Friday, January 30, 2015

Baseball Hall of Fame

The main purpose for my All-American road trip was to go to Cooperstown and the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. I've always wanted to go to there and the 2014 Induction Class was one that, as a Braves fan, could not be beat! So naturally, I went, because why not?

The Hall of Fame!

Baseball is a sport of numbers, of records, of stories, of heart, and of memorabilia to go with all of that. There are heroes and demons and legends and everything in between. 

Babe Ruth's uniform, it's also the same one in the iconic photo

Women can play baseball!!

I think one of my favorite parts of the museum was the room of lockers. Each team had a locker, set up like a locker room, and it was really neat to see a bunch of items from each team in one place. During induction weekend, when I was there, it was SUPER packed of course but I still managed to see everything I think. 

Me & the Braves locker

More Braves... because you know, avid Braves fan

Hank Aaron's jersey

Because it was Induction weekend, of course all of Cooperstown was slammed. Especially since it was the crazy class of 2014 - Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre. Seriously. That class was insane!! 

Since everything was so packed, I took the opportunity to camp in a nearby state park. It was ~30 minutes to Cooperstown from there but it's a pretty area so it was fine. Lovely camping weather, beautiful park, and just a great weekend in Cooperstown all around. I suggest if you stay outside of Cooperstown, to just take the trolley that runs through town to get around. It's super easy. And it's also a small town so you could walk if you need to. 

During Induction Weekend, everything is really well laid out and there's all kinds of fun events. Everything is packed but it's a lot of fun! The ceremony itself is outside in a big field, and free, so it's accessible to anyone. If you care about your seating spot, get there early, otherwise just show up! They had big screens on the sides so if you couldn't quite see the whole stage you could still see what was going on. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I got a new fork.

I got a new fork. And maybe some cake to eat with it.

Months ago I wrote a post about how I had such grand plans for 2015. I did. They were awesome. But I have new plans now. And they are also awesome.

I was planning to make radical changes to my life in 2015. If you know me at all, you know I have a serious case of wanderlust. In fact I have probably bored you to death with all my dreams of travel adventures. But most of my original plan for 2015 stemmed from unhappiness with certain parts of my life and part a willingness to give into my wanderlust. I thought uprooting and doing something different would eliminate any unhappiness. And it probably would have. But it would have uprooted everything in the process and may have generated new sources of unhappiness.

But last summer a new opportunity came along and I took it. So plans changed but that's how life goes. So I did what was best for me long term and took major advantage of the new opportunity. I'm glad I did because it's been great!! Also made myself a new promise. In lieu of my original 2015 plans, I am going to have my career and my travel. Since I'm trading my original plan for a new plan, I still want to make travel a top priority and will continue my adventures.

And part of making roots involves actually adding structure to my life. So I'm doing that now too. It makes the most sense to be financially smart with my housing choices while also saving up for life stuff and travel adventures. My process to get out of debt taught me a lot about personal finance (which should be a mandatory class everyone takes, by the way) and that's how I'm now able to make smart decisions for my future. But there's got to be balance, right? I think balance might be the secret to happiness, honestly.

So now I'm trying to find a balance between the equally important pieces of life: stability, career, and travel. But I'm a Libra - balancing is my thing!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Travel Costs

It's the time of year again where I regain my motivation for writing this blog, now that the holidays are done with, and that is starting with how much my travel cost me in 2014.

I went on 11 trips:

March: El Paso TX to visit my best friend & her family

April: Hawaii! I got scuba certified, saw my awesome friends, and went to Volcanoes NP.

May: Jacksonville FL for a kickball tournament

July: Chicago and Milwaukee for a baseball weekend

July: My All-American baseball roadtrip! I went to the Baseball HOF, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Detroit, and to my friends' wedding reception.

August: Colorado for Tour de Fat

September: Florida for JG's bachelorette party

October: Dallas TX for the 2014 Tough Mudder!

November: San Antonio TX for a kickball tournament

November: Iceland!!

December: El Paso TX again for my best friend's 30th birthday

And my total cost for all my travel in 2014 was...............


I spent $1771 on flights, $1393 on housing (most of that was hotels from my roadtrip), $428 on gas for my car or rental cars, $163 in parking at the airport for these trips, and $60 for car rental. 

I'm quite impressed with my low expenditures honestly!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stadium #15: Comerica Park

I visited Comerica Park the day after my visit to Progressive Field during my All-American Roadtrip. Detroit is a mess, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but the stadium area was just teeming with people on this game day afternoon. I'm glad it was an afternoon game though since I was in the city by myself and it has a rough reputation. But everything went fine!

The first thing I noticed about the ballpark is the plethora of tigers. They are all over the outside of the ballpark and it's a little weird but it looks awesome! 

Very intimidating tiger

I got the cheapest ticket I could, which is my normal strategy for random ballpark games, and found my seat. I had a pretty good view of the whole field! 

I struck up a conversation with the guy next to me, who turned out to be former Major League player Tom Ragland!! I wish I'd gotten a photo with him - he was really great. So friendly, so full of information, and just so happy to be at the ballpark watching his Tigers play. He even showed me his baseball card that he had in his wallet! It was a really great experience watching a ballgame with a former pro - I feel like I learned a lot about the way the game is played and also about the soul of baseball. He was really surprised that a girl from Louisiana was in Detroit alone to watch a baseball game, just to watch a game in a new ballpark. I think maybe he was also a bit impressed. 

This Detroit game went on FOREVER. It was easily the longest 9 inning game I've ever been to. Game time was 4 hours and 1 minute. I have no idea why it went so slow but it just dragged. I saw this game on Trade Deadline Day, and in the 7th, they stopped the game to pull Austin Jackson out of center field. I joked to Tom saying "he must have gotten traded" but it turns out he did get traded. Jackson and the day's starting pitcher Drew Smyly had both been traded in a 3 team deal

There's even tigers on the scoreboard!

I really enjoyed my game at Detroit even if it was 4 hours and I got sunburnt. It was a good end to the baseball part of my roadtrip!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Stadium #14: Progressive Field

On my All-American Roadtrip, I did lots of things including reaching the halfway point on my stadium tour! But before that, I went to Progressive Field for a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners. And to boot, I got to see King Felix pitch which I wasn't expecting but it was definitely awesome!

Obligatory photo of me + the ballpark

I drove into Cleveland and stayed at a hotel downtown. Cleveland is really walkable, and I had a great time walking down to the lake and going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (which I'll write more about later). Cleveland was definitely very friendly, and the people I talked to at the stands were really fun too. 

View from my seat

I asked people what the iconic ballpark food was for Cleveland and somebody told me "You're in Cleveland, you know that right?" so I guess there is no iconic food. No Cleveland version of the Dodger Dog to be found here. But the stadium was nice, easy to get too, lots of parking, and right off the interstate. Also, this was the only ballpark I've ever been too that had metal detectors like at airports. That was unusual. I don't kno wif that's going to happen at all parks but it was a surprise to see. 

Panoramic of Progressive Field