Weekend Recap: Baseball, Beauty, and the Beast

Hallelujah! This past weekend kicked off with some sunshine! After 15 consecutive days of rain, I think the whole city was celebrating on Friday. The best way to take advantage of a beautiful Friday night? With a little baseball! (And speaking of streaks, we O’s had 7 wins in a row before a tough loss on Sunday.) We followed Jeanette’s advice on how to save money at Camden Yards and picked up subs from Jimmy Johns to eat at the game. Subs + two $1 bottles of water on the way in meant more cash money to spend on those expensive ballpark beers. We were sitting on the 3rd base side near the visitors’ dugout and were surrounded by Detroit fans who were all very friendly and having a good time. The O’s won (woohoo!) and they had a fireworks show after the game.

Saturday and Sunday were both jam packed and started with early wake ups. Saturday morning I walked into Fed for coffee and a manicure then went straight to the gym to get in a quick work out. Since it was another beautiful, warm, sunny day Jeanette and I decided to take advantage and walk across town to get lunch. After hearing a lot of buzz about Ekiben, we were dying to try it and it lived up to the hype. I’ll let Jeanette fill you in on the details in another post, but let’s just say I am PUMPED to eat my leftovers for lunch today. After lunch we walked back making a few stops along the way and spending some time sitting outside Starbucks enjoying the sunshine and some iced coffee. We got home right before rain came back with a vengeance and spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on Jane the Virgin.

Luckily, the rain cleared by evening since Adam and I had a date night planned. We had a reservation at Ale Wife for dinner before seeing Beauty and the Beast at the Hippodrome. Definitely, definitely make a reservation if you’re planning to grab a bite before a show. We heard them quote people a 2 hour wait and there aren’t a lot of good food options near the theater so if you can’t get in somewhere you are out of luck. The menu at Ale Wife had changed since the last time we were there and I tried a new option for my meal – the grilled ham and pimento cheese sandwich with collard greens while Adam has the roast chicken. I was really feeling a glass of wine, but unfortunately the only option was a sauvignon blanc…I know it’s a beer bar but I expect every place to have at least a few bottles of wine on hand! I opted for their margarita instead which was light and refreshing.

The show was good, but not one of my favorites. It was definitely more geared toward kids than other shows I’ve seen (I know, I knew what I was getting myself into with Beauty and the Beast, but I saw Cinderella on Broadway and didn’t feel the same way!). The actress playing Mrs. Potts was awesome and she rocked “A tale as old as time…” Another highlight was seeing all of the little girls in the audience in their princess dresses. So cute!

Beauty and the Beast Hippodrome

Sunday morning we were up early again thanks to the dog deciding he needed to go out at 7am. Since we were already up and at ‘em we decided to make the most of our morning with a trip to the Baltimore Farmer’s Market under the JFX. Since it was our first trip of the season, we took some time to just walk the loop checking out all of the options. We stood in the long line for Zeke’s Coffee – it moved pretty fast – and then got breakfast from the Humpty Dumpty omelet truck. I love that you can choose your omelet fillings and I had sautéed mushrooms, onion, green pepper, sage sausage and monterrey jack cheese.

From there, we headed to the Maryland Zoo to spend some time with my in-laws and baby nephew.  At $18 a person, the zoo is a little pricey. If we had kids, I’d definitely consider getting a family membership. Even though it was chilly, we had a great time walking through the zoo and seeing all the animals. Jackson seemed to especially enjoy the giraffes and flamingoes. My fave were the prairie dogs. J After a few hours at the zoo, we were hungry again and went to Johnny’s for a quick lunch. I had a veggie wrap that was delicious and we were all impressed with how kid-friendly the restaurant was.

maryland zoo prairie dogs

Sunday afternoon, we took the dog on a long walk to Federal Hill and picked up Mi & Yu ramen bowls for dinner on the way home. Can’t get enough of that ramen!!

Jack Dog Walk Federal Hill

How was your weekend? Did you take advantage of the sunshine?

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Friday Five (Summer Favorites!)

I love and hate this post because yay it’s fun to recap our favorite parts of summer, but boo because a recap usually means summer is ending. I guess I can’t resist the inevitable arrival of fall, but since I no longer go back to school I feel like summer lasts a little longer.

Baseball – I went to a lot of O’s games this year and plan on going to a few more this fall (ah the joys of living two blocks from Camden Yards!). Back in June, I listed baseball as one of the things I was most looking forward this summer so I feel like I checked the box on that one. And I saved that cash money by using Jeanette’s ballpark tips.

Staycation in DC – My girlfriends and I spent a super fun weekend in DC. We booked a cheap hotel room on Jetsetter and spent the day by the hotel pool, had a great dinner at Smith Commons (rave reviews for the salmon and the scallops) and had brunch the next day at Art and Soul (where we shared that banana caramel waffle masterpiece).

SMith Commons

art and soul

Baltimore – Since we went on our honeymoon to Turks and Caicos in April, we didn’t do any big vacations this summer which meant I had plenty of time to soak in all that Baltimore had to offer! Jeanette and I went to the AVAM’s Flicks on the Hill last night and remarked about how much we love having events and activities that we can walk to. Other highlights included the summer social at West Shore Park and our summer corn hole league.

wizard of oz

le tote 2

Le Tote – I signed up for the clothing/accessories rental service in May and am head over heels in love with it. For $50 a month I have access to a ton of clothes, jewelry and bags (like the clutch above). Le Tote send me 5 pieces at a time based on my style profile and items I’ve favorited in my virtual closet. I have 24 hours to swap out the items the stylists choose for me if they aren’t to my taste and two days later the box is on my doorstep. I can keep the items as long as I want and once I get it in the mail another tote is sent my way. I almost always love the style and fit of at least 4 of the pieces in each tote. It keeps my wardrobe fresh, allows me to try pieces I wouldn’t normally buy (ahem, romper) and I don’t have to pay for the dry cleaning since they take care of the cleaning. You also have the option to keep any item from your tote and they charge you a discounted price – I’ve kept a couple items so far but I’m trying really hard not too since it defeats the money-saving purpose. If you want to sign up, use my referral link for $25 off your first month (and I’ll save $15 so win/win amiright?).

Golf – I literally hadn’t swung a golf club since high school, but this summer I dug out my clubs and hit the driving range for a series of golf events through work. I have continued to practice semi-regularly and have played a few rounds of nine holes at Pine Ridge. I’m not sure I have the patience for golf or the dedication required to keep improving, but it has been a lot of fun so far!

golf

 

Today we’re linking up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia for Friday Five and Heather for Friday Favorites.

What has been your favorite part of summer? 

Almost the Weekend!

Happy Thursday – you’ve almost made it to the weekend! Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud so here’s what I’m thinking about today:

Thinking-Out-Loud

I feel like I’m still recovering from my busy week in sports last week…

My week started with an O’s game as the Braves were in town. Adam proudly applauded Nick Markakis on his return to Oriole Park and my cousin who grew up in Georgia came up from DC for the game.

Orioles

I went on a work outing to Virginia for the Quicken Loans National golf tournament. It was brutally hot and a rain delay (see those dark skies?) prevented us from seeing too much golf, but we still had a good time. My family is really into golf and the last time I was at this course was for the President’s Cup in 2005 on my 18th birthday!

Quicken Loans Abby at RTJ

I also went to two Kastles matches including the league finals on Sunday where the Kastles won their 5th straight championship. #TennisDynasty. The match was at 11:30am so they served breakfast burritos and mimosas which was awesome. I could get used to more morning sporting events…I guess this is what living on the west coast is like during football season! They also had tennis ball cake pops which were absolutely necessary.

Kastles - Brit Kastles Finals

I should have capped off my week by attending the Ravens open practice on Monday, but I just didn’t have the strength. Did anyone go?

I’m also looking ahead to several fun events to soak up the end of summer…

  • Flicks from the Hill tonight at the AVAM is Awakenings. Check out Jeanette’s post on why it’s awesome.
  • Next weekend’s Kegs and Corks Festival in Annapolis. I got a LivingSocial deal for two admissions for only $35 that includes a souvenir glass and samples of beer and wine. It seems like it will be a great afternoon of drinking and live music with friends.
  • And because in the summer there is nothing better than drinking and live music outside, I also plan on checking out the Summer Social in West Shore Park (in the Harbor) on Friday the 21st to see New Romance and 80’s tribute band. Event is from 5-8pm with food and drink available from Dooby’s.

 

What are you thinking about today? Any fun events you’re looking forward to? 

Also Bronycon (aka the My Little Pony fan convention) begins today in Baltimore! Be on the lookout for some awesome bronies!

Friday Five (ways to save at Camden Yards)

I read a City Paper story a couple of months ago called “The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Baltimore Baseball.” Since I’ll be watching the O’s fireworks night from a nearby rooftop (the ultimate cheap bastard move), I thought I’d share the guide as well as some of my favorite tips to save a few bucks. These tips are Baltimore-specific, but can easily be applied to other ballparks around the country.

1. Get discounted tickets.

If you’re not tied to a specific date or game, look around to see what discounts are available. If you work for a big Baltimore employer, you might find that you can get an employee discount. If you’re going with a large group, call the ticket office and ask for “group sales” (you’ll even get your group’s name on the Jumbotron–oh, the possibilities!). For Ollie’s Bargain Nights on Tuesdays, all Upper Reserve seats are $10 when purchased in advance. And if you’ve still got a valid student ID hanging around, every Friday, you can score Left Field Upper Reserve seats for $7 at the box office.

2. Carpool or call in a favor for parking.

The cost of parking near Camden Yards isn’t that astronomical–you’ll find lots for $8-$10–but you might be able to minimize even that cost. If you know someone who lives near the park, they may have guest parking passes you can use for free. Otherwise, consider carpooling to split the cost.

3. Minimize drink purchases in the park. 

I won’t go so far as to say that you should avoid drinking during the game entirely; there’s something about the combination of beer and baseball that’s sacred. But definitely take advantage of the nearby bars (Pickles, of course, but also Sliders, Pratt Street Ale House, etc.) for cheaper drinks than you’ll find in the stadium. I’ve seen Boh tallboys for around $3. Some Federal Hill bars run pre-game specials and offer golf cart rides to the game.

4. BYOF.

As a rule, I pretty much never buy food in the park. Camden Yards has a really great food-and-drink policy that lets you bring in your own food as well as sealed, nonalcoholic drinks. Freeze a couple water bottles ahead of time and either bring lunch or pick something up from one of the vendors outside Pickles. If you do get hungry inside the ballpark, there’s a concession stand on the upper deck that offers kids’ hotdogs (don’t worry–available to anyone) for $1.50. Just ask any ballpark worker and they’ll direct you.

5. For the love of God, don’t buy any merch.

I am always shocked to see people buying jerseys and T-shirts at Camden Yards when stores like Target, Kohls and Old Navy sell licensed gear for a fraction of the price. I’ve found really cheap stuff on clearance at those stores toward the end of the season. Abby is also all about promo nights, where you’ll get stuff like a Buck Showalter garden gnome or an Orioles trucker hat.

What about you? Any tips for saving at the ballpark?

And if baseball’s not your fave (but who am I kidding, it’s not called America’s pastime for nothing), check out the other Friday Favorites in the blogosphere at Heather’s linkup and Clare‘s!

Friday Five (things I can’t wait to do this summer in Baltimore)!

Happy Friday, Baltimore! After a few days of gloomy, chilly, overcast weather things are starting to look more like summer today just in time for the weekend. To that end, here is our first Friday Five post with my favorite activities to do in Baltimore this summer.

1. Orioles Games

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This is an obvious one as nothing says summer in Baltimore like a day at the yard. We live just a few blocks from the ballpark so pre-game drinks on our rooftop are usually a must, though you also can’t go wrong with a stop at Pickles! I’ve been to three games so far this spring and can’t wait for many more this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Drinks on the Water

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Ahhh is anything more relaxing than drinks on the water? Whether it’s Baltimore’s beloved orange crush or a more traditional cocktail, I am a big fan of beverages with a view. Actually, that would probably make a great Friday Five post of it’s own with our favorite places for drinks on the water! Jeanette – I’m leaving that one to you. I plan to spend quite a few Sundays day drinking by the harbor and since I’m still young(ish), I hopefully won’t be battling a hangover come Monday morning.

 

 

 

3. Farmer’s Markets

Farmers market

The market under the JFX, open every Sunday from April 5-Dec 20, is huge and I love strolling down every aisle checking out the fresh produce, cheese, jams, pastries and everything else that is for sale. The market opens at 7am and people definitely go early to get the best goods. We usually plan on getting breakfast or lunch there since they have so many amazing vendors cooking up everything from omelettes to beef sandwiches to fried fish to mushroom crepes. Mmm just writing this is making me hungry…is it Sunday yet?

 

4. Outdoor Movies

screen on the green

Outdoor movies have been a summer favorite since growing up in Fairfax, VA (holler Movies Under the Moon!) and Jeanette and I frequented Screen on the Green on the National Mall back when we lived in the ‘burbs of DC so I was excited to see this list with tons of awesome outdoor movie options in Baltimore. My friends have always raved about the ridiculous trippy David Bowie puppet movie that is Labyrinth so I’m hoping to check that out at the AVAM and I love the line up of classic favorites showing in Little Italy.

5. Crabs

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Can there even be a list of Baltimore summer activities without mentioning our favorite crustacean? Gimme a mallet and some steamed crabs covered in Old Bay and I am one happy camper. I don’t have a favorite place to get them, but my father-in-law RAVES about the size of the crabs at Chris’s Seafood in Canton.

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite summer activities? 

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say HAPPY DOUGHNUT DAY to all! I swung by Dunkin’ this morning for an iced coffee and a free glazed donut. I’d say Friday is off to a great start.

Linking up with Life in Leggings for Friday Favorites! Check out what the blogosphere is loving this week. And linking up with Eat Pray Run DC to talk all about summer activities! Nothing like a little Nats/O’s rivalry 🙂