The joys of travel

Sunday afternoon. Yikes, I've twiddled the weekend away and now it's coming down to the wire for getting things done before my vacation. In case anyone's interested, here's a skeleton itinerary:

Monday - depart sunny San Diego at 11:15am, arrive Cleveland, Ohio at 8:14pm. Pick up rental car, then swing around to the terminal to pick up best friend (Tracy) after her flight arrives at 8:55pm. Head to hotel and, if we feel like it, wander around lovely downtown Cleveland.

Tuesday - up bright and early to hit the fitness center, then off to explore Cleveland. On the itinerary are the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Lake View Cemetary, and (time permitting) Emerald Necklace. At 7:05pm, we'll be in our seats at Jacobs Field to sing the National Anthem prior to watching the Cleveland Indians take on the Seattle Mariners.

Wednesday - early start for our three hour drive to Columbus, Ohio. Sightseeing opportunities include the State Capitol, German Village, and Topiary Garden. At 7:05pm, we'll be munching our hot dogs (well, I will, Tracy will probably find a place with grilled chicken - she's not much for hot dogs) and preparing to watch the Columbus Clippers take on the Wilkes Barre Red Barons.

Thursday - Not terribly early start because it's only two hours to our next destination, Cincinnati, Ohio. Now, I've been to Cincinnati, but Tracy hasn't, so this should be interesting. In any case, at 12:35pm, we'll settle in to watch the hometown Cincinnati Reds take on the Florida Marlins. Once the game's over, Tracy's got some Winged Pigs and Jungle Jim's Market on the itinerary. I'm thinking we'll probably go over into Kentucky for the evening because I don't remember much being open in the downtown Cincinnati area after dark.

Friday - Another early start! We're driving to Detroit (about 5 hours) and doing lunch with Tracy's cousin in Ann Arbor before heading to a 7:05pm game between the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. We don't have anything listed for Detroit...wonder why that is?

Saturday - Definite early start for our five hour drive to Chicago, during which we will change time zones as well. We'll probably go straight to U.S. Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park) for the 3:05pm start of the Chicago White Sox vs. Anaheim Angels (WOOHOO...Go Angels!!!) game. Yes, I'm bringing my Angels World Series jersey and bright red floppy hat. Yes, I'll be the only one not wearing black and white (Sox colors). Yes, you'll probably be able to spot me in the crowd pretty easily, since I'll be the only Angels fan in attendance. After the game, the only thing on our itinerary is to explore as much of Michigan Avenue as possible. We're staying at the Intercontinental, right there on what I like to call "Shopping Avenue", and it has a 24 hour fitness center so that I can shop until I drop and then work out afterwards - God bless Chicago!

Sunday (Day 7) - Can you believe it? Another early start! We're off for a two hour ride to Milwaukee, where we'll be taking in a game at Miller Park at 1:05pm between the Milwaukee Brewers and (my) San Diego Padres. Yes, I'll be wearing my brand new Padres t-shirt and hat. No, I won't be the only Padres fan there - Tracy likes them, too! Besides, the fans in Milwaukee are awesome. I ran into a bunch of them at Spring Training in Arizona last year and they were some of the best folks I've ever had the pleasure to take in a ball game with. I'm looking forward to brats and diet Coke and some darned good baseball. Also on the itinerary is a tour of the Harley Davidson factory. Should be an interesting experience.

Monday - Guess what? This is our earliest start yet - probably about 5:30am. Not pretty. We've got a 5-1/2 hour drive from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, Minnesota and, if the predictions are correct, it ought to be raining the whole way there. We'll be meeting Tracy's auntie there, and going to the 1:05pm game at the HHH Metrodome featuring the Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. (I'm thinking that wearing my Lakers' tshirt might not be my best move.) After the game, we're staying with Tracy's aunt and I'm sure there will be some delicious (fattening) food involved.

Tuesday - For once, no early start needed, because this is our last day. The plan is to hit the Mall of America as soon as it opens, see as much as possible, then get to the airport about 1:30pm to turn in the car and get checked in for my 3:40pm flight home. After a layover, I am supposed to land in San Diego about 7:30pm Pacific time. Who knows what time my body will think it is, since I'll have travelled through two different times on the way home. Pick up the luggage, catch the shuttle home, collapse on the bed.

Sounds fun, doesn't it? Hey, if you're in any of the cities along the way and happen to see a Ford Taurus crammed full of baseball souvenirs, too much luggage, and two girls that look very, very lost, stop and say hi, won't you?


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