You could say it’s a little uncharacteristic of me to take off on a spontaneous road trip with the kids. You could also say that the Pope is a little bit Catholic. But Mayberry’s 9-10 year old all-stars made the World Series so I decided to take the kids. No plan and no idea when we’d be coming home.
Day 1: Saturday
We headed out at 7:30 a.m. on our Great Adventure. I even turned on Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” and Sarah Kate and I belted it out in our own (thankfully not metallic-pea colored) Wagon Queen Family Truckster. And you thought moms didn’t drive station wagons anymore…
We ran through the drive-thru for breakfast for Sarah Kate and I (Nathan had eaten at home), which was kind of a big deal because I haven’t let her eat in my car before. Sarah Kate deftly negotiated a Dr. Pepper for herself after I told her she couldn’t have a biscuit because it would be too messy.
Since we were on a tight-ish (or so I thought) schedule we didn’t hit any roadside attractions on the drive down, though I did download the Roadside America app to help us find Florida’s biggest ball of twine or whatever other quirky photo ops we could manage.
Our pit stops were fewer and shorter than I had expected, so I started thinking that maybe we could find someplace to go to Mass before the game. I consulted my trusty Catholic Mass Times iPhone app (yep, there’s an app for that) and found a church 45 minutes or so ahead of our final destination.
We busted through the front doors of St. Rita parish in Dade City, Florida, about five minutes late for the 4:30 Retiree Vigil Mass. We slipped into one of the rearmost pews, where it took me less than five minutes to realize that I’d made a Huge Mistake. You can’t strap a toddler boy into a car for eight-ish hours and expect him to be still and quiet in church immediately after freeing him from the bonds of his safety seat.
I’m just sayin’.
We survived Mass, arrived at the ballpark, and optimistically bought passes for the whole week. The games were behind schedule – ours, scheduled for 7:30, didn’t start until around 9:00 – so we milled around, talking to the Mayberry folks and watching Nathan burn off pent up energy. He knocked over chairs, stuck his fist into someone’s open cup for a piece of ice, and tried to commandeer a bat out of someone’s gear bag.
And that was all before the first pitch.
During the game, Nathan sat next to the fence in his stroller, but that didn’t stop him from assaulting a fan sitting nearby with his shoes, a chicken finger, and several leftover French fries he found in the basket of his stroller. Thankfully, Mayberry folks are forgiving so they just smiled through it all.
Unfortunately, Mayberry lost the game, and we headed out to spend the night with our friends Chris and Mark. By the time we made it there, it was almost midnight, but Nathan had gotten in 20 minutes of sleep in the car so he figured he was good. An exciting game of chase ensued around the living room with Boston the Chihuahua.
…to be continued.
UPDATE: Read Day 2 here.