Just Ignore It

Ever feel like shit physically but only in your upper body region? I’ve had allergy issues of gigantic proportions lately. It’s the worst because I have no cure other than to medicate and deal. Mucinex D, Zyrtec, vitamins, cough drops, Afrin. My ears sound like clogged silly straws when I blow my nose every 10 minutes. You are welcome for that idea. I was over it. Even though I am allergic to life, my ass was showing up for the Holliday Park Trail Run. It fuels my soul. I’ll ignore my pain.

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It was 40 degrees and ugly cloudy. But the course turned out ok and my shoes fared well on the terrain.  I was under an hour for 5 miles and that was A-OK with me. After the race, I laid on the couch with warming blankets. K said let’s go watch basketball. Urg. I was in no mood or position. I was miserable. I had to pass. Luckily she invited me Sunday too. Ok, let’s ignore this crud and move on! We got to watch Michigan move on past Louisville! Go Big 10!

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Wichita almost moved on passed Kenturkey. And hot off the press, Krzyzewski is done. I’m not a Duke fan. Always root against them, really surprised Duke conceded (or seemed to) with 8 seconds to go. The 4 solid minutes I spent on my bracket feels about right. Now if I can just get my head to feel right…

Return to KC

If I had to go to KC, it needed to include 2 things. Shopping.

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And Royals!

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CS was excited because it was KU night at the field. I got more excited because there were extra mascots!!

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I’m always stumped on what to eat at these places. Plain Jane over here doesn’t have a good menu at ball parks. CS, he’s fine. Let’s eat this magnificent… umm. What is that?

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I had heartburn just sitting next to the thing! Gross. Let’s get this party started!

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The Royals take the field!

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So the game was originally in the afternoon, then thanks to TV, it became the evening game. Urg. Long drive home listening to the end of the game. We had to leave in the 7th evening. Jobs, babies, etc. Life gets in the way. Yet Royals pulled a winner, so totally worth it!

Royal Treatment

Why not?

With the already epic Bronco game last month, it just seemed like a “why not” moment to travel west again, but not as far, to witness another CS sports dream. It was Sunday. Game 4 was Tuesday. Yeah, that should work! Then came the rain and the re-shuffling of the work schedules we had just done. It all worked out better and we got to spend more time in KC with the family.

Before the game, I promised to indulge in a Starr family past time, eating at In-a-tub.

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What is that in my hand?! A deep fried taco topped with powdered cheese. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. I promised to eat 1 taco and then decide my next move. I ate my 1 taco and moved right on over to Jimmy John’s for a #11 on wheat. With full bellies, we were off to the game!

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My first time at Kauffman stadium!

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CS was so in his element!

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Stealth fly over was kick ass!

The team took the field and all the “sweep” brooms were out ready for the game.

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I’m not a baseball sports fan but I watch ESPN 🙂 I understand the rules and concepts of the game. I can get behind the drive and athleticism it takes to compete at this level, so I was invested in the experience. Most of the action happened right away with a 2-1 start, then lots of nothing. No insurance runs. No padding. Just pure raw out after out. Those last 3 outs were tense. It was such a different experience for me. No clock was counting down. No time outs to delay. The 40,000+ fans were just waiting for those 3 outs to collect on the scoreboard. As each one did, the energy exploded. After the fans waited 29 years for this, it happened. Royals are in the World Series!

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Unbelievable experience!

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Gordon!!!!!!!!!!

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We stayed around for all the media and trophy hoopla. Who knows when this will happen again?!

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After the game, we high tailed it over to Dick’s Sporting Goods to pick up some World Series gear, thanks to a friendly tip from the cashier earlier in the day. We wanted to make sure we got take home memories. And long live Rusty Kuntz. Yep. Rusty Kuntz.

#OABestDays

My company has a new CEO and he’s making his mark right away! Celebrate life because we work hard! All employees were treated to an Indians game during the work week. It was so blasted hot I didn’t make it to my seat but enjoyed the conversation on the concourse with my fellow co-workers.

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You knew this would happen!

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#OABestDays – looking forward to more!

Opening Day

With the promise of a ticket to another game if the temperature was not 60 degrees or above at the first pitch, I decided it was a win-win situation and sent out invitations. 15 co-workers and I headed over to Victory Field for the opening day of the Indianapolis Indians season. I was excited to have so many friends to enjoy the event with!

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The weather gods only got it to 56 degrees! The crowd cheered at the announcement to start the game. Guess I have another outing to plan now!

Victory Field of Dreams

The Indy International film festival was hosting the movie Field of Dreams to play at our Indians Victory Field downtown.

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K’s the one that happened upon this $8 experience. It’s one of her favorite movies. I have only seen parts but was happy to get outside on a nice evening and do something new. There weren’t more than 200 people in the entire stadium so we got a front row seat and settled in.

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39 Royals

Life’s too short to sit still!  Right after the Adventure Race, CS and I headed up to Chicago to ring in his birthday with a Kansas City flare.  He had never been to the Windy City before, so we had to indulge in a lake front view.

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With no real agenda for Saturday evening, we wandered around Michigan Avenue so CS could take in the sights and architecture. Once we finally got hungry, we veered off the Magnificent Mile to see what local restaurants we could find. We settled on Jake Melnick’s. They boasted the best wings in Chicago, but CS had his sights set on a burger the size of his head.

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While enjoying our dinner, it started to pour. We weren’t prepared for this, but were in no hurry either so as we continued our meal, we just waited it out and people watched. This part was not so enjoyable… while waiting it out, we witnessed a young lady pull her shorts and underpants down, pee on the corner of Wabash and Superior in the pouring rain, pull them back up and walk off like nothing just happened. WTF?! As far as I know, rain does not make you invincible. Welcome to Chicago I guess. The rain died down and we headed back to the hotel to get some rest for the real reason we were in town… Sox v. Royals on Sunday. 

On Sunday we headed over to Navy Pier despite the rainy-esque cloudy skies.

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It was terribly windy at the east end of the Pier.

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I got a bit nervous for what the game time conditions would be, but as the day progressed, the sun came through and we knew we were going to have a gorgeous day! I couldn’t of ordered better weather, but I did order a small surprise for CS before the game. I had his great friend JG and LadyS, waiting for us as we got back from lunch in the hotel room. They were going to join us for the rest of our Chicago weekend festivities!

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I had never been to the U.S. Cellular Field and it didn’t disappoint from our seats. The Sox fans were great to joke with and didn’t give us too hard of a time.

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They even had a boat-load of mascots, but I couldn’t get to them.  Boo.

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Upon leaving the park, you were offered great views of downtown Chicago.

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We also found some photo ops provided by large murals at the stadium. The boys in action! Who’s the pitcher and catcher in this scenario? I’m confused.

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Since we cabbed it to the game, the group wanted the “L” experience for our ride home.  We had to throw in our own action scene. I pretended to be Harrison Ford in The Fugitive fighting off the evil 1 armed man.

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CS found this sculpture Saturday night and had to share its “glory” with JG and LadyS. I found it a great place to ponder what we were to do Sunday night.

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We opted for a low key pizza dinner followed by a neighborhood corner bar just off the main strip. It had very welcoming large open windows that someone may or may not have danced the night away in.  We rounded out Monday with some local Mexican food before our car ride home.  We were all too pooped to take in anymore of the city.  I think everyone had a good time, I know I did!  Happy (now belated) birthday CS!  

After 2 weekends in a row in the Windy City, it’s time to move on… but to where?

Lions, Cubbies, and Bears!

Headed to Chi-town with K this weekend to catch up with family, friends, and the Reds.  On the way, I saw one of the coolest technological advances I’ve seen in a while.  It’s been exactly a year since I traveled up 65 to the Windy City.  There used to be sporadic windmills along the highway.  This time the road was packed with hundreds of them on each side.

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They made me feel like I was very small and that I need to figure out my part on being more green.

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Here… now they aren’t that big!

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We arrived Thursday to OGs and took a few hops, skips, and jumps through Boys Town.  We called it an early night since we had an early morning at Murphy’s ahead of us.  We arrived and sat with this guy solely because of his shirt.  

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We had bleacher seats, so we went a wee bit early but were rewarded with free Cubs bags… for 2 non-Cubs fans.  Our friends back home got some great gifts!

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Did you know… At Wrigley, they have several “honorary” pitches and only one first pitch… and it’s from the real mound.  I still enjoyed mine but this is how the big leagues do it!

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Afterward, we hit up Wrigleyville like true tourists then crashed for our final event of the weekend.  The Lincoln Park Zoo.  I had never been and it was free!  We decided it was a much better cultural event than a $50 museum ticket indoors.  They had all the usual animals but I still get excited to see each of them.  The female lion…

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Chimps, who I think were deep in communication about their plans for the day…

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Baby Monkey (Yes, those that just sung that instead of reading it, you can thank me later.)

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Gorilla, who I think was just chillin’ saying, “Why are all the people staring at me?  I’m not doing anything!”

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A brown bear whose tongue hangs out, but according to the zoo sign, she’s able to eat and survive just fine after her jaw surgery.

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These types of signs were next to any cages that had animals that seemed to have some ailment.  I assume it is a result of the zoo getting tired of overly concerned zoo-goers questions.

Every polar bear I have ever seen has had a pattern in the cage.  This one did a square in the pool by pushing off the sides.  Poor thing.

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And finally, some of the cutest of the day… Meerkats!  I couldn’t get enough of how they sit.

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Even in a log!

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9th First Pitch

It was finally time for my debut!  The Four Musketeers packed up and headed to the Deuce to meet up with my parents in the world to take in a Class A Minor League Tin Caps baseball game.  I checked in at Guest Services and immediately spied this guy.  Linky!

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Turned out, Linky was throwing out a first pitch too.  Huh?!  Looks like we were at the Minors.  There were about 12 people who were all throwing out the “first pitch”.  Well, it will still be my “first pitch”!  Funniest part was all the other pitchers were using the pitch as a way to celebrate a birthday…5…10….18….even 70.  Then there was me.  Just because.  

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Once we got lined up, we made our way out onto the field. 

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They put your name up, or try to, on the giant scoreboard when it’s your turn.  They announce your name and the field director told us to run out to the “pitching mound” so I did!

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Except our “pitching mound” was a mat almost 1/2 way to home plate.  Boo.  I really wanted to show I could make it the real distance, without any practice of course!

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Once I got out there, I tried to do it like the pros.  Sideways arch back, with knee up wind up, and pitch!  The follow-through…

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Pic from the professional… Do I throw like a girl?

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Video below shows me in action.  The catcher didn’t even have to move or stand up to get my ball.  I was pleased!  After we finished, we exited back out of the locker rooms where I spied my 4th mascot sighting of the day, Johnny!

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K’s found his twin bobble-brother and thinks we should double date.  No go.  I prefer hazel eyes and more than 1 tooth.

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I returned to my cheering crew to sit back and enjoy the game!

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Along with the pitch, I got a ball and a hat to commemorate my day.

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The staff at the park keep things lively during each inning change.  Trivia, races on the field, and even lotto ball tosses to win cash!

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We stayed through the 6th inning to see the Bad Apple dancers perform.  I’ve heard about this group from several people.  The guys that grate the dirt, do awful/corny dance moves at 3rd and 1st base.  It wasn’t as bad as I expected, but definitely silly.  

I didn’t get a chance to get to see the entire stadium but I heard water running when we were in the parking garage.  Looked over the side and the park has a built in water feature to play in.  Great way to keep all ages entertained in the summer heat!

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Bruce did explore the whole stadium and found a hidden treasure of nachos at one corner of the park.

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Big thanks to my cheering section!  Bigger thanks to Mom and Dad for one of the best gifts ever!

Video of the event… My turn at the pitch actually takes place about 6 minutes into the vid. And the Bad Apple dancers are at the end. The rest is filled with BruceBruce having fun interviewing my fan club getting their take on our time at Parkview Field.