It was some years ago that Tom, father-in-law-fly-fisherman-home-brewer, said he no longer wanted gifts which he had to store. From then only only either consumables or event tickets would do. Zach had already started buying him tickets to the Red Sox, he is the son after all so he ought to pick up on these things faster. Once we got word, we settled on Patriots tickets. Since the Patriots keep winning Super Bowls, their tickets are increasingly difficult to obtain. Since pre-season games take place while baseball season is still going, we try to attend a baseball game, or at least watch one on TV, during the same weekend. This year was no exception. Tandy and I were unable to obtain tickets from TicketMaster this year, so it was off to a broker. The rates were...outrageous, so we settled on tickets which seemed both reasonable and affordable...or so we thought.
Tom, Zach, David (Zach's father-in-law) and I arrived at Foxboro at about 5pm ready to tailgate. The steak tips and grilled veggies I had concocted were not so great, but we ate them nonetheless. Is it even necessary to say there was great beer? Zach had selected two excellent beers from Cooperstown Brewery
, Nine Man Ale and Benchwarmer Porter, and two from Samuel Adams
, Boston Lager and Summer Ale. [By the way, the Sam Adams web site sucks, with proof of how too much Flash can make a website stink.] Both Cooperstown products were great beers, though the Benchwarmer appeared to have been overprimed. David pitched in with a mixed six: Pilsner Urquell
and ?. We all wanted to enjoy our beer before the game where Bud Light is $7.00 a bottle.
We headed up to the game about twenty minutes before start, which ought to have been plenty of time. It was not. Up we went from one level to the next searching for our seats, or at least the right level. The stadium is shaped like a giant "U" with the entry points at either side of the U. We had managed to walk in on the other side, so after climbing half the distance to the moon we then had to walk all the way around the stadium. Once we reached the far side of the upper deck we climbed to the last seats in our section (339). The worst seats in the house were the ten to our left! There are photos on flickr from our sorry location. From our vantage the ball was hard to track and some numbers were unreadable. You could see the game better on television. The entertainment highlight was a drunk guy who wandered around our section shouting, "They're all virgins!" Who the hell was he talking about? He then slid down the handrail, falling and jamming his nads on the second handrail. What an idiot.
At halftime, we four moved down to the next level and snuck into some seats in the 332 section. The game looked better and we were able to watch Doug Flutie working up close, but the magic was lost for Zach and I. We left Tom and David decrying our betrayal of the game (whatever!). We stumbled our way to the car and drank more beer while listening to the Red Sox get crushed
by Los Angeles of Anaheim. The guy beside us was waiting for his friends to open the truck, they too were still in the game. He offered to trade us for a Budweiser when they returned, but we gave him a Pilsner Urquell gratis. He then became the entertainment of the evening with quotes like, "This is some hard sh*t!" and "I'm loaded and I only drank half so far." and "How can you guys drink this stuff?" He managed to put a bottle away, but he was done for at that point. After the game, we headed back to Medford.
In the morning, I made breakfast for the three of us and we devised an evil scheme. The baseball game was in Pawtucket, Rhode Island at 7:00pm. It was then 10:00am and we had nothing to do. We picked blueberries...not true. I stood there and ate berries and Tom and Zach picked two pints of berries. I know, I know, what the heck is wrong with those guys? Working on a sports weekend. We then piled in the car and made for their section of Providence: Atwell's Avenue. We ate lunch in an outdoor cafe with a view of the Italian Hills. The most remarkable part is that in a cafe filled with nattering women we three sat there nearly silent the entire time. Just people watching or sipping our iced tea or eating, talking being largely unnecessary except to decide whether we should walk or drive to Trinity Brewhouse
in town. I did grab a photo of Tom and Zach below a street sign bearing their name.
The experience at Trinity Brewhouse was variable at best. The barman must be making his income from investments in the stock market, because it cannot be on tips. He never managed to do more than smirk and give us the minimal number of words to answer any question. Then Trinity itself was having problems with its beer. They had "Mild" as their special beer, but were never able to actually provide it because of a carbonation problem. Yet, they left the special sign hanging over the bar refusing at least three other people who requested the beer. Tom and I tried their Russian Imperial Stout, which was excellent, Zach and I had the Belgian White Ale, Tom also tried Point Break Pale Ale and Zach also tried the Rhode Island IPA. The two pale ales were very similar in flavor and style, with a little more intensity in the IPA. The Pilsner was both skunked and flat, which is how I wound up with a white ale. All in all, I would probably try it again, but I am not impressed.
Part 2 Continues with the Pawtucket Red Sox and our Medford to Cambridge pub crawl...