Thursday, August 14, 2014

Auburn

On Sunday we got up and went to church as usual.  We came home, had lunch, and then I ran around like a maniac trying to get packed.  In the meantime, Carter was overtired but I really wanted him to nap in the car.  We actually got going on time for a change, and off to Auburn we went.  Since they told me they didn't have any gluten-free dinner-type foods at their concession stand, we opted to stop at a nearby McDonald's to grab some dinner before the game.  It was actually a really cool McDonald's, with a fun 50s theme (a bunch of kids got to the fancy car booth just before we did--bummer) and a huge Playplace.
 
After Jacob finished up his food, he was eager to go play basketball.  It was free, so he played a ton!

Once Carter finished up his food, we headed in as well and he wandered around a giant Happy Meal box...

Eventually we headed off to the game.  The 5pm start was a little weird for dinner, but it was perfect for the rest of our schedule.  The game would get over early enough to get us back in the car and to our hotel at a reasonable time.  It cooled down a little from the heat of the day, but was warm enough to not need jackets.  It was just a beautiful night.  It was actually hot in the sun, but knowing the cooler weather that was coming later in the week, I tried not to complain. 

Auburn has a small stadium, much like Batavia, which we've been to a lot more.  In fact, they're nearly identical.  Perfect for small kids.  We ended up with general admission seats because someone gave us two free ones as we walked toward the box office!

We haven't been to Auburn since Jacob was two.  Batavia is so similar that he confused the two a lot when trying to remember, but the hat and shirt he had were both products of that trip that have been hanging out ever since.  Once we got there, Jacob wanted to spend a lot of time in the kids' zone, of course.  He loved doing the pitching...
Note the fake batter and catcher...and in case you're wondering, he threw around 20 mph!
 ...and he really liked that the batting was free and unlimited!
He had a heck of a time, though, because the ball was a little high and I think he's getting a little caught up in "style" instead of functionality.  He'd rather imitate other people right now than rely on the fundamentally sound practices he used in-season.  Oh, well.
As usual, Carter had his eye on the mascot, in this case a guy with a crazy mustache named Abner.  The Geico gecko was also there.  Carter spent a lot of time that night wanting to wander, and a few times he'd chase down Abner, only to turn and flee when he got too close.  He finally got to high five him when I was holding him. 

Eventually we gave up trying to sit in the seats because Jacob wanted to play and Carter wanted to walk.  We went back to the kids' zone, got a snack, filled up cups with water, and pretty much just wandered a lot.  We settled down under a tent to snack...

Thank goodness for naturally gluten-free peanuts!
Jacob was really good for most of the day, though he started to get a little annoyed about the big kid that kept running into this area for the half dozen-plus foul balls that fell there (again, small park!).  He camped himself out there for a while late in the game, but no luck...

The game finally ended and we made one last walk down to the kids' zone because that was the setup spot for kids to run the bases postgame.  We were standing near the opposing team's bullpen watching a guy work out, and just then an umpire walked by on his way off the field and handed me two game balls, one for each kid!
Both were excited, despite Carter's indifference in this picture!
After that it was off to run the bases!  Jacob is an old pro now...

And this was Carter's first time...with help from Daddy!

Whenever we do this, we can't help but reminisce about when Jacob ran the bases in Pittsburgh when he was two, and he committed the cardinal sin of running into the infield right before he hit home plate, and before Craig could grab him.  The workers nearly had a heart attack!  At least minor league parks are a little less crazy about that!

A successful night was had all around, and we loaded into the car to drive another half hour or so to Syracuse to find our hotel and settle in for the night.  Along the way, I somehow managed to capture this picture of the crazy moon from a moving car!  It was so pretty...and so big!

It was a fun little drive through a lot of countryside and our hotel was right off the Thruway.  We got settled in pretty well, though neither kid really wanted to go to sleep.  Carter had picked up a bit of a cold over the previous 24 hours, and he had a hard time settling into his pack-and-play.  Jacob is always beyond hyper in hotels, but at least now I'm prepared to just turn out the lights at 9pm and sneak in a few minutes on my iPod Touch under the covers if I can.  Hence why this blog post is many days later than I'd like it to be, but whatever keeps our sanity, right?  All in all it wasn't a bad start to the trip.  A couple moments, perhaps, but generally really good for being off our usual schedule. 

We got a good night's sleep in preparation for taking Syracuse by storm the next day...

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