Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vacation, Ballgame, and Cards Good vs Bad

This is going to be an epic long post. Not only will it be as almost as long as the stuff Collective Troll writes it may even be longer. If you stick with it long enough though you will get to a ballgame and some cards.

This weekend the family took a trip to Chicago to see the Red Sox take on the White Sox. It was kind of a last minute decision to do it so not much planning went into it other than we were leaving on Saturday, watching the game Sunday and coming home after the game. (we decided to do this Thursday night) Unfortunately my 10year old who is a White Sox fan was at his mom’s and could not go. I wouldn’t have gone because of this but I have taken my five year old to a game every year since he was born. Usually I take him to KC but this year I can’t because of work. Chicago is the next closest place they play. I know he is going to be disappointed but I’ll take the older one some other time. So here is a basic good/bad rundown of the weekend.

Saturday morning we got off to a late start. Bad
Planned on leaving at 7 but had to stop by Wal-Mart for road trip snacks first.

Already out of town when I remembered that I hadn’t fed the dog before we left. Good
How can that be good? Because when I went in the house I saw that my son left his PSP next to the door. We had a long drive ahead of us that would have been even longer without it.

Kids fell asleep just after leaving. Excellent!!
If I have to explain this one you don’t have and have never been around kids before.

Five year-old wakes up after two hours. Push
He was quietly playing PSP so it was like he was asleep.

Wife has to use the restroom. Bad
Two year old only sleeps in the car when it is moving. So now everyone is awake so at least everyone can use the facilities at the same time. Have to admit the Rest Stop had the coolest sink ever. You put your hands under the faucet and it sprayed them with soap, and then turned on the water, after a set amount of seconds the air dryer came on. Don’t know who was more impressed me if my five year old. Don’t laugh we live in a really small town.

The drive was pretty uneventful. Thank God!!
We packed a lunch so the only other time we had to stop was to get gas and visit the restroom again. I made the supposed nine hour drive in a little over eight hours with two kids. I would have never dreamed it.

Took Shatner’s advice and Pricelined our room at the Marriott for $50. Bad
Priceline leaves off all of the other fees taxes BS when they give you the price. So our $50 room was really $64 plus a $10 parking fee. Wouldn’t be the last time parking got me either.

We thought “wouldn’t it be cool to take the kids to the Sears Tower” No
Kids weren’t impressed and it was a two and a half hour wait to go to the top.

We decided to go to the Navy Pier instead. Bad Bad Bad!!!!
Now I never even heard of the place but my wife found a flier for it and we thought the kids would like it. Now on the map it is only about an inch away and that is supposed to be like 10 miles… But in the middle of those 10 miles we ran into roads being closed for a parade and for some kind of filming. So after many one way streets, U-Turns, and much cussing we found our way to a huge traffic jam at the Navy pier.

I finally see a parking garage and cut off a bus and a cab driver to get to it. Bad
Did I mention that I was on a budget? As soon as I start to pull in I see the $24 parking sign but it is too late to back up. A whole row of cars cut off the bus and cab right behind me. Now I’m forced to flush the $24.

But it is for the kids; at least they will have fun. Really? NO
The kid’s museum was closed for remodeling. So that leaves the faris wheel and carousel. But the faris wheel is too high… All in all after parking it was the most expensive carousel ride ever.

So we plan to get something to eat and get back to the hotel before the pool closes. Along the way my two- year old has to “go now” and the closest thing is a Popeye’s. We struck out with the Sears Tower and Navy Pier so we decide we might as well eat there to save time so we don’t miss the pool. Anyone seeing a trend yet? Fail
It takes the morons working there almost 20 minutes to put 8 pieces of already cooked chicken in a bag and 2 chicken tenders in another. On top of that the lady at the register was really unfriendly a bitch. The people in front of us had to wait also (imagine that) and when theirs was ready she yelled to the across the place that it was done. Evidently they didn’t react fast enough for her because she then proceeded to tell them that they were” going to get real hungry after I throw your food in the trash.”

We got our food, got to the hotel, ate, swam, went to bed without incident. Got up dressed the kids in their Red Sox best and ate breakfast at Dunkin and proceeded to the game. We pull up to the lot and wouldn’t you know it $23. Sigh
In KC it is $7, boo White Sox.

We got there early for BP and wouldn’t you know it no BP, just relievers doing sprints. One by one they all go to the clubhouse except for one guy I didn’t recognize. Not only did I not recognize him but the rest of the few hundred Red Sox fans standing there didn’t either. He walked up to sign autographs and most people didn’t even offer him anything to sign. My kids did though they each got a ball signed. Last year we didn’t get any autos in KC (first time we were ever shut out) so he was really glowing when the guy signed his ball. Now I figured that it was some minor league guy that got called up because I don’t recognize him at all but decide to go ahead and have him sign my batting helmet. (I always bring a batting helmet to get signed because silver Sharpe looks awesome on it) No other kids were around so he took it and to my surprise…

The picture doesn’t do it justice. It looks so much better in person. I honestly had no idea it was Billy Wagner. He had about a week’s beard growth and seemed really short so I was shocked. He did an awesome job on the signature too. He signed it so much neater than he signed the two kid’s baseballs plus he added the 13. I think he knew that it was going to look great and took his time. Thank You Billy Wagner!!!!

So the game gets under way, everything is great. Even the hot dogs are on sale for $1 each. So the game gets under way, everything is great. Even the hot dogs are on sale for $1 each all weekend. GOOD
A Chicago fan behind me in line tells me it is because everyone knows that everything at Fenway is way overpriced so the White Sox wanted to give us Red Sox fans a break. What a smart ass.

Lowell and Martinez both hit homers and the sox end up winning 6-1. Awesome Win.
Can’t ask for much better than that, although one of my new favorite Sox gave up a one run shot.
Funny thing is when I usually go to a Red Sox game it is in Kansas City. In KC there are usually just as many Red Sox fans if not more than Royal fans at the game. In Chicago Red Sox Nation was a little out numbered. Although it was hard to tell for sure because everybody was talking about the Sox and many Red Sox shirts/jerseys are white (like the one I was wearing)
Anyway there were all kinds of people at he game. I mean all kinds. The couple to my left were in their 80s, a lesbian couple sat two rows in front of me, some guy in a Mets jersey was behind me along with two old Cubs fans that complained that Red Sox spent to much money on the team. (I wanted to say isn't Chicago the 3rd biggest market in baseball?) On top of all that one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen sat just in front of me. Good
She is easily on my Top 10 Hottest Girls I Have Seen In Person List. What can I say with me everything has to be ranked and filed. This list is just filed in my head. It goes something like this:

1. Girl at 2002 ATVMX National North Carolina
2. Girl at Red Sox game 3 years ago
3. Girl at Tyson fight.

Anyway the girl at the game could have probably broke the top 5 but she had on a White Sox Jersey and that lost her a few places. (Actually the #2 girl had on a Red Sox Jersey and I ended up counting it against her. Here's why: She had on a Trott Nixon jersey and talked Trott into signing it for her FROM THE ON DECK CIRCLE, DURING THE GAME. (That is how hot she was) She then took of the jersey and gave it to her boyfriend. So she gets demoted to #2 for being a fake Red Sox fan.

My wife doesn't read my blog. Good
If she decides to read this one. BAD!

They announced over the loudspeaker that the White Sox really care about the environment and for every 25 cups you turn in you get a free something… (Like they are not going to sweep them all up at the end of the day anyway) So we thought it would be a good idea to have the kids pick some up and get a free White Sox something for my son that didn’t get to come. Fail
Turns out you have to pick up 125 to get anything with White Sox on it. While picking up cups my two year old came up to me carrying a whole armful of empty beer bottles. (And I mean armful, she had at least a six pack) As soon as I saw her with them I had visions of her being posted on FailBlog as a parenting fail and we quit short of the prize.

Now we planned on driving home after the game but we also planned on stopping at a Wal-Mart or Target to get some Christmas tee-shirts for my son. I figured that it would be cheaper than anything I could buy over the internet. Bad
Yes it was cheaper but also very, very time consuming. I should have went tone Wal-Mart and stopped but at that first one they had this really nice shirt but didn’t have it in his size so we stopped at another one and another one pretty soon it is almost 8:00.

We give up on the particular shirt and head home. We pass a White Castle and my son says, “Daddy can we please go there? They have these little bitty burgers and they are soooo good.” I tell him yes. Bad again.
Not a bad decision like most of you are probably thinking. I actually like White Castle and never get to eat there. There isn’t one for at least 3 hours from home and how my son remembered eating at one like three years before that is beyond me. Where we ran into the problem is I told him I would stop at the next one. Forty miles down the road the kids are still screaming for their food when I finally spot one.

So I pull up to the speaker and start to order with kids crying in the backseat and my patience is already worn real thin from listening to a half hour of crying. The lady taking my orders is whispering into the thing and I have two kids crying, I don’t hear a jack. I ask her like 8 times to repeat herself and then lost it. I felt bad afterward because it wasn’t her fault but I told the lady that if she couldn’t figure out how to talk and take my order I was going to come inside and do it for her. It did work though because she got it all figured out and seconds later we were on our way. Well sort of on our way. My wife got sick last time she ate at Whit Castle and refuses to eat there so we went to an Arby’s right next door. I pull up the speaker and…. Bad
Well let’s just say the guy would have fit in better as a gas station attendant than a fast food worker and I was back to my not understanding wtf was being said.

I realized that we were not going to be able to drive all the way home that night when we didn’t leave Chicago till almost 9PM. I figured that I would drive to Springfield though so I wouldn’t have to drive so far on Monday. Nope didn’t work. Bad
Not only are we on a budget that didn’t include another night in a motel not to mention an extra days worth of food but when we get to Springfield there are no rooms. Every hotel/motel parking lot is full of motorcycles. I don’t’ know what was going on in town but we were not staying there.

So we keep driving and come across a sign for Art’s Motel. I figure how bad can it be …
I knew it was old when I pulled up. But kind of figured I was running out of options. I go in and pay the guy and it is only $45, so far so good right? I tell the guy I want to see the room first. So I go to the room and it… isn’t bad at all. I can tell it is old because the bathroom sink is made of little black and white pebbles pressed into mortar and the knobs are square but it has new carpet, paint, and furniture. Totally acceptable so I go pay the guy. As I step out of the office I step right on a cat. Guess what color it happened to be??? Yep.

So I carry my two half asleep kids to the room and ask them both if either needs to go to the bathroom blah blah blah
and then go get the suitcases out of the car. I carry the first one in and guess what? Not only did one kid have an accident but they both did not 2 minutes after I asked them if they had to go. Now I am in a pretty tight spot. Nobody has gone to bed yet and both kids wet the bed.

Little kids are short Good
The foot of the bed became the head of the bed problem solved.

So I carry in the rest of the stuff and notice doors to other rooms start to open and people are looking out at me. Now I’m at a run-down motel, with my wife and two little kids, with a bunch of freaky neighbors, and I just stepped on a black cat. Bad
As I lay there trying to fall asleep I keep thinking “I hope this isn’t that motel from Hostel.” I considered dragging the dresser in front of the door but figure they had a trap door in the movie and went to sleep instead.

Well nothing happened we all got a good night’s sleep and were off in the morning. We decide to stop in St Louis and to go to the zoo. Good
Why, it is free. Zoo free?? After the 190something World’s Fair the land was donated to the city with the stipulation that they couldn’t charge anyone to use it. So it is filled with a bunch of cool old building from the fair and it is free. Now I have taken the kids to about 20 zoos, I even took them to the San Diego Zoo, and the St Louis zoo has them all beat. Not just on price either. It is the best zoo in the US period.

We get to zoo and something is different. Bad
They are doing construction on the street in front of the zoo where the free parking is and we have to pay to park. (If you are keeping track that is $70 to park my car this weekend)

Our zoo trip is going good. We go to see the apes… Good
Now the monkeys are my favorite part of the zoo (along with poison dart frogs) but that isn’t why it was good this time. An orangutan found a rock and I guess he thought it would be a good idea to throw it at the glass window to his exhibit. Crash. He shattered it. Well spider webbed it I should say. The zookeepers said there was nothing to worry about but hey sure evacuated the area quick. That will add a little excitement to a zoo trip. It isn’t the first time it happened to us either. Last time we were there a cheetah escaped. Evidently the farthest a cheetah is supposed to be able to jump is 10 feet but theirs cam jump over 15.

There is now a Build-A-Bear at the zoo. Bad
Budget remember. My daughter has a new monkey friend she calls ho-ho. (that is as close as she can come to making a monkey noise)

So we leave the zoo and stop in Eureka at a place called Joe’s. Really Good
Joe’s is an authentic Italian restaurant. I don’t’ know what it was really called because it was in Italian but we ordered a shrimp and crab pizza with alfredo sauce and it was awesome. Probably the best pizza I have ever eaten.

So we are driving down the road and my son says “where is my blanket?” EPIC CATASTROPHE
My son got a blanket when he was born. He used to carry it with him everywhere but now only sleeps with it every night. In our rush to get going we left it in the motel five hours away.

So it is off to Wal-Mart to replace an irreplaceable object. He settles for a blue throw and I get a blaster of cards. (See I told you if you stuck around long enough there would be cards) They didn’t have much, 07 08 &09 Topps, 09 A&G, 09 Heritage, and 1 blaster of O-Pee-Chee. Since I already have all the Topps Red Sox and the 09 A&G (thanks to Card Cache), I almost have the entire Heritage I settled for the O-Pee-Chee. Besides it is supposed to be short printed right, and more importantly I like them. Here is the break down.

Pack 1
438 Eddie Gardado
47 Eric Chavez
505 A’s
563 Brian Duensinf RC Black Border
301 Brian Bannister
119 Justin Upton

Pack 2
179 Ryan Spilborhs
HM4 Jeter Highlight
157 Endy Chavez
554 Joe Maur
178 Placido Planco
79 Raul Ibanez

Pack 3
458 Joe Nathen Black Border
573 Ryan Perry
370 David Ortiz (alright a Red Sox)
60 Adam Dunn
228 Alex Hinshaw
256 Brad Lidge

Pack 4
485 Carlos Zambrano
526 Twins
45 Joey Votto Black Border
460 Roy Halladay Best Card of 09??
280 Aramis Ramirez
14 Jason Giambi

Pack 5
Getting late giving up on numbers
Kurt Suzuki
Jordan Schafer
Yunel Escobar Black Border
Cha Seung Baek
Jamie moyer
Brian Wilson

Pack 6
Willy Tavaras
Jody Gerut black Border
Lincecum (giving up on first names also)

Pack 7
Bush Black Border
MM4 Ichiro
Giving up on pack numbers
FF8 Zambrano (Face of the Franchise)
Lopez Black Border
Win Leaders
Smoltz (Red Sox)(Sort of)
Wainright Black order MINI
Orioles Black Border
Rasmus (dude looks 12)
Billingsley Black Border
Papelbon (Red Sox again)
Michales Black Border
Sanchez BlackBorder
AW5 Rollins Award Show
Y Molina
Beckett (Red Sox)
Bench (20th ann card)(at least it isn’t a YSL)
Ryan Black Border
C Lee
J Wilson
Jakubauskas (WTF)
Ankiel BlackBorder
C Pena
McGowan Black Border
HomeRun leaders
B Giles

4 Red Sox and a bunch of trade bait.

Rest of the trip went fine. Home by 9:30 kids in bed by 10. Posting till 3AM. Weekend was good.

Okay so maybe this isn't quite as long as some of the Troll's Stuff.

*I found the number for the motel and they are shipping the blanket to me. GREAT


Collective Troll said...

Dude, what a great story!!! It totally reminded me of driving my son to Miami to watch the NLCS when he was 3... When I read the first line, I thought no way its gonna be that long, but it was pretty long and it had me laughing all the way! Great post!

Matt Runyon said...

Great "road trip" post!

AdamE said...

It was pretty long. I don't have any idea how you can do that over and over again. That took me like 2 hours to write.

Play at the Plate said...

Very nice! It was worth the read!

SpastikMooss said...

haha I loved that bit about the hot white sox girl. I actually started doing student teaching at a school today and the aide in the classroom I work in is the hottest teacher EVER. like...not even close. Seeing as she's the first person I saw post work, I told my girlfriend haha. Luckily she's understanding.