We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

My trip report and it is long!

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5,667 posts
81 reviews
Save Topic
My trip report and it is long!

Trip Report May 30-June 1

This is my Road Trip to Baltimore. I took a group of people, including some handicapped and mobility challenged, to Baltimore to see the Boston Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles. This was the first time in Baltimore for nearly all of us, and for some it was their first major league baseball game as well.

I am happy to report that most things went pretty well (just two exceptions, see below). Our trip was very very short, but I enjoyed Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor. Almost everyone has said they want to come back next year.

So thank you for some warm hospitality, Baltimore. We'll be back!

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5,667 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: My trip report and it is long!

Hotel: My choice was the Westin at BWI, for $85 a night on hotwire. I have nothing but excellent things to say. Some of the rooms needed to have two double beds, others just a king, and the hotel accommodated every request.

The "heavenly" beds and showers lived up to their names. In fact, the next time I need a new mattress set I think I might spring for the Heavenly set. Curtains in the rooms keep things nice and dark. My husband and I slept soundly, didn't hear a peep. In my opinion, this is a business hotel that is also family-friendly.

Decor is simple, dark wood, simple straight lines. Hotel pool and Jacuzzi get a big thumbs up. Bring your suits.

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5,667 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: My trip report and it is long!

Transportation: I decided to give things a test run with the light rail on Friday, the day before our game. Needless to say, it was the first and last light rail ride for me, though others used it again, no problem.

The problem was the light rail people had sent a small three car train for about seven cars worth of passengers. They were overworked and overtaxed and it showed. We were the first stop so we were lucky, we all got on. Furutre stops were not so lucky. At one of the stops a man tried to fit in even though there was no room and the train conductor summoned helped from the Lord over the loudspeaker…She actually asked Jesus to help her.

It took a long time to get to Camden Yards (about an hour), so I knew this would not be my choice for game day. Instead we fit four people to a cab and went that way. (Except for my husband and a few others who went down very early to visit the aquarium….they had no problem with the light rail.)

Speaking of cabs…. Most drivers were very very reputable. They charged between $18 and $27 total one way back/forth to Camden Yards.

One exception – Saturday night my husband and I got a cab and the woman’s meter was spinning like crazy and hit $32. I told her I thought this was waaaay too much (and in fact I tried to tell her before it hit $32 but she was on a cell call and not listening to me.) We had words and I took down her license number. I seriously thought of calling the police…but I was in full Red Sox gear and paid her the $32.

As far as cabs go, ask the hotel to call you one as this hotel is not necessarily on the beaten track. The Westin’s shuttle to BWI came around about every 20 minutes.

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5,667 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: My trip report and it is long!

Food: This was not a food trip. We had a group dinner Friday night at The Wharf Rat Microbrewery. My only complaint is they had no crabcakes (they said they ran out) and several in our party wanted to try them. Otherwise it was decent pub food, very nice beer. I would return.

The BIG hit for me was the bar on the 5th floor of the Renaissance Hotel in the Inner Harbor. This is where the Red Sox (and many other out of town teams) stay. Tall and delicious drinks made with real fruit juices, no bar mix! And they cost $6.50 apiece (I’m used to $10 for half the size). I think I may have died and gone to cocktail heaven! Add in absolutely lovely décor and friendly bartenders and you have a winner here. (We also had drinks at the Marriott Camden Yards…liked Renaissance ambiance and drinks much better.)

Boog’s BBQ inside Camden Yards- Ate there before the game. (For those looking, it is right inside Gate A). The beef sandwich was delicious. Perfectly medium rare and juicy. They also have pork and turkey, but my preference was the beef.

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5,667 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: My trip report and it is long!

The Game: First, Camden Yards is clearly a crown jewel for Baltimore, and it would be for any city. Very nicely laid out. Our seats were behind home plate but very high up. Still sitting there did not seem steep to me like at some other parks (hello Yankee Stadium). I thought our view was great as did the rest in my group…except one.

We saw history- Manny Ramirez hit his 500th home run. Didn't even think this would be a possibility when I booked this trip in January.

The bad part: My friend Joan who is a newspaper journalist like me, (Didn’t know that did ya?) actually got vertigo walking up the stairs to our seats and broke into a cold sweat. This was totally unexpected…doesn’t happen to her much… I took her to Fan Hospitality services looking for another seat for her and to say we got the runaround was an understatement. No one was nice and two men down by Shaeffer (?) Circle actually started yelling at us for asking for a different seat.

I understand the game was sold out…but we both had our Press cards and it was clear we were only looking to place Joan in a seat, not me. There was PLENTY of room available in the press booth, but Joan was kicked out of there AFTER someone gave her permission to go in there. (That was at least one nice person.)

Finally, after walking halfway around the park to another Hospitality service, Joan was provided with a seat….but only because the woman in charge thought she was going to get bad press because Joan said if she couldn’t watch the game she would spend her time writing a story.

After about the fifth person we approached for a seat turned us down flat, it occurred to me we were wearing the wrong colors. We were clearly Red Sox fans. I wonder if things would have been a little different if we were in orange… but more about that later.

There was almost a silver lining for Joan. She was re-seated under the scoreboard just a couple rows back from where Manny Ramirez hit his 500th home run. So that was a thrill. Unfortunately a major fight broke out in her section that spoiled things a bit.

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5,667 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: My trip report and it is long!

ORIOLES-RED SOX TENSION

Okay, so here are my thoughts. At the beginning of the week, the Yankees were in town and at the end of the week you had the Red Sox. There was a sea of Red all weekend. Sox fans EVERYWHERE...every hotel, bar, even the aquarium…. And at the ballpark, my guess is Sox fans 90%, Orioles fans 10%.

I think many Orioles fans were tired of being outnumbered and felt they had “lost” control of their park… I think the same goes for the Camden Yards staff. They were frustrated. I wish I could say all Sox fans behaved themselves, but I know better. I heard a lot of rude stuff.

Tension came to a head in Joan’s section. Some twin 12-year old girls were wearing T-shirts that said Camden Yards-Fenway Park South. Bad taste? In my opinion, yes.

I also some Orioles fans wearing Red Sox S*ck shirts and I didn’t care for those either.

Two Orioles fans who had been warned twice already to watch their behavior (they appeared quite drunk), yelled at the girls to take off their shirts…the girls’ mother shielded the girls and a fan grabbed the woman’s arm and tore her watch off her. The woman’s husband intervened. Security ended up ejecting the Orioles fans. These people were all sitting next to Joan and she had to deal with the incident…security…etc…

I think Orioles fans should make an effort to take back their park – by filling the seats. There has got to be ways to generate more interest. The Orioles are not a bad team.

I’m sorry there is fan tension, but you gotta bus tons of school kids in or do something to fill those seats or things are not going to get better until Yankee and Sox fans lose interest.

As for Baltimore merchants, one woman told me she made her annual salary in the one week the Yankees and Sox were in town. She was very happy to see us and said it was great for the economy.

In all, I enjoyed my Baltimore experience. I am a little more savvy about things...and wish the city the best.

maryland
Level Contributor
2,559 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: My trip report and it is long!

i'm very sorry that there were orioles fans who behaved so very badly! & you're right...we've got to get our "house" back on our own.

you're also right re: those t-shirts "fenway park south"....now how is THAT not going to build resentment? & mr ramirez commenting that he was "happy to do it at camden yards, in front of HIS fans"??? we actually used to ROOT for the red sox (when the o's were out of it) until things got out of control like this.

i just hope that developments this year will begin to turn things around.

Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
12,144 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: My trip report and it is long!

Gee, Voy--just missed you--we were in Baltimore this weekend! I'm sorry to hear that things didn't go too well at Camden Yards. Other than that and the light rail yard, it sounds like you all had a good time.

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5,667 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: My trip report and it is long!

Ahh Sue Fee!!!

Overall we did have a great trip. With a week past, I am just remembering the good things!

Boston...
Level Contributor
5,909 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: My trip report and it is long!

Wow: Nice trip report and lots of information.

boston, ma
Level Contributor
2,074 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: My trip report and it is long!

That's too bad about the drunk fans. We were at fridays game & friends of ours went fri & sat. None of us witnessed any bad behavior & had a great time.

It did feel odd that there were so many Red Sox fans as opposed to the home team...especially where the ticket prices are so reasonable & the stadium is so nice.