The Big Roady Review (183in2015): Week 3, Games 13 – 20 part 1
So how does one prepare for a 21 7game/183 Day trip to all 30 MLB Parks. Well, it is actually going to be another week in driving back through Canada.
Here is what I had to do just to make this venture.
The whole reason why I decided to do this trip was to recover from a bad car accident all the way back from mid 2010.
I was hit and runned by some guy who I still haven’t met.
Luckily I had some witnesses who came to my aid. I also received a payout for the incident. It was never enough, but it got me on the road now.
Going through the 1st two weeks of the year was tough. I have worked too many days in the last few years not to have an impact on my first leg of the trip.
We left off with me taking down my 2nd straight Phillies and Yankees home venues Doubleheaders.
On Apr 13 – i had an am early morning Megabus trip from New York to Philly, before I would later return to downtown Philadelphia to board a bus to Baltimore.
Lots of times in this year long odyssey I will be going back to the home base on Sicklerville, NJ. In order to shower and bring fresh clothes out for the next city
Megabus has an outdoor drop off and pick location.. as such, there is no holding area where passengers can hang out without the weather playing a factor.
I knew that going in, but used a small ruse to enter the Port Authority Bus Terminal Station, from 1230 am – 430.
In 2012, I took several rides out of the same place, so I was aware if the surroundings.
Yes, the officers checked what looked like a bus ticket. I have multiple Greyhound bus receipts in my wallet, but they are for different dates.
Thinking that I was not a camper out guy, they let me in. For me to make this whole season work, I mist pull maneuvers like this all year long.
FOUR hours later, I made the half-mile trek. I found the Megabus meeting area, and was happy to see it was on time.
I showed the worker my receipt for the $1 bus ride, and he let me on.
This company has busses that are double Decker deals, and it was nice and clean for the interior. I have bought a table seat for 75 percent of my journeys, and this made the commute even more pleasant.
In terms if value for the dollar, these guys are hands down the best in the busses field.
It took me another 1 hour and 15 my minutes to return to the Park And Ride, where my long term rental car had been at for 19 hours.
Today, the new tire was to be installed on the car. I was leaving for eight days, so it was paramount that I get the tire fixed before leaving, otherwise my brother would have to do it.
I watched the time tick away, and began feeling like I had to get on the road. I was taking public transportation back to the Greyhound Station in Philly.
At 1 pm, I had to ask my brother to do this job for me, while I was away.. It turns out, he would need to use the car while I was away.
So I raced to the bus in NJ. But it was late It was a domino falling that would ultimately make me miss my bus.. No problem though, I have great get out of jail free cards..
I have back up scenarios I run through constantly each day. Today’s move was a car rental out Philly Amtrak Station from National Car Rental.
It would only set me back $2 for the rental, some gas and tolls. I also have several free parking passe from Megabus at the White Marsh Mall, 20 miles outside Baltimore.
Not only that, the stop itself only cost me one $4 toll in that direction. I parked the car there after a swift 90 minute drive on i-95.
I hopped on a bus that would take a full hour to arrive at Camden Yards. I would miss first pitch in the process, but make it there just following.
The fare card for the day was only $3.50 in Maryland.
Orioles Park at Camden Yards is looking great still.
It was a hectic way to see a game, but I am happy I made it to the yard on time.
Seeing the Yankees and Nationals on the road was something I wanted to do all year.
Once the game was over, I made the bus that took me back to my car. One problem, it looked a lot different at night time.
My biggest mistake was not taking the same route in reverse as I had done earlier.
At around midnight, I walked to the parking lot I thought the vehicle was at. Not there.
I found a neighboring bar, and asked where the Megabus parking lot was.. He pointed me in the right direction.
Ten minutes later I began to panic. I thought I had been towed. It wouldn’t be the first time in my life of ballpark chases. My buddy Ken Lee and I were towed in Brooklyn in 2012.
It is a whole new kettle of fish when you are under deadlines. At that moment, I had to drive back to Philly, and board a 6 am bus to Boston.
I walked every inch of the parking lot for a half hour. At one point I even swore loud. Then reasoning set in.
Retracing my steps I realized something. I never parked in the Megabus lot, or even close to it.. I laughed maniacly..for a moment.
I parked on the MTA Park and Ride side, not the White marsh mall. What threw me off, is that I parked next to a van that had a long term parking paper from Megabus like me.
Relieved about this thought, I quickly found the car, and breathed a sigh of relief. My hour from hell was over.
I was extra motivated to make my travel back. I made it to Sicklerville in record time, got myself ready for the following week, and drank two caffeine coffees from Wawa en route.
Where my brother lives is a zoo for directions. I am a courier for a living – and usually have no problems with directions, except for this county.
In trying to find the highway to Philadelphia, I missed my exit.. Luck was on my side, and implementing the address of my destination in my phone, I triggered the GPS talking lady.
For some crazy explanation, it worked without me trying to use it. I navigated through to the Amtrak Station in Philly.
I drove a Ford Focus for that journey. Knowing the car smooth, having rented about 20 of them on my travels. I knew I could drive 70 miles or so, without the needle moving from the full mark.
I apologize in advance to anyone who had ever rented a car after me. I plan this move every time I take a cat back. It saves $8 – 10.
At my arrival of the Amtrak Station I was leaving nothing to chance. I now ask two or three people fo verification of directions.
The Megabus pick up is confusing in Philly, so I am glad I did. It never ceases to amaze how routine trips can turn into a circus act.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
There are certain nights in my voyage where I have to camp out at bus and airports stations. If I were not to do this, the trip would not be possible.
I arrived in Boston at 4 pm. I was at the South Station bus depot. The surroundings were unfamiliar to me.
Quickly, I figured out my trek up to Fenway from there, purchasing a $20 fare card. I boarded a light rail train from the platform. I never found a place to pay for this journey, and didn’t know where to.
Now I was hoping there wasn’t a ticket officer that would ask for proof of fare paid. I now know, all trips are paid for before entering any train areas there. Luckily, I deboarded at Yawkey.. Way without a fine.
Bang, a few bucks back in my wallet on the free ride.. I always tell people. Play the dumb tourist card if caught any time. AT 3500 MILES FROM home you can expect some leniency.
It was a start of a two day McDonalds bender for food as well to conserve cash.
Fenway is still my 2nd favorite park to AT @ T Park. I sat in the OF Grandstand area in CF.
I’ll take the crowded feeling in that Venue any time to watch baseball.
The two game set featured a ton of scoring..After the game that night, I went through Boston South Station to blog.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Scott Bultman came to Boston via New York City Megabus in the Am, and me the new veteran of the Bus Depot, gave him the tour.
We ate another gourmet meal at the Golden Arches, and I actually paid my light rail fee to town this day.
Once we made it to the yard, I met up with Ben Fallon before the game. He being a Nats fan like myself, we couldn’t pass up the night/day two game series at Fenway.
Scott and I found great SRO seats, as we are both large fellows in the small ballpark.
The game needed to move at a decent rate considering I had a 6:00 flight to Baltimore that night.
I got what I asked for, with an offensive barrage from the visitors. Scott and I hit the road before 4:00. He was taking the Bus back to New York. I was taking my first flight of the trip.
Arriving in a city after the game has started is chancing. A flight delay would cost an official game.
Landing at BWI at 745, I made my way to the light rail station there. It was now 8 pm when we left I followed the game on my phone.
To my delight, the Yankees were working the O*s pitchers for pitch count. I was through the turnstile at 8:26 pm, but it was only the Bottom of 4. I would see my five innings.
There are not as many adrenaline shots I experience like being on one of my streaks, however double headers give me that feeling.
My lodging was at a hostel on Mulberry st. The walk was only 15 minutes. I would be able to sleep in a bed, eat breakfast, and do laundry the following morning.
Thursday, April 16th, 2015
One of the things you must learn early on a trip like this is luggage and clothes maneuvering. With airports and ballparks putting cash and space issues at you, it is paramount.
OK this day, I did laundry. I only carry 2 sets of clothes for most journeys, so it is needed to find laundromats, or stay in lodging where they have facilities.
I ate a bad peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast and hit the road for Baltimore Penn Station. I choose this move since it was the most convenient time wise.
The Megabus pick up zone is just too far from downtown Baltimore. Greyhound was about the same price as Amtrak. So I choose the latter.
All 3 methods end at Washington Union Station. It was there I had to kill 3 hours.
On the road, it makes me happy when there are free WiFi zones. Washington Union station is one of these areas.
I caught up on some blogging, and hit up the Metro to the Navy Yard. With another transit card, I possessed five different cities of them in my wallet.
When I got to Nats Park I had a migraine headache. This was fully brought to attention with a zealous religion nut was taking loudly on a microphone. I got into with the guy.
Partially because I was bored, but mainly since I wanted him to be quiet. It surged my adrenaline throughout my body.
We took a few pictures of me taking runs at the guy. I entered the stadium and all was right with the world.
Ben has been instrumental in teaching me about Washington and the ballpark. He informed me the best Avenue to buy tickets was through Stubhub.
I am attending 30 games there this year for a grand total of $375. Most of the seats are in the lower deck sections.
We were met up at the game with D. LEE Galloway. Another Nats fan. He was there for the 2012 streak game I attended with Ben for.
He told me he had a parking pass for the next night. Which I gladly bought him a beer for. Since I needed one.
I would stay at Bens house that night 20 Minutes out of town, before picking up a rental car at DCA Airport the next morning.
The Nats beat up the Phillies good on this night.. The game was closed out by Drew Storen. That means a, free Chick-fil-A sandwich the next day.. The more savings, the more games I could potentially add.
Posted on May 13, 2015, in ballpark roadtrips, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 183 in 2015, 183 MLB Games in 30 MLB Parks Challenge, baltimore, Baltimore Penn Station, ben fallon, boston, bwi airport, Camden Yards, Chuck Booth, Citizens Bank Park, dca airport, EMERALD CLU, Emerald Club, Great American Ball Park, Greyhound, Logan airport, manfishbrewing.com, megabus.com, miller park, mlb ballpark pass-port, National Car Rental, nationals park l, new York, philadelphia, scott bultman, sicklerville, The Great American Ball Park Home Opener 2015, tw, washington, washington union station. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.