There are two words in the English language that get me, as Thumper might’ve told Bambi, twitterpated.
Those words … Road Trip!
I suspect it has something to do with my former career as a sports writer when I crisscrossed the Midwest following the team I was covering to various remote outposts.
More likely, however, my love of seeing the home team in enemy territory stems from my upbringing in rural Decatur, Ind., where there was no home team to root for.
We were equidistance from Cincinnati, Chicago, and Cleveland. I suppose you could say my father and I were a couple of the original road warriors.
Whatever the reason, I’ve truly grown to appreciate being a stranger in a strange ballpark, stadium, arena, or concert hall.
The beauty of being that stranger is the discovery. It’s not as though I’ve become Lewis and Clark, but it’s the exhilaration of approaching the gates, handing that smiling face my ticket, and embarking on three hours of new adventures. What unknown architectural wonders, concession stands, and native customs await me after I pass through the turnstiles?
I’ve taken such trips with friends, gone solo, and, more recently, enjoyed the occasional road trip with my family. Mercifully, my wife Carol, daughter Helena, and son Jake, all enjoy baseball enough that two-plus hours at a ballpark are possible.
Such was the case during our Spring Break 2011 trip to Maryland. Following a four-day walking tour of our nation’s capital, we embarked for a couple of days in Baltimore – including a Tigers-Orioles game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.