Usually, when I’m planning a sports trip, it starts with a game. This one, however, started with a camp. For those who don’t know, I coach volleyball and played volleyball for an awesome coach at Dartmouth College. I wanted to take my youngest sister out there for a camp (she never got to visit me while I was out there) and bring along some other players, including her friend who was a setter at the time. My former coach was a setter herself and great at teaching it, so I was excited for her to show my players (and hopefully me) some stuff on setter/overall player development. Additionally, the Red Sox played in Boston the weekend before the camp and in New York the weekend after, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to hit up both cities while getting some volleyball in in between. Unfortunately for us (but not for the coach) she got a job offer at another school that she ended up taking after I had already planned the trip. We ended up still going, however, and while the camp wasn’t exactly what I’d envisioned and we had a few hiccups along the way, the trip was amazing.
We got in on Friday afternoon, just in time to head to our AirBnB and to the field. While planning the trip, I found out that the Red Sox were offering something called “Red Sox DestiNations” for this series, and after looking at the things they offered, we decided it was something we had to do. It came with a pretty hefty price tag, but with it we got a free goody bag, an on-field batting practice pass, tickets to two of the games (3rd available for an upgrade price), a catered lunch and autograph/picture session with a current player, and a behind the scenes stadium tour. For us, it was definitely worth it, and I think the girls enjoyed it too.
Before the game, we got to do the on field batting practice. This was one part where I think the girls were bored, but Joel and I were geeking out the whole time- Mookie! Xander! Pedey! JBJ! BIG PAPI!! They were all so close to us as we stood behind watching them try to perfect their craft.
After that was done, we headed out to the street outside of the stadium. One negative about Fenway being so old is that it’s kinda crammed, so they close off one of the streets to the side and make it so that you can’t access it without a ticket. That also makes it so you can leave the stadium and wander around a bit if you need some space. They have a humongous fan gear store on that street and so we hit it up- we weren’t planning on getting much gear there (it can be overpriced and I have plenty of Red Sox gear to go around- the girls borrowed from me so they could deck out), but we were not prepared for the weather. It had been unbearably hot in Minneapolis in May, so who would have thought that it would be freezing cold in Boston in July? We didn’t bring sweatshirts or anything, so we invested in some warmer clothes and a blanket before heading back to our seats.
This game we sat in the seats we got as part of the DestiNations package. They were in the Coca-Cola Pavilion, which is down the left field line to the left and above the Green Monster. When I first got the tickets and saw where they were, I thought they were pretty horrible, to be honest. But I have definitely sat in worse seats at Fenway (centerfield, deep down the right field line), and these actually gave a pretty great view of the game. Additionally, we got standing room tickets for above the Green Monster, so we wandered down there for a couple of innings. The only bad thing about the seats was that it was pretty windy on an already cold evening, so it didn’t help the chilliness situation. Also, you’re not super close to the concession stands, which made for a pretty heartbreaking moment for me. I went down after the Red Sox had hit in the home half of an inning to get some hot chocolate. Between the long walk and the long line for something warm, it took me quite a while to get the drink, and after I paid, I heard the roar of the crowd and my stomach dropped. I knew in my heart I had missed it- David Ortiz had hit a homerun. I wanted more than anything to see him hit a homerun live in his final season, and I just knew I had missed it. Sure enough, when I got back to our seats Joel sheepishly asked if I’d seen what happened. I was pretty heartbroken, but I knew we had 5 more games on our trip so I tried to stay optimistic and upbeat. The first night is too early to cry on a trip. Plus, the Red Sox won, beating the Rays and keeping the sweep on the table.
We didn’t have time to do anything but change and get to the field, but luckily Fenway has a wide variety of food to offer. The have street type food on the streets surrounding the stadium and a wide variety of options inside from typical stadium eats to salads and other healthy options. I opted for my usual go-to of a soft pretzel (mmm, carbs), while Joel went with some of the food sold on the street outside the stadium.
This trip was my first experience with AirBnB and our spot in Boston was absolutely perfect. We had our own space with a bedroom and a blowup mattress for the girls, a full kitchen, and a nice sized bathroom. Additionally, we were just below the space where the owners of the spot lived, so they were around if we needed anything at all during our time there. They stocked the fridge with orange juice and eggs, which was a nice touch we really appreciated, and I had my first experience with a de-humidifier. I used to get pretty bad colds as a kid and would need a humidifier at night, and this is a similar idea, but in reverse. It pulls the humidity out of the air to cool the space you’re in. It worked really well in keeping the space nice and cool when we slept! The other nice thing about the apartment was that it was a short, safe walk to the Boston T, or subway system, which is really the easiest and best way to get around the city. It is easy to navigate (especially with phones these days, but even without) and can take you to a block from the stadium.
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.