Thankfully, there are some parks visits I remember with perfect clarity…this is one of those parks!
On May 20, 2006, I was on the treadmill at the gym reading an article on Albert Pujols and his “perfect swing.” I cut my workout short and decided, “I’m going to St. Louis to see Albert Pujols hit a home run.” But, when I got home and looked up their schedule, the Cards were playing the Giants IN San Francisco. I lived in Redwood City, CA, at the time, so, logistically, this was a godsend, but I wanted to see him IN St. Louis!
So, I sat, and pondered another park I wanted to see – of course, I wanted to see Fenway! As luck would have it, they were at home playing the Yankees. In less than two hours, I cashed in airline miles for a ticket leaving the following day, found a ticket to the game on Craigslist that I could retrieve at the Will Call box, and booked a room at a Doubletree Hotel (love their cookies) near the metro – I was good to go!
So, the next day, I was up at the crack of dawn on my way to SFO. I called me Mom to tell her where I was going, and in her half-asleep state said, “You’re going where? To see a Monster?”
By now, my parents have grown somewhat accustomed to my last-minute-random-solo jaunts, and just said, “Call me when you get there.”
So I got into town, checked into the hotel and then set out for a walkabout. I had been to Boston once before and thought it was a beautiful city, and especially “user friendly.” Thank god for that Freedom Trail – it’s like a tour map for dummies – just follow the red line!
I did just that and called my family as I walked by Paul Revere’s House and The Old North Church. I ate lunch at the Union Oyster House (the restaurant that apparently invented the toothpick; http://www.unionoysterhouse.com/) and then reported to Fenway for my ballpark tour. It was beautiful – so steeped in history, and curses and everything in between (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenway_Park).
I had met a couple at the restaurant and even volunteered to take their picture with some giant lobsters, only to get to my seat at game time — three rows from the field along the first base line, closer to right field — and finding that my “friends” from the restaurant were sitting a few rows over…classic!
Sadly, the Yankees won that day. But, the trip was perfect. I still had Albert Pujols on the brain, but that would have to wait for another trip, another time.