Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scenes from the Ballpark

One of the things we were unable to do this summer was take a vacation, just the four of us.  We traveled a few places (seems as though the boys traveled more than we did!) but none of those destinations was for the purpose of a fun family time, just us.  And can I be honest?  I'm really bummed about it.  I had a couple different ideas at the beginning of the summer but nothing came to fruition, primarily due to other summer obligations/schedules.  

With time seeping away from us, and a schedule that wasn't letting up, we had to make do with what we had.  One item that we had yet to cross off our Summer List was attending a baseball game, and seeing that the Twins would be playing in Detroit for a three-game series, we pulled off something that looked a little bit like a super-short family getaway.  Not a vacation.  Not always "fun."  But it's something, and at this point in the summer, we'll take it!

We traveled into Detroit last Thursday (the 22nd) morning, heading for the 1:00 game at Comerica Park.  It was exciting for a couple different reasons: 1) our first visit to this ballpark and 2) the boys' first major league baseball game.  A bummer we couldn't make it happen when we lived in Minnesota, but at least we saw the Twins!

And that's about where the excitement ended.  Let's just say this trip wasn't our brightest, shiniest moment as parents, or as a family.  We met up with some circumstances beyond our control that proved to be frustrating for everyone, but we also learned a handful of lessons whilst {some of us} were crying our eyes out.

1)  When traveling to Detroit for a ball game, plan on arriving downtown at least two hours prior to game time, just to battle traffic and find parking.  The hour that you have currently allotted yourself will not be adequate.  {Yep, we drove around downtown in both Tiger AND Lions traffic (might be smart to check the football schedule as Ford Field is directly across the street from Comerica Park) for over an hour trying to find a parking spot, eventually finding one approximately 10 blocks away that resulted in us missing the first 1 1/2 innings of the ball game.}

2)  Sitting in the non-shaded outfield seats for an afternoon game on an 85 degree day is NOT SMART.  The children are hot, especially after having walked from the car, Mama is hot, Daddy is sweating...and we all know how we get when we're hot!  Expect whining.  From everyone.

3)  In order to try to beat the heat, go ahead and cough up the cash to purchase ice cold beverages and treats.  However, an ICEE may not be the way to go.  Children who are unable to manage the movement of the straw while slurping is going to cause even greater distress.

4)  Rooting for the opposing team is awkward.  But cheer loud anyway, dang it!

So, as you can see... it was a rough afternoon... so long as we could get the boys to sit still, they managed okay at times, but Drew made it very clear that he hated baseball and he was never coming back.  At some point in the latter half of the game, we handed our phones over to the boys to take pictures.  WHY we did not think of this sooner, I do not know, because it provided at least a few minutes of distraction, and dare I say, JOY.

It's a hoot to see things through their eyes.  Here, have a look.  (Pictures taken by both boys.)

 {Hey look, another Twins fan!}

 {And another one!}

The afternoon wasn't a total loss.  The Twins won (whoop!), we were filmed for Minnesota TV (although it doesn't sound like our footage was aired, at least not during the game), and the people that were sitting around us tolerated our moods and our opposing cheers.

When we had purchased our game tickets, we decided to also reserve a room at a hotel to spend the night.  I wasn't going to get a long weekend vacation or a weeklong vacation this summer, but I'll take at least one night away!  And kudos to my travel agent (Brad!) for finding this place!  A family friendly hotel with not just a pool, but a waterpark inside!

The day ended a LOT better than how it began!  The boys swam until the pool closed (at 9:00) then we headed to bed.  

There was only one thing on the agenda for Friday:

And this made Mama very, VERY happy.  I have been wanting to make a shopping trip here since we moved, and I was so excited to finally be able to purchase a few things for the house.  And would you believe it???....the boys were in a waaaaayyyyyy better mood to be shopping than to be watching baseball!  The boys did great (all three of them!) and were rewarded with ice cream cones after sticking with me for two hours of looking and deciding and buying.

Our overnight wasn't a total loss, as difficult as our time at the ballpark was.  These overnight trips certainly are a lot easier to pack for and are a lot easier to manage with a lot on our schedule.  Despite how it began, it ended with gratefulness (at least for me!) that we even are able to do this much.  

That said, plans for next summer are already being discussed!

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