OK, so I left off at the first rest stop I hit in Iowa. I drove for a while longer (“a while” = measured in hours – long trip) with a few stops in between for the necessities (bathroom, food, drink, fuel). All told I think I drove six hours Friday morning/afternoon from the time I woke up around 7:30 until the time I pulled into Rosenblatt Stadium (home of the Omaha Royals).
For those of you who have not been there, Rosenblatt is a great stadium and the home to the college world series. There’s a lot of metal and everything seems to be painted red, yellow or blue. Very colorful, and “cozy” – you feel like you’re right on top of the action. But hurry – this is the last year before it gets decommissioned and the O-Royals move to a new stadium.
When I pulled up (about 6:30 or so) I was able to get seats right on top of the dugout (for $10, even – to compare I dropped $88 for the Twins game down the third base line about shallow left 30 rows from the field). I actually rested my feet right on top of the dugout – that’s how close I was. It was the visitor’s dugout (Round Rock Express – an Astro’s farm club, I believe), but that’s OK – it gave me a great view no matter what.
Anyway, it was a fun game to watch. The Express went up early – the first batter in the game took a pitch over the wall – but ultimately by the time we got to the 7th inning the Royals had tied it with a nice 3-run inning. I got to see Alex Gordon and Kila Ka’aihue up-close and got a few good pictures (took another gig of pictures here and at the SPAM museum, for a trip total of 7GB).
My original plan was to catch the game and head back around 10, figuring the game would be over by then. Not quite. The Royals managed to win it in the bottom of the 14th inning (although, unless myself and the rest of the crowd completely missed something, it was really over in the 13th when Gordon drilled a pitch over the wall in center field that bounced back onto the field of play) when Ka’aihue walked then came home on Jai Wilson’s blast that, like Gordon’s in the 13th, seemed to clear the center field fence but bounced back into play.
To compare – the O-Royals game was much more “intimate” (in the “I’m close to the action” sense, not the “I’m naked” sense) but the Twins game was much more electric even if you discount the Yankees fans (which comprised maybe a quarter of the sold-out crowd). I wouldn’t choose one over the other as “better” off-hand; would have to depend on a number of other factors.
After that there were some fireworks and a 3-hour drive home with just one pit stop (where I managed to run across some folks from the International House of Prayer, which is just down the street from my house – how about that?). Made it safely home around 2:30 in the morning where I promptly crashed. I can’t even remember if I took off my shoes.
That’s the chronological events of the short two-day trip that, I might add, marks the beginning of getting closer than just one step from freedom. If you want to follow the progression of that journey, check me out at onestepfromfreedom.com (promises to be a fun ride).
The only bummer of the trip was that the friend I was headed up to hang with ended up on a flight to New York, instead, so I only got to spend a few hours and a couple of beers with them. That’s OK – better than no time at all, and even if it was just me the entire trip I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
It was exactly what I needed to at least partially recharge the ol’ batteries. My juice was running low – dangerously low – and while it’s not fully topped off even now it’s a whole lot higher than it’s been in a long time. A lot of things became clearer during that trip, both from a personal and professional standpoint, but even sans that the time in the car listening to music and enjoying the scenery (and the freakin’ huge windmill-power things that dot the Iowa countryside) was very relaxing.
Next post I’m going to specifically call out someone I met for just a few minutes but who unknowingly changed me and ask a favor of you.
Right now I’m going to enjoy a cup of coffee, the 85 degree weather and watch the oncoming thunderstorm.
But wait…there’s MORE!