Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger… sorry. Had to with this stadium. Anyways, when the 2018 MLB schedule came out and I saw that the Red Sox would be playing the Nationals in Washington DC on the 4th of July… well, I knew we had to make it happen. And I’m so glad we did! Not that I’ve ever regretted going on a trip, but this one was truly special, and the Red Sox-Nationals series was a big part of that.
The Red Sox were in town for a 3-game set as part of the inter-league games. For those who follow baseball in 2022, you might know that they’re changing the schedule next year so that there will be more inter-league games. On one hand, I’m excited. There were some instances where the Red Sox would only play at a stadium once every 6 years, so to get to see the Red Sox play at every stadium, which is my pie in the sky goal, you’d have to be pretty patient. On the other hand, though, that made it special, which this new schedule will get rid of a bit. But at least I’ll remember how special this series felt, which adds to the memory!
And while we had only planned on going to the Red Sox games, we had a few extra days in town and ended up finding an excuse to go to a couple of other games as well!
If you ever have the chance to get Diamond Club type seats (all-inclusive with the best views in the stadium) and can financially swing it, I highly recommend. I was listening to a baseball podcast (shoutout Name Redacted Podcast) the other day, and they were talking about how that for baseball more than most other sports, the best seats are unarguably the ones that get you closest to the action. I fully agree, and plus, have you seen pricing for stadium food and drinks? Have 3 beers and you’ve basically paid for the tickets. Just come hungry!
Obviously for the Diamond Club games, we mostly just snacked and ate at the games. For the other days, though, we were able to find some good spots around DC.
I’ll start with the worst, which was Buffalo Wild Wings. I’m on an anti-chain restaurant vendetta, but I’ll give this one a pass for a few reasons:
After one of the games, we walked to a spot called Ice Cream Jubilee. The walk wasn’t too bad, and the ice cream is definitely worth it. It’s hard to go wrong with ice cream, and it seems like every city has at least a couple spots that experiment with unusual flavors, but this place is one of the better spots I’ve tried.
For the 4th of July, I wanted to find a spot where we could watch the fireworks, and my research led me to the rooftop restaurant at the Rosewood Hotel in Georgetown. Georgetown is a cool little area, and the restaurant offered a family style feast for everyone. It was a bit of a splurge, but worth it for us at the time. I just looked online and saw that they are now charging $365, which is significantly more than what I paid and probably overpriced if it’s the same experience we had, but that isn’t to say we didn’t have a great time! I just would have much loftier expectations paying that much.
The other big reservation type dinner that we had was for the night that we went to Hamilton. The touring group was performing at the Kennedy Center when we were there, and I got up at 3am to sit in an online queue for tickets. Thankfully I was able to get tickets for the dates we were there, and I got us reservations for another rooftop spot, called Top of the Gate, which was within walking distance of the Kennedy Center. We had pizza and drinks there, all of which were delicious, and the views were *chefs kiss*
We had a BUSY week in DC, and it included a lot more than just the games! But first, I try to always include a note about parking. Unfortunately, we took public transportation to get to the games, so I can’t really speak to the parking situation, but can speak to public transit being good and easy to use.
We stayed in Northeast DC, which was fine, and public transportation was easy to get to from our Airbnb. The Airbnb owner accused us of breaking his vacuum, which I hadn’t even seen and certainly hadn’t used, so that part was less than ideal. I have in the past year moved away from Airbnb’s, and looking back at my experiences, it’s somewhat surprising I held on as long as I did. I’m just a sucker for saving money, but it’s not even like it’s that much cheaper anymore and I’ve had a lot of sketchy situations. But alas, I digress.
I had never been to DC before, since they started the 8th grade visit thing a year or two after I had already passed through middle school. We did as many museums as possible, but the one I remember most was the Holocaust Museum. Seeing people acting like fools the past few years, a visit there should be a requirement for being a US citizen. We also did a couple of memorial tours, and the best one was a segway tour! They are actually pretty easy to navigate once you get a hang of it, and it was a great way to get around the city in both a fun and efficient way.
I already mentioned Hamilton, but that was another highlight for me. I LOVE musicals. I have a weird number of musical soundtracks in my Apple Music library, and The Sound of Music and Moulin Rouge are both in my top 5 movies of all time. Joel is… less of a fan. He was a good sport when we were in New York though and went to Wicked with us, and I think he genuinely enjoyed Hamilton. There’s a reason it took Broadway by storm and seeing it in the nation’s capital was icing on the cake.
Nationals Park won’t make it on any lists for the top ballparks in the country, but I appreciated what it has to offer. Like the Orioles, I want to see the Nationals be good and DC to become a baseball town in the summer, but they seem pretty far away from that these days. At least their City Connect jerseys are cool. Overall, we came away from DC with great memories and a Bryce Harper bobblehead. What more could you ask for?
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.