04 July 2015

The Vacation: Day One

So, vacation was going to start Thursday at noon when the office closed for the 4th of July holiday. As I'm sure all of you know and have experienced, that was just a pipe dream. By the time court was over, I finished what paperwork I could, and left instructions relating to the remaining stuff, it was dusk. Consequently, the trip home to get my bags and feed the critters turned into a decision to remain home. After all, I'm not sure my cat can sleep unless it is laying on top of me.

Friday morning I timed my departure so that I could stop at the Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg for breakfast. Of course, when I get there the place has a sign on the front door informing customers that because Letcher County is cutting water off at 8 a.m. the resteraunt isn't serving sit down meals until the water is turned back on. So, I end up getting a couple biscuits at the next Double Kwik I ran into on the road. 

The 5+ hour journey to Dayton, Ohio continued.  Through most of the trip I was listening to "They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived", an audiobook about the life and career of Doug Harvey. As you might suppose from the title, Mr. Harvey is not exactly the most humble guy who ever lived, although it is an interesting ramble through whatever topic seemed to pop into his mind as the book was being written. That's typical of this kind book so I wasn't dissappointed, although I think "The Umpire Strikes Back" by Ron Luciano was better (but it isn't available in audiobook).

I got to Dayton early enough to go to the local top ranked disc golf course. You drive through a somewhat run down area of town to get to a somewhat run down park in order to find a run down disc golf course. The course wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as I'd hoped - lots of medium-long, rather open fairways over grass that was just tall enough to stop the disc from skipping and hide it from easy view. Lots of younger kids playing in groups of three to six. Naturally, I get glommed onto by an older hippy type who just decides he's going to golf with me on the third tee. Admittedly, I didn't try to shake him too hard because he became my native guide. Without him I'd have wasted at least five or ten minutes trying to figure out where each next tee was and where each basket was. Still, I wasn't too surprised at the end when he hit me up for beer money.

Next came the Travelodge hotel. Not much you can say about a $50 hotel. The hallway to the room smells funny and some of the people in the other rooms are *ahem* interesting, but the room is solid enough and the lock on the doors and the wifi work great.

To this point, Vacation 2015 was rating mediocre to mediocre-low. And then I went to watch the Dayton Dragons play.

It's nor fair. The Dayton Dragons have now set the standard against which the rest of my vacation will be judged. The only tickets I could order for this game were in the outfield grass area (I kid you not) and the area was filled with people. The stands were packed and the place felt more like I was at a well attended AAA game rather than a single-A. As the game began, they were making announcements about how you could try to arrange to get tickets for next year. The scoreboard had big dragons on it. The outfield walls were electronic and constantly playing scenes. The people were really into the game and nobody left before it was over (in most minor league parks there is a trickle after the third and a steady drain of leavers starting about the seventh). Heck, when the game was over I left and the great majority of the crowd was still sitting in its seats. It was amazing. I now want to move to Dayton just so I can rent an apartment across from the field and go to every home game. I even violated one of my major rules and bought a jersey.

So, the rest of the baseball teams I'm going to see this next eight days have a lot to live up to. Today is actually a soccer day and I'll drop ya'll a line about the Columbus Crew tomorrow morning. 

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