Spring Vacation Day Six – Athletics at Rangers

Today was the only ‘road trip’ of our games this week.  We ate breakfast and hopped in the car for the hour drive up to Surprise, Arizona.  Surprise Stadium is in the middle of the Surprise Recreation Campus, which includes practice fields, picnic grounds, a library, tennis courts, community pool and a water park.  Both the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals share the baseball facility.  It’s really a nice place to watch a game.  We were in the upper level in the last row and it seemed like we were so close to the field.  I wish all major league parks could be like this.

It was nice and comfortable while walking under the second level on the concourse.  Back in the seats, however, it felt warm and cramped.  Like most places, the seats are a little too small and close together.  I think being in the back row helped a little since we got a breeze coming from the walkway behind us.  The temperature was in the low 90’s during the game and it felt like it while in the sun when the breeze stopped.  We also saw clouds for the first time since we got here about a week ago, but that didn’t help the temperature much.

The game started off okay when the A’s put up four runs in the first inning, but Texas came back and scored six in the third.  They didn’t have to look back and went on to win 8-5.  There were a lot of A’s fans there today.  At a few points in the game, the “Let go Ran-gers” chant turned into a “Let’s go Oak-land” chant.

Hank Blalock tried to catch a foul ball but instead flipped over the rail into the A’s dugout.  He smacked his head on something and they treated his cut a little in the A’s dugout before he walked to the Ranger’s locker room.

I noticed it at Phoenix Muni and here again; most of the stadium workers and attendees are retirement age men and women.  Not too surprising since Arizona is a big retirement spot.  The only one of them that didn’t seem happy was one today who manned our seating area.  I guess he didn’t like the people who walked themselves to their seat without his help.

For dinner we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and watched some of the NCAA games.  I think I had three of the four games correct on my bracket.  We ate some ‘chicken strings’ which are probably just processes chicken squeezed through some kind of play-doh like contraption so they look like strings.  They tasted pretty good though.  We had two sauces, one Asian and the other Caribbean jerk.  Both were a little spicy, so by the time my hot wings (only regular hot, not wild hot) arrived, my taste buds were already opened.  I went through three refills of my soda keeping the fire down in my mouth.  They were pretty good though.  Heather had some kind of flatbread chicken pizza thing and she liked it.

After dinner we drove the hour back to the hotel.  In the Denny’s parking lot next to the hotel there were six police cars, all parked rear-first into their spots.  I know they sometimes like to take their meal breaks together, but I’ve never seen so many at one place at the same time.

Tomorrow we will spend the day at the Phoenix Zoo in Papago Park.  If we get there early enough and finish it with enough time, we might cross the street and hike the Papago rock formations.  I hope it’s not too hot either, as we really want to try out our new hiking backpack with Hunter.

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