When I originally wrote this onto my 101 list, I was thinking how much I wanted to see the Sox at Fenway with my dad. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl, watching Sox games together whenever they were on. That is still very much something I would like to do (Ideally, it would be a Sox-Yankees game, but…pipedreams, people.). But, this adventure was worthy of being able to cross this off my list.
I really didn’t expect this particular outing to be the adventure that it was. But it was certainly memorable. As part of the trip to Boston I had planned, I really wanted to take my dad to see a Sox game. They had just won the World Series for the 3rd time in our lifetimes. But the timing was off. The season didn’t start for another week and they opened on the road.
I figured I would have to settle for just taking Dad on the private tour of Fenway that I had set up for us.
But, being the girl that doesn’t do anything without panache, I decided to see what I could do. Fortunately, the Sox were opening away in Baltimore, a mere 6 hour drive from Bean Town. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “holy crap! Six hours to a ball game? That’s insane!”
Well, when you grow up driving 2 hours to the grocery store, and when you live out west, where a six hour drive might not even get you across state lines, it’s really no big deal. Especially when it’s opening day and you want to surprise your dad, who hadn’t seen his Sox play live in over three decades. So it wasn’t Fenway, but it was great.
At least, it was by the time we got there.
For the entire week in Boston, I had been holding this secret under my hat, trying not to let it slip that I had such a major surprise waiting to cap off our week. The morning of the game, I woke my dad up and told him we had to hurry and get dressed so we didn’t miss first pitch.
He said, “but the game isn’t till 3…”
“I know dad, we have to hurry.”
“And they are away.”
“Yes. And we have to rent a car and it’s a six hour drive.” And then I showed him the tickets that I had been stealthily hiding in my purse all week. I had spent a week with my dad, surprising him with all kinds of things, but the look of pure glee on his face was priceless.
But it was no easy task getting there. We had trouble at the car rental place getting a car. Then the car we were given had New York plates and my dad refused to drive it (New Englanders will understand his logic). As we were leaving town, a winter storm was rolling in and it was incredibly icy and sleeting. Heading out the Mass Turnpike, we narrowly missed being in a huge accident, which had my mind simultaneously thinking, “we’re going to die!!” and , “I didn’t pay for the extra insurance!”
It was slow-going out of New England, but once we got to New York, it was smooth sailing. I got to see a part of the country I had never seen, and that six hours in the car with my dad was a wonderful bonding experience. We ended up missing first pitch, and not arriving until the middle of the third inning, and the Sox got their butts spanked, but it was still a great day. Any day at the ballpark is a great day, but when I’m with my dad, those are truly special.
I remember this trip with great fondness, even though it came with a lot of familial drama. This was the last great adventure I got to have with my dad before he had a massive psychotic break just a few months later and our lives were forever changed. I still hope that someday, I’ll get to see the joy in my dad’s eyes that was ubiquitous on this trip, but for now, we have the memories, which we both cherish dearly.