Monday, August 20, 2012


I woke up in Milwaukee yesterday and felt a cold coming on.  After taking some medicine, I hopped in the car and headed down to Chicago for an Italian Beef sandwich from Al's by Wrigley Field.  After finishing the sandwich, I got back in the car and figured I'd drive to about the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line.

Once I saw the "Welcome to Pennsylvania" sign, there was no stopping.  Up until I hit the Bellefonte exit of Rt 80.  Two hours in park.  After getting out to talk with other truck drivers, I figured out two tractor trailors had overturned at the bottom of the mountain.

Once I got to the next exit, I backtracked to State College and took 322 down to Harrisburg and came home on 78.  I got home exhausted at 3:15 this morning.

Took the rental car back this evening.  Guy thought something was wrong when he saw that I put over 8,500 miles on the car.
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Saturday, August 18, 2012


At last, I get to my first Phillies game of the year.  It's in Milwaukee, but it's still a Phillies game.  Miller Park is great.  Beautiful design and a lot of unique features like Bernie Brewer's slide in left field.  This is my third visit to Milwaukee and my third game at the ballpark.

Hamels is on the mound and Mayberry just hit a two-run homer.

It has been an amazing trip, but all good things must come to an end.  I'm ready to get home.  Tomorrow I will drive to Cleveland and then home on Monday.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Something I've Learned

I have never been a big nature guy.  Some of my best times on this trip have been in the car.  Most of the destinations out west are pretty far apart so we might fly to one place and fly back.  Years later, we may fly somewhere else.

This is what I've learned: In the northeast, we are missing out on all of the natural beauty the western United States has to offer.  Whether it is driving through the rocky mountains, along the pacific coast highway, or seeing natural landforms like the grand canyon, the grand escalade of southern Utah, or parks like the badlands, we just don't see beauty like that in our houses or the concrete buildings we work.

I'm as big an offender as anyone.  I spend all my time inside, but I haven't seen anything between Philadelphia and New York that can hold a candle to what I've seen on this trip.  Someday, I want a house with a big bay window that looks out over a majestic mountain.


I left the football game at halftime because I had a two hour drive to Milwaukee after the game.  Since the Phillies were playing the Brewers, I searched for Bob Uecker on the radio.  At first, I found the Phillies broadcast team on 1210 am.  That was wierd.  Eventually, I found the Brewers broadcast complete with the one-man booth of Bob Uecker.

He is a gem.  At one point, he said, "This inning brought to you by Usinger Sausage."  He read the commercial spot and then just kept talking about Usinger sausage between the play-by-play.  At one point he said, "Anytime is a good time for grilling an Usinger sausage.  Maybe not now.  It's dark out.  I guess you could use the cigarette lighter and just eat it bite by bite."  Halarious.

We are losing the great old-time broadcasters one by one.  Jack Buck.  Ernie Harwell.  Harry Kalas.  Bob Uecker and Vin Scully are really the only legends of the booth left.  Both of them do the games without a broadcast partner.  If you get a chance on an internet broadcast, be sure to catch a game called by one of these national treasures.

Lambeau Field

Green Bay is this quiet little town with a stadium in the middle.  I got there early.  You go up a ramp to get to where you can see the field.  Once I got up the ramp, I stopped, looked around, and said, "cool."  An usher said to me, "First time?"

Lambeau is amazing.  Even with the new renovations going on, it's unbelievable how small the place is.  The people are friendly and at least 95% of them are wearing Packers gear.

Cross another one off the bucket list.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Badlands

It's kind of a technicolor mini grand canyon.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mount Rushmore

Arrived here just before sunset. Very nice. At 8:00 they had a 20 minute video on the building of the monument and about the four presidents.  Then they lit up the monument.  Cool.

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Gotta Go To Elway's

If you're in Denver, you have to figure they have some upscale place owned by their favorite son: John Elway.

Heis got a nice steakhouse.  I ordered the burger because the bartender wouldn't stop raving about it.  Should be out in a minute.

Took a tour of Coors Field this morning.  Interesting tour.  They are so young, they have restaraunts named after a current player: Todd Helton.

Few more stops in Denver before driving up to Mount Rushmore tonight.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Coors Field

I'm at ballpark #27, Coors Field and it is one of my favorites.  I've heard that Citizen's Bank Park designers used used aspects of Coors Field more than any other park.

Walkind down the row of restaurants in left field feels like Ashburn Alley.  Lots of interesting food options including 6 different foot long hot dogs, Denver's version of the cheesesteak (it didn't look bad), rocky mountain oysters, gelatos, and strawberry ca-bobs (huge strawberries alternated with frozen cheesecake drizzled in chocolate.)  I went with the Elk Brat.

The Rockpile seats in centerfield look really cool.

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Rocky Mountain Oysters

I've been on an oyster kick on this trip.  It started in New Orleans.  I guess it's fitting that it ends here in Colorado.

Definately better with the cocktail sauce.

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Golden, Colorado

Just had a bison burger (they're big out here.)  Less taste than beef.  The waitress said it's also sweeter than a hamburger, but I didn't taste it.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thin Air

Woke up in Vegas after a few hours of sleep. Melanie flew home and I drove all day. Got to the Tommyknocker brewery/restaraunt in Idaho Springs a little after 8:00 pm.

When I first got here, I was very lightheaded.  Bartender told me that was normal with the elevation and gave me a few glasses of water.

I'll grab a bite to eat here before making the last half hour drive to my hotel room in Denver.

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Southern Utah

Took a detour off I-70 today to drive the lenth of Rt 12 through southern Utah.  They call it America's Highway and with good reason.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012


Here we are at ballpark #26 (29 if you count Veteren's Stadium and the two old New York ballparks.)  Angels Stadium is one of the older ballparks in baseball (built in the early 70s) but it still looks great.  I love the rockpile and water in centerfield.

Melanie and I woke up in San Francisco this morning.  We may leave a couple of innings early because we have to drive to Vegas after the game to get a few hours shuteye before Melanie catches an early flight and I make my way through southern Utah and on to Denver tomorrow night.  Today & tomorrow are absolutely the toughest driving days of the trip.  If I can get a few days in Denver before making it to the Green Bay Packers game Thursday night, it will be worth it.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Lincecum on the Mound

Last night in San Francisco.  At beautiful AT&T Park.  Lincecum on the mound and the cool air is rolling in off the bay.  Despite how cold it is, there are still venders selling ice cream.

Gonna miss San Francisco.  Cool town. Good wine.  Great seafood.  And I've got to figure out how to duplicate Buena Vista's irish coffee at home!

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Chowder in Sourdough

If I was going to write a book about my time in San Francisco, I think I would title it "I Came for a Baseball Game snd Stayed for the Bread."

Maybe I would mix in something about wine country.  The sourdough rolls they make out here are light, airey, and flavorful on the inside with this thin perfect crust.

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Lombard Street

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Golden Gate Fog

We were told that if we head over before 11:30 in the morning that the bridge might be foll of fog from off the bay.  Traveling over at 8:00 in the morning, fog is exactly what we hit.

Once we got on the other side of the bridge, the vision was perfect.  Heading up to wine country for the day.  We'll get another shot at the bridge on the way back.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

AT&T Park Tour

In our first morning in San Francisco we took a tour of AT&T Park.  It was built in 2000 and it might be the nicest park in all off baseball.  I've been to most of them and this one is sharp.

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Oakland Coliseum

At the home of the Raiders. I mean the A's. This is one of the last dual-purpose stadiums left and it is huge! Just about the entire upper deck is tarped off.

We have seats right behind the A's bullpen down the 3rd base line. They like to heckle here, but they are more beligerant than effective. We do it better in Philly.

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Pacific Coast Highway

We drove up the Pacific Coast Highway today.  Breathtaking.  Mountains on one side and ocean views on the other.

It was very slow moving.  We left LA a little after 8:00 this morning and didn't get to Oakland until after 7:30.  We stopped for breakfast, but that was really the only stop.  Still, it was worth it.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hotel del Cornadodo

After having fun on the Beach, Melanie and I needed  place to use the bathroom.  We chose the historic Hotel del Coronado  in San Diego.  We walked in and quickly grasp the history of the building. 

"Some Like It Hot," starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon was filmed here.  Also, countless presidents have stayed there.  Unpressive and Elegant.

Hit Water. Time to turn around?

Melanie and I made it to the picturesque Imperial Beach in San Diego today after breakfast.  Absolutely perfect.  We could have stayed out there all day.  70 degrees, beautiful beaches, friendly people, and did I mention it is in San Diego?

We won't do a forrest gump and turn around now that we've hit an ocean.  We still have another week in Cali before pointing the car toward the sunrise.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Irish Breakfast of Champoions

We heard about a bar that was brought over from Ireland - literally.  The authentic irish bar had their bar brought over in pieces from Dublin and reassembled.
Melanie had chocolate chip pancakes.  I had eggs, potatoes, baked beans, bangers, and other pork products including black and white pudding, which is blood sausage prepared dried and sliced.  
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Epic Seats in San Diego

Melanie and I got to Petco Park early for the game.  The outside of the stadium looks more like an office building than a stadium.  It's in what looks to be a revitalized part of town a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean.

For the first three innings, we have the corner seats of the party deck of the Western Metal Supply Company warehouse in left field.

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Leaving Las Vegas

Picked Melanie up at the airport this morning and made the drive down to San Diego.  We stopped at a 50's diner along the way, Peggy Sue's, that had a bunch of cool stuff from 50's movies.

We had another beatiful ride through the California mountain ranges.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Big Pimpin on Sesame Street

I was walking on the strip and noticed how intense the sun was and with I had my hat. At that exact moment, I passed a store with a rack pf fadoras out front.  Seeing the black one, I thought I owed it to my scalp to buy it.

Not 200 yards down the strip a guy in an Elmo costume said, "What's up Pimpin?"

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Grand Canyon

You can see pictures of the grand canyon, but until you see it up close, you can't grasp how huge the thing is.  I caught it a little after sunrise.  Beautiful.

Equally as impressive are the Rocky Mountains.  Driving from the canyon to Vegas is a breathtaking drive between mountains. That drive alone has been one of the highlights of the trip so far.

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