Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mr. Beartran Goes To Washington

Greetings, everyone! It's your fav'rit Studious Metsimus blogger/roving reporter/culinary expert Joey Beartran. Today I'm going to give you a recap of our trip to Washington, DC, where we went to see the Mets play the Nationals and posed security threats by getting way too close to the White House when the Secret Service wasn't looking (see photo, left).

We headed for Washington at an ungodly hour, leaving the house just after sunrise (for a Saturday, that IS an ungodly hour). Of course, since the game was a nationally televised FOX Game of The Week because of the start by Nats' phenom Stephen Strasburg, we had plenty of time to kill. And what better way to kill time than by stopping at Cracker Barrel?

It took quite some time to decide what I wanted for breakfast, (after all, I am the resident culinary expert) but once I decided, I gave a quick point to the menu and got ready for my delicious Cracker Barrel breakfast.

Of course, the Mid-Atlantic hospitality was quickly erased by the Mid-Atlantic "duh" factor. I asked for pancakes and such, but only got the "and such". Also, the orange juice was 95% pulp. When we were asked if we wanted our orange juice with pulp, we said no. Then our waitress said "well, that's all we have".

I was going to argue with her but I was afraid she'd say "Kiss My Grits" and I wasn't going to mess with Flo. (On a positive note, the unkissed grits were actually pretty good.)

I wanted to go someplace to get a better beverage since I was left unfulfilled at Cracker Barrel. My co-blogger just wanted to get to Washington. He was going to suggest we play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to decide, but I wasn't going to fall for it. After all, I have no fingers, so I could never throw down scissors with my paw. Instead, we decided it like men have for centuries.

We played checkers.

Of course, I won the match with one of my patented moves that he never saw coming. (I told him, "Look over there! It's Keith Hernandez!", at which time he twirled around in his rocking chair and I made a triple jump that I'm not sure was legal, but as I said before...he never saw it coming.)

So from Cracker Barrel, we went to a Dunkin' Donuts in Havre De Grace, MD (birthplace of Orioles' legend and baseball Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.) where I indulged in a made-to-order Vanilla Bean Coolatta. (no pulp here!) Although it was hot out, I'm glad I wore my hoodie. It prevented me from getting brain freeze!

So we made it to Washington about two hours before game time. We drove by the ballpark and decided to keep going to see the historical part of our nation's capital, since we knew we wouldn't find anything historic at Nationals Park.

We saw the White House, the Washington Momument, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the World War II Memorial (where I sat in front of the memorial to Puerto Rico, the home of Alex Cora, Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Los Hermanos Feliciano - Pedro and Jesus, who are not really hermanos. Not sure if they're brothers either.)

So now it was time for the main event; the Mets vs. the Nationals! If you want a recap of the game, here's the condensed version. We lost. There, now it's back to what you're really here for: MORE STORY AND PICTURES!!

Teddy Roosevelt has never won a Presidents Race at Nationals Park. Clearly, it's taken a toll on him psychologically, as seen by what he did to me when I asked to be photographed with him.

The stadium was okay aesthetically, but our seats were somewhere south of Guam (and north of the middle deck of Nationals Park), so we decided to walk around the ballpark to see what Washingtonian cuisine was like.

I have to say I was impressed with the food selections (see photos below). There were supersized deli sandwiches, chicken and waffle sandwiches, and chili nachos (which I wanted to wash down with a tall lime smoothie or two, but I wasn't allowed because apparently, we bought the adult version of the lime smoothie - Thanks for nothing, co-blogger!)

Upon completion of the game, it was time to go home after a long day of baseball, sightseeing, food sampling and that stupid Francisco Rodriguez walking light-hitting Cristian Guzman (who recently graduated from the Luis Castillo School of Power Hitting) on four pitches, then giving up a single to Met-killer Willie Harris, who was hitting .150 at the time. If that wasn't enough, he then walked another batter to load the bases, gave up a near-grand slam to Adam Dunn (which came back into the ballpark for a game-tying double), intentionally walked the next batter to load up the bases, then gave up the 10th walk-off hit up by a Mets pitcher this year when AARP member Ivan Rodriguez stroked a single to right.

But I'm not here to recap the game for you. I already told you clearly and concisely that they lost five paragraphs ago. I'm not bitter about it. But I did want to get out of Dodge, so we drove back home and relaxed overnight in Party Town USA, better known as Wilmington, Delaware.

Overall, the experience was pretty good. It would have been better had the Mets won and had Francisco Rodriguez gotten into a taxi to get Venezuelan food the night before. However, the trip was well worth it.

I got to meet Flo for the first time, even though she gave me very little orange juice to go with my pulp. I sampled an authentic Maryland Vanilla Bean Coolatta. I had my first chicken and waffle sandwich, even though I was made fun of for not putting syrup on it and for eating it with a fork. And best of all, I beat my colleague in checkers! What could be better than that?

Thanks to my colleague and the blogger formerly known as Aunt Coop for helping Mr. Beartran go to Washington. The Mets couldn't win one for the Beartran, but they did provide the backdrop for a fun time.

Where will my next road trip be? You'll find out before the end of the month. Until then (with apologies to Casey Kasem), remember to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the nachos (but not mine).


Anonymous said...

This was awesome!!! Joey, you are a very talented blogger :)

Joey Beartran said...

Thank you, Aunt Dee. But without my hoodie, I'd be nothing. It's my security blanket and keeps me level-headed so I can blog with the best of them. It also keeps me warm-headed when I have ice cream or a Vanilla Bean Coolatta.

Adam Baker said...

Wow! Joey, you are quite the traveling blogger! Living in Alabama I have come to love the Cracker Barrel myself, as the area of NY I was from didn't have one. If you get the chance, their chicken and dumplings are fantastic. I found the biscuits to be a little dry though, and I'm not much of a grit eater...
I was very disappointed in Teddy Roosevelt treating you so badly...and to think he used to be one of my favorite Presidents! I was happy that the Secret Service didn't consider you too much of a threat to national security and let you take a nice picture by the White House.You may not be as lucky next time! As far as I know they don't let Mets hoodies in "Club Fed"...:(
Maybe one day we can play a game of checkers.I used to do alright in my day, though i never used the whole Keith Hernandez trick! I look forward to your next blog and say hi to your colleague for me!

Joey Beartran said...

Thank you so much, Adam, for your review of my blog and your kind words. This was actually my first time playing checkers competitively and I did very well. In fact, once my colleague informed me that we weren't playing air hockey (the big checker pieces looked like air hockey pucks), I picked the game up quickly.

Chicken and dumplings sound amazing. As Studious Metsimus culinary expert, I must try them and review them some day. We are making a trip to Pittsburgh in August to see the Mets play. I believe we may run into a Cracker Barrel or three in Pennsylvania on the way there. Mmmm, just thinking about it makes me drool...