My book, My Ballpark Summer: What Taking Myself Out to the Ballgame is available as an eBook and a paperback on Amazon, so please check it out or share it with friends… especially if they’re baseball fans!
I’ll coordinate excerpts of the book with trips I took last year to give you a little sample of what you’ll read should you purchase the book! Last year around this time I was heading to Kansas City with my sister Alex to see the Yankees take on the Royals and knock out two ballparks- Kauffman Stadium and Busch Stadium. Here’s the beginning of that chapter:
Chapter 5: Sisters Survive the Road Test:
While cruising through the MLB schedule on ESPN at work I noticed the Yankees would be in Kansas City the first weekend of May. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to planning some of my trips around their schedule. So when I got my weekly specials from United Airlines and saw that one of the deals was from Columbus to Kansas City, I thought this must me fate! As much as I was enjoying my trips, I needed some sister baseball time with Alex. I texted her about the flights and asked if she wanted to go. At first she responded that she didn’t want to go because it was Cinco de Mayo weekend and she wanted to go out with her friends.
“You’re in college, every weekend is a drinking holiday,” I rolled my eyes and went on, “You’re not even Mexican. Come to Kansas City with me and I’ll buy you margaritas. Don’t you want to see Robinson Cano?”
After a few minutes she had been swayed and sister trip #7 was set in stone, we were going to see the Yankees play the Royals in Kauffman Stadium.
Alex is six years my junior and growing up we were never very close, mainly due to the age gap. Our birthdays are a week apart so our personalities are fairly similar and we share a lot of the same interests including baseball and travel. She looks like a mini me too, especially now that she’s dyed her hair darker. Lots of times when we’re on the road together people ask us if we’re twins. We always say yes, the reactions are priceless. I’ll never understand why guys think twin sisters who like going to baseball games is so mind blowing. It was on our family trip to old Yankee Stadium in 2005 that we both had decided we wanted to see all the MLB ballparks. Problem was Alex was only 13, I was 19 and in college, not exactly an ideal time for us to travel. We had to wait a few years, settling on going to games when the Yankees were in Cleveland before taking our first trip together in 2008. By then we were much closer and used our trips as sister bonding time. Since then the trips and ballparks had become our annual ritual. When the schedules come out, we go through and pick out a few weekend games or a couple consecutive series to attend. It varies from year to year how many games we get to.
This trip didn’t seem too tough, just a flight and a rental car for a couple of days. When I went to book our flights later that night, I found that they had already sold out. I was slightly amazed that so many people were traveling from Columbus to Kansas City. Somewhat deflated I sat at my computer thinking about this turn of events, flipping through the rest of the MLB schedule. No other games would do. I had my heart set on a sisters’ weekend and another chance to see the Yankees. We would just have to suck it up and drive. I called Alex to discuss the change in plans and by then she was set on the trip as well. We agreed that we would leave after I got off from the station Friday night and drive through the night to arrive in Kansas City Saturday morning. The game was Saturday night, so we’d have plenty of time to nap at the hotel before. I left Alex in charge of finding the hotel and googled directions to the city. It was a 14-hour drive, but a straight shot down I-70 west, so at least I wouldn’t have to worry about changing freeways too much.
When Friday rolled around my mom was a basket of nerves, calling both Alex and me to tell us to be careful and ask if we’d just stay instead of going on the trip. My mom really can’t take us traveling, especially by car, but we weren’t going to let her nerves derail our fun. I picked up Alex after work and we stopped by the campus Target to get some snacks for the drive. Having driven to New York with no problems the previous summer, we weren’t rookies to driving through the night. But after traveling only 15 minutes, just as we were getting into the Columbus suburbs, we came to a complete stop. Traffic was backed up from miles. We both tried looking up reports on our phones but we were just far out of the city for our phones’ Internet to not work. There are plenty of jokes about Columbus being a cow town and if you go just west of the city, it’s very true! Frustrated we did all we could do, sit, eat, and wonder when traffic would start moving again. After about an hour plenty of other cars were starting to bail, crossing through the median to the other side.
I turned to Alex and said, “Let’s just go back, we can go to Kansas City another time.”
“No.” she answered, “I want to see the Yankees. This can’t last much longer.”
I wanted to see the team too, so we stuck it out and a half hour later traffic started moving at a snail’s pace. After being at a dead stop this was nice, but we wanted to get going, so we got off at the next exit and using my GPS, took some back country roads. Going on country roads is always creepy at night. I’ve seen enough scary movies to let my imagination run wild and we were both half expecting to see a guy with a chainsaw jump out at us as we drove through the country. After about an hour we made our way back to the finally cleared highway.
One would think that after all that the rest of the drive would be smooth and uneventful. Nope. This drive was just getting started!
To continue reading, please click the link to purchase My Ballpark Summer. Thanks!
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from this trip:
To see all my pictures from these trips and more, check out my Flickr page!