Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Tournament-Plus Trip, Day 1

This weekend was Jacob's last tournament of his first season of travel lacrosse.  Five tournaments across four different weekends out of the last five.  It was a lot to manage--time, money, sunburn--but I know it was really, truly something that Jacob needed, so I'm glad we could make it happen for him.  Truth be told, I'm a little happy it's over.  There are parts of it I will miss, no doubt, but we are definitely due for a nice quiet weekend (ha!) and there's always next year...as long as tryouts go well in a couple weeks, that is!

Seeing that this was the last trip of the season and I had a quiet week at work, we decided to extend this trip into a bit of a vacation.  These trips are pretty much absorbing most of our vacation budget, so it's probably best to tack on a couple additional nights (since we're already in for a long drive and a couple other hotel nights anyway) and make the most of our free time to create a family vacation around eight hours of lacrosse games.  And boy, did we cram in a lot to this one.

We left late Thursday morning.  We had to wait for an oil change on the van and my allergy shots in the morning, but we got on the road pretty close to when we expected to, all things considered. We drove down through New York and made our first official stop of the trip in Williamsport, PA, home of the Little League World Series.  Craig and Jacob had stopped here last year when they went to a fall tournament, and it was fun to walk around and see the facilities.  They also had a great sale in the store where almost everything from last year (even if it wasn't dated) was $5 or $10.  We got a couple great deals!
The main field from above

The main field from the stands, nearly at field level.

Considering it's for kids, it was a great stadium!
Our first destination was in Harrisburg.  We had been looking through all sorts of minor league schedules down that way, and Harrisburg happened to have a game Thursday night.  We were very excited to see the Harrisburg Senators (and I finally got to wear the shirt of their parent club, the Washington Nationals, that Craig bought me years ago but I never remembered to wear when we've seen other farm teams of theirs), but we were concerned that the rain we hit halfway through the trip might be an issue.  Luckily, the dripping stopped pretty much as we pulled in the lot.  The drive through part of Harrisburg to get to the stadium was really cool, as there are tons of really cool old mansions right along the riverfront.  Absolutely gorgeous!

The stadium is on an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River called City Island.  There's a baseball stadium, a small soccer stadium, and a number of other entertainment options there.  Parking was cheap and had a very short walk to the stadium.


One of the first views upon entering was the Kids' Zone, which our kids were clearly pumped to go to.  They first ran to this putting game, which was unmanned at the time.  They may have gotten a freebie there, as the other things were all $1.

After that we let them each pick two things to do. These two skee-ball inspired games were cool.


After that, Jacob did a different throwing one and Carter opted to do a hitting game.  He even got it in the "single" slot first hit!  Tee ball may be coming next summer, but I swear he changes his preference by the day!

Back up on the main concourse, we looked at the giant "Bobblehead Hall of Fame"...

...and the view of the city from the stadium.  You can see the state capitol dome on the left.

Like I said, it had been a rainy day but the rain stopped when we got to the game, and although it was a bit damp, it was a pretty pleasant evening.  The biggest challenge was that the bleacher seats were pretty wet and we had to sacrifice our blanket to sit down and watch the game!
View from our seats

Funny looking mascot!

Selfie time!  But Carter, what's with that face?

The big boys!

Other side of the field...we watched the last part of the game here to try and avoid the mayflies, which are such a "thing" there that they have a mayfly logo on some of their apparel!  Ewwww.

City in the background, riverboat and train station in the foreground, just behind the stadium

Night view of the dome

Looking back toward the seats behind home plate
Overall, it was a nice little stadium and we really enjoyed our visit.  Jacob spent two days begging us to go back, in fact!  He picked up a cool Montreal Expos hat (as we figure they were the Expos' farm team years back and he's been into them for a while--so he's pretty pumped that MLB admitted they might go back there), and aside from the usual unfortunate antics by the kids, it was a fun night.

Luckily we had a pretty short drive to our hotel, and it felt good to settle in after a long day!  Next stop...Philadelphia!

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