cooperstown

Let’s talk ball. This past weekend, the opportunity to go to Cooperstown was in our hands and we gladly jumped on that train. Thanks to our friend, Patrick (HSO!) the three of us set out on the journey to Upstate New York last weekend. And as you guessed it, our first stop was Cooperstown. Sure, I love baseball but there is no comparison when it comes to how much Matt loves baseball. Take a peek at the guest blog below from Matt. Matt recaps his visit to the holy land: Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. If you haven’t been and even if you have, he writes it in a fashion that you are enjoying his pilgrimage alongside of us that weekend.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

my pilgrimage to the baseball mecca

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

As a diehard baseball fan, I had never made the pilgrimage to Cooperstown, New York to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and IMG_0400Museum. I’d actually never even been to New York before. How sacrilegious is that? With so much history, tradition and baseball in one place, how had a fan, like myself, never set foot on such sacred grounds?

Well, that all changed the second weekend in June as Kendal Ann, Patrick and I had planned to go up to Upstate New York for a long weekend and made a pit stop in Cooperstown to check out the Baseball Hall of Fame. Let’s just say that I was mesmerized by how much baseball tradition is enshrined within the walls of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

After parking the car and wandering down Main Street, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of baseball heaven, we finally made it to the coveted Baseball Hall of Fame. The Baseball Hall of Fame is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year and we picked a great weekend to visit. Not only was the ‘Iron Man’ Cal Ripken, Jr. there himself (we unfortunately did not see Cal) for various events throughout the weekend, the Baseball Hall of Fame actually was opening a brand new Babe Ruth exhibit on the day we went. Talk about great timing.

Once inside, we picked up a map and started to decipher where to go and what to see first. After opting to start on the third floor and work our way down, we entered the “Sacred Ground” exhibit. This exhibit featured quite a bit of information about the ballparks, past and present, themselves. It also featured a ton of new and old memorabilia, such as the Rally Monkey, which is a plush monkey that made appearances in late-inning situations for the 2002 Anaheim Angels’ World Series-winning team.

The exhibit changes from ballparks to players, highlighting individual records that each player has accomplished. Records such as Ripen, Jr.’s consecutive games played streak and the most games played in a career (Pete Rose; 3,562) are records that may (will) never be broken. Finally, upon exiting this exhibit, they have replicas of each ring that the World Series champion receives. It was interesting seeing how gaudy the rings have gotten over the years; it really is all about the bling.

After seeing some great exhibits on the second floor, we headed back to the first floor and walked into a shrine filled with the greatest people to ever be a part of the game of baseball. The bronze busts of each National Baseball Hall of Fame member fill the oak walls from top to bottom. There are 306 total people lining these walls, enshrined in this temple of baseball holiness forever. It was a beautiful sight to witness, one that I never will forget. On the back wall, the original class of Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson, is singled out and makes known the start of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Finally, the other neat exhibit on the first floor is a small one and somewhat hidden. It features all kinds of memorabilia from baseball films. Being the movie buff that I am, especially with a soft spot for baseball-related movies, I got a kick out of this exhibit. There’s even a list that gives all the names of the baseball movies, which was quite informational – I mean, did you know there are three Sandlot movies? I knew of two, but not the third. There was even a great black and white photo of my brilliant Twitter avatar, (if you don’t follow me, you probably should @hamsterjockey) Rick ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn, made famous in the Major League films.

Overall, my first trip to Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was a definite success. It was so much history packed into one visit though, but that just means I will have to go back. I highly recommend that if you have not been there, visit as soon as you can. If you have visited there, I highly suggest that you go back.

upstate

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Let me give you a little geography lesson about New York, and all of you New Yokers out there can correct me if I am wrong. Upstate New York is a region of the U.S. state of New York north of the core of the New York metropolitan area. There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York, and other names exist for regions north of New York City — either as part of, or distinct from, the Upstate region. Basically from the image you see (yes, which is an image of the THEORETICAL 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS BY UPSTATE/DOWNSTATE) the red indicates UPSTATE and the Blue is DOWNSTATE– also known as “The City”.

Over the weekend, I had my first Vineyard experience and it was nothing less than great! New York was a great place to experience world-class wines which paired beautifully with picture-perfect countryside, smiles and relaxation. Finger Lakes Wine Country is home to almost 100 wineries, breweries and distilleries centered around three main lakes: Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga.

From the vineyards we checked out, my suggestion is if you are ever in the area try these few on for size: American and Lucas.

I cannot wait for another trip to Upstate New York. It was the perfect get away from the city weekend.

crodoli & crodo

yum

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Over the weekend, the quest for cro-somethings was in full-force. I didn’t live another minute without knowing how these trendy little goodies are getting so much hype. Last week, I posted a post about the new goodies, cronut, croknot and the doissant. If you don’t want to read the whole post, the recap is below.

It seems like hybrid goodies are on the rise. The one that is still all the rage among my friends is the cronut, but I am about to blow your mind with a croknot and then a doissant.

First you have a croissant. A croissant is a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie pastry named for its well-known crescent shape. Then, you have a donut or doughnut, a type of fried dough confectionery or “dessert” food, which is likely consumed at breakfast. Now that we’ve established what a croissant and donut are, put them together and you get a cronut. The cronut is a beautiful thing.

This weekend in Albany, I needed to try their version of the cro-something. Albany offers up the crodoli and crodo. The craze — like some zombie apocalypse virus, no doubt taking advantage of air travel and our interconnected world — has since, as you can see, (thankfully) spread to other large cities.

So… where to finding something like that here in the Capital Region? The Crip Cannoli. This bakery will thrill your taste buds. These amazing pastries will blow you away! Their crodoli creations are simply amazing and must be eaten straight out of the fryer, which is exactly what we did! From my understanding, the Crisp Cannoli just celebrated their 1 year anniversary. They have proven great creativity and I am sure will continue to keep it interesting! Honestly, from their crodo to their savory cannoli, you will find something that tickles your fancy. Next time you are in the Capital Region of New York, be sure to visit this little bakery.

Albany, NY

hello, upstate!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Later today, I will be getting on a plan that will take me from Washington, DC to Albany, NY. Yes, that’s right, I am heading to Upstate New York and I simply cannot wait. Thankfully, this trip does not have a business entity looped in. The trip is only for personal purposes. After 11 months without seeing my dear friend, Emily, I will once again be reunited with her (and you too, Patrick, even though it’s been two weeks, it feels like 11 months!).

For this trip, I have no expectations other than fun and seeing the true life of an “Upstate-er”. I am sure we will walk down memory lane which will include the Empire State Plaza, state capital and Saint Rose campus. From my understanding, Albany’s neighborhoods are varied demographically, geographically, architecturally, and historically- just like any other city. Downtown Albany is the city’s oldest neighborhood and centered on State Street. Downtown Albany has the oldest streets, but today downtown consists mostly of office buildings inhabited by state agencies, though a recent push to bring in permanent residents has led to proposed apartments and condominiums.

For me, Albany is about a new adventure, rekindling of friendship, laughter and one step closer to checking off a few things on my 2014 bucket list. I believe you should travel to one new place every year, but this year I want to make it to three new places.

Albany, I cannot wait to see you in all your glory!

anything but dull

it’s election day

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It’s just a quick post today, my friends.

A few of my coworkers live in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and it’s a big day for them. Today is election day! Elections are running today in the following states: Washington, Virginia, Alabama, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. The elections in these states will be very interesting. After reading this NPR article, it only seemed appropriate to highlight the elections. If you live in one of these states make sure to get out and vote. As an American, voting is our civic duty! Take advantage of it and make your voice heard!