Back from vacation, ready for a vacation from vacation

I’ve had a fun week and a half, but I’m ready to be at home for a while now.  Tonight will be the first night since 3/12 that I’ve spent back-to-back nights at home and the first night in almost a week that I’ve spent back-to-back nights at the same place.

I suppose I really can’t complain, though, since I got to spend all of this time watching tons of baseball, basketball, and going to a friend’s wedding.

Here’s a quick timeline of what I’ve done over the last week and a half:

  • Friday 3/13: Drove 10 hours to Orlando.  Stayed at a resort complex courtesy of Melissa’s school through Sunday night.
  • Saturday 3/14: Spent the morning on the computer at Panera before going to the Phillies-Astros game in Kissimmee.  Phillies won 5-2. Went to the outlet malls in Orlando that night with Melissa and some of her co-workers.
  • Sunday 3/15: Went to the Braves-Astros game in Lake Buena Vista (at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex).  Got Braves LOOGY hopeful Eric O’Flaherty‘s autograph and nearly missed both Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward.  Derek Lowe started and looked pretty good, and the Braves won 3-2 with an 8th-inning rally.  Tried to go to Titusville that night for the space shuttle launch, but ended up watching it from just outside the Orlando airport, thanks to ridiculous traffic.  Still pretty cool to see, though.  Ate at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney, which is quite an experience.
  • Monday 3/16: Swapped wife Melissa for bro-in-law Chris and went to the Cardinals-Tigers game in Lakeland.  Chris has already posted a recap of the trip here.  Stood down the left-field line for the whole game with general admission tickets, but it wasn’t a bad way to watch a game.  Pujols homered but couldn’t match the Tigers’ Timo Perez, who finished a double shy of the cycle, and the Tigers won 7-6.  Ate at NBA City on the Universal CityWalk and had fun airballing a bunch of NBA threes before I finally got my act together and made a few.  Stayed at the Sleep Inn Monday and Tuesday night.
  • Tuesday 3/17: Went to the Braves-Mets game in Lake Buena Vista.  Jurrjens started and looked fantastic in six innings, and the Braves won again 5-1.  Got Terry Pendleton’s autograph at this one.  Headed to Tampa after the game and had a great burger and shake at Fresh Mouth in Ybor City. Went to the Yankees-Pirates game after that, and the Yankees physically made me sick (I actually missed the top of the first).  I think the Yankees just have that effect on me.  Yanks won a 9-2 blowout, and C.C. Sabathia looked pretty good in four innings of work.
  • Wednesday 3/18: Drove two hours to see the Braves-Mets game in Port St. Lucie, where the Mets have a pretty nice ballpark.  Barely missed on Jason Heyward’s autograph yet again.  Tommy Hanson started and labored a bit through four innings.  Schafer, Brandon Jones, and Martin Prado had big days, and the Braves held on for a 7-4 win.  O’Flaherty pitched 1 2/3 innings, so that was exciting.  Rode back to Valdosta after the game (about five hours).
  • Thursday 3/19: Headed home early that morning to get back in time for the NCAA Tournament.  Broke in the new projector in our basement, even though we’re still only about 90% done with all the work.  Spent a night at home.
  • Friday 3/20: Drove to Searcy and noticed a few things different from three years ago (I hadn’t been back since graduation), but it was still mostly familiar.  Saw the old Joel Osteen globe in the revamped Heritage Inn lobby, poked around in the bookstore, and visited the new College of Pharmacy building.  Said hi to one of Melissa’s former professors, but other people were tough to find when we got there on Friday afternoon at 4.  Met up with Melissa’s friends Jamee, Susan, and Rachel that night for supper and watched tourney games that night with Susan’s husband Brandon at their apartment in North Little Rock.
  • Saturday 3/21: Drove back to Searcy for breakfast at IHOP.  Hung out at Jamee’s place and watched games until Jace’s wedding.  Met up with former suitemate Clay at the wedding and desecrated Jace’s car before he and Karen could get away.  Drove back to Memphis after the wedding to stay with the grandparents-in-law and watched the rest of the tourney games.
  • Sunday 3/22: Left early to drive home from Memphis and watched some more tourney games when I got back.

Total damage done:

  • 2,400 miles on the car, not counting that Chris drove us around some more in his car from Monday to Wednesday.  I’d guess we averaged about 5 hours in the car per day over 10 days.
  • Six baseball games attended in person, totaling roughly 18 hours.
  • Lots of basketball watched, probably another 15-20 hours or so.

Needless to say, I’m happy and exhausted today.  I may have a separate post on March Madness before Thursday, but I need some time to recuperate.

In the meantime, check out some pictures from the trip below.  I kind of stopped carrying my camera around after Monday, but I got some decent pictures before then.

Phillies-Astros 3-14-09

Braves-Astros 3-15-09

Space Shuttle Launch 3-15-09

Cardinals-Tigers 3-16-09


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