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 catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread

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PostSubject: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:23 am

It's vacation time (or just about!)

Tomorrow morning I start my first-ever paid vacation from work and will be taking a mostly baseball-related road trip.

To keep things interesting, I won't say what exactly I'm doing, but suffice it to say I'll be attending some baseball games.

As a final hint, my first game isn't until Thursday.

I'll be making this trip alone so I won't get stuck in any god-forsaken Southern states for days on end.

Here is my thread from last year's road trip to Michigan and back with a stop at Comerica Park.


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:38 pm

Day One:
Paso Robles, CA to Las Vegas, NV

DISTANCE: 397.4 miles
States Visited: 2 (California, Nevada)



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:53 pm

Day one highlights:

I was originally supposed to leave tomorrow but decided to leave half a day early to avoid a very long drive tomorrow. I'm staying at the Gold Spike Casino which is just $7.77 for the night.

I drove by the James Dean Memorial for the millionth time in my life so that wasn't much of a highlight. I stopped in Primm, NV and rode the Desperado Roller Coaster at Buffalo Bills.

My room is pretty nice and even has an HDTV. There's no internet here but since my phone is super awesome, I can tether it (use it as a modem) which gives me internet access on my laptop.

I'll probably go get a 99 cent shrimp cocktail in a few minutes.



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:12 pm

Day Two:
Las Vegas, NV to Denver (Aurora), CO

DISTANCE: 782.0 miles
States Visited: 4 (Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado)



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:14 pm

Day two highlights:

Couldn't sleep at all last night for some reason. Woke up at around 4AM and left Vegas shortly before 5AM.

Driving through the Rocky Mountains is pretty scenic. Got to Denver at about 5PM local time which was a huge hassle as it was rush hour.

I'm staying in a suburb of Denver called Aurora.



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:33 am

Denver is a beautiful area. Thanks for posting pics.

Are you going to Thursday's Red Sox - Rockies game?


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:05 am

Day Three:

PART ONE:
Aurora, CO to Coors Field

DISTANCE: 19.0 Miles


PART TWO:
Coors Field to Big Springs, NE

DISTANCE: 194.3 miles
States Visited: 2 (Colorado, Nebraska)




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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:08 am

Day three highlights:

Had to check out of my motel by 11AM which meant I was parked in Downtown Denver by 11:30 AM which game me 7 hours until the first pitch.

Walked over to the US Mint hoping to take a tour but reservations are required for their free tour so I didn't get to take a tour. Thought about going to the Denver Art Museum but it was like $20 and I already went there as a kid and hated it.

It was ridiculously hot and sunny which wasn't much fun as there was nowhere indoors to go all day. Walked over to Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium and the Pepsi Center but that wasn't terribly exciting. I also saw a cannabis shop a few blocks away from Coors Field.

Gates for the Rockies-Red Sox game finally opened at 5 and I went in. I got a free Coors Light Rockies Cooler which is reasonably exciting. The game was very long and for just the second time in my life I left a sporting event early (after 8 innings and 4+ hours).

I would have stayed but I had a drive to do which got me to my motel at about 2AM local time.









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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:20 am

As for Coors Field, it's nothing special. It's fairly new so it's in fairly nice shape but there wasn't a whole lot about it worth remembering. There's a huge variety of food, probably more than any park I've been to, but that's not really all that great as it's super expensive as expected. The atmosphere was okay and it was probably a 50-50 mix of Red Sox ans Rockies fans.


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:08 pm

The pictures are really pretty!
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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:21 am

Day Four:

PART ONE:
Big Springs, NE to Rosenblatt Stadium

Distance: 358.0 miles
States Visited: 2 (Nebraska, Iowa)


PART TWO:
Rosenblatt Stadium to Kansas City, MO

Distance: 208.9 miles
States Visited: 3 (Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri)



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:27 am

Day Four Highlights:

Left hotel at 6:30 A.M. (that's less than four hours sleep for those keeping track).

Arrived at Rosenblatt Stadium in time to see my alma mater UCLA lose to TCU 6-2. They'll play tomorrow and the lose goes home while the winner advances to the championship series. TCU's winning pitcher improves to a rather impressive 16-0 on the season.

Rosenblatt itself is a fairly neat stadium and the atmosphere is kind of cool. The main issue was the 95 or so degree heat with very high humidity. The game was a day game so it was pretty much impossible to enjoy.

I stayed in Kansas City which was probably a bad idea in retrospect. Driving around Kansas City is probably the biggest nightmare I've ever encountered in my life - it made me wish I was driving around LA even. Pretty much everything is under construction and everything is very poorly lit and I found myself nearly running into medians or driving on the wrong side of the road or doing something else bad constantly.



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:11 am

Day Five:

PART ONE:
Kansas City, MO to Kauffman Stadium

DISTANCE: 11.8 miles

PART TWO
Kauffman Stadium to Rockford, IL

DISTANCE: 491.9 miles
States Visited: 3 (Missouri, Iowa, Illinois)



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:15 am

Day Five Highlights:

Woke up and drove to Kauffman Stadium. The stadium is really quite impressive. There's nothing overly-fancy about it but it's still quite well-done. It has a lot of available features for everyone but nothing overly-non-baseball-related. The Royals Hall of Fame Museum inside the stadium is by far the best history-oriented exhibit I've ever seen at a stadium. There's no weird quirks to the stadium or anything but it might just be the best one I've been to.

It's tough to rate the Royals fans because there were far more Cardinals fans in attendance than Royals fans - probably a 2:1 margin. They showed extensive highlights of the 1985 World Series during the game and when they got to Don Denkinger's missed call at first base the Cardinals fans in attendance gave some of the loudest boos I've ever heard in my life. I guess they still hold a grudge.

Left the stadium at about 4:30 and drove a mostly uneventful 500 miles to Rockford. I crossed the Mississippi River but it was dark so I didn't see anything. I've crossed the river plenty of times so I didn't really care that I missed it.





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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:50 pm

So I am sitting in a MLB park right now. My seat is cool.....field level front row behind home plate.


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:15 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
So I am sitting in a MLB park right now. My seat is cool.....field level front row behind home plate.

GREAT SEAT LOCATION!


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:20 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
So I am sitting in a MLB park right now. My seat is cool.....field level front row behind home plate.

GREAT SEAT LOCATION!

If you go back and watch today's Brewer's game, look for the guy in the front row with a Tigers road hat and a Tigers T-shirt.


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:21 pm

Day Six:

PART ONE:

Rockford, IL to Miller Park
DISTANCE: 88.8 Miles
States Visited: 2 (Illinois, Wisconsin*)
*This marks the first time I've ever been to Wisconsin!


PART TWO:

Miller Park to Madison, WI
DISTANCE: 72.3 miles

------

SO FAR:
2624.4 miles in 6 days (437.4 per day)
States Visited: 10 (California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin)



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:26 pm

Day Six Highlights:

Made the relatively short drive to Miller Park to see the Brewers beat the Mariners. I sat in the front row behind home plate which was pretty cool. The park itself is fairly decent and probably better than the only other retractable roof park I've seen (Chase Field). They give out free programs which is something I've never seen before and kind of cool.

After the game I only drove to Madison as I'm sort of worn out from the constant driving I've been doing lately and because I don't have to go very far for tomorrow's night game in Minneapolis. I got checked into my motel before dark which is a first for this trip.

Only one more game to see (tomorrow) and then I'll head home.



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:29 pm

Here's the view from my front row seat. The picture is from my phone as I'm too lazy to upload camera pictures....those will eventually be uploaded.



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:50 am

catbox_9 wrote:
GoGetEmTigers wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
So I am sitting in a MLB park right now. My seat is cool.....field level front row behind home plate.

GREAT SEAT LOCATION!

If you go back and watch today's Brewer's game, look for the guy in the front row with a Tigers road hat and a Tigers T-shirt.

What seat number were you in? I looked at 3 innings and could not see a tigers t shirt.


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
GoGetEmTigers wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
So I am sitting in a MLB park right now. My seat is cool.....field level front row behind home plate.

GREAT SEAT LOCATION!

If you go back and watch today's Brewer's game, look for the guy in the front row with a Tigers road hat and a Tigers T-shirt.

What seat number were you in? I looked at 3 innings and could not see a tigers t shirt.

Seat 5 section 118 (which is on the third base side of home plate).

No seat is directly behind home plate as there's an aisle there so I was 5 seats to the third base side.

---------

In other news I just got home. Will update this thread at some point possibly soon.


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:34 pm

Day Seven:

PART ONE:
Madison, WI to Target Field
Distance: 268.6 Miles
States Visited: 2 (Wisconsin, Minnesota*)


PART TWO:
Target Field to Sioux Falls, SD
Distance: 238.3 miles
States Visited: 2 (Minnesota, South Dakota*)

*My first-ever visit to Minnesota and South Dakota!



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:38 pm

Day Seven Observations:

Drive to Minneapolis was fairly simple. Target Field is a decent park. Twins fans seemed to love it and think it was the greatest thing ever but I wasn't overly-impressed. There's nothing wrong with it but it's so new that it has no history whatsoever and it doesn't have some super amazing background like in SF so there's nothing to get that excited about.

Tigers won the game which was neat. Drive out of the stadium was amazing, there was no traffic at all. I've never seen anything like it. The park was packed and most everyone stayed until the end but leaving the game was about as difficult as leaving the drive-thru at McDonalds during non-peak hours.

Drive to Sioux Falls was nothing special but it was long and I didn't arrive until 2 AM. 4 hours later I was up and on the road...


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:41 pm

Day 8 (and 9):

Sioux Falls, SD to Paso Robles, CA (with a pit stop at Mount Rushmore)

DISTANCE: 1817.2 miles
States Visited: 6 (South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California)



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:47 pm

Day 8 (and 9) observations:

Left Sioux Falls, SD very early. I went the route through South Dakota and Wyoming rather than back through Iowa and Nebraska like I came to mix things up a bit and to visit Mount Rushmore since I can't think of any reason I'd ever go to South Dakota. While mapquest says this route is slightly shorter and only takes 30 minutes longer (45 minutes longer if you add the slight detour to Mount Rushmore) this probably is a huge underestimate on their part. Sioux Falls until just short of Mount Rushmore is along I-90 which is fine. Once I left Mount Rushmore it was a 6 hour drive to I-80 on nothing but 2 lane highways which oftentimes had one lane closed meaning there were huge delays as they had to have flaggers and what not.

Mount Rushmore was neat to see. The website says to spend hours there but I only spent about 20 minutes and thought that was plenty. It's neat and all but you're just looking at a mountain with stuff carved in it. Take a few pictures and be on your way.

I was sort of in a hurry to get home so I didn't want to spend $60+ on a motel room that I would only use for a few hours so the only stop I made was at a rest area in Southwestern Utah. I tried to sleep in the car which was surprisingly comfortable when I folded down my back seats and used that and the trunk as a mattress. Unfortunately the sunrise woke me up after just an hour of sleep which made the remaining 550 miles of my trip rather difficult.


NOTE: This picture sucks. It's taken from my cameraphone. I took better ones with a real camera but I'm way too tired to upload those right now.


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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:54 pm

Overall Trip:

DISTANCE: 4948.5 miles in 8 days, 2 hours (612.2/day on average)
States Visited: 13 (California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming)

Major Stops:
Coors Field, Rosenblatt Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Miller Park, Target Field, Mount Rushmore



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PostSubject: Re: catbox_9's 2010 Road Trip Thread   Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:57 pm

Overall Thoughts:



Overall the trip was okay/ not as bad as I was expecting. Looking back it's one of those things that I'm really excited to be able to say I did even though I was fairly miserable during the trip. My dad and I planned on seeing the College World Series this year and possibly some other stuff. He died in September but I decided to still go.

The driving was pretty intense and I'm quite exhausted right now. Upon arriving home I had spent 31 of the previous 32 hours behind the wheel and going back slightly further 35 of the final 40 hours of my trip were driving a car. I've slept less than 5 total hours the last 2 nights and needless to say I am quite tired.

With gas prices and hotel prices being what they are the trip was reasonably expensive for someone like me to do on my own and while I did see a lot of the country and what not, I didn't really have a chance to experience any place I went save the 7 hours I wandered around downtown Denver. I spent no time whatsoever in the other cities I went to and have no real opinion of any of those cities as I didn't get to do anything there other than watch baseball.

Also, with one exception (the night in Madison, WI) I never had more than an hour or two in my hotel room before I had to go to bed which left me with little time to relax.

Finally, traveling some 4948.5 miles in 8 days, 2 hours (612.2/day on average) by yourself can be kind of lonely.

Next year I plan on taking 3 weeks off work and spending most of that time in Michigan with some family and I'll throw in a game in Toronto and possibly Seattle if I decide to take a non-standard route to Michigan.


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