:
This photo gives you a good view of the Freedom Tower:
Serena's favorite bridge in New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge:
Lisa tried to snap a photo of the Statue of Liberty for you, but unfortunately it was just too far and Serena was driving just a touch too fast for the photo to come out clearly.

We hit massive traffic in New Jersey. The only thing that kept us going through this troubling time was Serena's iPod playlist entitled, "Stripper." This glorious playlist included such megahits as "Ragdoll" by Aerosmith, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard, "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake, "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen, "Crazy" by Aerosmith, "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC, " Love in an Elevator" by Aerosmith, "Runaway" by THE JOVI, "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa, "Down on Me" by Jeremih and 50 Cent, "Freak Like Me" by Adina Howard (at this point, we had an intellectual conversation about what exactly a "Gangsta Lean" is), "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by Charlie Daniels Band, "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera, "Slave for You" by Britney Spears, "Down in Mexico" by The Coasters, "Pony" by Far, "Buttons" by PCD, "Closer" by NIN, "Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry (little known fact: apparently this song is not about f*cking some crazy bitch, but about Paris Hilton whoring herself for fame), "Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon, "Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven, "Addicted" by Saving Abel, "Need You Tonight" by INXS, "Future Sex/Love Sound" by Justin Timberlake, "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground, "Sweet Dreams" by Marilyn Manson, "Nasty Naughty Boy" by Christina Aguilera, "Doin' It" by LL Cool J, "Cryin'" by Aerosmith, and "Tainted Love" by PCD. We know. Epic, isn't it? We're going to try to sell a 2-disc compilation CD at the Tricounty Flea Market.

We moved through Delaware relatively quickly, listening to Serena's "Get Low" playlist which featured 112's "Dance With Me" (if you're sexy and you know it, clap your hands *clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap*), Eminem's "Til I Collapse," Lil' Kim's "How Many Licks" (very explicit lyrics, but to keep it somewhat abbreviated and short, here's a taste of it: Lil' Kim sings, "my sh*t comes in flavors" and basically we talked about the fact that we didn't think most men wanted "Truck Stop" as their flavor of choice), Sisquo's "Got to Get it," DMX's "Ya'll Gonna Make Me," Chris Brown's "Strip" (we talked about how we'd hit Rhianna too if we dated her), and Janet Jackson's "If" (Lisa did the synchronized arm dance -- pay close attention to the dance sequence at 3:35). We breezed passed Baltimore. Lisa snapped this photo of M&T Bank Stadium (home of the Ravens) as we drove:
Sorry, couldn't get Oriole Park from this angle. Once through the Fort McHenry Tunnel, it was downhill again. 295 was a mess of traffic, but what kept us company was the entire discography of the extremely talented group, 98 Degrees. You've probably heard of them. Listening to 3 CD's in a row caused us to learn a lot about the men of 98 Degrees:
1. The ugly dude doesn't sing. He just has random speaking parts in almost every song and sounds a bit creepy. Imagine having that dude whispering to you, "Come and feel the heat" or "You're now entering 98 Degrees."
2. There's a lot of "rocking my world" happening.
3. The members of 98 Degrees seem to only be attracted to women who are unavailable.
4. Even when the members of 98 Degrees are in relationships, they continue to remain unsastisfied because they get themselves a mistress that works as a Las Vegas Showgirl.
5. These are some dirty, perverted men that sing about "pushing their head down there" (you don't even want to know what conversation these lyrics prompted) and having girls' "legs up in the air," and "coming baby, don't stop." Being young, innocent little TBB's back in the day, we had no idea what the hell these dudes were singing about. Experiencing these songs at our seasoned veteran age is an entirely different ball game. Don't you wish you were in this car with us?
6. Unlike most men who use pick-up lines, the members of 98 Degrees SING their pick-up lines. Not even original pick-up lines either. They're fond of, "heaven is missing an angel."

After a total of 8 hours of driving, we finally made it to Nationals Park. Lisa snapped these pictures as we approached:
Unfortunately, we were too early to park and too late to drive around the city to find something else to do, so Serena parked on a random side street and napped.
Sadly, Lisa had to pee. Quite badly. While Serena slept, she contemplated going in the backseat and using this Aunt Annie's cup as her toilet, but integrity prevented her from doing so...as well as the random creeper men that kept walking by.
The parking lots/garages opened at 4:30, so after about 15 minutes of nothing, we parked in the garage on M Street SE near the Navy Yard metro station for $30. If you're in the area and are able to find another garage, we recommend doing so. The layout of the parking spaces were a nightmare. Luckily for us, we got there early enough that we found a space that allowed us to pull straight through, but many cars were not so lucky and getting out of the lot after the game proved difficult. In terms of price, we don't think you'll find anything cheaper than $30. A nearby lot was charging $40.

At the recommendation of TBB reader, Randy, we checked out the Half Street Fairgrounds on Half Street (innovative, right?) and M Street. The Fairgrounds is like a giant tailgating party. It's got port-a-potties, two bars, stage performances...
...cornholing (what that is, we don't know, but we think it's a bean bag toss)...
...and a picnic area where you can actually watch the game!
We each bought a Michelob Ultra for $6. They also sell water for $3. Admission into the area is free. After the beer, it was time to check out the park. We bought 2 Nationals hats from a street vendor for $15. Really? Can you beat 2 for $15? Especially when the average cost of Serena's hats have been $20/each. We were pretty smitten with the stadium as soon as we entered it.
To complete our fanhood, we received a free Nationals t-shirt. Anyone know what this "Wonk" business is all about? We saw it all over the place.
Just to give you an idea as to how many free giveaways we've gotten over the years, we took this picture of our t-shirt collection. This doesn't even include the random crap like water bottles, lunch boxes, bobbleheads, license plate frames, etc.
We popped into the nearby Team Store so that Lisa could pick up a Screech doll. All they had was a puppet for $30. Initially she was pissed off, but the puppet is pretty cute, so she got over her outrage relatively quickly.
From the Team Store, we headed up the escalator to check out the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk, another recommendation by TBB reader, Randy.
We rolled in to discover two AWESOME things. LIVE MUSIC!!! And couches.
Miller and Coors Lights are $5 before the first pitch. Granted, they had a lot of interesting beer on tap, but who cares when someone is waving a $5 alternative in front of your face?
Here's the cool view from the Scoreboard Walk:
From the Scoreboard Walk, we wandered over to the Red Porch, which is a 2-floor bar/restaurant over looking left centerfield. From the balcony, we had a great view of the fans pouring into the park for the game. We also spied with our little eyes a few Presidents making their rounds. Can you find Abe, Thomas, and George?
Naturally, we had to run down and get our pictures taken with them. Notice how we couldn't put our beers down for two seconds in order to take a classy picture with our nation's greatest leaders.
Teddy might be throwing gang symbols in this picture. After chilling with the presidents like the people in the New York Lotto commercial, we went in search of food. First, we searched for the closest sausage stand, hoping that the RFK Stadium sausage traveled cross-town to the new ballpark. It didn't. In fact, the sausage being served at Nationals Park is "mild" flavored. Failure. We received a few recommendations. One was the Strasburger, which apparently is a 5 lbs. piece of meat that can feed 7. We were up for the challenge, so we investigated where we could find this burger. We were informed that it was $85. Serena asked if the burger came with Stephen Strasburg for that price. He doesn't. Another recommendation was chili from Ben's Chili Bowl, which is something that the DC area is supposedly famous for (not sure if this is actually true though). Neither of us are too into chili, so we stalked the stand until we found someone to critique the dish for us. Brian was up for the challenge.
 
The bowl cost $8.50 and Brian said that it was pretty tasty and with a kick. Though he did admit to being starving and unsure if his hunger was clouding his vision. We like to think positively and assume that this bowl of chili was delicious.

Still hungry, another fan told us that there was nothing better than the stadium's jerk chicken, which is served at a Jammin Island BBQ stand located between the Red Porch and Scoreboard Walk.
For $10, we enjoyed a pulled jerk chicken served on a potato hamburger bun, cole slaw, and a bag of Lays potato chips.
It was literally the best jerk chicken we've ever had. We could've eaten another sandwich each.
Once we wolfed our food down without speaking one word to each other, it was close to first pitch time. We decided to try to score another $5 beer before heading to our seats. It seemed that everyone else had the same idea because an army had amassed at the bar. Lisa stood next to a Cardinals fan, who also desperately tried to flag a bartender down. They made a wolf pact. Whoever got the bartender's attention would order the other person's beer for them as well. Cardinals and Nationals fans working together in booze harmony. Lisa ended up being the one to snag the bartender.
On the way to our seats, we discovered a Thomas bobblehead.
By the time we reached our seats, we had missed the Cardinals at bat. Adam Wainwright was going for the Cardinals and Gio Gonzalez was going for the Nationals.
From the start, the Nationals' offense was on fire. With Jayson Werth on third and Bryce Harper on second, Adam LaRoche drilled a single, scoring both Werth and Harper and making the score 2-0. This was exciting, but allow us to describe the conversations that took place leading up to the 2-run single. Let's begin with Werth. He stepped into the batter's box to Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused." Awesome. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up from Serena. However, his picture then graced the scoreboard.
WTF. He looks like a serial rapist. Like the kind of man who would wait under your car late at night and slice open your achilles tendon when you approached, causing you to fall to to your hands and knees. Then you wouldn't be able to run away as he climbed on top of you, raped, and murdered you. After that, he'd hang your body somewhere in the woods where a couple making out in a car would find you. That's what he looks like. Yet here is playing for the Nationals like this is totally normal. If you look closely, you can see Bambi poking his head out of the beard.

Now for Bryce Harper's at bat. Serena, for some bizarre reason that has baffled many, including Serena herself, finds Bryce Harper attractive. Here's why this is weird: he's ugly. Nevermind the fact that he's underage. He's not good-looking and he acts like a raging douchebag. "That's a clown question, bro." Who the f*ck says that? More importantly, why would Serena want to sleep with a man who WOULD say that? We don't know. It's a mystery much like how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know. When Harper stepped into the batter's box, Lisa took her chance at getting her revenge for the constant "Derek Jeter's your boyfriend" jokes. Here's the conversation:
Lisa: "Look, your boyfriend's up."
*Snarls* Serena: "He's not my boyfriend. That's just shameful."
Lisa: "Your lover then."
*Contemplates this for a moment* Serena: "No. I don't think he's a very good lover. He's probably terrible. I think he's my bad lay."
*Nods* Lisa: "You're probably right. He looks like a selfish a-hole."
The conversation then veered onto a path that we're not comfortable speaking about on this blog.
The Nationals scored another 4 runs in the bottom of the 3rd. The Nationals fans in the section over from us began a chant that sounded oddly like the Jets cheer. "N-A-T-S, Nats, Nats, Nats!" That's weird. Why would you steal ANYTHING from the Jets?

In the bottom of 4th inning, Screech and the GEICO lizard came out to kick off the Presidents' Race. On the scoreboard, they showed video and photos of the Presidents preparing for their race, including a few yoga poses. They flashed the current standings for this season. As usual, Teddy has no wins.
The good news is that you can follow Teddy on Twatter @Teddy26Nats. Of course, we followed him as soon as they flashed this bit of information. We assure you that it hasn't disappointed us yet. The Presidents started their race on the outfield warning track and continued around the right field corner down the first baseline to where Screech was waiting for them.
Once again, Teddy lost, the win going to Abe. We knew that the Presidents would be posing for photos at the GEICO porch, so we headed off in search of this sacred place. On the way, we discovered another President bobblehead on the main level near one of the Team Stores. None other than Teddy!
This prompted an asinine, yet genuinely eager goal: we must find ALL of the President bobbleheads. We could not leave until we found them all. We found George relatively quickly on our way to the GEICO porch. He was tucked into a corner near an ATM.
From George, we found the GEICO porch near the centerfield entrance. Surprisingly, there wasn't much of a line. What the hell? This is easily one of the best photo opportunities of a person's life, yet only 10 of us were taking advantage of it!
The Presidents were guarded faithfully by secret service. At RFK, the secret service wore legitimate black suits, sunglasses, and earpieces. Now the secret service only wears a baseball jersey. This is only forgiveable because he was such a nice guy.
Our intention following this photo was to find Abe and immediately return to our seats, but we got distracted by our stomachs and the call from the Breyers ice cream stand was too strong. For $5, you can get a small cup or cone of real ice cream. None of that soft serve crap. For $7, you can get big boy scoops in a cup, cone, OR a plastic Nationals helmet. Obviously, we were going to go with the helmet. For $1 more, you can add toppings. You might think that extra dollar is ridiculous, but wait until you find out what toppings are available. They also had amazing flavors to choose from. Not just chocolate and vanilla. They offer Reese's butter cup, chocolate chip mint, cookies n' cream, strawberry, Snickers, cookie dough, and caramel swirl! The other MLB teams need to step their sh*t up ASAP.
Lisa got cookies n' cream with butter cup pieces on top. Yes, that's right. BUTTER CUP! You can also add sprinkles (boring) and M&M's!!!!
Serena ordered strawberry with real chunks of strawberry in it with butter cup topping. Look at the ice cream dripping down the little piggy's hand and arm.
Once we were done scarfing our ice cream down, we needed to find Abe. Rumor had it that he was located on the 2nd floor. We found him hanging out in a nook overlooking left field.
We think Abe wanted Lisa to have a little fun with him because as you can see in this photo, he is pointing to his little Abraham. From here, we had a pretty good view of what was happening on the field. It was now 8-0 in favor of the Nationals. There's nothing worse than a complete and total ass kicking. It's boring and fascist.
The final score would be 10-0. When we left, we at first tried to get near the Capitol Building to take a few photos, but it proved too difficult with half the streets being blocked off. Plus, it was already pretty late and we had a long drive back.

Thanks to a f*cked up accident on the 95, it took us another 6 hours to get home. Serena had to pull over somewhere in New Jersey at one point to take a 20-minute cat nap so that she didn't fall asleep at the wheel and kill us. Then you wouldn't have had the chance to read this amazing blog post. Lisa was convinced that we'd fall asleep and wake up to sunlight and chirping birds (she likes birds), but we made it. How lucky for you.

6 comments:

  1. And to think we thought this was one of our more rambling ones...

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  2. holy f*ckballs! you drove back to LongGuyIsland right after the game! good choice not to get chili.

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  3. Randy have you not learned anything about us. We are boderline professionals at everything. Nothing stops us!

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  4. I'd tip my green Irish Appreciation day Mets hat if I was wearing it!

    Was Abe pushing Lisa's head down there in another photo?

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  5. Now now, Randy. That is something left for 98 Degrees to sing about on their upcoming reunion album.

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