WASHINGTON DC - ICE HOCKEY AND BARACK'S HOUSE
Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
89Trip End Jun 28, 2013
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So, for the first time on my trip, the itinerary went out the window. There would be no visit of Arlington Cemetery today.
I woke up feeling a bit second hand and remembered that the two Canadian jokers I had met the previous night at the Irish pub had mentioned there was an NHL Ice Hockey game on in town and it started at 12.30pm.
Now, while planning my US Trip I had tried to line up an ice hockey game but there were no home games on in the cities I was visiting on my intended travel dates. But, as luck would have it, the Washington Capitals, had made it through to the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals of the Stanley Cup, and had a home game against the New York Rangers
Whilst tickets to the game had already sold out, the maple leaves had suggested I see if any scalpers were selling tickets. So I went down to the Verizon Arena where the game was to be played and looked for the dodgiest loiterer I could find and asked if he had any tickets. He asked if I was a cop and I said no but I was a highly trained operative working for the CIA. Sadly, my humour was lost on him. He asked me to follow him to Dunkin Donuts, just around the corner. I was thinking, does he want me to pay him in donuts ? That wasn't the case. As scalping is illegal on public streets, he wanted to avoid being arrested. Seemed fair.
I told him I wanted one ticket and asked him how much it was. He said he had a great seat for US $275. I told him that was too steep for me and asked him what the face value of the ticket was. He said it was $156 (and it was) but he said I could have it for $175. I said nah, I'll keep looking. He said, okay then, $150. I said SOLD ! Job done. Now I just had to hope the ticket he gave me was real.
As I had a couple of hours to kill, I jumped on one of my trusted bikes and headed for the J Edgar Hoover Building, home of the FBI
Just across the road from the FBI was the Old Post Office Tower which my host had recommended I go up as it has one of the best views in Washington DC. Furthermore, it isn't well publicised so there are few crowds. He was right. It is a classic old building with a clock tower which has bells and everything. It had a great 360 degree view of Washington and you could see a number of different landmarks like the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial, Reagan National Airport and the Pentagon to name a few.
I jumped back on the bike, picked up a ham and egg sandwich and an ice coffee to try and sort the hangover out. Bloody coffee was black, bitter and just like a normal black coffee but cold. Awful.
I arrived back at the Verizon Arena as the sea of red was washing its way down the surrounding streets. There was nobody not wearing their teams colours. Actually there was one person, some drop-kick from New Zealand
There were a few Rangers fans amongst the throng of Capital supporters but not many. I lined up to go through security. Yep, more metal detectors, bag searches and this time, a pat down. Nervously, I handed my scalped ticket to the ticket tart. BEEP ! 'Go through sir' she said. YESSSSS!!!
I was given a free foam hockey stick hat thing from a smiling cheerleader and put it straight on my head like the other Capitals fans. I headed up the escalators to the first level and went straight to the merchandise store and bought a t-shirt so I could blend in with the home team fans. It had the Capitals logo on the front and some joker called Ovechkin's name and number (8) on the back. Now I was set.
Getting a beer and a hot beef brisket sandwich seemed the American thing to do, even though I didn't feel like the beer. So I did. The challenge was eating it without dropping half of it down the front of my new t-shirt.
I found my seat and watched all the pre-game hype. And then it was game time
I thought it was well worth the price I paid for the ticket and the chants and music and the pace of the game made it a great afternoon. I would definitely go again.
To top things off, all of a sudden all these little parachutes started dropping from the ceiling at the conclusion of the game, and with just the right amount of jostling and a well timed snatch, I managed to grab one. It had a t-shirt attached to it. Now I have 2 :)
I piled out of the stadium with the rest of the crowd and on to the street. The chanting, yelling, singing and dancing continued but I headed off as I had a date with the President. Well actually, I was just going to take a look at the White House.
I jumped on the bike and headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, where Barack Obama currently resides
Having had a busy day, I biked back to the apartment and got stuck into my blog for the previous day. I headed back out to the Irish bar, where I had met the Canadians the previous night, for dinner, but wisely left straight after as I had another big day planned for tomorrow.
Eyes shut very quickly when I got to bed.
Over and out !