Monday, August 17, 2009

The Beisbol Vacation (pt. I)

We've got our tickets: let's hit the road!

Only a week until school is back in session! Whatever happened to waiting until after Labor Day? Glad we squeezed in our last outing on the summer, a 10-day car trip to Chicago, what we've termed our "baseball vacation."

The main theme of the trip was baseball: We crammed in four major-league games in four different ballparks as well as a stop at a popular baseball culture icon; a get-together with relatives; a bit of shopping; and a museum or two.

Time to get out of Dodge.

Wednesday, August 5: I worked that morning, but Mary had the car packed and ready to go when I woke up around 1pm, and we were Kansas-bound by 2:30pm. The first evening's stop was a relatively effortless 400 miles up Interstate 35 and Kansas 61 to overnight in Hutchinson. As soon as we crossed into Oklahoma, we drove through a pretty stout thunderstorm, with 60mph winds and lots of dust and torrential rains. By the time we reached Ardmore, though, the storms were behind us, and we fell into a fast group of drivers ticking away mile after mile at over 90mph to the Kansas Line. We reached Hutchinson shortly after a beautiful orangey sunset.

Welcome to Oklahoma! (M. photo)

Lyrical Kansas sunset near Hutchinson. . . (M. photo)

E. and I. team up in the Mercury capsule simulator at the Cosmosphere.

Thursday, August 6, AM: We partook in the fabulous free Continental breakfast at our Super 8 and were first in line when the Kansas Cosmosphere space museum opened at 9am. We toured the exhibits of cool space stuff--a favorite from our vacation in 2007--until around 1pm, when we pointed the Mitsubishi towards Kansas City. We cut across wheatfields to Cassoday, then wound through the scenic Flint Hills on a two-lane road I'd last visited 15 years ago when I'd come out to the green rolling hills to photograph the Santa Fe Railway when in KayCee as a dispatching student. We didn't stop for trains, though, and made a beeline to Independence to check into our motel rooms, then headed off for a 7pm Royals game at "The Big K" vs. the Seattle Mariners: the first of four baseball games.


Ray P said...


Looking at your tickets took me way back. I visited Cleveland in 1990 (work) and came away with an Indians T shirt. I just checked, still got it!

Ray P

Anonymous said...

Your log says April on the header. I think it was August?

BEK said...

you're right! Ah, I really need to get some sleep. thanks.

BEK said...

I've always liked the Indians. Maybe it goes back to the movie "Major Leagues." I couldn't imagine the Yankees, for instance, allowing such a parody movie to be made about THEM.

And, racist or insensitive or politically incorrect or not, I love Chief Wahoo, too. I hope he stays around for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Blair,

No wonder you haven't been giving me grief over the Red Sox! We'll get that wild card off Texas yet!

I remember many a night with my baseball buddies drinking and watching Charlie "Wild Thing" Sheen in Major League and having a big laugh at them.

Paul Bartle