I just came back from a lovely weekend in St. Louis where I got to hang out with friends and watch the best baseball team on Earth play (the Cardinals, just in case you were confused at all).
A bit of background: I've been a Cardinals fan since before I was aware of what baseball was. I'm a 3rd generation Cardinals fan as both my mom and my grandpa are/were fans. Floating around my parent's house somewhere is a picture of me at 3 years old in a Cards shirt. As much as we were huge fans, we lived too far away from St. Louis to be able to see a game in person, not to mention it can get pretty pricey. That changed in 2011 (5 years ago!?! what!?!) when I went to my first game on the 4th of July. The Cards beat the Reds 1-0 and there were amazing fireworks after the game (both in stadium and on the riverfront). I try and go back as often as possible because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going to Busch Stadium and seeing the game in person.
I can tell you what I don't love though: Crowds.
More specifically, walking through or with crowds. I'm not sure if the excitement of a game day blows walking etiquette out the window, but I found myself squished against walls, bumped, almost ran over by a guy twice my weight, or forced to move around gaggles of slow walkers hogging the sidewalk. I think my favorite was when a girl stopped directly in front of me to take a picture of the stadium and I narrowly avoided bowling her over. She at least apologized as I careened by her.
But seriously, how hard is it to remember the rules of walking? Going towards a place, you walk on the right. Headed away? WALK ON THE LEFT. See your friend and want to visit? Step off the sidewalk OUT of the flow of traffic. (Unless you're in England or another of its weirdo colonies, and then the rules are reversed. I had issues with that in Australia- one reason I didn't drive there!)
One contributing factor might be the lack of clear paths in the stadium. You have people gawking at the really amazing sights, kids running everywhere, people coming out of the stadium to grab food or drinks, some headed to the escalators, other people making a beeline for the bathrooms….. add all that together and it's chaos. Throw in a very full cup of hard cider and my treasured pristine white Jon Jay jersey and you can imagine my stress as I navigated my way back to my seat.
Fortunately, I excel at winding and weaving through the mess and arrived at the end of the weekend none the worse for wear, other than a shortened temper and a sore toe where some oaf squished it flat. I don't think it was on purpose.
Even after dealing with all the dumb crowd walkers, I'm super happy I got to go. I had a great time catching up with my closest friend from college, got to see two games, had some incredibly delicious food (gluten free caramel brownie sundae anyone?) and spent a good chunk of time outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and sunshine!
Coming up next weekend is more travel! This time, I'm headed off to Seattle to participate in Camp Mustache! For those of you bums who are too lazy to click the link, it's a 4 day retreat at the base of a mountain focused on hanging out with like-minded individuals. It's like the Chautauqua in Ecuador, but not on a different continent, and with more people!
I'm very excited to hang out with familiar faces and meet every one else. This time, I already know some people so I'm not going in blind like I was last year to Ecuador ( a fact that made my mother incredibly nervous. She feels better about this trip, but then again I don't need to speak Spanish for this one haaha). I'm thrilled to see Mr. Money Mustache and Paula Pant again, as well as one or two other attendees from the Chautauqua. Brandon from the Mad Fientist will be there and I'm excited to meet him, as we narrowly missed each other in Ecuador. He's asked for some feed back on the Lab (which I use all the time) so it'll be really cool to get to help him with that.
Not to mention….. the other 45 odd Mustachians that will be there! There's a Facebook group set up and we introduced ourselves on a post. I was THRILLED to learn I will NOT be the youngest this time! The bane of learning about FI early is always being the youngest of the group no matter where I go, but not this time! It'll be great to contrast our situations (but not compare!!) together and see if I can learn anything from them.
I'm also looking forward to taking lots of notes and sharing what I learn here. If I'm learning stuff, that means other people can learn that information as well! I should have more than a few articles from this trip detailing everything.
Overall, I'm just really excited about this trip. 4 days in the Pacific Northwest [which I've heard a lot about but haven't yet visited] at the base of a mountain in a temperate rainforest is close to my vision of perfection. Add in all the great company and it's going to be a great time!
Are you headed on any fun travels? Do you have a rant or a rave to share? Let me hear it!
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