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Day 2--Um...Never Mind... (July 29, 2008 - 6:29 a.m.)

Today, I'm posting the journal that I typed on my laptop for July 26. (I had the date wrong on the first one, so I changed it. The first game was on July 25.) And, for Tricia and anyone else who might not know, a "CPAP" machine is a breathing machine with a mask that I have to wear because I have sleep apnea. It keeps me from snoring and having all the other symptoms that go along with that. I don't know what the letters stand for.

So here goes for Saturday's events...



July 26, 2008

We got up pretty early and headed out to find breakfast somewhere. After asking the concierge for some suggestions, we decided on a place called Charlie’s Sandwich Shop. It was a fairly short walk from the hotel, on Columbus Street. It was an adorable little diner place, very small. We were seated at the end of a table, shared by a nice couple from France. The breakfast was very good, and reasonably priced. We learned from the waitress that it was a family owned place for over 80 years. Her father had worked for the original Charlie in 1927, and become his partner later. Her and her sons and brothers currently work there.

After breakfast, we walked back to the hotel and grabbed a taxi to take us to Fenway Park. He dropped us off right at Gate D (finally found it, heh), where we waited for the tour to start. We actually went around the corner to the Game On sports bar and had some sodas while we waited. By then, the Team Store was open on Yawkey way, so we went in there for some t-shirts. At which point I discovered that I had left my debit card at the sports bar. *doh* So Christi went back to get that. By that time, people were lining up outside Gate D for our tour. It started at 9:45.

This was an amazing tour of Fenway Park. Much better than the standard tour, which we took last year. Keep in mind that this tour was part of our Red Sox Destinations package. We started where last year’s tour ended, in the blue seats behind home plate. These are the oldest seats still in use in Major League Baseball. According to our tour guide, Jessica, they are also the most uncomfortable. I agree. They are the really old style wooden seats. Five inches smaller than the newer seats. Jessica gave us a brief, but enthusiastic history of Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox while we were seated there.

After that, the unthinkable happened. The unimaginable. The impossible.

WE GOT TO GO ON THE FIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the field! At Fenway Park! The hallowed ground!!

I almost cried.

We walked around the warning track (they wouldn’t let us on the grass) to where we stood right in front of the scoreboard. We took pictures, looked at the on-field memorial to Tom Yawkey and his wife (this consists of two vertical lines that have Morse Code which spells out their initials), and then…

We got to go where Manny goes. Inside the scoreboard. Wow. We got lots of pictures in there. Hundreds of people have written their names inside the Fenway Park scoreboard (including the Bickleys…) and some of the scorekeepers even memorialized themselves. We looked through the holes that the scorekeepers use to watch the games. We had a picture taken looking out of the hole, by one of the tour people. Incidentally, eventually all of the photos that they took will be posted on line and we can select ours, and they will send us a photo disc of them. Included in the package.

After we left the scoreboard, we wandered around in front of the scoreboard a little more, and then it was up to the Monstah! Yes, we got to go sit on top of the Green Monster. We had a nice view from up there while Jessica told us about broken noses and broken hands that people suffer while sitting up there. She said that during batting practice, balls come up there at an average of every 45 seconds. At about 90 mph. It’s pretty important to be paying attention.

Then we went to the press box and got to sit in there for a few minutes. She explained to use the hierarchy of seating in the box.

All of this took about an hour and a half, after which it was time for our pre-game reception.

We went to a big banquet room on the EMC level (Fenway’s version of luxury suites). After we all got seated, our guest of honor was introduced to us. Manny Delcarmen. Ok. That was cool. At least it wasn’t Lugo. They sent us all around in a line to get his autograph first. Stephanie and I had him autograph our baseballs from our package (game-used, complete with grass smudges), and Christi had him autograph her “credentials.” (That would be the VIP badge.) Then we got to go back through the line for our photo op. We chose to get a picture with all three of us instead of three individual pictures. Manny was very friendly.

Then he answered some questions. The only complaint about the whole thing was that we couldn’t hear most of the questions that were asked. They should have someone with a microphone repeating the questions.

Then it was lunch. The buffet consisted of Fenway Franks (heh), pulled pork, BBQ chicken and other stuff. Potato salad, corn on the cob, and some fairly icky brownies (shoulda got the cookie). Overall, it was pretty good. Then they gave away seven autographed items, including a ball autographed by Pedroia. We didn’t win anything. *sad face*

We still had about 20 minutes in the room, so we were allowed to stay up there if we wanted. Some people, who wanted to leave, were allowed to leave with an escort out. But there was a surprise. Since we were already in the park, if we wanted to, we were allowed to leave the room, go down to the stands and watch batting practice.

WOOT!! We got to watch Red Sox BP, right from beside home plate, just between the dugout and home. That was a treat. Some of the players even waved at us.

We wound up never having to leave the field until after the game. Actually, I’m kind of wondering if it skewed their attendance figures, because quite a few of our tickets were never scanned in. But anyway, it was an amazing day.

Then there was the game.

Sigh.

Wake started out good. We score first. That was pretty much it. Masterson gave up, what five runs??

Final score, 10-3, Evil ones.

We took bicycle rickshaws back to the hotel, and went to the pool for a little while. Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory for a bite to eat, and the most amazing Key Lime cheesecake that I’ve ever had.

Something interesting happened there while we were waiting. There was a group of people standing by the front door behind us. Suddenly, we heard the sound of something dropping and a small commotion. There was a puddle of what appeared to be Starbucks cappuccino on the floor, which had splashed all over the group of people. The person who had been holding the coffee had left. Then it occurred to us that the group there were Yankee fans. If what I think happened is what really happened, that’s pretty shameful. The rivalry is all in good fun. But if a Sox fan deliberately threw down his coffee drink just to splash those Yankee fans, that’s pretty much over the line, at least in my opinion. Oh, well. I’m a “foreigner” to these parts, but still…

We pretty much came back to the hotel and collapsed after that. Slept until after 8 the next morning.

One more game. One more chance. If we lose this one, I’m asking for a refund.

Hahaha…

TTFN, y’all!

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