Game one of Skid's season at Citi. July 3rd through July 10th - Mid Season Vacation

Niagara Falls * Cooperstown NY * Rhode Island

Rhode Island! Deb and I drove our way from Cooperstown to Rhode Island through patches of warm sun, cloudy skies and wet downpours, all in 4 hours. Again beautiful countryside and nice roads to guide us to our destination. We checked into our nice beachfront hotel, I was exhausted from all the driving and sight seeing. The strangest thing happened while unloading our luggage from the car. My Chrysler key fob opened the trunk and allowed me to lock the car doors. When I realized I had left my CD suitcase in the back seat, I hit the button on the fob to open the door and retrieve it to put it in the trunk but nothing happened. This sometimes happens but will open after a few seconds of pushing the button on the fob. I hit it again and again but no unlocking of the doors. I had my extra fob in my backpack so I tried it, again nothing. I was so tired we went to our room.

We were going to my brother and sister's house for dinner only 15 minutes away. I kept telling myself the key fob would not be an issue but as we tried to get in the car 20 minutes later it still would not work. I had to use the slide out key, open the door with the door lock (which of course sets off the alarm for some stupid reason), then turn on the ignition with the fob. OK, no problem. I then went to a local CVS and bought new batteries for the stingy fobs, while Deb waited in the car. When we arrived at my brother's house, I locked the car, unlocked the car, locked the car, unlocked the car with the fob. Worked fine. Hmmm. I didn't even change the battery yet! It just decided to be ok and work again. Works every time since!

Don't you just love it when technology messes with you for no real reason.

Deb seems a little unsure

The dark side of the beach

After a nice dinner & visit with Dennis and Jean, we went back to the hotel on the beach. We walked out on the sand a bit then found the hotel's arcade room. The only pinball machine there was a Walking Dead machine so of course I had to play a game. I didn't do very good and moved on after one game.

I love pinball & anything Walking Dead

Dennis had an unexpected meeting to go to on Wednesday so Jean took us to Boucher's Wood River Inn restaurant and lounge where she works. A beautiful place owned by her two sons Tim & Troy whom we were fortunate to meet there along with some of the staff. When we arrived the dinning area was full with a lunch crowd so we took a table in the quieter lounge. We had some excellent burgers with fries/onion rings and a few drinks for lunch. Then a few more drinks and just for me they put the Mets game against the Giants on the lounge TV's. I had a few more Angry Orchard beers and watched the Mets win against the Giants in San Francisco. Although it was one of the first times I had missed a Mets visit to SF in many moons, this was a awesome place to be watching the game on TV.

Deb and I had a very nice afternoon visiting with Jean, her sons, and the Wood River staff. Dennis joined us after his meeting and we dined on the wings special to top off our visit. The day was very enjoyable and although we came in for brunch we stayed until dinner and left only when the lounge got busy with patrons and we had consumed more than our share of food and drink. If you are in the area stop by and tell them Skid sent you.

Spent most of the day at the Wood River Inn.

The next day Deb and I spent some time near the beach in lounge chairs relaxing in the afternoon. My brother had won tickets to a Red Sox-Yankees "legends" baseball game in Bridgeport Connecticut and asked me to join him. Only a handful of "stars" on the rosters, the main attraction was former Mets and Yankee pitcher Dwight "Doc" Gooden. One of my favorite players that I was lucky enough to meet at Mets Fantasy camp in January, I was hoping to maybe see him again and say hello.

Before leaving to pick up my brother I decided to again try my luck on the Walking Dead pinball machine in the hotel arcade. Plunking in two dollars in quarters for 3 plays I found there was still a couple balls left from a previous player. I finished off that game with no more luck than I had the previous attempt. Starting a new game I became a little more familiar with the play of the game and started to rack up some points. Then I hit something that gave me a free game. I played the one game for about twenty minutes and ended up with the high score! I ended up leaving 4 games on the table as I had to pick up Dennis for the hour and a half drive to Bridgeport for the game.

Jean joined Deb at the hotel to hang out by the beach and have dinner. Dennis and I made our way to Bridgeport and the ballpark. He won nice seats right up front beside home plate. Having not ate all day I was ready to try the ballpark's concession stands.

Deb and Jean

Dennis and Skid

A typical minor league ballpark, it was a change from what I had been experiencing this year. We chose to get some hot link dogs and a cup of "world famous" chili. They both were very good. The chili was hotter than the links. Dennis had also received $15 in baseball bucks coupons to spend at the park so he used those for the food and I used good ol' cash to make up the difference. The young lady at the register was confused as I handed here a twenty dollar bill to go along with the 15 dollar coupons. It was $26 for two hot links and two chilies. So she hands me back $25. I said no, that's not right and looked at the receipt. She had put in $51 dollars instead of $15 in coupons and tried to give me the difference, but I refused to accept it. So I told her she only owed me $9 in return, which she did but still looked perplexed. I'd hate to see her balancing the register at the end of the day.

Not quite the backdrop of Pittsburgh or San Francisco

You got to love the abandoned power plant in the background. The minor league team here in Bridgeport even has it as part of their logo. The commuter Acela and Amtrak trains rolled by the tracks between the power plant and right field as well as a ferry in the harbor just beyond that.

Dwight Gooden 1986 rematch against Marty Barrett

Gooden started the game for the Yankee legends, it brought back memories of the 1980's watching him pitch at Candlestick Park versus the Giants. He threw 2 and a half innings before they brought in a reliever. Doc then went up and back along the first base stands signing anything that the fans would bring him for about 2 more innings before returning to the dugout. I thought of walking over there but I figured by the time I got there he would be gone. I hoped we would see him later at the meet & greet.

Bill "Spaceman" Lee was pitching for the Red Sox legends and he threw harder than Dwight Gooden even though he was 68 years young. He tossed a couple blooper pitches and even seemed to get angry and upset when the Yankees scored their run. But he was having fun on the mound and does these type of games often. Oil Can Boyd pitches later and seemed to enjoy breaking off curve balls on the Yankee hitters and pitching like it meant something.

Since half the teams were local "celebrities" (business men who sponsored the event), one at bat was pretty humorous. A vertically challenged "celebrity" player came up against Gooden and decided to wait for the perfect pitch before swinging. Since there were no walks he watched about a half dozen pitches go by. Doc had a little trouble hitting his Eddie Gaedel strike zone as the short batter kept looking for "the" pitch to hit. The umpire tired of his pitch selection and called an outside pitch a strike to which the batter looked away disgusted. "Swing the Bat!" I yelled as if he were one of the Mets getting no-hit against the Giants. After more than a dozen pitches he finally swung and missed a fastball in his eyes and walked to the dugout disgusted as if he had been robbed. It was quite hilarious to me.

Doc Gooden up to bat

Permanently Rain Delayed

With the score tied at 1-1 in the 7th inning, the predicted rain came and got pretty heavy. We took refuge like most of the other fans under the concession stands behind our seats. The Legends players got another half inning in and then the grounds crew rolled out the tarp to end the evening. Dennis had us on a VIP list for a meet & greet after the game so we waited around the stadium club for the event. When we got to the room that the "Legends" were in, Doc Gooden was nowhere to be found but I was not surprised. But now I wished I had gone over to the stands where he was signing stuff and said hello. None of the "Legends" interested me to stand around in the crowded room so we left back to Rhode Island. Dennis and I talked the whole way back about different TV shows that we liked besides Walking Dead. My list was much shorter as I don't watch a lot of TV except the Mets.

I had a great time hanging out with my brother. He is coming down to watch a couple of the Red Sox games when they visit Citi Field in August. Deb and I had a very nice visit in Rhode Island and I was able to cross another item off my bucket list.

Dwight Gooden vs Oil Can Boyd

Niagara Falls
Rhode Island