Last weekend, in what now feels like months ago, #GlatSquared took an awesome trip to Washington, D.C. The plan was to leave around 10, get there for a 3 p.m. check-in at our hotel, hit up the National Mall, then go to dinner at 6 p.m. and play the rest of the evening by ear. Sunday, we had tickets to the Padres/Nationals game. That plan didn’t work out perfectly, but it worked out for the best.
We left a little later than intended and had to drop Zoe off at the vet. At this point, she was four days into her steroids treatment and had shown really hopeful improvement on Friday and Saturday morning. We wanted to make sure she ate and had someone give her the steroids while we were gone, so we decided to board her for the weekend. Our vet’s office was so busy that it took almost a half-hour to check her in. We didn’t get on the road until 11.
Then, there was the traffic. So. Much. Traffic. It took us 6 hours to make a 4.5-hour journey, with one stop for gas and a bathroom break. (There’s a really funny story from our drive that I have to tell on the next Broadcast episode. It’s best if this one doesn’t get put in writing. :P) We didn’t get to our hotel until 5 p.m., so we decided to eat first, at a restaurant called Founding Farmers.
So, funny story about our dinner plans: Back in May 2016, when I went to the Supreme Court for work (my only other time visiting D.C.), Jay and I walked from our hotel to the White House. Afterward, we went to a restaurant that we liked so much that we went back there again the following day with Zach and my parents for lunch. I was trying to remember what restaurant that was and thought it was called “Founding Fathers.” Google and Open Table returned “Founding Farmers” and the location/decor looked kinda similar-ish, so we went with it. When we got there, it was clear that that was not the right place, but we rolled with it anyway and it ended up being awesome. We’d totally go back.
Our traffic delay ended up working out for the best because we walked to the White House and then around the National Mall after dinner, out of the heat, and it was so much nicer than it would have been otherwise. It was my first time seeing anything other than the White House (and Congress/SCOTUS), so I was in awe of all of the historic buildings, statues, and memorials we saw. We went to the Treasury (the Hamilton statue was blocked off!), Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial. The boys enjoyed putting their feet in the water at the WWII Memorial and I couldn’t believe how cool everything was up close.
When we got back to our hotel, Jay suggested walking to the Nationals stadium, as it was literally across the street. Since it was the top of the 5th inning, we decided to see if they had any cheap tickets left and we’d stay until after the 7th-inning stretch. We got lucky and they sold us $8 student tickets in section 232. We were having a blast in the middle of the 6th and a man selling bourbon-spiked lemonade had just convinced me to give it a go. As he swiped our credit card, he said, “Oh, we’re going into a 2-hour weather delay.”
It didn’t look like it was raining or that rain was imminent but we were under an awning, so we thought maybe we just didn’t feel it. Then Jay went, “People are running off of the field.”
“They’re running like a mob. And look, they’re rushing the dugouts! Something is going on, this isn’t normal.”
That’s when we started texting our families to ask them to turn on the news and check if there was anything being reported about the game or Washington D.C. in general. There was nothing substantial on Twitter yet. We saw the flashing lights of emergency vehicles on the street by the third-base side. Finally, the announcer got on the loudspeaker and in a very calm voice (seriously, this dude was great), told us that there was an incident outside of the stadium and to please remain safely inside. The police helicopters arrived. At this point, we had put together that there had been a shooting but were unsure whether or not it was still an active situation.
Jack, who made a really good video in the initial aftermath, told us that from their perspective at home, everything abruptly stopped and the announcers mentioned people running away (I think he saw the start of people running as well). The feed cut out because the cameramen left for safety. He was panicking because he had no idea what was going on but knew it was something bad like a shooting. Check out his video but *trigger warning* at the end of it, he plays a clip where you can hear the gunshots.
I talked to a friend over Twitter (hi, Laura!) who said she was walking up the stairs on the third-base side and heard the shots but didn’t know what they were at first. People started running towards her to get out of the stadium and someone told her to run because there was an active shooter in the park. She found her family and ran out of there. Back at our hotel, I ran into a group of people waiting for the elevator who told me that they were a part of the group that rushed the Nationals dugout and did so to avoid the “stampede” at field level. I cannot even imagine the panic everyone who heard the shots or was warned at field-level of an active shooter felt. I’m very glad we were safely outside of the action and that no one got hurt.
Sunday was a much calmer day, haha. We met up with Maggie for a little catch-up walk before the game, which was nice! Jay really wanted to take the kids to see batting practice and get their baseballs signed. Unfortunately, batting practice was canceled because the teams were going to finish playing Saturday night’s game before they started Sunday’s game. We did get relief pitcher Daniel Camarena’s autograph, which was pretty neat. Zach had injured his wrist on Friday night, so he asked him how he got hurt and politely listened to his response. Jay got to tell him how awesome his grand slam was. He was pretty cool!
We did normal baseball-game stuff. Watched some innings in our seats, watched some innings from the kids’ playground area, ate some food, finished the rest of the game back in our seats. Our seats were awesome! We were in section 201, row A, which was on the third-base side and after being there, I understood a bit more about what people over there heard/felt the previous night. My only complaint is the Nationals park does not have a great food selection, haha. The spiked lemonades were awesome, though, haha.
We got home around midnight, exhausted, but happy. All-in-all, it was a great weekend.
[Oh and if you’re wondering how Zachary injured his wrist, here’s the story: On Friday evening, he and a neighborhood friend were chasing Alex around downstairs. They decided to set a trap with water on the floor to make him slip and fall. Yeah, I know. Pretty messed up, right? Well, karma came for Zach and he ended up slipping and falling and hurting his wrist. Lesson learned. He’s all better now.]