Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weekend Getaway

Dean and I had a wonderful weekend in St. Pete. Dean booked a hotel room downtown as part of a baseball package through the Hilton for a belated birthday present (my actual birthday was during the Rays' road trip of sucktitude). The package included a room, $20 in coupons for the concession stands (to be used on anything, not specified), a bucket full of snacks and drinks, hats, free transportation to and from Tropicana field, and two free tickets to the breakfast buffet the following morning. Ironically, the actual Rays game tickets were not included, but it was still a hell of a deal. The trip was not perfect, but what it lacked in perfection it completely made up for in humor. And in OUR household, humor, not perfection, is close to Godliness.

We got there around noon and were allowed to check in early. The hotel was quite swanky, more reminiscent of the conferences I go to than the casual overnight trips we usually take. I was giddy over the Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries provided. We walked over to Midtown, our favorite sports bar in downtown St. Pete and had a big lunch. Then we headed back over to the hotel to grab some pina coladas and a dip in the pool. It was only when we were slightly buzzed and still completely stuffed from lunch that Dean announced his wedding ring had slipped off in the pool. He had been treading water in the deep end. So, we mustered all our might and took turns spotting the damn thing and trying to dive under six feet of water to grab it. I haven't opened my eyes under water in a chlorine pool in probably ten years. I think we both tried about four times before Dean emerged, coughing and spitting, victoriously holding the gold ring in the air. I, being more pragmatic and less sentimental, was ready to give up and go buy another. But I'm glad he got it. "All the swimming lessons of diving for quarters finally paid off," he said laughing. There was another couple in the pool and after we caught our breath and wisely headed over to the shallow end, they correctly guessed what we were up to. I'm really proud Deano has lost weight (30 pounds so far!) but I think it's time to get the ring resized.

We freshened up and headed to the game. It was 90s night, which was really sad because at first we didn't realize it, and thought it they were just playing our favorite music. We felt old. We got there early to get autographs, I got Longoria on the program from the last game we attended. I was a little bummed out at the lack of eye contact he made while signing. I always get a smile from C.C. Oh well.

Seeing as though it was Halladay versus Garza, we settled in for a long pitchers duel. By the bottom of the 5th, it was still 0-0 and we were getting hungry again. We got some mini pizzas and as I headed back to our seats (in left field) Dean spotted a high top table and asked if we could stand and eat instead of being squashed into our seats. We started in on a serious discussion on whether or not pizza is ball park food (I am for it, he is against it) when we heard the roar of the stadium. I strained my head to watch the closest TV where I saw the replay of Evan Longoria hitting his first major league grand slam. I told Dean and both of us were quite bummed out we missed it. Not as bummed out as the drunk girl cussing out her friends for having missed "her boyfriend's" first granny, but disappointed nonetheless. And again they played it and I saw it went to left field! I back handed Deano playfully on the chest. We returned to our seats where everyone was anxious to tell us what we missed, as if we weren't aware. AND, it landed in our row. Granted, I would have been freaked out and too scared to go for it, but still.

After the game (Rays won 6-4, the 4 Jays runs coming in the top of the 9th), we geared up for the MC Hammer concert. I made my error of the evening my suggesting we go to the second level to watch, since half of the first level (including our seats) were behind the stage, and the other half was getting crowded. We forgot that the second level is mostly suites and we sat uncomfortably among the older, richer people who were not getting in to the concert at all. We eventually moved to be around funner people. We saw MC Hammer in concert pretty much the only way you would want to, drunk and free of charge. In that respect, it was fun and of course he did his best known songs in between long monologues which we speculated were in place so he could catch his breath. The guy is 46, but he can still move.

After words, we used our free ride back to the hotel, where once again we walked to Midtown for some nachos and a night cap. We were almost the only ones at the bar and we watched the grand slam on SportsCenter. Turns out we could just make out our empty seats on ESPN.

The next morning we enjoyed our breakfast buffet (it was delicious!) and headed home, moving a little slow. All in all it was a fantastic time, a much needed break from everyday life.

15 comments:

anne said...

That is so fun. What a nice weekend (minus of course the little bits of drama). I love that some girl thinks Longoria is her boyfriend - though he is pretty cute.

Jeni said...

Anytime one can get to see a baseball game -at the park, not on tv -has to make for a great time -and sounds like you had that and then some on your weekend!

Dianne said...

Happy Belated Birthday Auntie Babe!!

I was chuckling through the entire post.

I have to agree with Deano - pizza is not stadium food. LOL

You guys are so adorable

Mia send extra hugs

fermicat said...

Sounds like a great outing and getaway, and that you are making the most of your remaining time in Florida!

gabrielle said...

Hats? Yes, humor/silliness is a requisite for maintaining sanity.
There is a quote that advises losing one’s mind to save one’s sanity. I like to substitute loosen for lose.
I had to chuckle when you said you felt old hearing 90’s songs. I was alarmed when I went to a consignment shop with some old clothes and they referred me to a vintage store…Enough said.
So glad to hear you had a fun break together. You both look very happy.

Anonymous said...

Natalie:
Just found your site. Love your stories about cats. Here's my feline contribution.
"About Cats"
There is nothing like a cat
To take over where you're at
He won't answer when you call
Doesn't see you there at all
But, when he wants a bite to eat
He will brush around your feet
A mewing magic sound impart
And slyly steal away your heart
The fickle and alluring cat
Lives in comfort in your flat
And one may think he owes a debt
Yet he gives more than he gets.

magnetbabe said...

anne -
The drama is what made it memorable! Minnesota drunk girls feel the same way about Joe Mauer.

jeni-
TV baseball has its place too, you can see the details better. But sitting at the park is lots of fun, and this season especially has been fun since the seats are finally filling up!

dianne -
Thank you! Ok, my argument is that while it wasn't among the first ballpark foods, there is not a single stadium, minor or major league, that doesn't sell pizza. It's not a specialty food anymore. Plus, I don't like hot dogs and soft pretzels are hit or miss and I don't want to be a specialty food snob at the games!

fermi-
That's the idea. More Rays games, more beach outings. Might as well enjoy Florida while we're sort of stuck here.

gabrielle-
Just baseball caps, and cheapies too. Yes, I agree. I don't want to lose my mind, just turn it off for a bit while knowing exactly where it is when I need it back!

anon-
Thank you for stopping by. Love the kitty poem, it's good someone likes the cat stuff! There are times I think I can hear a collective groan from the internets when I do a cat post!

dancingo4 said...

Cute! What a great trip and i love the picture.

Scott said...

I remember that MC Hammer lost everything he owned when I lived in Cali. I'm glad that he is still doing it, and yes he can move. One advantage to getting older is that you get to see acts like MC Hammer for free and nobody else cares. I saw Bachman Turner Overdrive at a bar in Watertown, NY. They were jamming to Takin' Care of Business with me standing right there in front of them. The bar was crowded, but not concert crowded. It was a real sweet night.

I loved your comment on my blog by the way. Divulging my internet habits, even an eighth of them, would get me fired.

Hot4Teacha said...

Freakin' awesome, you guys! Good for you for taking care of yourselves and each other - definitely something all of us could stand to do more of, I bet!

mom said...

you guys are just too cute (deano looks great!)

magnetbabe said...

dancingo4 -
Thanks! I took the pic with my other birthday present, a new digital camera. My other one was 6 years old and too big to fit in my purse!

scott -
You know, I actually felt really bad for the guy for having to do this sort of stuff. Before he went broke, I'm sure he just sat in his big house saying, "Ha! I'll never have to perform "U Can't Touch This" again, suckers! Oh well. Next weekend its LL Cool J. We're tempted.

hot4teacha -
Yes, it was a treat. The real taking care of came the next day though. Oy, grown up hangovers suck.

mom -
Thank you. I was sure to pass along the compliment!

LL said...

Sounds like a heckuva fun weekend! You deserve it.

Beth said...

Wow, what a weekend. I am SO glad your hubby found his ring, but thought it was hilarious you were ready to give up and just buy one. LMBO

Love the picture -- you 2 look so happy.

magnetbabe said...

ll -
Thanks! Whether we deserve it or not, we are going to the game this weekend too!

beth -
Is that bad? Sometimes I think I should be more sentimental. He almost lost it at work again today so now he is done wearing it until he has lost all the weight he wants to lose (he is about half way there) and then we'll have it resized.