Wednesday Mar 4 – Final Cardinal Preseason Game


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Published: March 11th 2020
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Hello from Florida, for our final baseball game of this trip. We have enjoyed the previous 2 Home Games and today we take a Road Trip for an “away game”. But let’s start the day at the beginning.

Last night we semi-packed in preparation for our return flight to St Louis on Thursday. That meant trying to get everything into the suitcases in a way where we will only have to unpack a little tonight. It also meant trying to get under the 50 pound target per bag. It was a trial-and-error exercise but eventually we got it done. Then we tried to get a good night sleep, but for some reason it just didn’t happen. We had to get up at 6:15 and check-in for our flight. We managed to get slots in the “A” group. So we were a bit tired this morning.

We met the Sieberts at 8:15 and went to have another Cracker Barrel breakfast. Then we returned to the hotel and checked out of the Red Roof Inn. They agreed to store our suitcases for a late afternoon pickup, and that way we did not need to leave then in the car all afternoon while we watched the 3rd ballgame. It wasn’t a fancy hotel but it provided our needs and was actually quite convenient for the other places we wanted to visit.

We drove up to Port St Lucie Florida which is the home stadium of the New York Mets. It was about an hour’s drive up I-95 and everything went smoothly. We were able to drop Janet and Kathy off in front of the stadium while David and Jim parked the car in their parking lot. We had arrived just a few minutes before the stadium opened so we got inside fairly quickly. Once through the entry gates there is a large staircase that most folks have to climb to get to the main concourse. Happily they also have an elevator which Janet and David were able to ride and save all those steps.

The stadium seems larger than Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter and the concourse (with all the concession stands) is more open and spacious. We made our way to section 107 and were happy to see that our seats were in the shade. Unhappily our seats were in row M and that meant climbing to the next to top row. We were not on the end of the aisle either, so we were a bit “trapped” once we got in our seats. But we were mostly surrounded by Cardinal fans. There wasn’t as much knee room as the other stadium – less space means more seats and more ticket revenue. But we had a very good view down onto the field.

An advantage to our seats the first 2 days is that you were so close to the field we could really hear the conversations on the field. There is a net which runs the length of the field to protect the fans. However David was not able to adjust his camera to focus beyond the net so most of the pictures were not very good. In Port St Lucie we were well back from the net, so we didn’t have the up-close perspective, but David had better luck with his camera.

Sadly the Cardinals did not play well enough to win today. They lost 4-1. The one run we did score was from a Nolan Gorman homerun. His parents and grandparents were sitting in front of us and were very excited and rightly so. We stayed for most of the game but headed down an inning early to give us time to descend the steep steps and use the restrooms before the rest of the crowd left. Despite not winning, it was an enjoyable day anyway. The temperature on the scoreboard kept alternating between 89 and 91, but we were in the shade and there were occasional breezes blowing so it wasn’t too hot.

We rode the elevator back down to ground level and then a nice usher offered to drive us to our car (he saw Janet using her walker). So we got headed out of the stadium ahead of many of the other folks. Unfortunately we got in the wrong lane and were directed away from the highway, so we had an impromptu tour of the countryside before we got back on the highway.

Traffic was reasonable all the way back to Jupiter and we picked up our luggage about 5:00. Then it was back onto I-95 heading south to Ft Lauderdale. However there was a major accident along our route and the 1 hour expected trip took 2.5 hours. About 7:30 we got back to the Red Carpet Inn (where we stayed before the cruise) and got our rooms for the night. We quickly unloaded the car and went to their restaurant for a quick dinner. We had planned to go out somewhere for a nice final Florida dinner, but we were too tired by now and were facing a short night’s sleep, so we ate at the hotel. Then Jim and David got the rental car filled with gas and we all settled down for the night.

Tomorrow will be a very early departure so we went to bed as soon as possible. Not everything went as planned, but we had a good day anyway.

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