Friday, August 5, 2011

We're back...

It's been a crazy week, but we're home.  I was really hoping to blog while we were gone, but Jacob's bedtime routine wasn't conducive to evening computer time.  A lot of Jacob's preferences weren't quite in line with ours on this trip, but I'll get into that more later. 

Our plan was to get on the road by about 10 or 11 on Saturday.  I packed like a maniac Friday night, and felt pretty confident by bedtime that we'd be in good shape for the morning.  As usual, there were a few cranky little things that took longer than would be ideal.  We also decided to grab lunch before we left and we needed to get gas.  It felt like it was going to take forever to actually get going, but we finally did--a little behind schedule, but within an acceptable timeframe.  The drive down was actually pretty simple.  We decided to take my car (equipped with four new tires), so I drove.  The weather was perfect, the roads were a little busy but tolerable, and I fell in love with our GPS, which directed us nicely. 

We stopped after three hours, to visit my oldest friend, Heather, and her husband Peter, in Binghamton.  It was a good stopping point, and we had a fun couple hours there.  Jacob played in the huge dollhouse that Heather and I spent so many hours playing in (her dad built it!), and then we walked down to the park and Jacob decided he'd rather play on the baseball field than on the playground (shocking!).  We discovered on the way down that the baseball game we were planning on going to that night was earlier than we thought, so we had to cut the visit a bit short.  Unfortunately Jacob did not want to leave, so it was probably the first of many battles we had over the course of the trip.  Still, it was a fun visit while it lasted!

We drove two more hours down to Allentown and were fortunate to get general admission tickets to the sold out game between the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Buffalo Bisons.  I guess if we go there again we'll know to order ahead.  Those tickets got us into the park, which was most important, and fortunately it was a great stadium for standing room--there was plenty to do and great places to stand and watch.  We ate some dinner then visited the Kids' Zone, where Jacob got to throw and hit balls.  He also got to putt at a separate attraction, and try his hand at a speed pitch (he threw a perfect strike but didn't register on the radar gun).  We met both mascots, and eventually settled in to watch the game from a spot in the middle of the outfield.  The park was absolutely beautiful, and once the insane heat subsided, it was a beautiful night.  Here's some of the highlights: 

Big baseball bat outside the box office...Jacob spent the rest of the night trying to convince us to buy him yet another mini bat.

View from the third baseline toward the scoreboard
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The first of many of these sorts of photo ops on the trip...and probably the most successful.

A scoreboard shot of the "Pork Race".  There are hot dog races, sausage races, pierogies, and dead presidents, but the IronPigs use pork--a hot dog, a slab of bacon, and a piece of bone-in ham.  The shot above is just before the hot dog tripped the ham, causing the ham to fall flat on its face and allowing the bacon to win.
 
Jacob and me with FeFe the mascot (get it?  Fe is the symbol for iron on the periodic table)
All of us with Ferrous the mascot.  They did this awesome thing and announced when the mascots were available in the autograph booth.  And they took pictures for free :)

Looking over the field at the end of the night.  See those streaks in the sky?  It really looked like that and I have no idea why.

It ended up being a long game and a late night.  It took a bit to get to our hotel, and Jacob fell asleep on the way.  By the time we got there he had peed through his pull-up (the first of many potty incidents on this trip), and it took a bit to get him back down.  Craig had to cuddle up with him, and even then he probably didn't go down for good until 11:30 or so.  Good thing we weren't in a huge rush the next morning! 

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