Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Day 30 - Wrigley Field

Wow, what a day! I arrived by train in Chicago at 930 at met up with my wife, her sister, and her mother. They made the trip from Edmonton to share this day with me.  

After lunch we made our way to Wrigley. 

It was 3 hours before game time but the streets were already filled with blue. The vibe here is amazing, even my non baseball fan sister in law was impressed. 

The rooftops

We went to Murphy's for a beer. It's a great spot outside the centre field gate. 

And yes, I ate a hot dog too! 

This view never gets old

Unlike other parks where people are still filtering into their seats in the 2nd inning, at Wrigley fans are in their seats before the 1st pitch. 

What a great place to watch a game. The crowd is into every pitch, there are no signs telling you to clap or make noise, there are no hot dogs racing around the park, and again the view...

I was also fortunate to have a buddy fly in from Hong Kong to join us. 

My sister organized a gift bag for me that arrived in the 5th inning.

The game was great, Bryant hit a home run onto Waveland Ave, and there were some outstanding defensive plays.  Harry Carey sang the stretch, and the Cubs won. I'm now 1-6 at Wrigley. 

It was an outstanding way to end my adventure, watching a baseball game in the best park in baseball while being able to share it with family and friends.

We'll catch another game from the bleachers today.  As Ernie Banks would say "let's play two!" 








Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Day 29 - Milwaukee

I made it to Miller Park (no relation) 

Being the next to final stop of this trip all I could think about was what was coming up tomorrow. It's Wrigley Field eve!  And I get to see my wife! And....I'm turning 40. 

But first things first, I have a ball game to watch. The roof at Miller Park is retractable and very large. 

I'm jealous of the people who get to play ball in this nearby park

Walking around the outside you can get glimpses of the field. 

The roof looks even bigger from the inside.

There's a slide in left field but you have to be a mascot to use it. Bernie the Brewer will slide down this after every Brewer home there is a bit of dust on it. 

There's a climbing wall in right field that is open to the public.

My seats were behind home plate, I almost got a foul ball. One landed 4 seats to my left, It wouldn't have felt right to take out a mother and her daughter to get it. 

One of the great things in this park is that broadcast Bob Eucker calling the game over speakers in the concourses. You can actually here him from your seat if you are in the last few rows of each section.

The game was good and went 12 innings.  The home team lost but they're not my home team so it didn't bother me.

Now it's 7 am and I'm at the train station. Big day ahead, my wife, her sister and mom will meet me in Chicago. I also have a buddy flying in from Hong Kong for the game.  Plus the big 40 at Wrigley and the end of this incredible trip. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it. 










Monday, 8 August 2016

Day 28 - Chicago (White Sox)

I made it to Chicago, not that Chicago, the southside, home of the White Sox.  

I have to say, this is the first time I've been disappointed walking into a ballpark. 

In every other park, no matter where you're seated, you have access to all other levels (except the clubs).  This allows you (at any time) to walk on the lower levels, get a nice view of the field, take a walk around the park, etc.

Not here, I was on the upper deck and was restricted to that deck. Walking in I was kept outside the park until I made my way up to the 5th deck and had to stay there.

I could see the lower level thru a window 

There was some decent tailgate action in the parking lot

And a nice view of downtown 

I found some more barriers 

And then found the park

Sitting and watching the game allowed to to reflect, I really have nothing to complain about. It really is a first world problem and I am super fortunate to be able to do this.

I enjoyed the game and saw a bit of history, Machado hit a home run in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings. He's only the 2nd person ever to do that.  And the Sox lost 10-2, karma sucks. 

Today I'm taking the train up to Milwaukee to see the Brewers at Miller Park, and tomorrow I'm on the train to Wrigley Field.








Sunday, 7 August 2016

Day 27 - St Louis

Sorry Cubs fans, but St Louis was really cool. I had time before the game to check out the arch. It's really impressive. I thought was made of stone but it's actually stainless steel. 

I then made my way down to the park

Ball Park Village is an area outside left field that is open to the public.

There's a really big sports bar 

There's a green space and playground that broadcasts the game on the big screen for those that do not have tickets

There's a rooftop seating area to watch the game from. I wonder where they got that idea. 

I met a father and son from Indianapolis that drive up for the game. There are three generations of baseball fans in this picture. 

There was also a nice are with statues of past Cardinals players 

I was deep into enemy territory in this park. Can you see the Cubs fan in the  sea of red? Like my buddy Paul said, I had to be strong, the force is strong in the dark side.

Again, some more awesome views from inside the park.

Today I fly into the southside of Chicago to see the White Sox. Tomorrow is Milwaukee and then Tuesday, Wrigley Field.













Saturday, 6 August 2016

Day 26 - Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh did not disappoint. 
I got into town just after 11 and found myself in the centre of the city wide regatta festival. There was live music and food trucks everywhere. 

PNC park is located just across the river from downtown 

On game days they shut down the Roberto Clemente bridge to vehicles. This is what it looked like 3 hours before game time

The streets around the were turned into a huge block party with live music and food trucks.

The view from inside the park was the best yet. 

I also had a nice dinner

Like San Francisico, they have kayakers trying to catch some home run balls

The Pittsburgh fans make an all day event out of their ball games, it was a lot of fun and to top it off  game ended with a walk off home run.

Today I'm in St Louis, it will be fun wearing a Cubs hat into that stadium. Maybe I should bring extra just in case anyone wants to jump on the bandwagon.