Free to move about the country
Flew Southwest down to Baltimore last Friday, only to have the flight delayed for 3+ hours due to a storm in Baltimore. While this was an unfortunate turn of events, it was doubly so because Ali and I had tickets to see the Jays play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yard that night, which is a ballpark that I have been wanting to visit for quite some time.
After finally landing just after 10pm (original scheduled landing time: 6:30pm), we headed to Camden. After paying some dude $9 to park our car, and then realizing that we probably should have paid at the machine underneath the huge illuminated sign that read "PAY HERE" with a big arrow pointing down, we ended up in our seats in the bottom of the 7th inning with the Jays down by too many runs to care about the outcome of the game. Camden was spectacular, and there are plans in the works to make a trip back to explore it more fully.
The trip was, as per usual for my jaunts down to DC, fantastic. Ali lives on the border between Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, and both areas are young, dynamic, and diverse. I think I would love them both anyways, but I do especially because they're a stark contrast to West Hartford.
Sunday was eventful. We headed down to the Mall to check out the pro-choice protest, which was the first of its kind in DC in 12 years. Ali was the impetus behind us checking out the protest, and in retrospect, I'm glad he was. It was, as he said, "a show of force" by the pro-choice movement. I spoke with one cop on the street who estimated the crowd to be between 800k and 1.2M people, and from news accounts that I've read, the consensus hass pegged the crowd size at the lower end of that range. The most interesting thing that I found was that the marchers were fired up. This may seem obvious, but never having been to a rally before, the passion in the air was palpable as the chanting protesters marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol.
After spending some time watching the protesters, we headed back uptown to pick up Ali's borrowed ride to make the haul to Philly for the Leafs-Flyers tilt. After spending two terrible evenings in Philly last year watching the Leafs get pummelled (Game 2, Game 7) in the extraordinarily hostile confines of the Wachovia Center, Ali and I were not looking forward to the 5+ hour roundtrip and the possible whupping our boys from Toronto might absorb. We even briefly debated selling our tickets to the game, then punched each other in the face for even contemplating selling Leafs playoff tickets.
The game itself was exciting--one of the best Leaf efforts of the playoffs, but they lost 2-1. I think they figured out how to win, though, and that's by keeping up a steady stream of shots at Robert Esche, the Flyers' goalie. He just isn't good enough to win this series by himself. After tonight's effort (Leafs win 4-1), I'm fairly confident the Leafs will pull this series out.
But I digress.
The fans in illadelph that were sitting near us were not jerks--well, not on the level of last year, anyways--and we exchanged some good-natured trash talk. One of the guys we were trash-talking even shook our hands after the game, a hard-fought victory for him and his home team Flyers. The experience was miles and away better than last year, and even thought I'm 0-3 in Leafs-Flyers playoff games in Philly, I would go back if I could get tickets to another game.
Caught a 7:55am flight back to the WH on Monday morning, and slept like a baby from takeoff until I awoke with a start as the plane touched down. It was a good trip, and it 's going to be a busy few weeks: Boston to see some friends and then a Roots concert in New Haven next weekend, San Fran the weekend after, and Leaf games interspersed throughout!