Tuesday

Root, Root, Root for the Road Team?!

Is seeing every baseball stadium on your Bucket List? If so, hear about the stories from a guy who gets to travel with the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins



Q+A with Bryan "Bryguy" Brennan, Sports videographer


Q- Holy smokes! Your job is to travel with professional athletes! Is it as glamorous as it sounds? Tell us a little about the pros and cons of following a sports team on the road....

A- I know it sounds like the most amazing thing ever. Traveling with pro sports teams?! What could beat that?!

Honestly, it's funny how much traveling with sports teams has made me appreciate traveling commercially. When you're with the teams, they have nice planes, and you get real food, which is pretty awesome. On the flip side, most travel is done after the games, and we won't get into a city until early the next morning. Nothing is worse that getting to the hotel and seeing the morning papers already out at hotel room doors!

Everything is taken care of for you, which is pretty sweet. You finish shooting post game, get on the bus, the bus brings you to the airport, you get on the plane, and there is a bus waiting for you in the next city. It's great, but when I travel commercially I like doing everything for myself, and making all the choices as to how and when I will get to and from the airports, and hotels. I might be the only person who feels that way! I like being independent.

In the end, we are guests on their plane, and are lucky that they allow us to be there and tag along. I try to enjoy it, but also realize that all the great things are not really there for me. It's for the team.

Q- How do you make the road feel a bit more like "home"? For example, do you take something with you that reminds you of home? Or do you make sure to keep any routine -like a morning workout- that you would do at home?

A- That's a good question. Anything that I can do that is my decision makes me feel a lot more at home. So much is taken care of for you that you could easily get used to that and just go with the flow. Depending on what city I'm in, I'll come up with a routine that makes me feel better about being away so long. When I was in Cleveland, most of the games were day games, so I tried to hit the gym after the game, and then find a new place for dinner every night. When I'm in cities like Seattle, San Fran, or Chicago, I try to get out of the hotel early and walk all over. I don't want to go to a great city and spend time in a hotel gym. 

Social media is a great tool for me to keep reminding myself that not everyone has the opportunities that I have, and I should get out of the hotel and take advantage. I used to not post a bunch of my adventures on social media because I felt like it was boasting or bragging. In 2012 I went to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. My cousin is a Patriots season ticket holder, and he asked me to document every step I took because he would never be able to go to a Super Bowl, and he wanted to see what I was doing. I took pictures of everything that I found entertaining. When I got home he said he has so much fun seeing all my posts, and that even some of his friends started following me on twitter, and also had a blast. I realized that maybe it's not bragging, it's allowing others to tag along with the strange life I lead, and maybe interject a laugh or two into their day! So whenever I'm tired in a cool city, I force myself to get out, go be a tourist, and document it. If I don't, then I feel like I'm letting someone down. 


Q- Which baseball stadium is your favorite?

A- The best part of traveling with the Red Sox is seeing all the parks. Top 5 in no particular order:

Target Field: Minnesota
One of the newer parks in baseball. It takes little bits of other parks in baseball and kind of pays homage to them. I also like that it's not a huge park and it's right in the middle of the city.

AT&T Park: San Francisco
San Francisco is probably my favorite city in the US, and the ballpark might be tops on my list as well. Just a beautiful view of the bay, and some quirky things like the Coca-Cola playground in the outfield.... but the view... honestly, it's the best.


PNC Park: Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is the most underrated city in the US, in my opinion. It's such a beautiful little city, and from almost anywhere in the ballpark you can see the landscape of it. It looks as if the city is perfectly framed in the outfield.

SafeCo Field: Seattle
This might be the biggest park I've ever seen. It's gigantic! That being said, it has some character to it. I love how the roof comes over the field, but it continues to be an open air stadium. I wish more places were like that. No rain delays!!

Fenway Park: Boston
Obviously Fenway is such a cool park. They did such a cool job of adding seats, and sections that are unique and not just more places to charge fans money. The monster seats and the right field roof deck are two of the best places to watch a baseball game.

Q- Did you always want to have a job that allowed you to travel?

A- I didn't travel a lot until I got the job. I was kind of a homebody. I really started traveling a lot more once I got the job both for work and for pleasure. As I said before, it's made me appreciate everything about travel. I'm that strange guy that doesn't mind getting to the airport early. I like to avoid any and all stress as much as I can. I'll get there early and people watch. I think people always think traveling for a job can be amazing, but it's not really the case. It can be exhausting, and lonely. You really have to be OK with being alone, and I personally think it's very important to force yourself out of the hotel and go see the cities. I find it helps feel like I'm taking some control over the trip, rather than just working. The job was a great way to kind of be thrown into the fire as travel was concerned. Traveling can be intimidating if you haven't done a lot of it. Having to do it for work forced me to get comfortable with it. Now when I travel for vacations it's even more relaxing. I don't have any camera gear, and half the bags!

Q- In addition to being a videographer, you are also known as "The King of the Selfie". Do you have a signature selfie that you take in each city?

A- The selfies have really turned into a crazy thing. Now when I see people at Fenway it's the first thing they ask for! When I was growing up I would go away on school trips, or to friends summer camps and come home with pictures to show my family. My dad would look through the pictures and say, "Great, but if I wanted a picture of that I could go buy one! I want a picture of YOU at that place. I want to see YOU enjoying yourself." I think that's where it really started. I always tell people it's not just a selfie, it's me documenting the good times... and I happen to have a lot of good times to document! I suppose that means life is good!

I don't have a signature selfie. I just like to have fun and take pictures. Favorite selfie is tough one... at Fenway I basically walk around with a wireless camera and get fans on TV. Sometimes it can take an inning or two to find a spot for them in the show. You can get to know people pretty quickly while hanging out. So I love taking a selfie and posting it on social media. I usually tag people in the picture and we all follow each other. I've met some great people along the way, and they always reach out and say hi if they're in town. I've also found over time that I don't want to meet celebrities. I would actually rather take a selfie near them and say that we're really close friends. 

I constantly get people tagging me in studies about how selfies are narcissistic and how people with brain damage take selfies etc, etc, etc. The thing I love about the selfie is that it forces people to gather close together and make silly faces and be goofy pretty spontaneously. If I pull out the camera and say, "Let's take a selfie!", people immediately show their funny side. If I hand my camera to someone and ask them to take a picture of us, we will all stand predictably and smile. Very nice on certain occasions, but if all pictures look like that...... BORING! So no one should be ashamed of taking a selfie! It's better than not taking a picture at all!


If YOU want to follow the Red Sox through the eyes of Bryguy,
follow him on Twitter and Instagram for his selfie adventures across America!

Friday

Working Hard or Hardly Working: Tips for Work & Travel

Independence Hall in Philly
Traveling for work is something millions of people do every year. Whether it be an every week part of your job, or just a rare trip during the course of the year, there are some tips and tricks that we use to make the travel seem less like a job and more like a vacation.  We've listed a few that work for us, but if you are a constant work traveler, leave a comment below and let us know some of the things that you do when you travel for work!

The Travel:
If you're flying - carve out an hour or more for yourself on the flight. Read a book or magazine, watch a show, take a nap. Work on the flight is sometimes necessary, but giving yourself a small reprieve from the grind can do wonders for peace of mind.

If you're driving - before you leave pick out a spot along the route the interests you (restaurant, antique store, attraction, etc) and leave a half hour/hour early to give yourself a chance to check it out. Road Trip!

The Hotel:
Try and make the hotel feel as much like home as possible. Go get snacks for the room from the closest grocery or convenience store. If you have a mini fridge, get juice, Gatorade, or a 6 pack to help unwind after those long work days.

If you're staying for more than a day or two, do some unpacking. Hang your clothes up, put your shoes in the closet, etc. Digging through a suitcase trying to find a clean shirt is the opposite of fun during a work trip.

Move the furniture if it makes sense to (maybe not the bed, that seems like a lot of work). It's your hotel room, that chair in the corner doesn't need to be in the corner anymore! 

Dallas BBQ anyone?
The Trip:
Come up with a morning routine that focuses on you. Get up early, work out, or do yoga (M loves going for a swim in the morning if there is a pool). Make time to take advantage of the free breakfast if it's offered, or make your own breakfast in your room. Try and stick with this routine for the duration of the trip.

If at all possible, set aside a few hours during the work trip to see or do something that the city is known for. Try some BBQ in Texas, catch a jazz show in New Orleans, visit a museum or landmark in DC. Obviously you are there to work, but taking advantage of the city and seeing at least one thing it has to offer will make the trip not all about work.


What other tips or tricks for work travel did we miss? Let us know in the comments section below


Wednesday

Foodie, Foodie, Foodie, Foodie Rockin' Everywhere!




We believe that the best way to experience a city is to eat your way through it! This week we hit the Left Coast of the USA to find out about the best eats that Los Angeles has to offer! 



Q+A: Meet Jenna, founder of Butter Loves Company + our LA Food Insider

Jenna, Butter Loves Company
Q-You're a New England girl at heart, what is the biggest culinary difference from the East coast to the West coast?

A-When it comes to cooking or baking at home, I didn't know what it truly meant to shop, cook, and eat seasonally until I moved to the Los Angeles. The fresh produce options in Southern California are endless, with a farmer's market happening somewhere everyday with the freshest and greatest variety of fruits and vegetables I've ever laid my eyes on.

LA has also shocked us with their endless dining-out options--Korean, Mexican, Ethiopian, Thai--the variety of authentic global cuisine is unparalleled. That said, a New England girl can't get certain seafood dishes, such as a solid lobster roll, fried clam basket, or plate of oysters quite like those I'd find back home (although the sushi here is great). Your best bet for oysters are those shucked on the spot by The Oyster Boys at the Hollywood Farmers' Market. You'd be hard pressed to find a pizza by the slice option that's half as good as any you'll find in New York or Boston, but on the flip side, there are tacos aplenty. Pass the Tapatio!
The Oyster Boys

Q- Dallas does BBQ. Chicago does deep dish pizza. Boston does clam chowdah. What specific style of food does LA do best and where can you get it?

There are an incredible number of special diet and fresh and healthy eating options (read: vegan/vegetarian restaurants, juice bars and the like), but it may come as a surprise that LA has a great spot in the burger world. Fast: In & Out, Casual: Plan Check, Upscale: Petit Trois.

Q- Gastro Pubs and fusion restaurants have been all the hype lately, but LA tends to be ahead of the culinary curve- what is the biggest trend in LA restaurants right now?

Los Angeles has a bit of everything but a few standout themes that come to mind are Hawaiian Poke shops, Ramen Bars, Korean BBQ spots, and Japanese Izakaya spots. Oh, and the city does have the patio dining scene on lock.

Q-If you could tell a foodie traveler about one restaurant (or one food lovers neighborhood) in LA, which would you recommend?

This is a tough one because each LA neighborhood has something vastly different to offer. Sawtelle, or Little Osaka as some call it, is an interesting culinary strip filled with a variety of Asian—mostly Japanese—influenced eats. You'll find dozens of spots for everything from ramen, dumplings, Korean sausage, to Vietnamese all within a block or so.

Abbott Kinney in Venice is a terrific street to meander down for shopping, people watching and eats. Take a pit stop at The Tasting Kitchen for a bite and one of their famous scotch cocktails, The Braveheart. Chase that with a meal at Gjelina and finish the day with a donut at Blue Star Donut (the buttermilk options are fantastic) or a waffle cone at Salt & Straw.

Jump over to the East Side to explore the food scene in Silver Lake. The hip and trendy neighborhood is filled with diverse dining options; namely Silver Lake Ramen, Pine & Crane (Taiwanese), Alimento (Italian), Squirl (Breakfast/Lunch, technically in East Hollywood).

West Hollywood is one of my favorite neighborhoods for dining. Filled with both celebrity hot spots—Craig's and The Nice Guy—and terrific casual eateries—Night + Market for Thai street food and Guisados for the best taco sampler ever—the walkable neighborhood is always bustling. 

I suppose that is a bit more than one recommendation, but it's tough to narrow down with so many options!

Q- If you could travel to one place anywhere in the world and have one dish, where would you go and what would you have?

When I'm homesick, all I can think of is a visit to Boston's Island Creek Oyster Bar. Grab a seat at the bar, order a dozen oysters, an oyster slider, the biscuit and whatever seasonal donut offering they have for dessert. You will have approximately zero regrets. 

Otherwise, I'd love to go to Japan for a sushi omakase or Paris for all the food, but in particular for a fresh baguette with a large smear of butter and some strawberry jam in particular. Simple, yet life-changing.

FOR ALL THINGS FOOD
Follow Jenna @butterlc and check out her website for Los Angeles and other worldly inspired recipes at ButterLovesCompany.com 

Do you have a question about the Los Angeles food scene? Ask away in the comments below!

Saturday

It's the FREAKIN' WEEKENDER: Portland, ME

For our third installment we’ll be featuring M’s hometown, Portland, Maine.  Portland is right on the coast of Maine, so beaches, nature, and seafood (particularly lobster) are some of the highlights in this great New England city.  Without further ado, lets spend 48 hours in Portland, ME.

Day 1
There’s no better place to start your day than Becky's Diner(or Dye-NAH if you want to say it like the locals).  Becky’s is located right on Hobson’s Wharf in the Portland Harbor and opens bright and early at 4AM to serve the fishermen coming in from the boats.  It’s simple. It’s classic. Some favorites are the 2 eggs with homemade corned beef hash, commercial street sandwich, or the Mickey Mouse Fruity-Face Pancake (who doesn’t like a Disney character as breakfast food?)

After breakfast take a light stroll away from the water and spend some time walking around the Old Port.  The Old Port offers something for everyone, with bars, restaurants, shopping, and much more it’s one of the busier spots in Portland in the summer.  While walking around, be sure to stop in at Duckfat for lunch.  Known for their fries made from local Maine potatoes fried in duck fat and their delicious selection of pressed paninis (smoked brisket panini, just trust me) it’s a perfect spot for an afternoon meal.

The Old Port doesn’t just feature great food, but some great ways to spend an afternoon. There are the traditional favorites such as the Portland Museum of Art or the Portland Children's Museum.But why go there when a one of a kind spot is footsteps away- that’s right, the International Cryptozoology Museum (for those of you who haven’t married into the family and thus learned about this... think: Bigfoot and friends). Featuring a collection of footcasts, models, hair samples, and other cryptozoological samples, the Cryptozoology Museum’s shining star is the lifesize model of Bigfoot.  Located in downtown Portland, the Museum is actually moving in late June to it’s new location at Thompson’s point (a 5-10 minutes drive across town).  If you do take a trip to the ICM, let M know, he knows a guy (wink, wink).

After a long afternoon of walking around, it’s nice to get out of the city and see the coast.  Take a 15-minute drive down to Cape Elizabeth and check out Fort Williams Park.

Once a military asset in World War II, Fort Williams is now home to playing fields, beaches, old structures left over from the war that can be explored, and the most famous lighthouse in Maine, Portland Head Light.  Fort Williams is a great spot to walk around, and take pictures (B insists on adding that it is a great picnic spot)! From Fort Williams, make the 15 minute drive to The Lobster Shack at Two Light’s for dinner.  Located right on the water next to Two Light’s lighthouse (It’s Maine, we have a lot of lighthouses ok?) the Lobster shack serves full steamed lobsters, lobster rolls, fresh seafood, and much more.  Do yourself a favor and get a lobster roll and fries, and eat it outside on one of the many picnic tables overlooking the Ocean.  It is the perfect spot to take in a sunset!


Day 2 
You need coffee. You need doughnuts. Head to the Holy Donut in downtown Portland.  Handmade using a mashed potato batter, these donuts are unique and delicious (Tip: They are filling! Get two different flavors and split with a friend)

After breakfast head out to the Allagash Brewery (it’s 5:00 somewhere, right?). Known for their famous Allagash White, the Brewery offers daily tours that are available to book online.  Sample some unique beers, see the inner workings of a functional brewery, and don’t forget your designated driver!

Big sports fan? It’s always worth checking to see if the Sea Dogs are in town.  The Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox play at Hadlock Field and offer family friendly fun for a very affordable price (tickets range from $9-$14).  Be sure to have a Sea Dog biscuit, an ice cream sandwich made with two chocolate chip cookies, while at the ballpark. Oh yeah, don’t forget to stretch your arm and try to beat M’s high pitch speed before the 7th inning!

For dinner, check out Yosaku in the Old Port for fantastic sushi and great traditional Japanese food.  Start with an order of gyoza, than enjoy one, or two, or three of the delicious sushi rolls.


An after dinner drink in the Old Port is a great way to finish off the trip- Liquid Riot Bottling Co. or The Porthole have got you covered with brews on the water.

Travel Tips:
-June-August is the busiest time for tourists in Portland, so BOOK YOUR TRIP EARLY!
-While you certainly can kill 48hrs in downtown Portland, we recommend renting a car for at least one day.

-If you are looking for a longer day trip and are a big shopper, take the half hour drive to the outlet stores in Freeport and visit LL Bean for all your camping, fishing, and outdoor needs.

Think you know more about Portland, ME than Malcolm? Here's your chance to prove it! Let us know if we missed any fun Portland must-do's by leaving them in the comments below!

Wednesday

Get to meet.... US!

Q+A: Meet Brandilee

It's time for the second part of the 'Get to know Us' interview! We sat down (with more wine) and talked travel!

Part 2: Malcolm interviews Brandilee

M: First question, what excites you about travel?

B: The unknown. I really enjoy feeling uncomfortable and I think there’s something about people when they feel uncomfortable that really shows their true colors. You really get to know a person by witnessing their vulnerabilities and I think that comes out a lot times when you travel. The more “adventurous” of a place that you travel I think you see it even more. I know that when I first experienced my “culture shock”, looking back on it I’m like, “Oh my gosh it was the greatest time of all! Best experience of my life!” But, during the time it was very difficult- I was ridding myself of ignorance and an American arrogance. So that’s what excites me... the feeling uncomfortable. On our last trip, one of the most exciting things for me was taking a step back and watching Malcolm freak out. It wasn’t a full freak out, it was seeing you play through the process of, "Ok, I’m in another country. What do I do? How do I communicate with these people? How do I express my needs?” To me it was almost one of the sexiest things that I could have ever seen. I just love seeing people when they’re uncomfortable, work through that and in the end form a relationship with these people that you didn’t know five minutes ago. So that’s one of the things that I love… I think that was the question? That’s what excites me- the meeting people, the feeling uncomfortable, the working through it, to realize that we’re all the same.

M- I see that every time we travel together. You’re always open for new things- you’re not one to turn different things down. Can you pinpoint where your urge to travel comes from?

B- The short answer is no. I never grew up traveling. When I finally went to college, I was in college for about two weeks when they had an activities fair. One of those booths happened to be a travel abroad program.  At Suffolk University, no matter what year you are, you have the opportunity to travel abroad to either (at the time) Dakar, Senegal or Madrid, Spain.  No one had actually gone to the Senegal campus, and when I heard that it excited me! I don’t know why I felt this urge to go there, I have no idea what drew me to it, but I was drawn to it, and that seemed like it was the only right option for me.  Ever since then, the urge to travel has always been there- it’s the urge to meet new people, it’s the urge to experience new cultures, it’s the urge to feel uncomfortable.  There’s just so much out there that we don’t know about. There’s so much more to the world that I haven’t seen that leaves me wondering ‘what is it like over there’, and ‘what are those people like’ and ‘what can I learn from meeting them’ that really drives me to continue traveling.

M-One travel tip that you could share that could make a trip better?

B- THIS IS MY TRAVEL TIP! This Is My Travel Tip! Number one, and I am sure that I will get into this deeper in a blog post in the near future… If you are going international, make EIGHT copies of your passport. Put it in your jacket pocket! Put it in your pants pocket! Put it in your carry on! Put it in another pocket in your carry on! Put it in your underwear pile in your carry on! If you’re checking a bag, put it in your checked bag! Make eight copies of your passport and put it EVERYWHERE! So that there is always, no matter what, a copy of your passport. The same can go for your insurance, make sure you have a couple copies of that. If you bought travel insurance, make sure you have a couple copies of that. Print it out. Put it in multiple places. Like I said, in a couple blog posts from now we’ll get into my horror story of not listening to my own advice. It’s a bad one. My advice to travelers whether you are going far or near, have copies of your information on your person, in your luggage, everywhere. Because a trip to the US Embassy is not a fun time!

M- Last question, why a travel blog?

B- When you travel I feel like you meet people who are like-minded, especially if you’re doing the adventure type of travel. You just get to meet the most incredible people from around the world, I mean we have new best friends in London, in the UK, in Australia!  The people we have met have changed our lives, and I think that’s the most incredible thing about travel is meeting new people, experiencing different ways of life, and allowing that to change you.  By doing a travel blog I feel that the people that visit the travel blog are like-minded, so I would love to meet all of you!  I can’t wait to hear your stories, and hear all about your travels.

Do you have any questions for Brandilee? Holla 'attcha girl and ask in the questions below!


Friday

It's the FREAKIN' WEEKENDER: Washington, D.C.

Our Nation’s Capital can be a perfect spot to get away for a weekend.  D.C. has so much to offer with its rich history, abundance of museums, plenty of sports teams, great dining, and a whole lot more.  Washington, D.C. is actually where we took our first weekend trip together, so it holds a special place in our hearts.  As always, this Weekender review is based on suggestions from locals and our own personal experience, so if we missed something, be sure to tell us in the comments section!  Without further ado, let’s spend a weekend in Washington, D.C.!

There is enough to do in DC to fill up weeks, so don’t try and do it all! You’ll burn yourself out and end up feeling like you didn’t truly see something along the way.  We suggest doing/seeing one or two big things per day and really enjoying them, that way you get a great experience, and you get to go back on a different trip to see the things you missed the first time.

We stayed in DuPont circle, a great neighborhood just north of downtown that was close enough to everything but also had plenty of places to eat, drink, and check out right around our hotel. We ate dinner at La Tomate, which offered great Italian food in an outdoor setting. The prices were reasonable but it was really the ambiance that gives this place the stars. Excellent for people watching and enjoying a meal on a summer night.

If this is a first trip to DC, we highly recommend seeing some of the historical sights on that first day.  Most of the big monuments are within walking distance of each other, so seeing them all is very realistic.  We chose to take a picture by the White House, pay our respects at the National WWII Memorial, check out the Lincoln Reflecting pool, and enjoy a picnic under the Washington Monument. (Apparently, we picnic a lot on vacations!)

Next, it was off to our one museum of the day, the International Spy Museum.  A smaller museum than the Smithsonian’s, the Spy Museum allows the visitors to get an up close and personal look at some of the operations that shaped the world we live in today. Showcasing both real and fictional intelligence missions, the Spy Museum is a James Bond lover’s paradise (which Brandilee is, so she was in heaven).

Other favorite museums (however, they were not visited on this specific trip) include: The Newseum- the interactive museum of news and journalism. As we both work in the TV industry, this place is like a candy store to us! Insider tip: this is not a museum you can roll in and out in an hour. If you are going to commit to visiting here then give yourself an ample amount of time.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden- contemporary art museum located beside the National Mall. Insider tip: It is always FREE! This is just one of DC’s many FREE museums- a great way to experience the city on a budget!

A must see for two baseball fans was Nationals Park.  Opened in 2008 and located in the Navy Yard area of DC, Nationals Park is one of the nicer ballparks we have been to.  In addition, the folks on the Jumbotron do a heck of a job keeping the crowd engaged with giveaways, features, games, and a lot more.  This is coming from a couple people who work in TV, and have been to a lot of baseball games, they get top marks.  The park has continued to add new spots to enjoy some great eats, for the latest on where you can get more than a hot dog check out DC Eater's Stadium Dining Guide for Nationals Park

Go to a day game so you can enjoy dinner at the Navy Yard. We would recommend a spot to go; however, the place we had dinner is no longer in business! By the looks of it, the Navy Yard has recently had a boom of new restaurants and bars. Awesome! The view down on the water is beautiful so you are guaranteed to have that! YOU will have to let US know how the new food scene is!

Other Tid-Bits
-Travel and Leisure magazine recently spotlighted the best brunch spots in D.C. so give them a peek and add them to your list!
-The Cherry Blossom Festival is on our bucket list! It usually takes place in late March/early April and promises Instagram worthy pictures #nature
-If you are a beer lover be sure to check out The Black Squirrel . A low-key dive vibe bar with a great selection of domestic and international beers!

Hope these tips can help you on your next weekend getaway. Till next weekend- Happy Travels!


Have you been to DC recently? Are you from DC? Share the travel wealth and let us know what we missed! Email info@marriedwithjetlag.com or leave a comment below!