It was a great trip, and I can recommend any number of Smithsonian's, restaurants or federal buildings to visit, if you are so inclined. (Quickly: the Air & Space Museum at Dulles, Five Guys, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.)
I did get an evening, though, away from the girls so that the boys could go to the ballpark. The Atlanta Braves were in town to play the Nationals, and it was a beautiful but cool evening for a baseball game. Joshua and I went at gate opening time at 4:30 so that we could watch batting practice, maybe grab a practice home run or two, and see if we could get any autographs.
Only a few dozen people sat in the left field seats while the Nationals were pounding the ball and warming up. The most impressive hitting display was put on by Adam Dunn, who hit one ball to straight away center field and into the second deck, halfway up. I would guess 470+ feet. A few homers came out our way, but Joshua was able to get two balls from the outfielders who were warming up. That made him VERY happy!
Once the main concourse opened, we made our way over to the Braves dugout and tried to get some autos. I took some pictures of the Braves during fielding practice, including a series of Chipper Jones photos that I will post later. However, I would have to say that the Braves are not very good about giving autographs, including Bobby Cox. Chipper would barely give anyone the time of day, and most of the Braves would walk by without even acknowledging an 11-year-old who wants you just to smile and wave at you.
However, Brian McCann and Jordan Schafer were the two exceptions to that. McCann actually said to us that he would get back to us after his BP, and he did. He walked right over to the dugout, asked for the ball and pen, and signed for Joshua. Schafer did the same, though as he was coming off the field from shagging fly balls.
Big fat raspberries to Jones, Cox, Kotchman, Escobar, Anderson, Francouer, and many of the other Braves. Great Big Kudos to McCann and Schafer.
A few business, governmental types were on the field talking to the players and Bobby Cox on the top step of the dugout when we got there. I didn't know who they were, but as one tall gentleman in a nice grey suit was walking toward the dugout, someone yelled out "Hey, Senator Bunning, how 'bout an autograph?" He smiled, waved and surprisedly said "No, thanks!" before disappearing. There was an opportunity lost! Jim Bunning, in person. Oh well!
We enjoyed some chicken fingers, fries and a Cheesesteak before the game, and watched one of the most boring baseball games I have ever seen. The first five innings took 1-1/4 hours, there were very few hits, no runs, nothing exciting at all. Not suprising if Bunning and Clemens had been pitching, but Jurjjens and Lannan? We left in the eighth, and missed the excitement in the ninth when the go-ahead run was walked in by the Nationals reliever. Woohoo. What a game.
And just to make it a perfect evening, I lost my phone. Suffice to say, I wasn't happy, but dealt with it, although my wife was very, very unhappy about it.