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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OGA Road Trip Day 2 Summary

Day Two (SAT 11 OCT) started at the hotel in Queens, NY, found us in downtown DC shortly after sunset and ended with the OGAs laying their weary heads back down in the hotel in Queens by 5AM the next day.

The only picture I should post is one of our rental car. Over 10 hours were spent in the rental on Day 2.

The day began early w/ the Frozen Pill and Big Tex headed back out by hotel shuttle to LaGuardia to pick up Rental Car ONE for the drive to Washington, DC that evening. We grabbed the car, swung by Shea Stadium via the one wrong turn and toured the area. Then back to the hotel to meet up with The Colonel and Big Tex JR.

We had a business meeting scheduled at the Empire State building that morning and were able to do the TrainTango downtown arriving a little late for the appointment. This became the theme of the day as many little roadbumps presented themselves and we were a step behind the rest of the day.

After our meeting we had lunch at the Heartland Brewery at Empire State where we enjoyed an early lunch and the Smiling Pumpkin Ale. Yes, we were smiling as it was quite tasty.

While at lunch, Big Tex JR forgot the entirety of his vocabulary and could muster nothing more than the time-tested, yet always appropriate, 'that's what she said.' And you know what? He was right. That's what she said.

After lunch we hopped the train, made the usual connection for the swap onto the line that would deliver us back to our hotel only to find the 7 Train was not running. Track maintenance. The signs had been posted during our short visit at the Empire State Building.

Okay, we thought, we'll walk in the general direction until we see a cab. This being NY, we expected to walk a block or two before hailing a Yellow. Well, cabbies were either off duty, already carrying customers or not working this street. I think we saw 4 the whole walk back (over 40 blocks) to the hotel.

Tired and running late, we grabbed our gear and then jumped in the car. We got stuck in downtown Manhattan working our way to the highway and momentarily contemplated whether or not we would end up driving for over 4 hours only to see 10 minutes of hockey and then another 4 hours back to Queens after the game. Argh. OGA was being tested. But OGA was not to be deterred.

Just about this time, the clouds parted, the Red Sea opened and we headed south to Rock the Red at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

With hockey kicking on the car's XM Radio, we swapped drivers in New Jersey and the Frozen Pill (with Big Tex on map duty) slid us into his hometown and into valet parking one block from the Phone Booth. We stepped in right at the start of the 2nd period and proceeded to watch Ovie 1 and the Caps beat the Blackhawks with Ovechkin scoring two goals.

This barn is huge. I was amazed at the layout and enormity of the Verizon Center. The Fans were LOUD and very excited. It was the home opener game of the new season and the Caps had raised the 2007 Southeast Division Champs banner prior to the game. The folks were pumped and ready for the return of hockey!

We sat in the very last row and just soaked in the 'playoff' atmosphere in October. Simply amazing. The team has a 'Rock the Red' motto going this year and the fans have embraced this as the ice itself seemed to be the very parting in the Sea of Red. Check out the picture below...

After the game, OGA swung by the fan shop and procured goodies. We then retrieved the car from valet and headed north on I-95 back to New York. Big Tex and The Colonel pulled off a driving miracle through the New Jersey Turnpike and delivered us safely back to the hotel to rest our tired, hockey-loving selves for a nice 2 hour nap before we were to meet the next day head on with a special tour of Ground Zero.

Day 3 Recap tomorrow with plenty of pictures....

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