Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
Trip End Jun 28, 2013

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Where I stayed
Airbnb Apartment (Shared) - Washington DC

Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Saturday, May 4, 2013

Happy Star Wars Day !!! May the 4th be with you ...always :)

So, for the first time on my trip, the itinerary went out the window. There would be no visiting Arlington National 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 Canadians 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 I could have it for $175. I said, "Nah, I'll keep looking." He said, "Okay then, how about $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. It's not the best building I've seen but it is still good to say you've been there. There were lots of security cameras but no guards visible. Im pretty sure if I left my day-pack out the front, they'd come swarming though. So I didn't bother.

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 DC 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 my 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. Nobody wasn't wearing their team's colours. Actually there was one person, some drop-kick from New Zealand. But not for bloody long though !

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. Now I know feck all about Ice Hockey rules except that general thuggery appears to be encouraged. I really enjoyed the game even though there were no goals scored in the 3 periods of play. The good news was, that meant it went to sudden-death overtime and finally the Capitals scored and secured the win. Then the crowd erupted and it went completely mental.

I thought it was well worth the price I paid for the ticket. The chants, the 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 Washington Capitals t-shirts :)

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 President Barack Obama currently resides. As expected, I wasn't the only one who had popped in for a photo. I checked out the view and took photos from both the front and the rear of the White House. All the roads surrounding the White House were cordoned off and, as you would expect, there is a heavy police presence.

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.

My eyes shut very quickly when I got to bed.

Over and out !
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Kim on

I'm loving the ice hockey info Marty. It's a fantastic game that I grew to love whilst living in Finland. The fans go nuts for their favourite teams and it's very competitive. Thanks for sharing!

jdboy on

No worries Kim. I loved the game I went to and if I get a chance I might see another. I am going to see the actual Stanley Cup which is held in a Hockey Museum in Toronto

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