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Day 1--Yankees 1, Sox 0 (July 28, 2008 - 3:38 p.m.)

We're currently in Rye, New Hampshire, and I finally have internet access again. I'm three days behind, but I'll post what I have already written for the first day of our vacation. I'll get caught up as I go, and will eventually post some pictures on Flickr. I'll let you know when those are up. So here goes...



July 25, 2008

I’m typing this entry here because this stupid hotel doesn’t have free wireless in the rooms. $400 a night rack rate and you have to PAY for wireless access, but only available on the 2nd floor and the lobby! Sheesh.

Yesterday was a pretty awesome day, in spite of that really horrible call by the ump in the bottom of the ninth. (Please see my rule about umps being thrown out of the ballpark…if I’m John Henry, that ump never works in my ballpark again.)


We got up at 4am, and I really didn’t sleep well at all. Anybody surprised?? We got ready to go and left the house by 5:15 to go meet the shuttle bus to the airport. The company my wife works for provides free parking and bus to the terminal! Woot!! We arrived and the bus was on time, so we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, got through the security checkpoint with no issues and sat down to wait for the plane.

Plane departed at approximately 7:45 central time. The first leg took us to Laguardia in NYC. Ugh. It’s a pretty long flight and those planes are pretty cramped. But we landed on time and our connecting terminal was only a few hundred fee up the way. We got one of their “pretzel dogs” on the way, and, man was it delicious!! We were really hungry, but that thing was just incredible!

Our second flight was on a regional jet (only three seats across) and lasted about 35 minutes (including a scenic detour over Providence, RI, because of flight volumes at Logan Airport, Boston.

Had a bit of a rough landing in Boston, and the pilot almost didn’t make the turn to his taxiing runway. Heh.

We got off the plane, and by the time we got to the baggage claim, our stuff was waiting for us! Hah!! Um…except for one bag? There’s one bag missing, and one left behind by someone that looks a lot like ours. Except that it was a totally different color and had this bright pink combination lock on it?

So we consult the “Baggage Claim Expert.” Turns out that the left behind bag has a connecting flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Oh.

Dear.

Lord.

All my Red Sox clothes, heck ALL my clothes are in the missing bag. And our camera. And maybe my CPAP machine, without which nobody on the same floor will sleep because of my snoring.

The “Baggage Claim Expert” makes a call. In the meantime, another flight arrives. They turn on the belt.

Guess what.

The first bag through the curtain is ours. It was probably sitting just on the other side of that curtain the whole time.

Thank you, Jesus!

We gathered up everything and headed out to catch a rental car bus. Heh. “Rental car bus.” That just sounds funny. We used Budget this time, and their bus showed up right after we stepped outside. We had a nice bus driver who had a great story about a friend who gave him some tickets for a game earlier this year. Then the friend had to leave town because a relative was in the hospital. The friend called to say he couldn’t make the game, but they were free to go or sell the tickets or whatever. After talking it over with his wife, they decided not to go without the friend. The guy said he couldn’t sell the tickets to anyone! (I don’t get that…) It was just the KC Royals, and it was a Monday night, though. So that made the draw a little less popular. The date was May 19.

He finally sold two of the tickets to a fellow Budget driver. That left him with one. Then his friend came back into town, so he called him and the friend took the other ticket back.

The punch line? Jon Lester pitched that night.

Need I say more?

I guess so, if anyone reading this is not a Sox fan. Jon Lester pitched a no-hitter that night.

Many people that he tried to sell those tickets to were crying afterwards.

Well, anyway, we got to Budget, and the line inside was very long. But it didn’t take as long as we though it would. Christi started out in the line, because she had made the arrangements. There was a really nice guy going down the line and offering directions to people for wherever they wanted to go. He gave Christi directions to the hotel and then to Fenway from the hotel. There were two ladies behind her that were staying at the same hotel, but they were in town for a Kenny Chesney concert. I stepped over to listen to his directions, too.

Right when Christi go to the front of the line, she called me over and said that she had just realized that she had signed me up as the driver, so I should do this. So I got in line. The transaction went very smoothly, and we had our car assignment. A Hyundai Sonata. That’s ok.

So we go to collect our things and walk to this car, when the “directions” guy comes over and says, “Can I do some Red Sox fans a favor?” Then he finds out that we have the Destinations package with all three Yankees games, and he insists on it. The favor? He went and got our car for us, then did the once over for damage check for us, too. Wow.

What a day this has been, so far.

Then we kind of got lost trying to follow his directions to the hotel. We made it, though, and got parked and checked in. We got our bags with the jerseys and game balls at the checkout counter, and made our way to the room.

By this time, it was almost 5pm. So we hurried, changed clothes, put on our jerseys (Steph and Christi got Ellsbury road jerseys, I got a Varitek home jersey), and went out in search of food.

We ate at a picturesque little place called Sola’s Irish Pub. It was expensive (I have a feeling everything is), but pretty good. Then we started the rest of our trek to Fenway.

It says it’s only .8 mile from hotel to Fenway. That’s a longer walk than it sounds. But we made it.

Our tickets said to go in Gate “D.” I still haven’t found any Gate “D.” We went in Gate C. We walked all the way around the place and still couldn’t figure out how to get to our seats. They are in the new Coca Cola pavilion. So we finally found someone who helped us find them. Later we think we realized that we entered a few feet away from where we needed to be and walked all the way around in the other direction. Heheheh…

Game time. LeAnne Rimes sings the National Anthem. Somebody with ALS comes out and has a Doctor from Harvard throw out a first pitch on their behalf (Timlin and Schilling and wives work a lot with ALS charities). Kenny Chesney throws out a first pitch.

OMG!!

JACK NICKLAUS throws out a first pitch. I’m not a huge golfer, but JACK NICKLAUS!! I was seriously almost in tears by this point…I’m already emotional, because, here I am in the next best place to heaven, and you know…

So here we go.

I wish I could say the rest of the night went as well. But as you know, if you are a Sox fan, it didn’t. It was, at least, a decent game. But, as I said way up top, that ump made that call on Mike Lowell in the bottom of the ninth, when we had Youk on first base and were poised to tie the game. The ball was, I swear at least 6 inches if not a foot inside. And Lowell got thrown out of the game. People around me were saying he never does that. To cap things off, J.D. Drew struck out looking at two pitches in a row! C’mon, DREW!! You don’t watch the last strike of the game go by!! I don’t care where it is, if it’s anywhere close to the plate, SWING AT IT!! GAH!!!

So that’s it. We found one of those bicycle rickshaw people and got a ride back to the hotel. And, Ted, you know the atmosphere after a game, now. It’s a madhouse down there. You can’t stir the people, it’s so thick. Wow. It’s really cool, in a way, the whole ambience both before and after a game at Fenway. Nothing like it anywhere else I have ever seen.

Ok. I’m done with this one. I’m sitting on the toilet lid in the bathroom of our hotel because I woke up before anyone else. My behind is sore.

TTFN, y’all!

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