Thursday, April 12, 2007
Don't mess with Tex-ass
Okay, as promised, a Texas recap. Also as promised, giant bits of information are probably missing.
We started off Friday morning at 4:00, with Kerry’s alarm does not go off. Great way to start the day. Kerry and I had to get ready in 6 minutes. Clearly Colleen was not involved. We flew out of Manchester and arrived in Newark at 7:33 with exactly 33 minutes to go from Terminal C to Terminal A. Good work Expedia. (more on them and how I plane to take down their entire corporation in a little bit). Anyway, after nearly missing the shuttle bus, running up and down the terminals, we arrive at our gate. The Continental lady gives us a knowing look, “Manchester?”. We get onto the plane and the flight attendant greets us with a, “We didn’t think you would make it!”. We finally get to Dallas about 11:30, grab our bags (just kidding, Continental lost those. More on how I plan to take them down in just a bit).
After filling out the freaking lost baggage claim, we grab our rental car. (A PT Cruiser – not my idea and I was dead set against it – I want that known). We get to the ballpark area and follow the signs for parking, AROUND, and AROUND the ballpark. In the Rangers defense, they NEVER sell out except for Opening Day, so there is no real reason to have enough parking to hold your stadium capacity, especially when there is tons of land around the ballpark. Nope, no reason at all. We finally park at Hurricane Hell Hole or something like that and take a shuttle to the park. We get there to find Timmayyy pitching pretty well, but with no life in the Red Sox bats. (sound familiar?). We are sitting somewhere between Mercury and Venus in the upper deck. I guess you get what you pay for ($9.00 seats). The games end rather quickly with the Rangers’ closer coming in to secure the 2-0 win. Now, I don’t want to get all negative on the Rangers, but I have been in louder libraries. I mean, why would anyone want to play there? The two times the whole game they made noise was 1. when the colored dots had a race (seriously), and two, when their closer came in to Hells Bells. I had never heard of their closer before, but they went crazy, although, I’m pretty sure it was because they love AC / DC in Texas, rather than any special love for their ball club. (seriously Mark, I mean, we love Youk, but we could love you too. You just come on over whenever you are done with Texas okay?).
After dinner we went to some place called the Saltgrass something or other. We hadn’t eaten since 6 that morning, so we were pretty excited and would have eaten anything, but what we did eat was very good. After our U-turn filled ride to the hotel, we find the Holiday Inn – North Galleria in Texas. It was in um, not the bad part of town, but certainly not the good part of town. It was a very standard hotel, our room had the usual, two beds, bathroom. It overlooked the pool, which is very important when it’s um, 40 degrees out. We went and checked out the lounge in the hotel, I had a few white Russians. (cold weather = white Russians, warm weather = vodka tonics). We sat there and chatted for a little bit, before finally calling Mercy (is that a real saying?) and heading to bed at like, 10. (I know what you are thinking, wow, you’re wicked old! And what a bad time you are?...my answer for you is, we already know this. So just um, leave us alone.)
We woke up at the crack of um, 9 or so. We take about 9 hours to get ready to do anything. Actually, it takes me a ½ hour to get ready, Kerry a ½ hour to get ready, Katie a ½ hour to get ready, and Colleen 4.2 hours to get ready to do anything. We decide to go out to breakfast, but by the time we are all ready it is more like lunch. Now, let me tell you a little about Dallas. It is a MASSIVE maze of highways, Comfort Inns, Budget Suites, Sonics and Jack-in-the-Boxes. We start driving looking for a place to eat, and we are afraid to go more than 15 feet away from the highway, because we were pretty sure we would never find our way back. Every time we made it back to the hotel we were so relieved that we weren’t going to spend the next hour doing U-Turns. (oh, one quick note, we saw Texas Stadium while we were there…what a piece of shit!). Anyways, we ended up at the Olive Garden. After lunch, Colleen decides she just has to go to the 99 cent store and run in. An hour later, we are on our way back to the hotel, (yes, an hour…in the dollar store).
Our hotel was like, 20 miles or something from the park, so it was going to cost us 80 dollars for a cab. Luckily, we had a hotel friend named Brad who dropped us off in the Holiday Inn mini van for 40 bucks. Quick story about Brad, he played football for the University of Oklahoma (and played in the Orange Bowl and hoped to turn pro but tore his MCL and ACL. His brother played in the NFL for the Falcons…this will be important later). We headed to Humperdinks (that could be spelled wrong or not the right name) for some pre game nachos and vodka tonics and cape codders, and during this time, met Katie’s hot step brother (she has been holding out on us). Now, here is another important fact about the Ballpark at Arlington. We were at one of the closest restaurants to the ballpark, and it was still a solid ¾ of a mile walk to get there, which ruined my buzz. We get to the game, and it so freaking cold I want to crawl under my chair and die a quick death by hypothermia. We throw some vodka nips in our sprite and find out seats again up in the 300’s, but a slightly better angle and we are a little closer to Manny than the previous night. It’s too cold to even drink our mixed drinks, so we are all slowly developing frostbite and sobriety. (bad times). By the time the game was in the 7th and the Rangers had stomped all over Tavarez, we decided to call up my new buddy Brad. We head back to the hotel, and the whole buzz losing / freezing cold / Red Sox loss had taken their toll, we close the hotel lounge and head off to bed.
We wake up and go to breakfast at the hotel then head to the local Walgreens (not getting lost once, although accidentally parking in the bank) and Big Lots where we get some markers, poster board, and fleece blankets. We head back to the hotel, and Queen of the Nap (Colleen) takes a nap while the rest of us make posters. I made two, one for Q of the N, and one for me. One said, “Sorry I missed dinner Mom…Let’s Go 38) in Easter colors, and the other said the classic, “Go Red Sox”. Kerry’s said that she didn’t fly 2000 miles to be swept and Katie’s said something about Texas being cheaper than Fenway. Also, we were donning our rabbit ears in honor of Easter, which, ended up getting us all on ESPN looking ridiculous. Oh well. Now, here is the part of the night that it starts to get a little hazy for yours truly. Before the game, I had 3 white Russians, at the game, I had 4 or 5 smiranoff ice (I don’t even like those), after the game, I had ___ white Russians and some blue shot from our bartender friend / enemy Josh back at Humperdinks. Humperdinks closed at ____ and we went on a pretty long cab ride to another bar _________ with some kids we met named Chris and __________.
At the second bar, some kind of pool hall, there was University of Oklahoma flag hanging from the ceiling. I decided that I had to have it for my good friend Brad the shuttle bus driver. I asked Travis (I remember his name for some reason) if I could have, I asked Will the bartender. They both said no, so I started asking anyone taller than me in this bar if they could please pull down the flag for me. Literally, no person higher than 5’6 went without me bothering them. At this point, I go to over to a boy and tell him I’ll give him my bunny ears (apparently I still had them on?) if he’ll steal me the flag. He puts on my bunny ears and puts his baseball cap on my head. At this point, Boy’s girlfriend comes RUNNING over, pulls hat off my head, pulls bunny ears off Boy’s head, and starts yelling at Boy. I grab bunny ears and quickly scurry away, back to my friend Travis the bouncer, in hopes that he would protect me from Girlfriend. (he told me that I shouldn’t talk to other people’s boyfriends…at this point, Travis was starting to lose his patience with me I think). Josh asks me if I know how to take a shot…Do I know how to take a shot? Please. __?_ # of Jack Daniels shots later, last call has finally come around. Kerry and I end up with Chris and the other girls go with ______. Turns out __________ and Chris don’t even know each other. It’s always a swell idea to get into cars with random boys in random cities.
I drift in and out of death the whole way back to the hotel. When we arrive in the parking lot, I’m not sure what happened, but by recaps the following morning and the state of my clothes, there was a little bit of throwing up and a little bit of rolling on cars and the ground. In my own defense, Chris was very pleased I was able to wait till we got back to the good old Holiday Inn, the next couple of hours are pretty um, non existent in my poor little brain, but Kerry did tell me, “Amanda, I have never seen anyone throw up so much”. So, basically I was a terrible time. I guess over the next 4 or so hours the girls and Chris and ______ when swimming and talking and making out (rumor has it). I guess I kept waking up and throwing in my 2 cents / throwing up during this time, although, again, all am mystery.
The following morning, I wake up in bed and am still hammered. I kept cracking jokes and keeping everyone else up. At some point, I kind of sobered up and went from comedian to corpse. We had to leave the hotel at 1 and I was crying in bed telling everyone I couldn’t go home and that they just had to leave me behind. I finally mustered up the 3% of energy I had left, run out to the car and wander around the parking lot until Colleen, aka, slowest moving person on Earth was ready. I had two laundry bags from the Holiday Inn, one of which, Colleen was able to put to good use. (we were ¾ on the day throwing up, btw).
We get to the airport and the Delta guy tells us we have a snowballs chance in hell of making our connection in Atlanta, and that he can get us home the next day at 3:45. I have Opening Day tickets and am ready to cry. (during this time I call Expedia to ask them to find us a flight home from Atlanta on a different plane and they told us basically tough luck, which, they didn’t know who they were messing with). He tells us that instead he can get us to Atlanta Monday night and then to Manchester Tuesday morning. We get on the plane and head to Atlanta, wanting to kill myself the entire way. We do, as planned, miss our connection flight and therefore, added a night to our vacation at another Holiday Inn. I was relieved when I checked in that they didn’t have my name blacklisted after the condition in which I left the room in Dallas.
We end up on a 6:50 flight out of Manchester, getting a little past 11, finding our suitcases (Delta lost them in Atlanta but somehow found them for Manchester). I get home to the Wo about 12:30 and I walked into Copperfield’s at 1:30. I missed the Impossible Dream stuff but made it in for the first pitch. It was probably the longest 30 hours of my life from the time of the start of my hangover to the time I got to Opening Day (still pretty hungover, btw).
Anyway, as for the Ballpark at Arlington, the amenites are very nice, the park is beautiful, but there isn’t enough to do around it. I would put it as my least favorite road-trip destination so far. My current list, to be updated as the list grows, is.
1. Baltimore (great area around the park)
2. Tampa (2 reasons, Gulf of Mexico and Vinoy hotel)
3. Toronto (great downtown, easy to walk to)
4. New York City (always a good / terrible time all at once)
5. Dallas (boo)