Category Archives: Special Events

America’s Most Beloved Ballpark

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Paul took me up to New Hampshire and Massachusetts to meet his family.  Saturday night was dinner with his mom and a trip to a bar.  Sunday during the day we ventured to his dad’s house on a river in New Hampshire.

The view from the back door

It was beautiful, even though it rained.  Not a fun downpour where you think God himself is raining buckets down upon us just to prove what he can do.  No.  No this was just Mother Nature being lazy.  She didn’t feel like raining all at once, getting it out of the way, just to feel productive.  She decided to throw some precipitation down at us during the commercial breaks.  Effectively making it seem perpetually gloomy throughout the day.

As you can see from the picture, the sun stayed away.  I had to take the photo inside.  Behind the screen door.  With an iPhone.  Although during about a 30 minute break from the rain, his dad did take us out on that tiny boat.  I was promised I’d get to see a river otter, but Mother Nature wouldn’t let me have that either.

That night we drove back to Paul’s hometown to watch fireworks and something he would only explain to me as “The Pots & Pans Parade.”

The fireworks were surprising, given how tiny the town was.  But the Pots & Pans parade was something else.  Image a normal parade.  Now imagine the firetrucks.  You know, the loudest part.  When I was little I used to cry my eyes out while the fire trucks blasted their horns completely destroying my tiny eardrums.  Now imagine that everything in the parade is a fire truck.  A fire truck hell-bent on being the loudest fire engine in the parade.

Yes.  The entire parade is that.  Fire engines, giant trucks, men on loud motor cycles, old cars with loud engines.  Everything is just loud.  But then adorable all at the same time.  There are floats, children throwing candy to the crowd.  And yes, people banging pots and pans.  The town seemed like it was only about 5 blocks long.  Yet the parade lasted over an hour.  So it was loud AND slow-moving.  It’s a pretty big deal in the town.

Onto Monday.  The actual Fourth of July.  We woke up.  Got dressed.  And headed to Dunkin Donuts.  In Dunkin Donuts Paul and I have a conversation while waiting for our breakfast sandwiches that goes like this:

So what do you want to do today, babe?”

“I don’t know.  You’ve kidnapped me to New England.  I have no idea what’s up here.”

“I figured you didn’t have anything planned.  That’s why I took care of the planning.”

At this point I just glared at him.  I knew he had something planned.  I assumed it was just to some park he knew around here.  Or visiting some of his old friends.  So we got back in Paul’s truck and he started driving east.  It was about 10:30 AM.

Once he finished eating, about a half-hour into the car ride, Paul said.  “I need you to make a phone call.”

Uhhh.

Then he adds.  “I’d do it, but I’m driving.  I need you to call the hotel.”  I think by this point he recognized utter confusion on my face.  Something between What the Hell are you talking about?! and Ohmygod! Am I going to die?!

So he reached for the envelope he had stashed on the visor above him and handed it to me.  I opened it.  Inside were two tickets to the Red Sox game that day and a hotel reservation for some nice hotel in Boston for that night.

He clarified more as he watched a giant smile tear apart my face muscles.  “I need you to call the hotel and ask if it’s OK if we check in early.  We’re going to be there before noon.  And we have a game to get to by 1:30.”

Yes, go ahead world, you can agree with me as much as you like.  I’ve captured the perfect boyfriend.

He’d planned on holding out on the surprise longer.  But he realized he had no idea where the hotel was in Cambridge, and once again needed me to use my phone.

After our mini-fight over my less-than-stellar navigation skills and lack of ability to use a map (Not everyone has navigated a submarine through the oceans of the world, Paul!) we arrived at the hotel.

It was nice.  Too nice.  Too nice for us, I mean.  Regardless of what it says on his birth certificate, Paul and I are still too young and childish to be staying in such nice places.  When he picks hotels in the future.  He should really look into ones that are made for the youngin’s who like to leave every light and TV on while they go out to bars and don’t make the bed before they check-out.

We walked to Fenway Park.  Even saying it while we walked over, “How far is Fenway, Paul?”  was a rush.  To answer your question, it was about a 15 minute walk, including a beautiful stroll across the Charles River.

Then we get there, and I am beyond excited.  To the point where Paul is asking me to not squeeze his hand so tight and to not stop and look at things while he tries to navigate us to our gate through the giant mass of people.

Don't let the clouds mislead you, the sun was a-blazin'.

We get in and the next step is finding our seats.  He walks toward the first base line and stops about 20 rows back.  And all the while, in between being mesmerized by America’s Most Beloved Ballpark and wondering when he will get us beers, I’m thinking “No.  These can’t possibly be our seats.”

Oh wait.  These aren’t our seats.  This is the wrong section.”  

I knew he’d get lost somewhere.  He found an usher and that guy showed us to our seats.  Our seats.  You know.  The ones CLOSER to the dugout.  The ones less than ten rows away from the field.

Yeah.  Those seats.  AISLE SEATS, nonetheless.  I’m hyperventilating just remembering it!

The game itself was alright.  The Sox lost.  They were down 7-0 by the second or third inning.  But in the seventh they rallied to score a few runs.  It was exciting.  By then we were drunk.  We danced to Sweet Caroline in the seventh inning stretch.

We were also convinced that the guy sitting behind us was famous.  We just didn’t know from where.  Paul was convinced he was a retired athlete from somewhere.  He had about 4 rows of seats around us for his family.  He must’ve been rich.  When I got back from the bathroom, Paul said he won a “who’s a bigger man” match with that pseudo-famous guy.  Apparently it had something to do with standing on the stairs and whichever man moved first was less of a man.  According to Paul, the other guy moved first, and then bought us a round of beers.

The tiny boy across the row from us waited for a foul ball all afternoon.  And he was sitting patiently.  I like my children like I like my inanimate objects.  Quiet.  Paul, and the family in front of us vowed to catch a foul ball and give it to him.  But no such luck.

Fear and Loathing in Fenway Park

After the game Paul and I hung around.  I promised him I’d get a picture of him in front of the Red Sox Dugout.  So we did a small photo-shoot.  He didn’t really know I was hitting the shutter button on my iPhone repeatedly.  But how else am I going to get a candid picture of him where he’s not trying to do his Blue Steel.

Alas, he never smiled.  Due to the fact that a small boy, possibly 8 or 9, bumped into me while i was shooting Paul.  This enraged him.  Incredibly.  Mind you, Paul had been drinking.  But he really doesn’t like children.  Almost as much as I don’t.  But after what came out of his mouth at this boy, it’s a miracle we didn’t spend the night in jail.

Watch where you’re going, idiot.”

“Paul, wow, it’s fine, he just bumped into me.”

“No.  It’s not fine.  Some F***ing, tiny little kid needs to watch where he F***ing walks!  No one walks into my girlfriend and doesn’t apologize!”

“Jesus.  Take it easy.”

I’ll take it easy after I grind his bones into the dirt on the field.  Little Sh*t.”  

At this point… this is where I immediately burst out into laughter.  Grind his bones?  Are we in a 1950s gang movie now?

Mr. I-Don't-Smile

I was too busy laughing to take any more pictures.  Luckily no one heard.  And Paul was allowed to get away with threatening the life of a young child.

And therefore this was the best smile I got out of him.  I recognize it as the “Do-you-even-know-how-to-use-that-iPhone?” smile.

Also, yes, those are my sunglasses.  And if you hadn’t noticed before.  Yes.  His shirt does say “Beam Me Up Scottie.”  He’s pretty clever, too, I guess.

Beautiful People at Fenway

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Special Events

The Friendly Island–Part 1

postcards were made on this island

Oh yeah, for spring break I went to Saint Martin/Sint Maarten.

I went with two good friends, Ilana and Jamie.  It’s a lovely little island that’s split in two.  Half controlled by France, half controlled by the Dutch.   I stayed on the Dutch side.

I could go into great detail about how beautiful the island was.  How places like this only exist in movies.  How the sunsets took my breath away.  But I won’t.  It’s a Caribbean island, I’m pretty sure that’s just a given.

First, I will start off with the plane ride.

Yes, we had a 9 a.m. flight. So that meant getting to the airport before the sun did.

Disclaimer:  I hate flying.  It’s a hate that manifested years and years ago, for no reason at all.  I attribute it to disaster movies, my fear of heights, and possibly just a reason to feel proud of myself when I step off a plane.

Let’s take another step back for a hot second.  Upon going to load up my car with our bags, I was rewarded with a lovely surprise.  My drivers’ side window had been smashed.  Glass was all over the front seats, there was a rock on the passenger seat.  It was completely gone.  I cried.

So with a little replanning, we loaded our bags into Ilana’s civic, moved my car to my boyfriend’s driveway, and heading on our way–half an hour late–to Newark Airport.  Needless to say, I lived through the plane ride, much to my disbelief.  You could go on about how I’m being dramatic and planes are the safest way to travel.  But just wait until you hear about the airport in Sint Maarten.  Princess Juliana International Airport a.k.a. We fit the shortest runway in the world on the only stretch of straight land on the tiny island and hope for the best.

Our resort had a good view of planes landing and taking off.

That part is in entirely true.  There are specials on the History Channel on the most dangerous airports in the world and Princess Juliana is one of them.  Basically there’s the ocean, about 15 feet of sand, and then the runway.  So up until the last possible second, if you look out the window, you convince yourself to prepare for a water landing.  And as everyone knows, planes don’t land in water, they crash.  No big deal.

When leaving the plane, you’re encouraged to congratulate the pilot on a good landing.  That isn’t just a thing for all flights, there were signs in the airport asking “Did you congratulate your pilot today?”  And by good landing, they mean not dying.  Then there’s take-off.  As I said before, the runway is very short.  and then directly in front of it are the mountains of Sint Maarten.

So immediately after take-off the plane–and of course that aforementioned, experienced pilot–must make a 90 degree turn to the south before subsequently crashing into the mountain face.  Fortunately while you’re taking off, you can’t see ahead of you.  You’re mesmerized by the view from your side window; the island, the blue ocean, and the sadness that you’re leaving your vacation spot for dreary New Jersey.

Leave a comment

Filed under Special Events, Uncategorized

2010, we hardly knew ye

It’s 2011 already?  I remember 2010 like it was yesterday.

 

As I’ve learned from the week-long argument between my brother and his pint-sized girlfriend, not everyone feels the insatiable urge to end the year in an extravagant bash.  Like most ladies, she wanted to wear a nice dress.  He wanted to wear his bear-foot slippers and chef pants–probably not as popular.

I can say with almost complete certainty, and that is a gross exaggeration, that most people definitely do not ring in the new year with Prince karaoke.  That little treat we did all on our own.

You heard me correctly.

Purple Rain, Raspberry beret, Let’s Go Crazy, Kiss, 1999 (a necessity) and, oh yes, The Beautiful Ones.

Perhaps it was the 12 bottles of champagne.  Or the Beer.  Or maybe even the joyfulness of friends.  But the men at my house last night hit high notes that even an elf couldn’t achieve.  We left our shame and dignity in 2010.  It was truly magical.

So onto a new year.  It’s a big one for me.  I turn 21–in 30 days.  After that I hear it’s all down hill from there.  So perhaps it’s not the best thing that my birthday is so early in the year.  Oh well.

 

>insert cliche New Year’s resolution here<

Leave a comment

Filed under Special Events

We Make Norman Rockwell Jealous

The holidays at my house are never exactly like those from a hallmark movie.  Although to be honest these days, whose are?  My brothers and I are all over the age of 20, so there’s no tearing apart wrapping paper fanatically for new toys.  My parents plan on moving soon, so this is the last Christmas in the house I’ve lived in for 15 years, which one would think it’d be a little more special, but really it’s not.

So what is special about our family Christmases? Quite a few things, actually.  We have one odd tradition that seems to turn heads when I try to explain.  Christmas celebrations last three days in my house.  Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, AND the day after Christmas.  The 26th of December is actually our biggest holiday gathering, my dad’s side of the family gets together.  We drink and be merry.  I have one of those families that when outsiders meet them, the phrase “Liz, I LOVE your family” is often uttered.  We’re that family.

To paint a picture, I’ll introduce some family members.

Uncle Nat.  He’s a car salesmen. That would speak for itself, but I must delve into specifics.  Every conversation is him trying to sell something.  Whether it be a car to my brother, or his idea for his new book (it’s been “in the works” for years) Simple Solutions to the World’s Problems. Use your imagination on that one.

Uncle Bob.  He comes in tow with my Aunt Bonnie–not a real aunt, because they’re not married, but still my aunt nonetheless.  What also comes in tow is their giant yellow lab, Mack.  My dad insists on always calling the dog “Matt,” which is my brother’s name.  It was funny one time, and then never again.

My grandfather.  He’s my only living grandparent.  He is the greatest man ever.  His voice reminds me of James Earl Jones.  He says what’s on his mind, regardless if it’s politically correct, racist, or impolite. He’s like Clint Eastwood, but aged a lot better.  He’s a WWII veteran from Guadalcanal and in his late 80s…the rules of society don’t apply to him anymore.   And yet he still puts up with my dad forcing him to watch Band of Brothers or The Pacific.

So long story short slightly less long, the holidays are about getting together and sharing time with close friends and family.  And that’s exactly what we do.  We talk, we laugh, we drink, we talk some more, we compare my dad and his brothers’ hair loss, and we laugh some more.  It’s not quite Normal Rockwell.  But what does Norman Rockwell know?  The people in his pictures all look like my roommate when she’s had too much to drink–completely red in the face and all too giddy for real life.  SO, I’m thinking my family would probably make Norman Rockwell jealous.

Happy Holidays!


Leave a comment

Filed under Special Events

Remember when…?

I used to update this thing regularly?  I sure don’t.  We’re talking more than one post per day, people!  It’s been practically a month, but I must say it aloud.  And by aloud, I mean on-this-blog.

 

Baseball season is over.

 

There are a long list of expletives I could continue to use, but I’ll save that for the confines of my own mind.  As I’ve learned from my roommate, not as many people care about baseball as I do.  So I will save myself the embarrassment.

On to bigger and better things!  Perhaps a change in decoration of this blog is in order…

Leave a comment

Filed under Special Events

Why I love this…

So I happened to be lucky enough to witness, in person at the Bank, one of the most inspirational and shocking 9th inning comebacks in baseball this past Friday.  Yes.  The game on July 9th against the Reds (for those of you struggling to catch up with me here).

Down 7-1.  A 9th inning, six-run rally to tie it.  Plus a walk-off homer in the tenth by Sir Ryan Howard.  Events like that leave a fan stuck with the only acceptable reaction–speechlessness.

Although I had been far from speechless.

My brother, my boyfriend, and I found our way to some two-hundred level standing room right behind home plate around the 8th inning.  Fully aware that this would be a perfect spot to view the Comcast Fireworks after the game–assuming the game was about to end soon in a sad, disappointing defeat.  Much to our happy surprise…No, no it wasn’t.

During this insane rally, we made friends with a friendly old man who worked as an usher at the park, we finally located my brother’s girlfriend Ali, and we screamed our lungs out after every home run.  No. Big. Deal.

By the tenth inning walk-off I was close to tears.  Honestly.  Looking around the ballpark, I was reminded just why I love the Phillies and why I love baseball.

While singing along with the great Harry Kalas to High Hopes, I felt like a kid at Christmas.  My boyfriend, Danny–a native of California and a growing Phillies fan–watched me sing (with a horrible cracking voice) at the top of my lungs with a giant smile on his face.  Who knows if that smile was out of embarrassment, adornment, or what else…

The theatrical fireworks after the game were a nice addition to an already amazing night.  Perhaps one of the best nights of my summer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirations, Phillies, Special Events

It’s been awhile.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  So I decided the morning after St. Patrick’s day would be the perfect opportunity.  I’ll just say my St. Patty’s night was a little on the hilarious side.  I drank early, and stayed sober the rest of the night to be designated driver for Mr. Tyler Stanley.  We descended upon Philadelphia in a blaze of glory to Tyler’s Brother’s house.  Then off to dinner on South Street.  (The most food I’ve ever eaten in my life.)  And then of course, back to Coleman’s house at Drexel where the boys enjoyed some Guinness and car bombs.

The drive home was eventful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Special Events