Fryin’ @ The Yards…

My #1 priority this morning was to get the strap on my leg brace fixed because walking with it broke the way it is wasn’t much fun.  Last night I had Googled some places to call this morning so I got up early and started calling around.  Everywhere was full up with appointments and couldn’t even see anyone on an emergency basis (I felt it was an emergency anyway!).  I finally found a placed, about a 30 minute drive from me, that could see me and as she told me, “The sooner the better”.  I jumped thru a shower, got dressed and headed on my way.

To make a fairly long story short: 1) This place was located at a hospital, 2) I had to pay to park at the hospital and 3) About 90 minutes after I got there I was walking out with a new strap on my leg not knowing 100% for sure if it would be covered by insurance and realizing that compared to my last one, this one sucks ass! (Side note: it must have got better, or I got used to it because months later, I am still using that same one).

After getting the new strap I made my way straight to Camden Yards.  Today’s game was an afternoon game and it was already freakin’ hot!  I got there, parked and headed across the street to “Pickles”.  Pickles is a sports pub that my buddy Bob DeVries had told me I had to try when I was in town and like I said, its right across the street from the ballpark, so all the better.   Needless to say, I loved it!  Great beer, “Flying Bitch”, and great food between the “Baltimore Wings” (coated in ‘Old Bay’) and the deep fried pickle spears.

For today’s game I decided I wanted to try something different, to sit in a different section.  Not just a different section, but a completely different part of the park than I have ever say before.  This would be my 5th game at Camden Yards and I have always sat out in the bleachers by the Warehouse.  This time I wanted to sit behind home and get the view of the entire park, including the Warehouse, so I grabbed a seat up in section 336.  I had a great view from my seat.  I really enjoyed it… for the most part.  The only issue I really has was that it was so friggin’ hot!  It was so hot (how hot was it?), it was so hot that they started handing out free cups of ice.  I can usually handle the heat ok, but today it was so bad that when I got the chance I moved up a section to the other side of the walkway and into the shade. Getting the direct sunlight off me was nice, but it was still hot and an ice cold lemonade sure sounded good.  Now if I could just get the guy selling them to walk by.  It took darn near 5 innings before he did and he sold out his entire tray in a matter of moments.  When he left he must have went straight back, filled up his tray and came right back because in less than ½ inning he was back and it didn’t take long for his $5.50 lemonades to disappear again!  As for the game, it was nothing exciting really.  The Rays beat the Orioles 5-4 with Evan Longoria going 2-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 rbi’s.  The game lasted 3:13 and it seemed to drag on and on.  I honestly think it was because of the heat, because I love being at the ballpark, and Camden Yards is amazing… especially when it’s not raining!

After the game I took off for the Fells Point neighborhood.  I had been doing some research on different places and found a place called “Max’s Taphouse” that sounded like my kinda place.  It’s just a neighborhood bar that has a ton of different beers on tap, including several casks.  When I finally found it, got a parking spot (paid for parking), got in and looked around I was blown away!  For everything I had read, I didn’t say anything about it being a ‘dive’.  This surprised me, but I LOVED IT!  The coolest thing, besides all the different beers on tap, is that they have a menu that details all of their beers and even tells you a little something about them, including who makes it.  I had a great time getting to hang out there, enjoy several of their beers, talk to lots of locals and just relax.  I will most certainly go back again the next time I am in Baltimore.

After leaving Max’s I headed back to my hotel, changed clothes and headed to dinner at a place called “G&M Restaurant & Lounge”.  It’s located in Linthicum Heights, MD, which is pretty close to the BWI.  I had heard they had amazing crab cakes, so I wanted to check them out.  From the moment I walked in I could tell I wasn’t going to be enjoying myself here.  The bar itself only has a small number of seats, which were currently full.  Of all of the other tables, the smallest one was a 4 topper and being by myself, I would have rather just waited for a spot at the bar, but I could tell those guys were there for drinks and to watch the game so I wasn’t going to wait.  Just moments after walking in and taking a look around a lady working there yelled, and I mean YELLED, at me saying “Over this way!” and pointed to the waitress station which was on the complete other end of the place from where I was at.  I nodded my head and proceeded to walk through the crowded room all the while getting looks from people.  Freakin’ lovely!

The gal working there, the Maitre D if you will, wasn’t that nice either as she took me to my table.  Top that off with the look from the waiter as he walked over to me (I’m certain it was the disappointment of 1 person at a 4 top table aka smaller tip!) and they already had more than 3 strikes on them at this point!  From there it just got worse.  The beer selection sucked, my order was wrong, the food was cold and the “Award Winning” crab cakes were 1) Expensive and 2) Sucked!  I have had better crab cakes at Camden Yards!  The only thing that was even remotely good is that they had the ESPN MLB game on the big screen.  However, it was not HD and I mean seriously, what kind of place worth anything isn’t running HD these days?!?

After leaving there I head back to my hotel, filled up the gas tank, started packing up some loose ends and watched some tv.   In a matter of a couple hours my wife would be starting her flight to BWI and I will be picking her up early for our drive to Mystic, CT.

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