Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trip in Review

Alright then.  The Trip of a LifetimeTM is over and it was awesome.  The highlights/lowlights:

1.  Fenway is kind of a dump.  It sounds almost sacrilegious to say since there's so much history there (I mean the greatest player ever Ty Cobb played there for christ's sake) but at the same time it's also should be kind of obvious.  The place was built in 1912 and, despite some renovations to put in more seats and what not, there's really not that much you can change.  It was awesome to see (second time for me, first for the other two) and we did get to see Ian Kinsler put one over the monster, but maybe it was because I've been there before or maybe it was because the Sox never bothered to show up and were out of it from the first inning, but it was a little bit underwhelming.  Still, it's the kind of place every baseball fan should see, the atmosphere was cool both at the park and around it (we ate at The Cask & Flagon - big time Sox bar, try the calamari), and since it was the 700th consecutive sell-out at Fenway we all go souvenir baseballs.  Pretty cool (currently selling for around $6 on ebay).

2.  Harvard is full of liberal arts hippies.  I learned this from a friend of Snacks' who we met for lunch in Cambridge.  We made some crack about bars having equations on the walls, a joke we must have made 40 times, and he said, "Not at Harvard.  They can't do math at Harvard, everyone is in liberal arts, I don't even think they have an engineering school.  The actual smart kids all go to MIT."  I'm now looking at Harvard in a whole new, and much more worthless, light.  Single best piece of information we learned on the trip.

We also were able to find Shay's,
which is one of my favorite bars in the world.  I'm not sure why, it doesn't exactly look like much, but I have fond memories of the trip I took to Boston with the missus and we spent some time here after watching the Harvard/Cornell football game (a game where both teams played spread offense which blew my mind).  It also sticks in my mind because this is where I watched Torii Hunter dive for, and miss, a line drive that drove a dagger into my tiny black heart.  We left immediately afterwards.

3.  The HOF is truly in the middle of nowhere.  And I mean really, truly.  It's like driving around Aitkin, MN or random butthole county, WI only if it took you four hours to get there.  More than once we cracked jokes about how there was no way we were in the right place, and as time passed and it looked more and more country/redneck I think the joke's almost became a new version of whistling as you walk passed a graveyard, but luckily we made it.  And there's nothing there except baseball.  Every store and every restaurant is baseball-themed, so it was pretty cool, even if we didn't have time to linger.

We did, of course, spend several hours in the Hall and it really doesn't disappoint.  Don't get me wrong, most of the stuff you're looking at/reading about happened not only before Snacks and I were born but a lot happened even before our dad was born so you really have to be a pretty hardcore baseball history nerd to really dig it, but luckily I am and the old man is and Snacks is probably a 0.75 or so, so we all enjoyed it.  There's basically a little bit of everything from every team, every era, and every stadium so it's like an educational tour but with some kick-ass visual aids like Honus Wagner's baseball card that I wanted to steal.  I actually think every baseball fan would enjoy it, but if you know the difference between Lefty Grove and Lefty Gomez, the difference between Al Kaline and Ralph Kiner, and Josh Gibson and Bob Gibson, you owe it to yourself to go.  If nothing else, you'll get to admire Cooperstown's ultra modern gas pumps:

4.  The Yankee Stadium Experience was awesome. Yes, I hate the Yankees just like everyone should, but when they built the new stadium they did it right and that entire experience was awesome except that apparently in New York you can't get a beer before noon on Sunday.  +1 point for Minnestoa.  Anyway, the place just blows you away with its size, both inside and outside, but the concourse is actually really nice and modern.  Similar to Target Field and the other newer stadiums, or at least the ones I've been to, you can easily walk around taking in the sites of the stadium and still watch the game - a big issue at Fenway.  It was also pretty cool to watch how the dudes in the right field bleachers (the drunks who are poor) chant each Yankee players' name who is in the field until the player acknowledges them.  It's the kind of thing that sounds stupid and Yankee-ish but seeing it was actually pretty cool.

What was not pretty cool was Jon Rauch, and although I may be overreacting a little bit here I hope he falls in a giant vat of fire and snakes.  The one thing I said before this trip started was that if I could see one thing I'd like to see Mariano Rivera come into the game in the ninth with Enter Sandman playing.  I just think it'd be awesome.  So the game we're at the Yankees lead by 3 going into the top of the 8th.  Jose Bautista hits a home run so now it's just a 2-run game and Rivera is up in the pen.  Awesome.  Toronto brings in Rauch, who proceeds to give up a 2-run bomb to Swisher and Rivera was sitting back down before the ball even cleared the fence.  Thus depriving us of a truly awesome experience, and adding another tally to Rauch's ledger in my book of enemies. 

Note to Snacks:  Don't watch this.  I did, and I am now seriously considering driving to wherever Toronto is playing and stabbing Rauch with a spoon.

5.  New Yorkers are nicer than Bostonians.  I did not see this one coming but I guess I should have based on the class of douchebag you can see in Boston rather routinely, but specifically I'm talking people in the service industry here.  I talked about the Boston dinks in a prior post, but really they were all kind of jerks.  We knew things would be different when we stopped near Schenectady at a city whose name I don't remember on our way to Cooperstown for lunch and the bartender girl was like, super nice.  We chalked it up to being a kind of small town, but then it didn't matter where we went as long as we were on the New York side of the border people were nice and helpful.  Even in downtown NYC not far from Times Square we went to some English bar where we were forced to watch New Zealand demolish Canada in either rugby or Australian rules football.  At one point Snacks asked the waiter about a beer and she hadn't tried it, but rather than acting like an overaggressive douchebag like the guy in Boston she actually seemed apologetic and was all smiley and shit like that.  I really didn't see this coming, but it's not even close:  New Yorkers are nicer than Boston people.  FACT.  

6.  New York Pizza is overrated.  You know how if you go to Chicago and get Chicago style pizza even if you're not necessarily a fan of deep dish, which I'm not, you get it?  Like, you get why people go crazy for it and it's really quite good?  Yeah, New York style is kind of meh.  Maybe we didn't go to the best place but we knew we wanted NY-style pizza and then we saw Famous Original Ray's and being Seinfeld fans we had to head in and try it.  Meh.  Give me my thin crust cut in squares any day - midwest style rules.  [note:  I have recently been informed by an actual New Yorker that judging New York pizza based on Famous Original Ray's is similar to judging it by Sbarro.  Ouch.  Screwed that one up.]

Speaking of Seinfeld, we also saw the place that the Soup Nazi was based on.  We didn't go in, because we didn't want soup or to get yelled at, but Snacks got a picture.  Anyway, since we're both Seinfeld fans (and anyone who isn't probably enjoys watching Ghost Hunters) catching these couple landmarks made the trip just that much better.  We kept our eyes open but didn't see anything else - not even a Jerk Store.

7. My dad got hit on by an annoying old gay guy who wouldn't shut up.  So then we had to leave (not because my dad was offended by a gay guy but because this guy seriously would not leave him - and by extension all of us - alone) and ended up finding a great bar called Rumor.  So everyone wins.  Except the old gay dude.  And whoever he ended up picking up that night.  That guy is the real loser.

8.  Here are some other random pictures.  I included comments because you are dumb.

This is the Boston Beer Works.  This is where Snacks had that nancy beer.  Confession:  it was good.

This is a picture of the Green Monster and gives you an idea of where our seats were.  Apparently there was a home run hit almost here at some point but we weren't there because the Sox pitchers decided to walk everybody and we went to go check out the rest of stadium.  Verdict:  festive dump.

This is the inside of Fenway.  Yuck.

This is the second best shirt we saw on our trip (behind the "Jeter wears Wine Coolers" shirt.  I almost bought this until I realized that just because I laughed at a shirt didn't mean I'd ever wear it.  Also between this and the Wine Cooler shirt it's clear that Bostonions are better at shirt making.  The most clever shirt I saw in New York was one that said "Bahstan Sahks Cawkh."  Not exactly Joycian.

This is a picture of Joe Mauer and I'm not exactly sure why it's in here other than that this freakin' sally is in the hall way too much.  Like this:

And this:

Plus he's in their welcome video twice.  Ridiculous, especially now.  He's like the next Peyton Manning or Nicole Eggert - it's over.  Also pictured in that last one:  Jeff Reardon.  The biggest dickhead I've ever met.  Nice job robbing a bank, ass.  Even  fuckin' Keanu could pulled that off.

I really, really could have done without this.  Still, seemed fitting.

This is Yankee Stadium as you walk up.  It is super, super big.  Almost too big and super impressive.  Funny thing is that is exactly what your girlfriend said to me the first time I dropped by pants in front of her.

Yankee from the inside.  I got nothing else to add.  This thing is a monster in a wonderful way.  Like Avril Lavigne.

Mariano warming up.  Little did we know this was as close as we'd get.

Thanks to this fucking guy.

Finally, this might be my favorite picture of the entire trip, taken in the wilderness of upstate New York somewheres.  And if you don't know why, I both pity and hate you.  Mostly hate.  But also pity.

In conclusion this was the awesomest trip ever and I'm super glad we did it. If you haven't it's clear that I'm much better than you, so, I guess, in your face.


TRE said...

snacks said...


Engineering (1 majors)
•Engineering Science
•View 38 additional Engineering majors that are available at other schools

FYI - Engineering Science isn't a real engineering major. As someone with an M.E. degree, I am enjoying this immensely.

Anonymous said...

Highlight: Your Old Man was wearing jorts!

Loretta8 said...

sounds like a great time.

I live right near Harvard Square, had I known you were in town I would have bought you a beer.

WWWWWW said...

And I would have accepted said beer.