A Great Adventure

Lexi stretching her legs
Lexi stretching her legs

Stephanie and I have been married for nine years, yesterday.  I took several days off work to celebrate the occasion, even though we had not made any formal plans.  Back when Stephanie and I got married, we used to take day trips on a regular basis, even some weekend driving trips on a whim – trips to near by cities a few hours away, trips to the beach or to Washington DC over 8 hours away, and even longer trips to see family in Maine or Charlotte NC weren’t uncommon.  But as we got more busy, added children to the mix, and moved across the country, those driving mini-vacations all but vanished.

J-Haul - that made me laugh!

We both miss them despite all the ups and downs of being in a car for several hours at a time, so when I suggested we hit the road and head to San Francisco – Stephanie said yes with enthusiasm!  Wednesday night we headed out and got as far as Blithe, CA.  We stayed in a cheap (in every sense of the word) hotel.  The next morning, we hit the road with a San Francisco or bust mentality.  Zander and Lexi have been been great for being trapped in a car most of the day, but we did stop to let Zander climb a tree or two at rest areas and we took a few pictures along the way.  We got into San Francisco last night at about 9pm.

Zander being awesome!

After paying $4 to cross the bridge from Oakland to San Francisco, calling several area hotels, attempting to drive around to look for a descent place to stay that wasn’t $200 bucks a night, and climbing the scariest hill of my life in a stick shift four cylinder, please never do that again to me car – we left San Francisco and headed back to Oakland for the night.  Let me pause here to say, if you ever drive to San Francisco and get there after dark and you are in a Hyundai Elantra – don’t climb the hills!  It was difficult enough just driving up them, but when we got the red light, and my wife started yelling for me to run it, then panicing that I stopped, then screaming when I rev’ed the engine to over 5 thousand RPM with the emergency break on, dropped the break, came off the clutch, in first gear, only to still travel backwards, I must say I was beginning to doubt turning up a street that looked like it went straight to up to heaven.  It was only after I rev’ed it to 7 thousand RPM and quite possibly damaged the transmision that we started to move forward at a pace of about 1 mile per day.  The entire time, my son was saying, “Its OK Mommie, I’m not afraid.” and my wife was trying to remember the number for 911.  We are on a great Adventure!

Is that his real name?

I’m not a baseball fan, but my wife is – or at least was when we got married.  Her favorite teams are the cubs and the red sox.  When I was offered discount tickets through my job to a diamond backs game hosting the cubs – I knew it was a good idea to pick them up.  Stephanie asked our friends to watch the kids, which they agreed without hesitation, and we were off.

To be honest, most baseball games are just too slow for me – but last night was different.  First, the stadium was packed – with cubs fans.  So many that chants like “Let’s Go D-Backs” were drowned out by “Let’s God Cubbies!”  and during the seventh inning stretch, when we all sing “take me out to the ball game” – the cub fans were much louder than d-back fans.  “Root, Root, Root for the D-Backs” was again changed to “cubbies”.  The score at the end of the game looked more like a football score than a baseball game – 10-6 cubs.  Now, while I do wish the D-Backs had won – going home with a happy wife was worth the loose.

Among the highlights – a grand slam home run, ice cream in a waffle bowl for $6, and my wife hi-fiving strangers.  But a personal favorite for me was finding out there is a player on the cubs team with this for a last name: Fukudome.

I have no idea how he pronouces it, but I know how I read it…