Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Boys of Summer ~ August 7, 2013

Today we made our first trip to AT&T Park to see the Giants. The game wasn't until 7:15 but we took off from home around 2pm so we could amble down the back roads of Sonoma and Marin and pick up Hwy 101 near Corte Madera. There was traffic once we got on the freeway, but all in all it was pretty easy to get there and parking was right across the street.

We watch the games on TV all the time but nothing prepares you for actually being there: the view from the promenade, the sounds, the sun on your back, the food aromas wafting along the walkways. People get all keyed up in traffic and their everyday lives and worries. The minute they walk into the Willie Mays entrance at the stadium you see the weights drop away, scowls turn smiles, inward to outward, silence to chatter. Grown ups out of their boxes, children in their element.

We were way early so we checked out where our seats were located. Our friend at Jeff's 4X4 gave us two of his season tickets: awesome seats about 25 rows back and just to the right of home plate. Oh Baby!

Stadium food is not health food, it's a day off from being good kids. It was hard to decide, but we settled on garlic fries, a brisket sandwich and a coke. Brown rice and salads for the rest of the week to recover our dignity.

Time for a few laps around the Promenade to check out the vendors and the view during batting practice. We have a Kaiser iPhone app called Everybody Walk that lets us track time and mileage with a map. Two laps around the promenade was a little under a mile. We were leaning on the railing looking down to where the ferry parks and checking out boats and kayakers. All of a sudden we hear the crack of a bat and someone yells "heads up".

A fly ball arced over our heads and plopped in the water about 15 ft. from the pier. A kayaker was stroking hard to get to it, but a man on the pier cast a small, weighted dip net out beyond the ball and gathered it in. My understanding is that he's there all the time, but the fans never get tired of the competition.

Before we left home we'd been briefed about dressing for night ball, what you could bring in and where to park. Right nice to have someone blaze the proverbial trail for you. We brought water and snacks, cushions and extra shirts. Plenty warm for evening fog and a breeze.

We've heard Kruk and Kuip talk about the seagulls during broadcasts but never really understood their comments until we experienced ritual. Unfortunately the Giants lost their grip in the 8th. A number of fans left and we started seeing seagulls circling the park and perching on the roof line like ornaments. In the 9th more fans left and the number of seagulls doubled. When the game was over we walked up the stairs to the landing and looked back. We were astounded to see hundreds of gulls on the field and in the bleachers. It appears they are the first wave of the cleanup crew. Humans are a messy bunch and sea gulls are opportunists ~ a match made in heaven!
Parking $30
Got have Hats $64
Food $35
Gift of Admission ~ Priceless
Thank you Jeff and Kathy for the tickets, the tutorial, and a grand adventure.