Monday, April 21, 2014

Take Us Out to the Ball Game (Even if Chilly)

Gloucester, VA          (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

As I've mentioned in a few previous blogs we enjoy seeing minor league baseball games when in different cities. By doing a search on the Minor League Baseball Website you can see if there are any teams playing nearby and what level of play you might expect to see.

We decided to travel down to Norfolk, VA (about 1 hour, 15 minutes) to see a game between the Norfolk Tides and the Durham Bulls. These teams play in the AAA International League. The Norfolk Tides are the farm team of the Baltimore Orioles and the Durham Bulls for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tides play their games in Harbor Park.  This stadium opened for play in 1993 and has a seating capacity of just over 12,000 persons.  That's a good sized park for a minor league team. 

One of the several things we like about minor league games (other than cheaper prices) is the intimacy of the surroundings.  The parking and stadiums are always easy to maneuver and you get a feeling of being more involved with the game.

Panorama Before the Game

This stadium is large enough to have an enclosed restaurant named "Hits at the Park" just off the right field foul pole.  They have buffets and you're able to still enjoy the game by utilizing seating overlooking the right field.

Shivering Before the Game
This was not an "ideal" day to watch a ballgame in April, but we had a good time nonetheless. The temperatures were in the low-50's throughout the game and the winds were a constant 20 MPH or so.  Karen (white jacket) looks as though she's attending a fall football game.

Even the Tides' pitchers in the bullpen look like their huddling to keep from freezing.

It's very nice to see little kids having a good time at a baseball game.  Every minor league game we've ever been to caters to little ones and has certain activities or promotions for them.  Here's a group shot of a local Little League team having their picture taken with the Tides' mascot Rip Tide. I'm sure each of them will remember this day for a long time.

And what would baseball be without goofy, between innings activities?  Here we have the Racing Bottles of Local Wineries competing in today's challenge.

The game itself was pretty good.  Several home runs were hit, even with the heavy winds.  Few errors were made.  Best of all, the Tides wound up winning 6-3.

Usually on Sunday games, as well as in Major League parks, kids get to run the bases at the end of the game.  Again, something that little guys (and girls) will remember for a long time.

Another good day at the old ball game.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chesapeake Thousand Trails

Gloucester, VA     (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

With our time up at the Prince William Forest CG and with my Father-in-Law now at home and seeming to be doing well, we've moved south for a bit.

Just a short 2 1/2 hour drive to the southeast and we arrived at the Chesapeake Thousand Trails (TT) last Friday.  We've been Thousand Trails members since 2008, but have never really used the preserves enough to justify our initial and annual expense.  Once we began FTing in 2013, we have started to use the preserves more.  I'm not going to talk about the decision to join TT here, but in Bill Osborne's blog Seeing the USA he does a nice job of addressing the costs and use factor associated with making an informed decision concerning this matter.

We have been to this preserve several times throughout the years and chose a site in the open this time.  We knew it wouldn't be that hot yet and we wanted to be able to pick up a satellite signal.

Apparently, these folks like their satellite TV as well, but were forced to group their dishes together (away from the trees) to pick up a signal.

Another reason we decided to choose this preserve was because we knew that they had Pickleball courts.  We saw them on our last visit back in 2010, but had never played at that point. We are still having "withdrawal" pains from our nice courts in Arizona, so we were anxious to get in some playing time.


Does anyone here remember the feeling that Chevy Chase and his family had when they reached Wally World in the original National Lampoon's Vacation movie?

 We went over to the Pickleball courts and saw this.

The Pickleball courts are currently under renovation for the upcoming season.  No fences, holes in the concrete, and no nets.  Not something we were happy to see!

This TT's preserve also has two separate swimming pools.  The same work was happening to them.  Oh well.

I guess we'll just have to get out and do some additional walking and bicycling.  The following pictures around the preserve are of some of the amenities.

Boat launch into the Piankatank River

Under Roof Lodge Area

Indoor Hot Tub

Aside from regular RV sites, the preserve also has different classes of cabins for use. Here's a few of the "regular" cabins positioned beside one of the lakes.
Here's one of the "Getaway Club" cabins overlooking the Piankatank River.


I couldn't end the blog without a photo of a sign posted down at the end of the fishing pier. Now I'm certainly in favor of not jumping into shallow water, but I'm not sure if I can avoid "swiming" near the pier.
 Thanks for stopping by to take a look!