Two Guys & a Map
The Touch 'em All Tour
By the time we’d completed the 2006 Life on The Mississippi Tour there were still quite a few stadiums we’d never been to. But in 2007 we embraced the mini-tour concept and picked up the pace considerably. After finishing off the New York stadiums in July 2008, we had been to every current Major League Baseball stadium on a Two Guys trip except two: Safeco Field, the home of the Seattle Mariners and Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies.
On the evening of September 4 we headed out to Seattle, arriving shortly before midnight. We immediately headed for our hotel and turned in.
Seattle is the home of Boeing Aircraft and they have a Museum of Flight located a couple of miles from downtown. That was our first stop the morning after we arrived. We live in the Washington D.C. area so we are spoiled by having the National Air and Space Museum in our backyard but the Museum of Flight has a very impressive collection including a car that can be converted into an airplane and a great collection of World War I aircraft. They also have one of the planes that served as Air Force One – you can actually walk through that one. It’s the plane that was used by Eisenhower, Kennedy and LBJ. Henry Kissinger also used this one for secret diplomatic trips to Paris for negotiations with the North Vietnamese and to Peking to speak with the Chinese.
After spending a couple of hours there, we drove downtown. A high school classmate of Dave lives in Seattle. He was out of town so we weren’t able to get together but he had recommended Mae Phim, a tiny hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant. We grabbed a bite there (it was very good) and then headed over to Pioneer Square for The Underground Tour.
We then headed up the hill to The Pike Place Market. This is a long building with many stalls full of food, art, souvenirs etc. - definitely a tourist trap. The original Starbucks Coffee is across the street. Despite the fact that Dave is a big caffeine hound, he hates Starbucks' coffee so he refused to go in. But we found a terrific four man acappella group called A Moment In Time singing old R&B and gospel tunes right in front of it.
The next day we got up early and made our way down to the pier area where we hopped the Seattle Ferry heading over to Bainbridge Island. We met a couple from Dallas who were spending a couple of days in Seattle before heading out on an Alaskan cruise. Mike and Chantel were very nice and told us they were going to Café Nola, which they’d seen on The Food Network. We tagged along and found Café Nola – but it was closed. The four of us ended up eating at The Slipstream Diner, a place we’d passed on the way, and actually had a really good breakfast there. We almost missed the next ferry back to town – we had to run for it. Thankfully, it was mostly downhill from the diner to the boat.
Our next stop was The Experience Music Project. The EMP is a largely interactive museum where visitors can play instruments as well as listen to musicians discuss the creative process. It was founded by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and was largely inspired by his love of the music of Seattle native Jimi Hendrix. It’s a unique looking building (roundly panned by architectural writers when it opened.) DC likes it better than the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Dave very much enjoyed the experience but tends to lean the other way in that particular debate.
A couple of shots of the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline from 50 stories up. The building with the white arches is Qwest Field, where the Seattle Seahawks football team plays. Safeco Field is just to the right of Qwest Field. Mt. Rainer is located on the horizon where the clouds are but it wasn't visible that day.
Then we hopped on the monorail and headed back towards the ballpark for our second game at Safeco. The results this time were more to DC’s liking – in a wild, see-saw battle, the Yankees scored five runs in the top of the seventh and came out on top by a score of 7-4. Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu both homered and each had three hits. Mariano Rivera earned a save. We realized during a conference in the ninth inning that we were probably looking at four Hall of Famers gathered on the pitching mound – Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Ivan Rodriguez. Another highlight of the game for us was the presence of an entire row of rowdy Aussies behind us. They were a lot of fun and some of them actually knew the basics of baseball.
Coors Field is one of the retro-parks. It is red brick, fitting in nicely with the surrounding neighborhood. There are water fountains and trees beyond the center field fence beneath a very high bleacher section known as the Rockpile. On a clear day there is probably a wonderful view of the Rockies from the upper deck but it was a bit hazy so, just as we weren’t able to see Mt. Rainer in Seattle, we couldn’t see the Rocky Mountains from Coors Field. The seats in the upper deck are all green except for one row of purple seats, which is exactly one mile above sea level. We got the obligatory picture up there, and then went down to the lower deck. We had great seats, 19 rows from the field, right by third base.
We might have been a bit too close. One of the Rockies lined a foul ball into the stands two rows directly in front of DC. The ball hit a woman in the cheek, bounced across the aisle and was grabbed by a man sitting there. The woman directly in front of DC jumped up and smacked the man who got the ball - she was mad because he didn’t offer it to the woman who got hit. Meanwhile everyone else was looking after the victim. A paramedic arrived quickly and ushered her away. About fifteen minutes later she came back with a sheepish grin on her face and a ball the Rockies had given her. She gave it to her friend who had gone after the man who picked up the foul ball.
By this time we were both pretty wiped out but it was a beautiful day and an exciting game. Just as in our second game in Seattle, this was a see-saw battle with the home team losing, this time by a score of 7-5. Mary Beth had tried to post a message on the scoreboard like she had on previous Two Guys trips but the Rockies don't accept scoreboard message requests! Instead she sent us each a congratulatory text message in honor of our achievement.
We had a couple of hours to kill so we wandered the neighborhood, spending most of our time in a nice bookstore called The Tattered Cover. We had a delicious dinner at a Cajun place called Gumbo and then headed for the airport. We jetted off to Vegas, hopped on the red-eye and were back in the Washington area by 7:00 AM the next morning.
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