Travel from Atlanta to Fort Valley to Louisville and finally back to Denver. 8/4 - 8/7/19
The next day I made my way back down to Middle GA for only 2 nights. I was home able to sort of process the whole summer. I traveled the 6th up to Louisville to visit and tour the Slugger baseball bat factory and museum. If you’re a sports fan, then this place is worth it and amazing! The longest day of travel I had was 20 hours on the 7th. I left Louisville, KY at 4:30 AM EST. I stopped for a good amount of time in KC to see an old friend and grab things I left at my friends house after the Royals game back in early June. I didn’t arrive to my house in Denver till 10 PM Mountain TIme (Midnight EST).
Reds vs Braves 8/3/19
The Game: Boy, what a game it was to watch for the finale of my trip! Braves scored early in two different innings. The new rookie for the Reds that went off late in the season (Aquino) hit his first ever home run to tie the ball game up 3-3 later in the 7th. It was Trevor Bauer’s 1st ever game pitching for the Reds after he was traded from the Indians. It was also the 1st game with the newer Braves bullpen of Martin, Melancon, and Greene. Their reliever Lorenzen walked 3 straight players to allow the Braves to go up in the 8th, however Greene blew his 1st save opportunity for the Reds to tie it 4-4 in the 9th. I was able to witness Acuña Jr hit his 1st ever walk off hit. Man what a close game! Braves win 5-4!
My highlights: The whole day. It was sort of a dream. I got to see my cousins and their kids in the morning with one playing a high school softball game. David and I arrived in the early afternoon for a free tour of the stadium. I have a friend I grew up playing ball with back in my home town who happens to have a pretty good position in the Braves organization who really helped me out and treated me well. We got on-field batting practice access which allowed me to finally get a Braves player’s autograph...Charlie Culberson. It was so cool to finally for the first time ever be on the field for batting practice at an MLB game. We got tomahawks, I got a game used ball, and just absolutely loved the whole game. We even got to take pictures on the field after the game. My dad and old college roommate came up to attend the game with me! So fun...and absolutely relieved to finish the trip. Whew!
Finally on the road heading to Atlanta. I-95 SB was busy with traffic and construction but thankfully opened up and didn’t have any issues all the way to Atlanta. We got into Atlanta at a perfect time too because it was after all the rush hour traffic. We didn’t really stop anywhere because it was such a long distance. However, I did stop at a Total Wine liquor store in NC to buy local craft beer. Getting to stop at Waffle House and Chick-fil-a was nice too along the way back to GA. I made sure to stop by Orpheus and Sweetwater brewing on the way into town too.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Blue Jays vs Orioles 8/1/19
The Game: My cousin happened to be pitching for the Orioles for this game, but unfortunately the Blue Jays were really good...not just against him but the whole Oriole pitching crew. Lots of homers and doubles hit in this one. Vlad Jr was on fire in this game with 2 homers and a double. Final was Blue Jays over the Orioles 11-2.
My Highlights: The craziness of being able to be at this game with my cousin pitching is a miracle in itself. His last name is Wojciechowski and was originally playing for the AAA Columbus team under the Cleveland Indians. Around the beginning of July he was traded to the Orioles. He had a few rough games but still managed 2 fantastic games vs the Red Sox and Angels. His number happens to be #29 and this was my 29th stadium on my tour pitching the exact game I knew I would be attending a year ago. All I can do is scratch my head and say “wow”. He goes by “Wojo”, because that’s a lot easier than the 13 letter version and I was able to make and buy a black jersey with that on it. So happy! The community relations dept for the Orioles was able to bless David and I with free tours of the stadium too. It truly is an amazing ballpark, and everyone around the US told me how nice it would be. I wish I could have chatted and visited my cousin more at the game, but couldn’t since he was busy pitching and everything.
D.C. & Gettysburg
7/30 & 7/31/19
Since the next game was 3 days away and only up the road in Baltimore, David and I decided and planned for time to explore D.C. and Gettysburg. David was able to acquire a spot in a tour to visit the White House via a Georgia Senator. The White House was sort of dreamlike since it’s one of those places you always hear and see on the news (good or bad). You know it has history all around and throughout it. Getting to actually step foot on the grounds and inside and tour the WHITE HOUSE was extremely amazing and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to do it again! We did have a delay on the tour with a bunch of others in the line to due Marine One picking up the President. After the White House we walked a ton up and down the mall up to the Capitol building. It was pretty hot and we got a little worn out, so we headed back to my friends place.
Gettysburg is less than 2 hours from D.C. It’s another place that as a Southerner, you have always heard about it in context with the Civil War. It’s a massive place. The bus tour we booked and went on did a fantastic on explaining the lead up, during, after, and nitty gritty details of the battle at Gettysburg. If you had no clue about this place or the history of it...you can still sense that something happened there. There is a spiritual shift in the air around this town and battle ground that anyone can sense there was a large loss of life. I became pretty emotional and lost in thought while on and after the tour. Anyone can drive around, park at different spots, and read about the different landmarks of the battle there in Gettysburg. I would definitely hope to come back and visit this place again one day.