Saturday, May 30, 2015

Memorial Weekend Part I

Two weeks ago Darin and I were sitting on the couch talking about baseball, summer, moving, etc. We'd thrown around the idea of taking a quick trip to Atlanta before we moved. It's been a dream of Darin's to watch the Braves play at Turner Field since he was a youngin. The fact that we're moving north and next year is the last year the Braves will play at Turner Field made us want to go even more. But there were always the excuses about being too busy and not spending money, etc. Then, something I had read in this book that I got for Mother's Day came to mind. "Sometimes, as part of an organized offense, you just have to create a good memory. Great memories hold families together." She talks about how "even the smallest memories make all the difference," so clearly creating good memories does not have to be going on a huge trip every weekend. We try hard to create a lot of small, fun memories together as a family, but sometimes you just need to forget about all the excuses NOT to do something and create a big memory.  I said, "Let's just do it." Darin said, "Sweet." And two weeks later we found ourselves here:

Spontaneity became our motto for this trip. 

Plus, our anniversary is in two weeks and since I'm nursing we can't really get away without at least one of the kids, so we figured we may as well just call this our family anniversary get-away. And that we did. Happy four years to the birth of our family. What better way to spend it than all together.

Friday morning, once the kids were up and things were packed we hopped in the car and were on our way.  We hit some traffic by Durham and Charlotte. Hello Memorial Day weekend.

Shae was great. He read, listened to music (while lip sinking with his thumbs as is shown below), ate lots of snacks, and let's be honest, he played on the kindle quite a bit too. Probably would have felt like a much longer trip without that... Made it nice for Darin and I too because we were able to finish listening to the Serial podcast as well as check out a few podcasts on the Ted Radio Hour which were really interesting. We especially liked this one and this one. I needed this. Sometimes life is so full of diapers, play dough,  Daniel Tiger, and editing and not much else.  It was so great to just be able to kick back and listen to something for me. 

How Shae eats his apples
Belén was also fantastic, which was to be expected since she's pretty fantastic always. She was content to be awake and then fell asleep with just a few yelps when she got tired. She went through a little fussy time in the evening somewhere between 4-6 (which was to be expected since this is her normal fussy time out of the car too). But all she needed was someone to look at, so I just climbed into the back of the car and talked to her and she calmed right down.

We stayed with my good college buddy Anne and her husband Michael (and their adorable toddler and cuddly dog too). We arrived at about 9 p.m., put the kids to bed and hung out for a bit with the adults.

We got out late Saturday morning with the hope of checking out a park we had read about in the city. When we got close to the park we saw how busy it was and how impossible it was going to be for us to find parking. We would have had to walk really far and we didn't have that much time to spare. So instead, we drove around the city a bit and saw some city things (like crazies roller skating and twirling right down the middle of the busy street). 

Our friends recommended Varasanos Pizzeria for lunch. We tried the Salami Pizza with a Spinach, Pecan and Gorgonzola salad. Yum.


After lunch we headed over to the field. 

Atlanta in the background
We were seriously like little kids on Christmas as we drove through the city waiting for Turner Field to appear. Seeing a baseball stadium pop out in the middle of a city is such a treat.

The exact spot where his ball landed.
We had never seen tailgating at a baseball game previous to this game. Atlantans really take their baseball seriously. There were tons of people hanging out in the parking lot tailgating and ALL of them were playing corn hole. As we walked towards the stadium I was in awe at all of the corn hole going on. I still can't get over it. We've seen a lot of corn hole playing in Williamsburg as well, but nothing to this extent. So southern. 

We got to the stadium and walked around for a bit. Found our seats but went about 20 rows up so that we could sit in the shade. 

We apparently didn't go up high enough. Shae preferred the real nose bleed seats.

So we moved up even higher which was good in the end so that Darin could walk this little girl around when needed.

Shae was confused when they put the flags away and kept asking, "Where stars go?"

You guys, I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but doing the Tomahawk Chop for the first time, AT Turner Field, with Braves fans surrounding us, was kind of a tear-jerking, emotional, surreal-awesome kind of moment. 

The kids were super great for the game. We had low expectations going into this, but they were seriously awesome. Poor little Shae was a bit under the weather and had a fever during the game (does teething ever end?) and was actually strangely content to just sit on our laps...for three hours. He even fell asleep on me. Say what!??!? Did NOT expect that to happen. I felt bad that he wasn't feeling well, but if he had to be sick, he picked a good time to do so.

And of course Belén was her normal happy self, even with the never-ending cold that she has going on too.

She looks nothing like me.
 The game was tied 2-2 and went into extra innings. Given that our children were both not feeling great we thought we should probably leave since you never know how long an extra inning game will go. However, the kids were being so good and were content to just sit on our laps so we decided to move down to the lower deck and stick it out for 2 or 3 more innings and then go. So glad we decided to stay because the end of the game was wonderful.

Freddie Freeman up close and personal. Man, moving down to the lower deck was like being at a whole new baseball game.

The game ended in the bottom of the 11th with a walk off single. It came after a pretty frustrating play where the umpire was hit by a ball which kept it in the infield rather than being a game-winning double. Everyone was pretty fired up at this point. Man on third. Two down. Tomahawk chopping like nobody's business. It was intense. Then the crack of the bat, the single, the runner comes home and the Braves win. The experience still would have been cool had the Braves lost, but it was epically cool because of the way they won.

Poor Shae, he looks so sickly in this picture.
 And that was that. Visit Turner Field can now be crossed off the bucket list.

We also got to see where the Olympic Torch was lit on our way out which just added to the coolness of the day.

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