Last night was my first time back in the ballpark since last season. It’s funny because during the off season, when I thought about the ballpark I could literally do a mental POV scan of the ballpark as if I was just there yesterday.
No, baseball season hasn’t officially started yet. Yesterday was an exhibition game against the New York Yankees. It’s like that very last Spring Training game but not in sunny West Palm Beach or any other Spring Training facilities. Opening Day, the official start of the baseball season, is only 2 days away.
I arrived after first pitch after a mad dash home from work to change then hop on the metro. Matter of fact it was the top of the 2nd inning when I arrived and I found is already on the board with 2 runs to nothing. Apparently, I had missed Anthony Rendon’s (#6 and again, one of the leagues best 3rd basemen…PAY THE MAN already!) 2-run home run that put us on there (the board).
Having brought everything I needed with me, I went right to my seat after grabbing a free Curly W drawstring bag being handed out. It’s cute…basic…and I’m probably right in assuming they were handed out as an attempt to make this new No Backpack Policy easier to swallow. It kinda sucks. I have this really cute Nationals Hershel Supply Co. backpack I spent some decent money on sometime last season (I think) and can’t even carry it into the ballpark.
While at my seat, I spent time talking to a couple (L & K) who I’d never met before but who are also NATS Plus season plan holders. We talked about Spring Training, swapped demonstrations on navigating through the new MLB BallPark App and the Red Carpet Rewards function (we really needed to know how to access our eCash), and of course the game itself. We even briefly talked about this baby blog of mine.
Oh! The Nats are also stepping their social media game up. Hashtag NatsParkEats is live! A hashtag that speaks to the foodie in me. There’s some new concessions at NatsPark this year. Last night someone posted a pick of an oyster po’boy from Hank’s Oyster Bar (a new addition to the park) using #NatsParkEats and was featured on the scoreboard. I’m sure there’s so much more in store!
All in all, I’m pretty happy with my choice to keep my seats in Right Field for the view, the fellowship, and also…Adam Eaton!
It felt great being back in my home away from home and I’m definitely looking forward to what this season will bring!
We’re in the home stretch ya’ll!
The 2019 MLB season low-key kicked off yesterday when the Mariners and Athletics played the first of a two-game set in Japan.
However, Opening Day (the official national holiday for baseball fans) is happening on Thursday, March 28th for all 30 teams. It’s just ONE week away! This Opening Day will mark the 150th Opening Day and the earliest EVER in baseball history.
Needless to say…I’m getting ready!
Now it won’t be my 150th Opening Day (obviously) but I’ve experienced enough of them to know how important it is to be prepared for what will be a long, yet exciting day at the ballpark.
Check out my list of must-haves sure to help ensure that you have successful Opening Day (sorry a win isn’t included):
Need this checklist on the go? Download it here: Opening Day Checklist (PDF)
Like it or hate it? Leave a comment!
Also don’t forget to check your favorite ballpark’s website for Opening Day details and specific ballpark do’s and don’ts before you go!
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I FINALLY RECEIVED MY SEASON PLAN HOLDER PACKAGE!
If you recall, I experienced a few highs and lows related to this package. I was excited, cursed FedEx, I felt left out knowing others had already received their packages, I was excited again, then nearly had a panic attack, and also cursed FedEx again.
And for what?
A lanyard and a flimsy piece of laminated paper known as “credentials”.
You might be wondering, “Well after all of that what’s up with your obvious disappointment?!” Thanks for asking! Well in previous years, season plan holders actually received A GIFT before the start of a new season. Last year it was a Curly W Flag in a Curly W aluminum tin and the year prior, it was a nice Curly W-debossed, leather-like box with our season plan holder card inside.
I believe the club is operating under the luxury tax…a small token of appreciation for the commitment wouldn’t have broken the bank.
See the thing about the “credentials” is that they can only be used to gain access to the Season Plan Holder entrances and to access stored eCash for concessions and purchases at team stores. Cool. But that’s it…that’s all folks. The barcode on the back doesn’t even house our tickets for the season and therefore, can’t actually be used to get into the park. It’s for aesthetics really and there will be those plan holders who will wear that thing around the ballpark like a badge of honor. I guess I get it. However, they could’ve just not changed the previous system where the card we carried not only got us through the SPH entrances, but housed our seats/tickets for the season, was used throughout the ballpark for concessions and other purchases, could be worn around the neck if you chose to do so, and was even personalized!!!
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” – Said Some Wise Person
On a positive note, I don’t have to carry around a card or those damn credentials if I don’t want to. The team has gone fully digital, utilizing the newly updated (and it was in desperate need of an update) MLB Ballpark App. Enhancements to the app allow us to forward, scan, and buy tickets, load and use eCash, earn and redeem Red Carpet Rewards points, and access exclusive content like walk-up music (clutch), interactive games, rosters, trivia, etc.
Here’s a sneak peak:
Admittedly, I don’t always readily embrace change and despite not receiving a gift, going digital will definitely make my ballpark experience more convenient. Oh improvements have also been made to the entire Nationals Access, Red Carpet Rewards and Ticket Exchange programs for 2019.
To be honest, if the Nats would just go ahead and offer Rendon AKA Tony Two Bags AKA one of the league’s best 3rd basemen a long-term extension, I’d forget all out this gift absent-mindedness.
My issues with FedEx date back to when I first moved to DC so I don’t know why I expected anything different.
They delivered my season plan holder package today.
Yep…the one that I specifically asked to be held for PICK UP. That one. You’re probably thinking, what’s the big deal?! Am I right?
Well you see I didn’t receive a call on the callbox outside my building in order to buzz them inside. In the past, that meant the driver left my package outside…exposed to the elements and susceptible theft. Did I mention that I live in DC?
I jumped into a group text with my neighbors hoping someone was home to grab the package before the package thieves got to it or at least confirm that it was in fact safe.
Someone was home and ran downstairs to find that FedEx had actually left the package just inside the front door and even brought it upstairs to my door. Guys my neighbors really are THE best!
Whew. Crisis averted.
FedEx is still on my list though. BECAUSE. THEY. DON’T. FOLLOW. INSTRUCTIONS!
Also: The Nationals held auditions today to sing the National Anthem. If you or someone you know has what it takes…the final demo submission deadline is May 15th!
It was supposed to be delivered this past Friday. It wasn’t. So I asked that it be held for pick up on Saturday, thinking it’d be easier to just pick it up. I arrived at the FedEx facility in NE to find that they were experiencing a power outage with no idea when the issue would be resolved. Wait…
It’s Sunday now and of course…they are closed. I’ve been avoiding Facebook group posts from others that have received their packages but I’m feeling pretty confident it’ll happen tomorrow. *fingers crossed*
This is it. My last day in the West Palm Beach area. So many things had worked out in my favor. The weather had been perfect, I spent time with one of my favorite humans enjoying one of my favorite things, I ate very well, and it appeared I’d be heading back home with only TWO mosquito bites. How’s that for winning?!
My AirBnB host was super flexible on my check-out time, so I took my time packing. Recounting what I did in the days prior in a way to not only hold onto those memories but to also hold onto that feeling of peace and accomplishment.
Packing, I realized I brought way more stuff with me than I actually wore or needed. I’m not typically an over-packer (I don’t think) so I’ll chalk it up to just being excited for the trip. However, these are some of my favorite Nationals things.
I eventually gathered all of my things, loaded up the Jeep, and headed 15 minutes south to Delray Beach to finally check out that one vegan spot before going to the airport.
Don’t worry…I kept one hand on the wheel the entire time.
I arrived at The New Vegan to find it busy but without any wait and received a warm welcome and a glass of alkaline water. Having peeped the menu a number of times, I knew I was going straight for the kale burger. A kale patty served on millet and flaxseed bread with lettuce, tomato, and vegenaise. I added pickles and avocado and decided to add the side salad and rice for an extra $3. There were several OMG moments while eating. I’m not usually one to boast but I really did save the best for last.
Before leaving, I had a chance to chat with the owner and thank her for such a delicious meal. Come to find out, there are no soy or gluten products on the menu, and the restaurant serves and cooks in alkaline water. Also, they have a location in West Palm Beach that is open on Tuesday!
I ordered a green veggie smoothie for the road and made my way back up 95 N towards the airport.
The rental pick-up at Budget was a cluster but I for certain thought returning the vehicle would be seamless. It was, actually. However, Budget had to get one more screw up in before sending me back home, and it came in the form of the USELESS airport shuttle driver. The man barely assisted me in lifting my ONE piece of luggage up the steps and onto the shuttle. He asked which airlines to where we would need drop offs (and there were many) however, when he made his one (and apparently only stop) at the airport, he failed to make any sort of announcement. The nail in the I’ll-never-patronize-Budget there-again coffin was when he stood by, carelessly, as a woman mistakenly carted off with my luggage, despite my yelling to get her attention. I literally had to run her down. You better believe I fired off my frustrations in a Google Review! He did get us to the airport safely, so I guess that’s what was most important.
…until next Spring!