10 for 15: Ten Observations On Our 15th Annual Roadtrip

Great American Ball Park Giveaway

The Little Red Garden Gnome

15 seasons ago a gang of six forty-somethings, with ties from back in high school and earlier, took in some spring training games in Arizona. It was a mix of planned activities and spur of the moment fun. We didn’t anticipate it would be the inaugural event in a string of annual weekends that has continued non-stop. This past weekend, we marked our 15th consecutive year with a drive across Indiana to the banks of the Ohio River and the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The weather was a challenge, but the fellowship was even stronger than on that first voyage to Scottsdale, AZ.

Some Random Thoughts From Trip Number 15:

  1. A casino that only has slot machines isn’t worth a visit. Table games are where it’s at.
  2. A baseball game watched on a beautiful night from the cheap seats is a lot more fun than a game watched in a downpour from the premium ones.
  3. The poorer the home team is playing, the easier it is to be one of the first 20,000 guests through the turnstile to grab the evening’s give away. As a corollary, probably 15,000 Cubs fans went home with a Cincinnati Reds Garden Gnome.  (see example above.)
  4. What is the point of a local noise ordinance that cancels postgame fireworks shows when the ballpark is in a commercial/industrial area?
  5. It is possible for a sixsome to back up an entire miniature golf course on a dreary Saturday morning. Same for a KFC buffet line. (Only the first of those two was worth the price of admission.)
  6. You can usually find enough to fill your stomach at a hotel breakfast buffet, but neither the fruit nor the bagels will necessarily be fresh.
  7. Playing “Password” until 3 a.m. will make the next day as miserable as if you had spent that time in a bar or club, even without the hangover. Also, it takes a certain type of deranged mind to play “Password” until 3 a.m.
  8. Putting chili on spaghetti, the sine qua non of Cincinnati dining, makes as much sense as pouring a serving of hot fudge on a Lou Malnati’s Pizza. Who in their right mind would do such a thing?
  9. There is a comfort in hearing the same apocryphal story told for the 15th year in a row. It’s like reading “Goodnight Moon” to your grandchildren over and over again. You can always do it one more time.
  10. I predict that within another year or two ALL of the six of us will be UroPartners patients. Even the guy who lives in San Francisco.

So a “way to go” and an “attaboy” to my traveling companions. Let’s start planning #16 real soon.

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