The Mets and Times Square. My kind of day.
You know, we live in a pretty darn cool area.
Here in Connecticut, we are just two hours away from two of the most energetic and fast paced cities in the country, New York and Boston.
I've always loved going from the rolling Litchfield Hills to the hustle and bustle of one of the above-mentioned locations for even a day trip to a ball game or dinner.
On Sunday, my wife Den and I took off to catch a New York Mets game at Citi Field in the Borough of Queens for our once a year game.
I've stopped going to a few games a year because I like to have a roof over my head and if you pay big bucks for your seat, the parking, food and memorabilia will darn near break the bank.
I had a plan though, and it started with the purchase of the tickets a few weeks back once the team had fallen hopelessly out of the playoffs in early May, or so it seemed.
You see, the worst time to go see a team in a major market play is when they are flying high unless you're from Minnesota or San Diego where the tickets are usually cheap.
Check them out when they suck, like the Mets.
Before we left though, I had to stop down at THS and get a couple of shots of two guys who will be on the cover of the September edition of the Litchfield County Sports Magazine, due out later this week.
Chris DeBerry ('10) and Walter Lewis ('11) are shining examples of the kinds of graduates that come out of the high school, go on to college and then come back to give back.
Their story is a good one, check it out.
We got on the road at about 11 a.m. for the trip to Citi Field, I know that sounds kind of late to leave for a game but, like I said, it's the Mets.
Got to the stadium around 1:15 and got to our seats a bit later after I broke down and bought a Jacob DeGrom tee-shirt.
I never even consider jerseys at this point, I want to eat next week so the tee-shirt did just fine at damaging the trip budget.
We hung out in our terrific seats (foul ball heaven, one went over my head by about five feet, another sailed into the SNY booth, causing Keith and Gary a bit of concern) for about three innings and then headed inside one of the clubs to get some lunch and watch one of five football games that were on, along with the game.
Funny how this has become less about the game and more about the entertainment but I'm adjusting.
It is kind of fun to be able to see the NYC skyline or the Tennis Center across the way or the alien towers from Men in Black in the distance by the old World's Fair Sphere.
The skyline gave me an idea though.
Why not take a trip into Manhattan and visit Times Square?
I love New York (hey, that could be ...never mind) and it had been a long time since we had been there.
There is something about the place that is so us and so about what our country truly stands for.
With all the divisiveness in the air on Sunday across NVL stadiums, I loved being in a city with thousands of strangers who were doing just what I was.
I love the diversity of New York City, I never shy away from it.
I must have heard five or six languages as we made our way through Times Square and then down to 8th Avenue to the Playwright Celtic Pub for some dinner. That's what makes America great.
Had the Sheppard's Pie and I think it's still steaming in my stomach as we speak.
Cooked in a cast iron bowl, it was very good until it burned my taste buds off.
Just kidding. It was delicious.
As we sat there and watched people come and go, we could have been sitting anywhere.
When you think about it, we are really not so different.
I watched families, couples, grandparents, friends and strangers get together for a meal and a drink.
We have always brought our children to NYC, from a very early age. There is something about the buzz, the pace and those magnificently tall buildings which on Sunday helped keep some of the 90 degree heat off us with some much needed shade.
We had a car with a sun roof (ours was in the shop so it worked out nicely) so we took some pictures of the skyline from an angle I had never seen. It was something. No pigeons had fun either, which was good.
I am also one of those folks who loves to drive in any city.
Check off Boston, New York, Miami and Los Angeles on my list of cities I have driven around.
I like the feeling of being able to come and go as I please and the thrill of taken on the NYC traffic.
Okay, call me crazy but I grew up doing it when we would drive down from upstate New York when I was just starting to drive.
Around 6, the cost of parking was about to reach ridiculous heights so we decided to call it a day and head out.
We take route 9A up the Hudson, a beautiful view of the place that Sully put that plane down on, and before we knew it, we were back in Northwest Connecticut by 8:30.
Like I said at the start, having the world's biggest playgrounds within two hours of us is something else, a gift even.
Can't wait to do it again.