Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Boba Fet, Baseball, and Burgers-We visit Petco Park

We departed Balboa Park and set out for our next park adventure, Petco Park.  As we were unfamiliar with downtown San Diego, we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to find Petco Park, and decent parking, before things got super crowded.

It turned out to be incredibly easy, so we found ourselves with a couple of hours to kill. One of the best things about Petco Park's location, is its proximity to all the happening stuff in downtown San Diego.

We got the obligatory tourist picture of the Gas Lamp District sign. I waved longingly at the convention center, whispering that maybe I would visit it someday for Comic Con.

While we were driving to the baseball field, an interesting building caught my eye.  We ventured in the direction of the building, and as though angels were shining lights from the heavens, I discovered that it was a library.  

A dazzling, modern library. It was so impressive on the outside, I just had to take a peek on the inside.

We just so happened to stumble upon the library's Star Wars Day.  Things appeared to be wrapping up by the time we got there, but it looked like it was a pretty fun time.

After riding the funky, artsy elevator, we enjoyed the view from the library's balcony.

The upper floor also had a shiny new rare books building.  Since I'm not one to pass up a chance to ogle old literature, we spent some time roaming around.

They had some interesting stuff on display, including a collection of teeny-tiny books. It's not quite as cool as Philadelphia's rare books department where you ascend the secret elevator and emerge into a scene that could be from Warehouse 13, but if you are a bibliophile, be sure to stop by the rare books department in San Diego.

When the time seemed right, we meandered back to Petco Park.

We love visiting other ballparks whenever we get the chance.  I wore Padres colors to the game because 1) I like to be respectful, and 2) I like how it makes me feel like some sort of undercover baseball agent.  It's like having a big secret.

La, la, la, just two regular Padres fans here, not Phillies fans at all, nope, not us....

It was free long- sleeved hoodie t-shirt night, and it got chilly so we were happy to have them.

Petco Park is an airy, lovely park.  It's got a part hipster, part hippie, with a slight air of sophistication vibe.

 I especially enjoyed all of the living greenery,

Instead of standing room seats, you could get seats on the grassy hill

and how they renovated/blended some of the old existing buildings into the ball park.

Inside the Western Metal Supply Co. building 
Before our trip, I read a lot of hype about an ice cream place in San Diego called The Baked Bear.  The Baked Bear is known for their cookie ice cream sandwiches. I felt it my duty as an ice cream enthusiast to try one.

I got the Peanut Butter Fudge ice cream between fresh baked Snicker-doodles.

The cookies were soft, chewy, and yummy, but I must admit that the actual ice cream was just okay.  It was a bit bland.

I'm always fascinated with the culture of other ball parks. What songs do they play? What do they chant? The Simba Cam, where people were encouraged to hoist babies in the air like Rafiki made us smile.

The Padres played The Nationals, and not very well.  Baseball wise it was a terrible showing for the San Diego team, but it was still fun.

While we were sitting in our seats, a gust of wind blew a dollar into my lap. Everyone around us had a good laugh, and agreed that the dollar bill now belonged to me.

I took my dollar, and a few others to Hodad's.

Hodad's is considered one of the best burger places in San Diego.  There are two locations in the city that have extensive menus, but the ball park location keeps things simple. You can get a hamburger, or a cheeseburger, and fries.  The line was long, and the wait after ordering may have been even longer, but we didn't mind.  It was fun people watching and soaking in a new environment.

We ordered a cheeseburger and fries.

I understand why Hodad's gets acclaim.  It was a delicious burger. Definitely on the list of best trip burgers.

Freshly made and cooked to order, the meat had that crumbly texture that good burgers often have.  I'm not one for a lot of burger fixins', especially tomatoes, but somehow on this burger it all worked well together.  The fries were tasty too, but dense wedge fries tend to fill you up fast, so we weren't able to finish all of them. I thought Hodad's was well worth the wait.  If I'm ever in San Diego again, I'd love to visit one of the sit down locations.

We had such a great time at the baseball game at Petco Park.  Our only small complaint about the park as compared to others we've been to is that the view of the field is often obstructed.  We tend to like to stretch our legs and wander around when we are at games. At Citizen's Bank Park you could be anywhere in the park and have a view of the field, but at Petco Park walls often blocked the field in the concourse areas. Not a big deal though.

Between Balboa Park, the library, and Petco Park, it was an excellent first full day in San Diego, and one we will never forget.

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