Gina, the boys and I were in Northern Virginia earlier this week, which meant we got to see Katie, Joe and Ella. This past weekend was Ella's birthday, and we were able to give her some birthday presents. The boys gave her a Strawberry Shortcake t-shirt and scratch-n-sniff book. Gina and I gave her a book about the U.S. presidents. I know, you are probably thinking this is not an appropriate gift for two-year old. But Ella is not your average toddler because she is VERY smart! And at the rate she is going, she will probably be president one day. Personally, I think she will love the book, and I know Joe will love reading it to her.

Later that night, Katie and I got to see the Red Sox play the Nationals at Nationals Park. I became a Red Sox fan when they played the Mets in the World Series in 1986, mainly because of a young, tough-as-nails Texan on the team named Roger Clemens. I followed the Red Sox off and on for the next several years, but my good friend Mike Palaza got me hooked for good. I have never met someone so passionate about a team, and I soon discovered there are thousands ... maybe millions ... more just like him. This has never been so true as it was in Nationals Park on Tuesday. Not only did the Red Sox fans outnumber the Nationals fans about 5-1 (or more), but they helped set an attendance record for the new ballpark. The game was filled with chants of "Let's go Red Sox!" and the place would erupt anytime there was a hit, score or nice play in the field. This was one of the most fun games I have ever been to! And of couse I got to hang out with my sister for the evening, which made it even better. I've been to 2 Red Sox games in my life, and Katie has taken me to both of them.

It's one thing to attend a game at Fenway and see how fired up the fans get over baseball. You would expect that from a home game, though not all teams enjoy such loyal fans (the Nationals have a way to go in that category), but Tuesday night was all the proof I needed to confirm that Red Sox Nation is indeed alive and well.