Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our Night of Living Large. . .

Here we are, sealed in the Rangers Ballpark aquarium called "The Cuervo Club"
. And, man, am I filling out that fine leather chair!

Mary and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary Saturday night. Since we're not the Jet Set (we're more the Chevro-let set, as George Jones once sang), we didn't fly off to Cancun or Vegas or Oklahoma City to party with the hoi polloi. Not that we didn't think about it--actually, we considered flying to Chicago for a weekend and maybe splurge for good seats to a Cubs Game, but that was too pricey for us as well (understandably with two kids and 1.1 incomes).

So we decided to stay at home, and take in a Rangers game from some high-priced seats (we'd entertained a night in a fancy nearby hotel as well--if any of those exist in Arlington--but couldn't swing it as I was unable to get the next morning off of work).

So, I dropped a hundred bucks a seat each on Stub Hub for a pair of plush, leather recliners in Row One of the Cuervo Club, back of the 100 level behind home plate. It's a de luxe setup. The aforementioned leather recliners, air conditioning, seat-side service, an included buffet, etc., all behind thick windows to keep out the heat.

The all-you-want-til-the-fifth-inning buffet.

Certainly was fancy enough, but there were only a handful of butts in the seats, and I'm guessing most of the patrons weren't the ones who own the season tickets on them. We sat next to a 60-ish couple from Tyler, who bought the seats on line; apparently our seats are owned by a wealthy east Texas physician who releases many of his seats for sale on Stub Hub. Behind us were a couple of young moms with a toddler along.

The buffet was nice, and all-you-can-eat, but plastic plates and forks. There were a couple of gourmet foot selections, the rest being cheese, crackers (not crackerjack!), fruit, salads and as you'd expect, hot dogs, nachos and brisket "sliders". We certainly made a few trips to the buffet line before it was taken down in the 5th inning.

Like I said, nice, but something was missing. . . such as the participation of those in the Club with the game. The glass was thick enough to keep out nearly any of the sound from outside. It was like watching a 150" high-def television three feet from your face with the sound off. The Rangers radio broadcast was piped into the club, but it just wasn't the same.

We both agreed: what's the point of going to the game if you're not experiencing what makes live baseball so great. We missed the sound of the ball on the bat, the roar of the crowd, other spectators getting up to get food and blocking your view. We missed the kid behind us tapping our seat with his foot, the smell of the beer, the cramped seating, and yes, even the wave.

Sure, it was a nice view from behind the thick glass. .

And we missed the heavy, humid evening air and the way it wrapped around us.
As Mary said, she felt like she was in an aquarium!

In the top of the eighth inning, with the Rangers up 3-0, and closer Frank Francisco headed to the mound with runners on first and second with no outs, we decided we'd had enough of the muted, detached ambience of the Cuervo Club and snuck out the side doors, into the thick air, the smells and the roaring crowd, and settled into some seats a couple sections down third base.

It was great. We watched Frankie throw a couple of key strikeouts and next inning our man Neftali Feliz breeze through the last of the White Sox batters for the save. THAT was the way baseball is meant to be watched.

I guess if you're not a fan, or like creature comforts, or want to impress dates or business clients (lord knows I don't have to impress Mary after 10 years!), then the Cuervo Club is fine. But put my ass in a hard plastic narrow seats, and me knees into the back of a stranger in front of me--and I'm a lot happier.

THIS view was better, down the first base line. Not only the view, but the ballpark ambience as well. . .

Oh Yeah, The Anniversary!

Yep, we made it 10 years. Knew we would. I'm committed to Mary and our family, and I'm here for the duration (whether she likes it or not!). Here's a few photos of our wedding on July 3, 2000, taken by my friend and fellow storm-chaser, the late Eric Nguyen. The only thing that hasn't changed is my hairstyle. Except that it's grey now, not blonde!


Mary DK said...

Yep, I almost started making a fish face... ha! It was a good experience though, something new. Will I do it again? Probably not, give me the real baseball game ambiance... and some nachos (ha!) and I'll be a happy girl.

Brakevan said...

Congratulations you two and especially to Mary for putting up with the railroad shift work and looking after the kids. We have been there and done that for 20 of our 34 years together and wendy has survived. I must admit it was harder on us when I became a manager where I was on call 24/7.
I like the glass bowl thing and the park but I think the game is all about the sounds and smells (and associated BIG guys who sit in front of us poor Aussies at Safeco so we can't see the action. I reckon being out there is the way to go. I have managed Row 11 behind the plate (courtesy of the Olympic in Seattle on our first ever game at Safeco) Row 4 and Row 7 adjacent to first and Row 14 between Third and Home and would not swap it for the world.I also enjoy the comments about Aussies not knowing anything about baseball from 'the locals". I have to explain that we do have kangaroos bouncing down George Street in Sydney and yes, we do have color TV in Australia.
Back to the Anniversary, I hope there are many more to come and the kids grow up strong and healthy enough to keep Mom and Dad in the manner they wish during their old age. Mike

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