The Parks of Fenway and Durgin (#TBT: Aug. 2 2007)

As I mentioned earlier this week, I wanted to give a Throwback Thursday post based on “Before You Were Born.” This post corresponds to ten years and four weeks ago, good buddy!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I woke up at 630 (yay for regularity!)  I journaled partially from yesterday while the others slept.  I didn’t get very far—I only got to Eagle’s Deli.  I’ll try again later!  Everyone was up and ready by 800.  We all headed down to breakfast, and I got made-to-order pancakes and some bagels.  I didn’t listen very heavily in on the conversations.  We left about 915.

Like always, we walked the Park toward the Blue Line and took it to Government Center.  I love having fun on the T with the ding-dongs and the voices on the PA.  The word “Aquarium” makes me chuckle each time—I wonder why I think it’s so funny?  We then took the Green Line to Park Street and headed toward the park and the pond with the swan boats.

We saw Heidi [Pitlor] on a bench near the swan boat pond with her two babies.  They are really cute!  We chatted about the babies for quite some time.  We told her that we were going to the game, and she warned us that there may be very difficult Red Sox fans.  I think we’ll be fine as long as we’re on our guard!

As we sat, several camps came for boat rides, including Boston ROCKS and an Asian expedition.  Mom and I discussed our family’s experience with summer day camps: the YWCA, Bright Lights, and the park programs.  What else can I say?  Oh, yes: we moved to another point in the park because everyone thought that we were in line for the boat rides

The family discussion started then!  Mom shared her experiences with raising me, how Grammy put all of Mom’s child-rearing books in the recycle bin [don’t know whether that was figurative or literal].  The motto here is “Do, don’t think.”  Those kinds of books only seem to be effective on the “average” child, but what is average anyway?  She also touched on my autism.

Of course, pacifiers also entered the conversation.  Tying the pacifier to the bed and kicking my thumb-sucking habit were obviously mentioned by Mom.  It would be interesting: is there a link between smoking and thumb-sucking?  I suppose that thumb-sucking may be normal to some extent: look at Linus from Peanuts!

We chatted about age as well.  Mom talked about how some families go to exotic locations when the kids are very young.  Our first large-scale “vacation” [i.e. excluding trips to places where family rendezvous was the primary objective] wasn’t until Levi was 6, the girls were 8, and I was 10 [ED: It was the AAFP convention in Chicago.]  I still remember it fairly well—the museums, the hotels, and Levi getting his shirt caught in the escalator.  If I have kids, the only places I would go would be Lincoln or family places until they get older.  No exotic places too early!

Some miscellaneous conversations ended, and we made leaving noises upon boarding a Green Line.  It took a few trains to find the “D” branch that led to Fenway, and other cars were sardines as well.  We stopped at a nearby McDonald’s to get some Coke and (tap) water, and it was also a restroom break (go figure).  A little further down the road, we found StubHub and successfully obtained our tickets.

We walked toward Fenway Park, and found an apparel shop.  There was nothing that I wanted, and nobody else got anything either.  We found Gate C, and Levi got a hot dog en route.  Mom also got bottled water for Casey, which made Dad explode in rage (he deems bottled water a waste of money, and I have developed the same aversion due to him).  We continued to the gate, and security checked my sports sack.  Upon having a band attached to it, I was let in.  The concourse wasn’t like other places I’ve been to, except maybe Memorial Stadium.  Concession stands lined both sides, with pillars, and lots of people mingled about.

We ascended a ramp to Section 43, and Row 3 was right in front.  We were in right field, where a berm would be at Haymarket Park.  Around the field, I saw the old-style scoreboard on the left-field wall.  Advertisements were on the Jumbo-tron and scattered throughout.  The words FENWAY PARK were on the top of the clubhouse, along with what were either pennants or retired jerseys.

While Mom and the others looked for food, Dad and I talked about traditions, heat, and several other things.  At about 1250, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown and a ceremony honored Doerr, a previous manager of the Sox, who retired from baseball this year.  It wasn’t until 1310 that the game started.

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It wasn’t too exciting at first!  The Orioles went 1-2-3 in the first.  Although the Sox led off with a walk, two fly-outs and a ground-out left the score zilch-nada.  One interesting thing: Youkilis (#20) gets a “Yooooou!” chant, much like “Ruuuuud!”  In the second inning, the O’s led off with a hit, but then grounded into a double play and then struck out to keep them off the board.  The Sox got a hit and a steal, then a strikeout, and although there were 2 walks afterward, we had 2 outs.  The crowd cheered, “LET’S GO RED SOX!” but the next batter was fanned and he threw his bat to the ground in frustration.

In the third, the O’s once again went down easily, even though they had a hit and a walk after 2 outs.  It did get scary, especially the fly ball that wasn’t necessarily a given out.  On the Sox side, a groundout was followed by a double, RBI single, and then two fly-outs.  We’re up 1-0!

The O’s were retired in order, and then our 7th and 8th batters belted back-to-back homers, putting us all on our feet, screaming in excitement.  However, the inning then ended quickly with a few ground-outs, if I recall correctly.  The O’s responded with a triple, a sacrifice RBI, and several hits.  We stopped them before they could steal a lead, but it was 3-3 at the end of the inning.

Some fun things (not necessarily in chronological order) At the end of the 3rd, they had a reel of Baseball Bloopers, which included bad defensive dives, wild pitches, erroneous catches, tripping over, etc.  Throughout breaks, trivia questions, greetings, and other random things appeared.  The 7th Inning Stretch replaced the words “home team” with the words “Red Sox.”  I think a lot of teams do that if it’s easy to fit in.  Then, at the end of the 8th, the stadium did karaoke to Sweet Caroline.  Another thing: The Sox have outsold-out the Husker football team—Boston is on a 363-game sellout streak! (Granted, that is comparing apples to oranges since Husker football gets 6-7 home games a year, and the Red Sox get 81.)

Back to the game: The staff shut down the O’s offense by going through 9 batters in three innings.  In the sixth, a hit turned into the end of the inning—it was caught and then an attempt to steal home was foiled.  This was considered a 9-3-2 double play!  The seventh inning was an explosion for the Sox, with a hit to lead off.  However, then a 5-3 and a FC left us with two outs.  The Sox then stole base and had four hits in a row before flying out to center field.  We’re up 7-3!  In the ninth, our closer gave strike-out-looking to the first two batters, but three hits in a row made it interesting.  The final batter flied out, and so the SOX WIN, 7-4!

We were all suffering from the heat, and looked for somewhere to relax after the game.  We ended up at Boston University, and eventually ended up at a local coffee shop.  I got sparkling blueberry juice, and others got other sparkling drinks.  The tables were neat—they had comics painted on them.

It was too hot to even think about finishing the Freedom Trail, so we T’d it back to the hotel.  I took the Forbidden Actions which actually felt good.  Then, I managed to catch up on yesterday’s journal before too long.  Fast forward to 20:00, when we decided to head out to dinner.

We took the T to Government Center, and then walked the Quincy Market to Durgin-Park.  We looked at the bar, but figured that we had to go upstairs to order.  It was STEAMING HOT, so the waitress directed us to 3F, which looked much nicer (it was the Faneuil Dining Room).  Our waiter arrived with cornbread, but had no bad times to give.  We were not sure what to think—supposedly the staff is supposed to act mean.

Our conversations were sparse, because of the heat that we endured earlier.  In fact, let me just talk about dinner.  I got baked scrod with bread crumbs, with a baked potato.  The former tasted like chicken.  I think I’m really branching out for my culinary tastes, and that’s a good thing!

Afterward, we walked toward Aquarium, and found a Boston Pedal Party—the odd bike that we saw yesterday.  The conductor took us around as we pedaled on each side.  This thing is a NEAT machine—the driver pedals like a bike but steers like a car.  We had pedals that we could use as much or as little as we wanted.  Oddly enough, this thing is closely related to the Porsche, so… yeah!  It was a lot of fun—that’s for sure!  Back at the hotel, I crashed—tomorrow could be a long day!

>>> TO BE CONTINUED…

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Semester Kickoff: 6 days

Green Bay/St. Norbert: 64 days

Minneapolis: 71 days

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[M.A.P.L.E. VI-31] Riding into the sunset

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Last year, the T-shirts for the Midwest Regional Pokemon tournament showed Eevee and its Evolutions walking off into the sunset, for what was ostensibly the final Midwest Regional tournament.  However, it returned this year, but unfortunately I can’t go to it since it’s this coming weekend, and I’m going to Israel!

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Inbound or outbound?

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Yep, spring break means family or academic excursions for me. No sun, sex, surf, and sloshedness!

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Yesterday, I drove from Lincoln to Kenosha in “one fell swoop.” That is, the only stops I made were 2 gas stops and 3 stops at the john. (Obviously, I would be wise to avoid drinking tea on my next long drive!)

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Unfamiliarly familiar

Although I had planned this post for a few days, the prep for my J-Term course took more grief than I thought! And two of the songs that I heard in the last few days just exacerbated the theme. Sometimes, it pays to wait! 🙂

I heard a song this morning that was particularly popular around March, and it reminded me of a NON-pop song that I heard yesterday on Spotify.

In a Facebook post this morning, I cryptically said, “Once I was 7 years old… stuck by this river.”

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