They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but I’m not sure how much truth there is to that statement, especially when it comes to me and my mom. She’s awesome- selfless, patient, affectionate- and I’m… not. She decorates her house for almost every holiday and/or season, and I had a Christmas tree this year for the first time in four years (because she came over and put it up when I was out of town). Another area where we differ is travel- she has her spots she likes to go to and will go back whenever she gets a chance and won’t fly over water. I, on the other hand, had a conversation with Joel the other night where we agreed we have a lot of places we need to go before we go back to Boston (which is easily our favorite spot) and am planning a trip to Europe next summer.
Taking into account my mother’s travelling preferences, it’s not surprising that a lot of our vacations growing up were to landlocked places we’d repeat, and Seattle was not on the list. So despite it being a direct flight or a terrible but doable drive, I found myself at 27 years old never having been to the Emerald City, and I probably would have made it to 28 or even beyond if not for my younger sister, Bailey. She’d traveled with us on our long Boston/New York trip, so I knew she could hang for a trip with Joel and I, and an adventure seemed like a fun gift for her 18th birthday/graduation. (Remember that note about my mom being selfless? Yeah, a lot of the gifts I give also involve me doing the gift with them. I don’t even leave the “no truly selfless act” argument up for debate). I gave her a few options and thought she would for sure choose concert/Padres game/zoo in San Diego, but she surprised me and opted for a Red Sox series in Seattle. She’d actually been to Seattle before, but as a baby for a heart surgery, so Joel, a frequent Seattle visitor and reformed Mariners fan, was in for a long weekend with a couple of Seattle newbies!
If a stadium changes names, does it now count as a different stadium? I did not factor in this possibility when making my corny stadium chaser rules, but alas, here we are. Safeco Field is no more. Instead, as of this winter, we now have T-Mobile Park. How much changes when a stadium name changes? Obviously, the signs promoting Safeco will change, but beyond that, is there more than your basic upkeep renovations? This is a real conundrum.
We've all been asked it at some point. That hypothetical question about what job we'd be doing if money was no object. Mine is easy: I'd be one of those people that sit on the field in foul territory to fetch foul balls during professional games. Getting to watch professional baseball games on the field? Sure. Occasionally getting to show off my hand-eye coordination? Why not. Getting to delight young children and adults alike by handing them foul balls? Heck yes to it all. But, alas, by the time I've amassed my fortune from my real job (which is, admittedly, pretty cool), I won't be young and spry and I think most major league teams don't want to risk having some lady die on the field because she can't react to a foul ball in time. So while I still occasionally daydream about being a ballgirl, I've shifted a bit to thinking more about what I could actually do when I retire and through our travels settled on giving stadium tours, preferably at Fenway. I know this is the holy grail for retired people who want to give stadium tours, and living in Boston upon retirement will require quite the savings account (which is not helped by our love of travelling to cool stadiums) but hey, a girl can dream.
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.