Vacation!

28 Jul

There’s a good reason for the lack of posting lately. We were on a road trip!

Joel is a BIG St. Louis Cardinals fan, so since our California vacation got cancelled in April (Napa Valley and pregnancy just really don’t mix well), we thought we’d take a little trip out to STL to see some games and then stop in Chicago on the way back to see my cousin Stefan and his wife Lauren.  We even scored some tickets to a game there (cubs/cards) thanks to Joel’s dad!

Usually our vacations are a little more geared toward me than Joel.  Think sand, surf, fruity drinks, pools, general relaxation, and laying in the sun.  Joel’s not much of one to lay out in the sun, but he’s a trooper (read: he watches movies inside while I enjoy the sun).   So this time, our vacation is (very much) geared toward him.  See, I like baseball, but I’m not what you would call an avid fan.  4 games in 4 days is more baseball than I’ve seen in my entire life.  But marrying Joel kind of made me into a Cardinals fan by default.  I’m not sure how it couldn’t.  Joel is constantly telling me about the players, their stories, their stats, how they did in the game last night, who got called up, traded, sent down to the AAA team… you get the picture.  But because he’s so excited about it, it’s easy for me to achieve a moderate level of excitement as well.  And I will say, watching baseball live, in the stadium, is MUCH better than watching it on TV.

Welcome to St. Louis!!

Who knew that my new favorite thing was headquartered directly across the street from the Cardinals stadium?!?

We got to see 3 wins out of 4 games against the Phillies in St. Louis.  We had some pretty sweet seats while we were there, too.  Outfield seats:

St. Louis is a great city – if I had to live in the midwest, I think I could live here.  It’s clean, feels safe, and everyone is super friendly.  No, really.  They are maybe the friendliest people ever.  And they have some amazing food here!  We’ve experienced several excellent meals (aside from ballpark fare, which is good in it’s own right) – at Joe Bucks and Pappy’s Smokehouse. And leave it to my husband to take a picture of me eating…. 🙂

Also, if you’re going there, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is a required stop.  Talk about awesome!  I had the Cindermint concrete (think Goodberrys, for all of you NC-er’s, but BETTER!).  Yummm!

Also, people here know how to drive.  I don’t know who designed the curriculum for the NC driver’s ed program, but they need to consult with the people who do the same job in the midwest.  People there know to use their signals, to GET OVER when they’re not passing in the left lane, that a flashing red light means it’s a 4-way stop, and who has the right of way at a stop sign.  Really people, these are simple simple concepts.  Could we get a little of that in NC please?

We took a tour of the stadium and got to go on the field and sit in the dugout.  I think Joel was in heaven… the only thing that would have been better was if Albert Pujols had walked into the dugout while we were there.  He might have had a heart attack.

For the last game, we had AMAZING seats right behind home plate in the Cardinals Club area of the stadium.

From St. Louis, we headed to Chicago.  We got to see Stefan and Lauren, and they let us stay at their place, even though they were headed out to the lake for a weekend with friends and family.  It’s an awesome condo about 6 blocks from Wrigley Field, and they left us a list of all the great Chicago places we had to try out while we were there.  We feasted on Chicago deep dish pizza from Giordano’s (excellent) and Chicago style hot dogs – mustard, onions, slices of tomato, a pickle spear, spicy peppers, green relish, and celery salt – from Murphy’s (which has 2 locations in Japan, of all places).  I skipped the relish – sorry if that means I didn’t get the full experience.  I was feeling adventurous, but maybe not quite that adventurous.  It was good though.

We rode the L downtown and saw the art museum and the museum of contemporary photography.  The contemporary photography museum was disappointing to say the least.  It was more like a gallery with one guy’s very strange work.  Call me uncultured, but adding random colored circles over the faces of the subjects in the photos doesn’t really improve the quality of art to me.  It’s kind of like the modern art movement.  I can paint a canvas red and put a white stripe on it.  Maybe I just don’t get it, but it doesn’t seem very inspired to me.  I’m sure there are those people out there who would argue.  That’s fine – to each his own, right?

Sunday night, we headed over to Wrigley for a Cubs/Cardinals game.  It was a beautiful night.  After a week of temperatures around 100 degrees, the heat finally broke, and we were treated to a lovely 75 degree evening.  I, for one, was extremely thankful.

It was an awesome game – it went to extra innings, but the Cardinals pulled it out in the end.  I have to say, baseball at Wrigley is a completely different experience from a game at Busch Stadium – really different.  But we had a great time, and got to walk back to the house wearing our cardinals gear with our heads held high.  So great.  Amazing how, somehow, the Cubs fans still tried to heckle us, even though they lost.  But whatever.

On the way home on Monday, we passed by the most humongous wind farm I’ve ever seen.  And they were putting up more turbines – LOTS more – beside the ones that were already operational.  It was kind of cool, and I wished that my real camera wasn’t in the trunk… but the iPhone did a pretty decent job.  We must have driven through this for about 6-8 miles.  Crazy!

It was a great trip!  You know that feeling at the end of a vacation though, where you’re just ready to go home?  You miss your own bed and your own shower.  I am so happy to be home, but had a really fun time.

I have some more pictures from the “real” camera… but I have yet to download them.  I’ll be sure to share when I get them done though.  I don’t imagine Joel will want to wait very much longer before he adds some action shots of Albert in action to the walls of the man room. Baby girl already has a little cardinals gear and a nice, soft, fuzzy Albert Pujols bear to greet her when she gets here!

Wow, this turned into a really long post.  If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking with me!

4 Responses to “Vacation!”

  1. Ginny July 28, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Such a great post with fun photos! I’m glad you guys had a blast 🙂

  2. Beth July 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    how did you get those photos “edited” from your iPhone?

  3. Beth July 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    the windmill ones… sorry

    • rschlieman July 31, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

      Beth – it’s an app called Hipstamatic – it has different “films” and “lenses” you can switch out. it’s one you have to pay for, but it’s one of the best camera apps I’ve found… I use it almost all the time with my iphone now… you can play with it in august if you want to try before you buy. 🙂

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