My cousin Renee is out here for the summer interning at a hospital in the district, so we've been hanging out a bit. I have to recount two of our adventures. First was an epic bike ride, second was one of my favorite pastimes - Major League Baseball.
Last Thursday, Edwin and Rosalie graciously invited Renee to dinner. Renee is living in an apartment and probably doesn't get all the home cooked meals like I do. So we agreed to meet up at the capitol at 5:30 for the ice cream social and then head out to Virginia for dinner. Well Renee decides we should both ride the whole 10 miles on ONE bike. Mind you this is not flat, and there is a thunderstorm brewing. So after we're riding for precisely three minutes, Zeus releases his full arsenal of rain. It just poured and poured for about 10 minutes. Rather than seek shelter, we powered through.
Needless to say we received just a couple of funny looks from drivers. At this time, there were no pedestrians to be seen - thats how hard it was raining. Well about 3/4 of the way home I get a call from my grandpa in Iowa. We're late for dinner and he's the messenger. Trouble is, I can't call Edwin and Rosalie back because Verizon messed up their phone system and they couldn't receive calls. Well after about an hour and half (ride usually takes between 45 min and 1 hr) Renee and I finally struggle in soaking wet. Our hosts were as happy as could be and made us some delicious pork chops and veggies. I think I will discourage Renee from riding that far on one bike ever again.
Our second adventure was up to an Orioles game in Baltimore. Naturally I love baseball, but I've never really described what I've nicknamed "the little boy feeling." You all have had it at some time or another, but maybe you just haven't given it a name. It happens at different times for different people. For me, it happens when I enter a baseball stadium - every time.
Let me try to describe it. When you're a little kid from rural Iowa, going to a baseball game is a big deal. So you walk into that stadium and see all the lights, the flashing neon signs, all the people, the green, green grass, players with names like Puckett, Ripken, Sandberg, something inside you just makes you really excited. Sure you might call it butterflies, but its something more. Its experiencing something that is very rare and something you've done in your head a thousand times. I had it when I stepped onto the Rialto in Venice, and when I entered Times Square for the first time. It no longer comes for games in the metrodome, but I definitely felt it upon entering Camden Yards. Call it corny or what you will, but I am comforted every time it happens - I haven't grown up yet.
Surprisingly we actually got to see a really good game. Orioles first basemen Aubrey Huff hit for the cyle, something that only hapens once every 800 games - about the same odds as seeing a no-hitter. I've seen two cycles but never a no-no. The angels looked good early, taking a 5-0 lead, but then let the Orioles back in who when it swung in their favor 7-5. The Angels rallied back with a 2-run homer in the top of the 9th to take the final lead of 9-7. Great day for baseball.
Renee and I also got to venture on American public transportation - train up and bus back. It was weird randomly talking to passengers, something I never did in Hungary (that whole language barrier), but I did miss Hungarian prices ($7 for the train and $10 for the bus). I think it would have cost $2 round-trip in Hungary. Oh yeah, they were giving out those sweet orange hats during the game...