Planes, Trains and buses

It is amazing the convenience of chartering a flight. No long check-in or security lines. You literally step off the bus and climb the stairs to the plane. This is clearly a huge advantage for the Nationals, or any professional sports team that spends this much time on the road. Minimize distractions and down time and allow the guys to recharge for the few hours they’re away from the park.

There’s only one team plane, so the players, staff and media are all together now. Many of the football scores that they were checking in the clubhouse have now gone final, and with fantasy implications aplenty, talk tends to focus on the surprise performances from week one, or the upcoming Redskins game later that night. Just from overhearing some of the guys’ conversations, it’s clear they are sports fans–not just baseball fans–in the truest sense.

On your way to your seat, you pass a number of coolers with Gatorade and waters, or snack baskets with assorted chips. One member of the traveling party noted that this is the best time to load up on snacks and drinks for the entire trip. We’re clearly underprepared to reap the full benefits of this bounty–for our next road trip, we’ll be sure to bring a bigger carry-on.

Speaking of carry-on luggage, pitcher Miguel Batista seems to be toting something other than the customary backpack or laptop case. It looks like a musical instrument case, but it’s not entirely clear what instrument. We’ll try to get to the bottom of it by the end of this trip.

Now for the good stuff:  They actually provide a choice of meals on the flight, and not those dinky snack boxes you get on some airlines these days. We’re talking rotisserie chicken, chicken Caesar salad or crab cakes. Against our better judgment (again, we’re biased based on our prior experiences with standard airline fare), we opted for the crab cakes, and were pleasantly surprised. A round of cookies followed–the chocolate chip earns full marks. We were told there’d be parfaits and candy too, but, out to the right side of the plane – there’s the Atlanta skyline which means it’s time to land. Maybe the candy and parfait will be parting gifts when we de-plane.

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