HELLO CHARM CITY – BALTIMORE , MARYLAND – HAMPTON INN DOWNTOWN CONVENTION CENTER

If your 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  brings  you  to  Baltimore ,  aka  “Charm  City  “, you  have  so  many  hotel  options  to stay  at.

You  all are  going  to  see  either  a Baltimore  Ravens  football  game  at M  and  T Stadium  or you’re  going  to  an  Orioles  baseball  game  at Camden  Yards .

You want  a hotel  Downtown ,  correct?

You don’t  want  one that’s  in the next town over.

My suggestion  is to  stay  at the  Hampton  Inn  Downtown  Convention  Center .

How close  is this  hotel  to both  stadiums ?

You couldn’t  get  any closer  if you  tried .

As you  get out of your cab or rental  car  that brought  you here, look behind  you.

That’s  Camden  Yards  in front  of  you  and right  behind  that  is the home  of  the  Ravens .

You really  can’t  get  any closer  than  that .

As you enter  the  lobby  and look  to your  left, the first  piece  of  sculpture  that  you  see  just  happens  to  be  a  baseball  glove.

A HUGE  baseball  glove at that .

This  isn’t  a  piece  of  art work ,  though .

It happens  to  be  a  chair  and the  little  ones  could  fit  into  it comfort

I wouldn’t  advise  two  grownups  to try sitting  in  the chair  though .

Like the  other  Hampton  Inns,  this one  also  offers  free breakfast, including  waffles and pancakes .

If it’s  one of  those  nice, but  hot  and  humid  Baltimore  days ,  you can sit on the patio  and have breakfast  at one of  the  tables .

The hotel  happens  to  have a pool  in case  you  want  to  channel  your  inner  Michael  Phelps ,  who just  happens  to  be  a native  of  the  city .

The rooms  themselves  are spacious  with microwaves ,  refrigerators ,  and coffeemakers  for those  guests  like me who need  that  cup of  Joe  in the  morning .

Some rooms  even  have a bird’s  eye view, ( pardon  the  pun, this is Birdland)  of both  stadiums .

That  coffee  and the free breakfast   gets you going  in the morning ,  ready  to  explore  the Inner  Harbor ,  Little  Italy ,  and Lexington  Market ,  all of  which  are  close  by.

You can take public  transportation  to  get  there  as well .

If you  happen  to  be  arriving  by Greyhound ,  the terminal is roughly  30 minutes  away, if that .

If you’re  looking  for  a  place to  eat  before  and  after  the  game, just a few steps  away  from  the  hotel  is Pickles  Pub, which  has some of  the  largest pizza  pies  that I’ve  ever  seen .

You  do  have  a  lot  of  choices  on where  to  stay  when  you  come  to  Baltimore ,  but one of  the  hotels  that  I  would  strongly  recommend  is  the  Hampton  Inn  Downtown  Convention  Center  .

If you’re  coming  to  Charm  City  for a  game ,  or as the  name  suggests ,  in town  for something  going  on  at the  Baltimore  Convention  Center .

The Baltimore  Convention  Center  is also  across  the  street  from  Camden  Yards .

Hampton  Inn  Downtown  Convention  Center

550  Washington  Boulevard

Baltimore ,  MD

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WHEN YOUR 30 PLUS TEAMS TOUR TURNS UGLY – BOSTON , MASSACHUSETTS .

Some  of  you  probably  read  about  it  or  even heard  about  it .

If not,  let  me  tell  you  about  what  happened . FB_IMG_1500994076764

Baltimore  Orioles  right  fielder Adam  Jones  was doing  what  he’s  paid to  do  by the   Baltimore  Orioles  baseball  team ,  drive  in runs ,  and catch  baseballs so that  the  other  team  doesn’t  score  any runs.

On this  particular  evening ,  the  Orioles  just  happened  to  be  in  Fenway  Park   in Boston ,  playing  the  Red Sox  .

One  fan, and  I  use that  term  to be   somewhat  polite,  obviously  didn’t  read my blog  posts  on acting  like  you’ve  been  there  before .

This fan  decided  to  not  only  throw a   bag of   peanuts  at Jones ,  but  for  good  measure ,  he called  Jones  everything  but  the  name  his  mama  gave  him ,  including  the  infamous  “N” word.

You  might  wonder ,  just  what  does  this  have  to  do  with  travel ?

Remember ,  the name  of  the  blog is   called  30  Plus  Teams  30  Plus  Dreams  and  it’s  about  what  to do   in a   city  after  you’ve  gone  to  that  professional  hockey ,  football ,  baseball ,  or  basketball  game .

Adam  Jones  just  happens  to  be  one  of  the  few non  Latin  and  non white  players  in baseball .

The  city  this  incident  happened  in  is my  city ,  Boston .

I’m  not  going  to  be naive  here  and  tell you  how  Boston  doesn’t  deserve  the  reputation  that  it receives  as  a   very  racist  city .

It doesn’t  need to   be  seen  as  a  city  that  isn’t  very  welcoming  to minorities ,  because  that’s  not  really  the  truth .

Nor does  it  need  to  be  seen  as  a  city  that black  players  don’t  want  to  play  professional  sports  in.

But it is ,  especially  playing  for  the  Boston  Red  Sox ,  who were  the  last  team  to integrate  major  league  baseball .

That’s  right ,  the  Boston  Bruins  hockey  team  had a   black  player  long  before  that  most  American  of all  sports ,  baseball ,  had one  playing  for the   Boston  Red  Sox  or even  the  New York   Yankees ,  for  that  matter .

Fairly or  unfairly ,  the  perception  of  Boston  as a   town  more racist  than any  city  down  South   goes  back  to  the  busing crisis  in the   1970s  and  1980s .

A lot  of  people  in this  country  haven’t  forgotten  about  it  and still  to this   day ,  they  hold  it against   Boston .

Which  brings  me  back  to  what  do you   do  if  you  happen  to  be  on  a   30  Plus  Teams  Tour  watching  a  game  by yourself  or with  friends  or family   and  someone ,  drunk  or  sober   throws  something  at an  opposing  player  and  calls them  a racial slur .

To their  credit ,  the Red  Sox  handled  the  situation  correctly .

They  offered  Jones  an apology  as did  the  mayor  of  Boston  and  the  governor  of  Massachusetts .

The next  evening  when  the  Orioles  played the  Red Sox  ,  Jones  was  given  a  standing  ovation  by the   Red Sox    fans ,  who  by their  actions  spoke  louder  than  any apology  from  the  team  or public  officials .

The  decent  people  of Boston ,  and believe  me ,  the  city  is full  of  decent  people  of  all  ages,  races and   religions ,  were truly  outraged  and  upset .

They said collectively ,  “Not in  our town  AND  DEFINITELY  NOT  in Fenway  Park .  ”

It was   many  of  these  real Red  Sox  baseball  fans  who  were sitting  in  the  same  area  and  pointed  out  this  numbnut to security ,  who  rightly  escorted  him  out .

This  fool is not  only  banned for  a  few  games  at  Fenway ,  he’s  banned for  LIFE .

Once  again ,  when  you  attend  a  game ,  please  use  some  common  sense  no matter   if it’s  a   baseball ,  hockey ,  football ,  or  basketball  game .

Act like  you’ve  been  there  before  and  don’t  let  your  personal  feelings  about  a race  or gender  get  in the   way.

Be a fan ,  cheer for  your  team  the right  way .

Be  respectful  of  the  players  on the  other  team .

A 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  any  city  should  be  enjoyable  for  everyone .

It shouldn’t  have  to  turn  ugly  because  of  one  person’s  actions .

 

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GETTING TO KNOW CHARM CITY – BALTIMORE , MARYLAND . SAY HELLO TO BALTIMORE .

It’s  known  as  ”  Charm  City  ”  or  ”  B’more  ” .

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It’s  the  city  on  the  Chesapeake  Bay .

Baltimore ,  Maryland .

In  this  city ,  its  all  about  the  Birds ,  as  in  the  baseball  Orioles  or  the  football  Ravens .

The  poet ,  Edgar  Allan  Poe  was  a  native  of  the  city .

The  Ravens  play  football  at  the  M  and  T  Bank  Stadium  and  the  Orioles  play  their  games  at  Orioles  Park  at  Camden  Yards ,  one  of  my  favorite  places  to  watch  a  baseball  game .

Don’t  be  surprised  if  you  see  a  lot  of  Baltimoreans  wearing  a  lot  of  purple .

That’s  the  color  of  the  Ravens  football  jerseys .

Baltimore’ s  nickname   is  ”  Charm  City  ” ,  although  if  you  listen  to  or  watch  the  show ,  ”  The  Wire  ” ,  you  wouldn’t  believe  it .

The  police  shows ,  The  Wire  and  Homicide  –  Life  on  the  Street  ”  were  both  filmed  in  the  city  and  you’re  beginning  to  think  ”  Maybe  we’d  better  forget  about  going  to  Baltimore  for  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .  .  ”

Don’t  do  it .

You  won’t  be  seeing  that  part  of  the  city  anyway .

I  would  advise  you  to  visit  Lexington  Market ,  one  of  the  oldest  markets  in  the  city .

It  may  look  like  a  bad  area ,  but it’s  not .

The  market  closes  at  5:  30 PM ,  so  there’s  no  need  to  go  there  when  it’s  pitch  dark .

It’s  not  that  far  from  Camden  Yards ,  either .

By  not  going  to  Lexington  Market ,  you’d  be  missing  out  on  eating  at  one  of  my  favorite  restaurants ,  Faidley’s  Restaurant .

It’s  the  place  to  go  for  the  crab cakes  that  the  state  of  Maryland  is  known  for .

I’m  not  a  big  fan  of  crab cakes ,  but  I  make  sure  to  have  one  of  their  lump  crab cakes  and  the  best  Cole  Slaw  that  I’ve  ever  eaten  whenever  my  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  brings  me  to  the  city  on  the  Chesapeake  Bay .

Faidley’s  Restaurant  is  opened  from  8:30  am  until  5:  30  PM ,  Monday  through  Saturday .

Stop  by  when  you  come  to  town ,  you  won’t  be  disappointed .

When  you  first  arrive  in  Baltimore ,  you  will  either  arrive  at  Penn  Station ,  the  Greyhound  Terminal  or  by  plane  at  BWI  –  BALTIMORE  WASHINGTON    Thurgood   Marshall  Airport .

If  you  want  to  take  Megabus  to  Baltimore ,  forget  it .

It’s  not  going  to  happen .

Megabus  doesn’t  stop  ANYWHERE  close  to  the  city .

The  Greyhound  Terminal  isn’t  far  from  the  city  and  you  can  see  the  skyline  of  the  city  when  the  bus  pulls  into  the  terminal .

From  there ,  you  can  either  take  a  cab  or  if  you  don’t  have  that  much  luggage ,  take  Metro  Bus  Number  27 ,  which  not  only  goes  by  the  Lexington  Market  Light  Rail  Station ,  but  both  stadiums  as  well .

Let’s  say  that  you’re  at  the  terminal ,  waiting  for  your  friends  whose  bus  is really  delayed .

What  do  you  do  to  kill  time ?

You  don’t  want  to  hang  around  the  bus  station ,  even  if  you  are  on  your  tablet  or  laptop ,  writing  your  newest  blog  post  .

How  do  you  kill  time  besides  eating  or  calling  relatives  to  tell  them  that  you  made  it  safely ?

The  answer  is  right  in  front  of  you ,  across  the  street .

It’s  the  Horseshoe  Casino .

Spend  a  little  time  until  your  friends  come .

You  don’t  even  have  to  gamble ,  but if  you  brought  the  children  with  you ,  you’re  out  of  luck .

You’ll  have  to  get  yourselves  to  the  hotel .

If  your  hotel  is  close  to  Baltimore’s  Penn   Station ,  you  have  an  option  other  than  a  cab  when  you  get  off  the  Amtrak  train .

It’s  the  Purple  Line  of  the  Charm  City  Circular  and  it’s  free .

That’s   right ,  I  said  free .

You  pay  zilch ,  nada ,  nothing ,  but  they  don’t  run  24  hours  though .

There  are  four  bus  routes ,  the  Purple ,  Green ,  Orange ,  and  the  Banner  routes .

The  Banner  Route  goes  to  Fort  McHenry .

You  should  definitely  visit  Fort  McHenry  while  you’re  in  town .

See  the  the  big  statue  of  Francis  Scott  Key  and  learn  everything  about  the  War  of  1812 .

You  definitely  will  be  using  the  Orange  Route  a  lot  as  it  not  only  goes  by  the  the  two  stadiums ,  but  the  Inner  Harbor  and  Little  Italy  as  well .

The  final  way  to  get  to  town  is  by  airplane .

BWI  is  the  cheapest  airport  to  get  into  the  Baltimore  –  Washington  DC  area .

You  can  either  take  the  express  bus  that  takes  you  to  the  Greenbelt  Metro  station  where  you  can  catch  the  train  into  Washington  DC .

If  you’re  going  into  Baltimore ,  though ,  you  can  get a  cab  from  the  airport ,  but your  best  bet  is  a  few  feet  away .

Take  the  light  rail  from  BWI  to  Downtown  Baltimore .

Get  yourselves  a  day  pass  and  say  hello  to  ”  Charm  City  ” .

YOU’RE AN MVP WHEN YOU ATTEND YOUR FIRST BASEBALL GAME AT ORIOLES PARK IN BALTIMORE .

Somebody  told you that while  you’re  on your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Baltimore ,  one of  the  things you should  do besides  eating some crab cakes ,  is attend  a  Baltimore  Orioles  baseball  game  at Orioles  Park  at  Camden  Yards .

You  might  not be a fan of  the  team, or not even know anything  about  the  game of baseball .

But after the game is over, get yourself  to the  Guests Relations Department ,  which is on the way out.

Tell them that  it’s  your first game there.

Also throw in the  fact that you  had a great  time, because  actually  you will.

Orioles  Park at Camden  Yards  is one of  my favorite  ball parks and I’m  a Yankees  fan.

They will give you  a packet with lots of  Orioles  goodies in it.

One of  which is a certificate  with your name on it and the date that you saw the game.

It  may not seem  like  much, but at a time when a lot of  professional  teams really don’t  seem as though they care about  their true fans, this is a nice gesture by the Baltimore  Orioles . 20170804_183858