Sunday, June 3, 2007

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

I hadn't planned on taking in last night's game between the Nationals and San Diego Padres at RFK Stadium... After a day of roaming the streets and visiting several different sights and sounds of Dupont Circle and Georgetown, I came back to my hotel room to recharge my batteries and take in a little baseball on television. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees game happened to be on ESPN. I was watching the game with the Red Sox up in the fourth inning by a 3-1 score. I then did something I rarely do during the daytime - I fell asleep! An hour or so later, I wake up to find that not only has Red Sox starter Curt Schilling been pulled, but that the Yanks had rallied to take a 5-3 lead. Disappointed, I started channel surfing and happen upon the Weather Channel just in time for the local D.C. forecast for "tonight and tomorrow" - "tonight" was going to be just fine, but "tomorrow" didn't look so good as the forecast was for rain. Not wanting to take any chances on not seeing a ballgame while I was here, I decided to quickly get myself together and head on down to the Foggy Bottom Metro station and off to RFK to catch the 7:05 pm game against the San Diego Padres.

I was just a little tardy for the game, arriving 15 minutes late. That was probably a good thing as when I got in there, the first thing I see is the scoreboard: Padres 6, Nationals 0! Yes, in the space of 15 minutes, the Nats were already down by a touchdown deficit as Nats starter Levale Spiegner had given up six hits and a walk. I should note that as I read in the Washington Post this morning that two of the hits allowed in that rally were due to Nats defensive lapses... Spiegner pitched three shutout innings after that, but Padres starter Justin Germano was practically unhittable in giving up only two hits and no runs through the first five innings. Germano tired in the sixth inning, giving up a lead off single to Ryan Langerhans. The next batter, Felipe Lopez, appeared to have killed the Nats rally as he grounded into a double play. Christian Guzman then hit a long flyball to center field which almost left the stadium, hitting off the wall for a triple. Ryan Zimmerman would give the Nats their first run of the game with a single to left. The crowd finally had something to cheer about. Dmitri Young suddenly gave them even more to cheer about as he hit a long homer deep to left, giving the Nats hope as the deficit had now been cut to 6-3. That hope quickly faded though as Winston Abreu gave up a based-loaded triple to Rob Bowen in the top of the 7th inning for a 9-3 Padre lead. The Pads would tally two more runs in the 9th for the final 11-3 margin of victory. Despite the Nats losing their game, I had a great time... the 21,635 in attendance were very enthusiastic and I struck up conversations with many of them - including a couple of Padres fans who were in attendance. I headed back to the Stadium/Armory Metro station and after a quick stop at the CVS store on "M" street, I was back in my hotel room by 10:30pm - just in time to catch even more baseball as my hometown Angels were taking on the Baltimore Orioles. I would wind up falling asleep to that game on the couch!

As for the rest of the day, I also had a great time roaming around the streets of Georgetown. One of the great things about the hotel where I am staying this time is that everything is so easily accessible. The CVS store is literally only three or four minutes walking distance, while it only takes a few more minutes to get to the Metro. The New Hampshire Avenue diagonal on which I'm staying will take you to Dupont Circle if you head south, while it will take you to M street if you go the opposite direction. I headed up M street after a quick trip to the Dupont Circle and hit several shops while there - specifically, I was looking for some "Nats wear" for the game today... I hit the Shops at Georgetown Park and did a lot of browsing. I then walked by the Dean & DeLuca market and noticed that they were having a free "tasting of tantalizing California wines" from 3-5 PM... Hmmm... Tasting California wines in D.C... seemed a little ironic, but I went with it and made note of it. I then up M street a little further before grabbing a late lunch at the Pizzeria Paradiso. My lack of sleep soon began to get the best of me though, and after lunch, I took a good almost hour relaxing at Francis Scott Key Park... This rest temporarily recharged me and I headed back down south towards Dean & DeLuca. I arrived there just after 3 pm, and tried all five of the wines that we were allowed to sample. Actually, only four of the wines ended up being from California - the server decided to also throw in a personal favorite of his, a Vardejo from Spain. The California wines were represented by a Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and a Red Zinfandel. Most there with me agreed that the Zinfandel was the best of the bunch.

After that, I headed north and East to a part of Georgetown I hadn't seen at all in my last visit. I headed north all the way up to "Q" street. Just a little before four in the afternoon my cellphone rang - it was my sister Lisa calling to see how I was doing and to tell me that her and her husband Steve had finally purchased their first computer! Kind of ironically, right when she called, I caught my first vision of the historic Georgetown Library which had been severely damaged by a fire on April 30th. Growing up in an area away from the city limits and "out in the hills" most of my young adult life with my parents, sister and brother, forest fires were something that were always on our mind. Back in 1993, a VERY bad forest fire almost took out our home, burning the whole Carlisle Canyon area where we lived. Our roof actually caught fire in two spots, and we had to replace several shingles as a result of the damage... I'll never forget the fireman telling Lisa and I to evacuate our home and uttering the words "get out now" around 1:10 in the afternoon that June day. The mile and a half walk home Lisa, my Mom and I took from a friend's house late that night, and the glow of still hot embers all around us still is with me even to this day... so, whenever I see a fire (big or small), or something that has been damaged by it, I can very well relate and feel for those that have been affected... As for the Library in Georgetown, good news as even on a Saturday afternoon construction crews could be seen and heard attempting to repair and renovate the damaged structure. As far as I know, there is no time table as to when reconstruction is scheduled to be completed.


Today, I hope that the rain stays away and that I can take in the Nats game. Before this trip, I bought a two gigabyte memory card for my camera, so I can now take pictures until my finger gets tired or my heart is content!!!... Needless to say, I'll have the best of them posted just as soon as I can find a computer which will allow me to upload them.

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