• Exterior overview of a large hotel building with text overlaying it that says, "My experience at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Salem, Oregon."
    hotel review,  Oregon

    My experience at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Salem, Oregon

    For my first visit to a Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball game, I sought a hotel that split the distance between the ballpark and downtown Salem (read about my visit to the ballpark here).  The DoubleTree Hotel Salem in northeast Salem was ideal.  It is about 15 minutes from the stadium and 10 minutes to the Oregon State Capitol.  Additionally, the hotel is 5 minutes from the Oregon State Fair Expo Center. One king with sofa bed and sitting area Traveling with my wife, we opted for a king room.  There is plenty of space for a small carry-on suitcase and two computer bags/backpacks.  The room is divided into a sitting area…

  • Overview of a baseball stadium from the outfield facing the grandstand with text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Hillsboro Hops."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Hillsboro Hops – July 23, 2019

    The Hillsboro Hops came into existence in 2013, and quickly connected the franchise to Portland’s craft brewing industry.  The team’s name honors Portland as one of America’s craft beer epicenters.  For the uninitiated, hops are a plant used to brew beer.  More specifically, hops are a flower that provide aroma and bitterness to beer.  For people who love baseball and craft beer Hillsboro may be the hoppiest place on earth. Arriving at the ballpark Ron Tonkin Field, home of the Hillsboro Hops, is located on the western edge of metropolitan Portland.  It is approximately 15 miles from downtown, which takes 25 to 40 minutes by car depending on traffic.  The…

  • Aerial overview of a baseball field with an interstate in the background and text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes – July 19, 2019

    Like many Minor League teams the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are the center of a development plan.  For years Keizer mayor Dennis Koho and community leaders sought to boost their local economy.  Ultimately they began looking for a Minor League team to anchor a shopping complex on the edge of town.  The plan came to fruition when the owners of the Bellingham Giants agreed to relocate their franchise, which gave birth to the Volcanoes in 1997. Arriving at the ballpark Although Volcanoes Stadium is visible from I-5, it is not as easy to reach as it appears.  Fans turn onto Stadium Drive and then navigate through Keizer Station shopping center before arriving…

  • Overview of a room with several wooden picnic benches and a large bar in the background. Text overlaying image says "A pint at Sun King Brewery (Section sign) Indianapolis, Indiana."
    craft beer,  Indiana

    A pint at Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis, Indiana

    The ownership group of Sun King Brewery includes five people, but Dave Colt and Clay Robinson stand front and center as the pair who drive the bus.  The pair’s long history in the Indianapolis beer scene led them to start their own brewery in 2009, which is now the second-largest brewer in Indiana. Brewery’s history Colt and Robinson met while working at Ram Restaurant & Brewery.  Eventually Robinson quit his job and turned his attention to opening a production brewery.  In search of a head brewer, Robinson turned to Colt and the duo began developing what would become Sun King Brewery.  The ownership group expanded to include Clay’s father Omar,…

  • Map of Oregon and Washington State with multiple baseball team logos and text overlaying that says "Pacific Northwest Baseball Road Trip."
    ballparks,  craft beer,  travel

    Pacific Northwest baseball road trip preview

    With my wife Katie enrolled in a graduate certificate program, we knew that our summer travels would take us to the Pacific Northwest.  Naturally this meant I got to plan a Pacific Northwest baseball road trip!  Katie will spend a month in Portland, Oregon, before I meet her there.  We will spend a week together in Portland before traveling to Seattle, Washington.  In Seattle, we will work together at a sports camp, and she will do more work to complete her certification.  So our Pacific Northwest baseball road trip will span two states and four weeks. Baseball games Our travels in Oregon and Washington are built around my wife’s academic/work…

  • Overview of a large, brick house and a brick church with a patio in between them. Text overlays the image saying "A pint at Urban Artifact in Cincinnati, Ohio.
    craft beer,  Ohio

    A pint at Urban Artifact in Cincinnati, Ohio

    There are a lot of spaces that are ideal for hosting a brewery.  Opening a brewery in a former church continues to be more common.  The space is usually quite large, which is ideal for brewing beer.  The group behind Urban Artifact initially planned to open its facility in a former brewery.  However, the current space allowed the group to open significantly earlier, which led to the change of plans. Brewery’s history Urban Artifact encompasses many things.  It includes a brewery, an event space, a music venue, and a radio station.  Bret Kollman Baker and Scotty Hunter, who attended Ohio University together and studied engineering, oversee the brewery.  Eventually they…

  • Diagonal view of a bar top with text overlaying that says "3 Points Urban Brewery (Section Sign) Cincinnati, Ohio."
    craft beer,  Ohio

    A pint at 3 Points Urban Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio

    An equilateral triangle possesses three sides of equal length and three congruent internal angles.  3 Points Urban Brewery brings together three equally important components to offer craft beer drinkers a unique experience in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Pendleton in Cincinnati, Ohio. Brewery’s history A few years ago development firm Model Group and hospitality group Hickory Wald sought to open a brewery in Pendleton.  Ultimately that led to a pair of brewers from Cincinnati mainstay Rhinegeist Brewery seeking to make their own mark to join the yet-to-be-named brewery.  Head brewer Patrick Mulrey and brewer Caleb Ochs-Naderer are responsible for the beers people consume at the brewery.  Despite the notoriety the brewers…

  • Overview of a living room into a patio with a textbook overlaying it that says "My experience at The Guild Cincinnati at The Banks."
    hotel review,  Ohio

    My experience at The Guild Cincinnati at The Banks

    During a recent business trip to Cincinnati, I was searching for a unique accommodation near downtown.  I ended up finding The Guild Cincinnati at The Banks.  The Guild offers apartment-style accommodations in prime locations.  The Guild Cincinnati at The Banks is a two-minute walk from Great American Ball Park and a five-minute walk to Paul Brown Stadium.  Visitors have several restaurants within walking distance ranging from quick eats like Jimmy John’s to craft beer-focused Yard House. 2-bedroom Although I was traveling by myself, I ended up choosing a two-bedroom.  It is approximately 1,300 square feet and has a king-size bedroom, a queen-size bed, and a sleeper sofa that can sleep…

  • Overview of multiple 12-story buildings with text overlaying image that says "My experience at the Courtyard Indianapolis Downtown."
    hotel review,  Indiana

    My experience at the Courtyard Indianapolis Downtown

    For my first visit to Indianapolis, I was looking for a hotel in downtown so I could walk to the Indianapolis Indians baseball game (read about my visit to the ballpark here).  The Courtyard Indianapolis Downtown was an ideal choice for a downtown hotel.  The hotel is a five-minute walk to Victory Field, a five-minute walk to the sights in White River State Park, an eight-minute walk to the Indiana Convention Center, and a thirteen-minute walk to Lucas Oil Stadium.  The hotel is a short drive to several tourist attractions.  For example, it is an eleven-minute drive to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, a twelve-minute drive to Indianapolis Motor Speedway,…

  • Overview of a baseball field with text saying "My night with the Gwinnett Stripers" overlaying the image.
    ballparks,  Georgia

    My night with the Gwinnett Stripers – June 19, 2019

    There are a lot of reasons to revisit a ballpark.  A fan may return regularly to a stadium because its his favorite team.  Another fan may return regularly because its the closest ballpark to her house.  I returned to Coolray Field recently because I wanted to see the re-branded Gwinnett Stripers.  Before the 2018 season, the Gwinnett Braves ditched their parent club’s moniker in favor of a more unique identity as the Stripers.  I previously wrote about attending a G-Braves game in 2014 (read it here), but felt like I needed to revisit Coolray Field to see what changed following the team’s re-branding. Arriving at the ballpark Like many places…