Sports Love & family

Learning Life's Lessons through Sports

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Sports Vacations, Pick #2: Baltimore, MD

So, we love sports. But, we really love baseball. Todd and I fantasize about our retirement and traveling the country going to major league baseball stadiums. We are a baseball family. Our number two vacation pick is Baltimore, Maryland. What is better than the birthplace of George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr? To a baseball family, not much!

Again, it was easy to get there, about a five and half hour drive. We stayed in Downtown Baltimore, not far from the Inner Harbor. We loved walking around the harbor area and of course, we visited the National Aquarium while there. Definitely a must see while in Baltimore. After we exhausted ourselves with walking around the harbor we went to rest.

The next morning was our tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I’m a firm believer that your tour guide makes or breaks your tour. Just like at Louisville Slugger, our tour guide at Camden Yards was phenomenal. He was a retired teacher and clearly loves baseball history. Even if you’re not a baseball fan the history of Camden Yards is impressive. It’s so cool how the frontage is the old B&O Train warehouse (yes, the monopoly one), now office space (could you imagine working there?). Each component of Camden Yards was designed with other stadiums in mind, essentially they took the best parts of cool stadiums and put them into the new stadium.

One of my favorite parts of the stadium is the plaque baseballs in the ground, or on the wall of the warehouse for the farthest hit homeruns (there’s only one on the wall and it belongs to Ken Griffey, Jr.) It was fun trying to find our beloved Indians players. There’s a nice space past the outfield with player statues, just like at Progressive Field. If you’re a fan of Babe Ruth, Baltimore is the place for you. Our guide told us all about The Babe’s life. It was cool to look out past the city and see the boy’s home that he stayed in and a few blocks over was his home and now the Babe Ruth Museum. Where second base now sits was the bar that his parents owned. His mother didn’t want The Babe born above the bar, so she moved in with her in-laws a few blocks away (the museum site).

After the tour we walked around the stadium and to the Babe Ruth museum. The whole walk over was fun because they have baseballs guiding you. We didn’t take the tour of the museum, but we walked in the store. I definitely think I’d like to go back and do the tour.

When we got back to our car we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Washington, DC. And if you learned anything about our family, sports (especially baseball) was involved in that adventure too! Stay tuned…

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Sports Vacations, Pick #1: Louisville, KY

By now you’ve probably figured out we love and live sports. Why wouldn’t our vacations be the same? It’s not like we’re always jet setting some where, who has time when your kids play every season! But, we do like little get aways and they usually involve sports. We’ve put together a list of our favorite sports vacations to start a new blog series.

One of our most favorite trips was to Louisville, Kentucky. Friends of ours went and told us that we needed to go because we love baseball, so we planned a trip over spring break.

Getting there was easy, it was just over a five hour drive. We stayed in Downtown Louisville so as to be by all the attractions we wanted to see. The first thing we did was walk around the city. We were impressed with it’s cleanliness and walkability. It’s not a giant city so most things were within walking distance, or short drives. Many of the areas we were in are historic and well preserved…and super cute! Funny eye-candy if you’re into that!

Baseball was our main reason for this trip, but our first attraction was Churchill Downs. We had a tour of the grounds and walked the museum on our own. Churchill Downs itself is gorgeous, did you know the original structure dates back to 1875? You could feel the history there. It’s so much bigger than I expected. We were there a little before the horses begin their races so there weren’t very many roaming around. To my surprise, our kids really enjoyed it. There was a really nice kids area that they loved.

Our next stop was the Louisville Slugger Museum…or as we call it, our heaven.  I’m not sure who of the five of us enjoyed it more, we all had a blast. It’s a small museum and seems like you should be able to get through in about two hours, but our family ended up staying for hours! We of course, took the bat factory tour. It was so cool seeing how they make bats and the history of the process. Because of the time of year we went it was neat to see all the major league player orders being fulfilled. They also had on display the bats from the Indians and the Cubs since they were the last teams in the World Series. We loved seeing that! I’m pretty sure we read each sign, took pictures with each statue and got up close and personal with all the memorabilia. Braeden even got in the batting cage to swing a wood bat for the first time.

While we were there one of the displays was a traveling Lego display. Each was an amazing work of art. We also got to see up close what it’s like to see a 90 mph fast ball, it’s insane that anyone hits that! After we saw every square inch of the factory and museum we spent more time in the store. We couldn’t leave empty-handed! Each kid got a gift, the boys got wood bats and Bailey got a sweatshirt. We got a custom engraved bat for our family that says “Family First, Baseball Second”. Pretty much our motto.

While in town we walked past the KFC Yum Center and took pictures in front of it. We also ventured by the Louisville Bats stadium; we would’ve went to a game but they were out of town. It wouldn’t be a family vacation of ours if we didn’t see a baseball game, so, we went to see the University of Louisville Cardinals play. It was really exciting because while we were there, they were ranked number one and playing really well (they finished #5). We drove around campus first to take it all in. It’s a very nice campus. Then we went to the baseball game. The stadium was so nice, it was like being at a minor league game. It was still pretty cold, but thankfully we’re used to watching games like that!

We packed in a lot of sights|sites in just a couple of days. It was a great sports-family get-away that we would recommend to anyone! Let us know your favorite sports destinations, we’re always looking for more places to visit! Our next pick features a very famous baseball player…stay tuned.