Friday, July 14, 2017

The Tournament-Plus Trip, Day 3

Jacob's first game on Saturday was at 8am, which meant that we had to be at the field by 7am.  That meant we needed to leave by about 6:40.  Luckily we were able to grab a couple things from the free hotel breakfast and head out.  It was a comfortably cool morning, and getting in all three games by a little after noon meant we finally had some pleasant lacrosse-watching weather after weeks of near-90s and sun (and yes, I know it could have been raining...somehow we avoided that!)!  The team picked up three wins, one being a blowout that involved putting one of our top offensive players in goal and letting our two goalies play out (and we still got a shutout).  Watching the goalies' excitement to be among the runners was pretty priceless!  Jacob played a ton during that game, too.  He had some good chances and picked up a couple goals on the day.
Jacob shooting on the left.  The goalie snagged that one, even though it's hard to see in his stick.

He scored on this one, but I have no idea where the ball was when I took this!
After the game we checked out a restaurant near our hotel that had great gluten-free reviews.  It was an upscale sports bar-type place.  Jacob loved having gluten-free bread before his meal!  A couple things about the food made it a tiny bit too fancy for him, but I think we could do better next time and it was nice knowing it was a safe place.  The rest of us enjoyed our food, and then we headed back to the hotel for a quick pack-up before our evening activity, a trip to Aberdeen, MD to watch the Ironbirds!

We had originally wanted to go see the Phillies play, but tickets for the games we could make ended up prohibitively expensive compared to what we were originally looking at (not sure if it was the day or the timing that made the difference), so that's when we really started scrambling for more minor league games.  Aberdeen was only 50 minutes away and the stadium looked really nice.  It's Ripken Stadium, named for the famous baseball family, and it's part of a huge complex that hosts tournaments.  Compared to most single-A stadiums, this was a palace!

Inside there was a large kids' zone, and once again we let the kids pick a couple things.  Jacob wanted to do something like this in Harrisburg, and he got his chance here.

Carter opted for the bounce house first.  He loved it!
Normally I'm not a fan, but it was empty!  He smiled the whole time!
We walked through the concourse to explore food options, and we ran into this guy:
The Chick-Fil-A cow!
It turned out they had a table in the concourse and we all got to spin a wheel.  Two of us got coupons for free food (we tried to find another location on the trip, but no luck.  They're good for a while, so hopefully we'll have our location before they expire!), Jacob won a little football, and Craig picked this funny stuffed cow that he thought Carter would like, but after a pouty face, Jacob ended up letting him have the ball, no strings attached (sometimes he can actually be nice...really!)!

The stadium was really beautiful, and it was a gorgeous night for baseball!

We sat in the corner, almost directly across from this spot--blue seats beneath that white section.  The building in the background is a hotel overlooking the stadium!

From our close!

One of their mascots, Ferrous

Party deck area (complete with seafood concession stand!) at the end of the first base side

Both boys just HAD to have fresh lemonade.  Thank goodness they both liked it and finished it!

Cal Ripken, Jr.'s son Ryan was playing for the home team.  He looks a lot like his dad!
Eventually we needed a break so we went back to the kids' zone so the kids could use their other token we bought before before the game.  Carter picked this giant slide (mostly because we reminded him he wanted to do the big slide in Harrisburg, but it was all wet from the rain).  He got five slides for his token, so he was a happy boy!  He even shared one with Jacob!

Along the concourse this time, we ran into the other mascot, Ripcord!

Oh, and it was also rally towel giveaway night and Zooperstars night!  We picked a great night!  It was also a high scoring game--visitors out to a quick 6-0 lead, Aberdeen tied it, Aberdeen took a two run lead, Tri-City tied it. 
You can just see the moon peeking through the clouds to the left of the scoreboard and flag

Family selfie time - pretty much encompasses all of the emotions of our trip!
In the end, Aberdeen won on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth!

We also could have stayed for a postgame movie on the field, but it was time to head back (and we already had that movie in the van!).  We had a great time, and aside from nasty traffic caused by rubbernecking at a really bad accident on the other side of the road on the way home, it really was a pretty smooth trip.  Definitely beat the movie that some of the other families went to!  One more day of lacrosse was ahead, back to the hotel we went, and luckily a lazy morning awaited for a change!

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