Note to self:
When a ticket says "Lawn Seating" - that usually means that yes, you will be sitting on grass. Which could mean wet grass, freshly-mowed grass, tickly grass, grass with critters - in any of the aforementioned combinations.
We found this out the hard way today when we ventured out on another Spring Training baseball odyssey...in this case, we had tickets to see the Boston Red Sox play against the defending World Series Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, here in our home-away-from-home, Ft. Myers, FL.
Now...in my defense...I attempted to snag tickets to this game months ago. Seriously.
Back in December, I began perusing online to see what the Red Sox Spring Training schedule looked like, and the minute the schedule was posted, I immediately began attempting to snag tickets for today's game.
I had a better chance of scoring a private audience with the Pope and Bruce Springsteen and the President. At the same time. In the same room.
It's bad enough that Boston is passionate about their team - and I do mean PASSIONATE - but they have a brand, spanking-new stadium that just opened, and everyone in a 1000-mile radius wants to see this new stadium. Including us.
"Regular" tickets were only available to regular-season ticket holders, so that left us out. Anyway, I finally managed to score four tickets that were stamped, "Lawn Seating." And thus begins our odyssey.
We began by leaving 2 1/2 hours before the game...for normally an 8-mile drive to the stadium. If you think I'm exaggerating here, I am not. We had been warned to leave early, and they were not kidding. We found ourselves in an 8-mile traffic jam that slowly, inch-by-inch, creeped towards JetBlue Park, the new stadium:
Upon arriving - 90 minutes after our drive began, we were directed to park in Georgia - or was it Tennessee? - and we began hiking towards Fenway South, as the new stadium is referred to:
This stadium is a thing of beauty...all of the dimensions are EXACTLY the same as the "real" Fenway Park in Boston...and it even has the infamous "Green Monster" in left field:
Included in the wall is a restored version of the manual scoreboard that was housed at Fenway for over 30 years:
And, in case you STILL didn't realize you were at Fenway South, there was this little gem of a concession stand. I got all excited, thinking I could have Boston Baked Beans along with Boston Cream Pie - but I had to settle for a hot dog.
Our seats were waaaaaaaaaaaaay out in center field - in the grass. And I do mean in the grass. You literally find a spot of green, drop your blanket (if you were smart enough to bring one...which we weren't - bad Mommy) - and take in the game.
If we squinted really hard, we could just take in the action on the field. Well. I could somewhat make out the pitcher. And a batter. I could never see what call the umpire was making.
So, I did what anyone would do in this situation. I began to look around - closer to home, to to speak - to see what else could amuse me. First, I realized that the stadium itself was beautiful to look at...the roof line is somewhat unique - I guess it's supposed to symbolize "flying" - since the park is sponsored by a major airline. I kept waiting for the park to just lift off in the air:
Second, we could hear the flags "flapping" in the breeze during the national anthem, which was pretty cool:
And then there's the free sunscreen machines...this was interesting, because all of us in the "cheap seats" were loading up on this free crap. It was like, "By golly - if I can't see the game - I'm going to at LEAST get some free sunscreen out of the deal!"
The bullpen was literally RIGHT in front of us...so that amused me for awhile, watching the guys warm up:
My daughter asked to borrow my camera at one point, and hoping to encourage her photographic instincts, I handed it over. Her way to entertain herself? She saw a billboard in the outfield that said, "Giant Glass." However, she waited for juuuuuust the right moment and caught this beauty:
Yup. That's a middle-schooler for you. She did that on purpose. The photo won't be winning any Pulitzer prizes, I'm sure.
Although it did give us some amusement for awhile...talking about sitting our "giant asses" in the "grasses." Hee.
Actually, we enjoyed our time in the grass. You could stretch out, lay down, chit-chat with your fellow grassers (everyone around us turned out to be from Missouri - go figure!), and just enjoy the atmosphere.
And except for all of the ticklish grass, it was a pretty great day.