movin’ right along

IMG_7813r

There is nothing more quintessentially American than a road trip.

That is, of course, a biased statement. Growing up, almost all of our family vacations were done via the open road and whatever vehicle we could get our hands on. First, there was the teal 4-seater Saturn, which went north to Toronto and south to Florida, before ultimately being retired after a few too many rides on Space Mountain helped to rupture a disc in my dad’s back, requiring him to have his seat reclined for the 14 hour drive back home to Maryland. We upgraded after that to a 7-seater Chrysler Town and Country minivan. No longer did we have to cramp ourselves into one small seat for a week at a time! We had the luxury of an open back row of seating, in what quickly became the best place to take a nap. The van’s magnum opus was our trip west to South Dakota and the surrounding areas, where we took in the sights of Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Badlands National Park.

Another overwhelmingly American tradition we enjoyed on these trips was taking in a local baseball game if there was a team nearby. I’ve seen the Blue Jays in Toronto, the old Metrodome and Tigers Stadium in Minneapolis and Detroit respectively. I’ve made fun of Bernie Brewer’s mustache in Milwaukee, and driven down for a ‘day-cation’ in Washington DC to see the Nationals. My dad helped foster a love of baseball in me since I was old enough to take in my first game at Camden Yards. This love has since turned into a passion.

Family vacations became a thing of the past as my brother and I grew older, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. They were talked about – a weekend down south, a small trip to New York City. But it was too much effort, too much energy that needed to be spent on schoolwork, or chemo. My mother was a force at planning vacations, buying guidebooks and spending countless hours researching the best tourist spots and hotel reviews on the internet. An old spark showed when she helped my brother and I plan a trip up north for Spring Break, and she proudly boasted that she had found the best hotel for us – and she was right. She always knew how to play the game.

The idea of a baseball road trip was something my dad and I had always joked about – it was always a dream for both of us to see all 30 teams in the league. We’d pile in the car, hit the road, and see as many teams in a certain area as possible. It only became a reality in the fall of 2014, when I started talking about going to Houston to see the Astros (and their adorable mascot, Orbit). This quickly turned into a 3 team trip, where we also fit in the Texas Rangers, and the Atlanta Braves. My brother joined the fray, and in the first week of June in 2015, the three of us set out in our little Honda Fit. We discovered Buc-ee’s convenience stores (seriously, Google it), ate plenty of Whataburger, and I got to give Orbit the hug I had been dreaming about for months. It was a great week.

11378603_1155878461104355_962168310_n

This year, my dad and I are exploring the midwest. We start tonight in Pittsburgh with the Pirates, and roll through 3 other cities (Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals) until Tuesday, where we land in Chicago for 4 days and see both the White Sox and the Cubs. Our trip ends in Cleveland, where our Baltimore Orioles will be playing the Indians. We’ll take in two games there, and drive back home Sunday night. The next day, we head back home to Camden Yards, to see the Red Sox play the O’s on Memorial Day.

Are we a bit crazy? Probably. Are we ready for this? Not at all. Are we going to have the time of our life? You know it.

Advertisements

a definition.

qual·i·ty
/kwälətē/
the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.

start

/stärt/

the point in time or space at which something has its origin; the beginning of something.

 

In baseball, a quality start is a statistic for a starting pitcher defined as a game in which the pitcher completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs.

///

Throughout my life, I’ve had many chances to ‘start’ over – from moving between Maryland, to Pennsylvania, to Maryland again. The new school year. The aftermath of a terrible breakup. Dying my hair. Most of these were voluntary choices, and though some seemed terrible at the time, they offered me a fresh perspective, and a new grasp on life.

This summer, I had to ‘start’ over yet again, after my mother passed away due to complications from cancer. I am nearly twenty one, and I am now going through life without my mom by my side. Some days are harder then others.

My father and I spend many nights watching baseball together. Often, we gripe and moan about starting pitchers – how ineffective they are at retiring the side, how they feel the need to allow batters a full count before striking them out. But what we tend to forget is that, more times than not, our pitchers are making quality starts. Sometimes seen as a meaningless statistic, and easily ignored by the rabid fanbase that a sports team creates, I find it hard to fault a pitcher after learning that they quietly lasted through six innings, and didn’t give up enough runs as to take their team out of the game.

I’ve become fascinated with the term – a ‘quality start’. I’m in the time of my life where I should be confident and sure of what career path I want to embark on. The same people I graduated High School with are now college seniors. Life is moving faster and faster each moment. I need to throw strikes.

I’m still in the in-between, but I hope that through this blog, I can figure it out. Not every post will be this serious, sappy, or sentimental. At heart, I’m really just a girl who likes celebrity gossip, makeup, and being incredibly superstitious over baseball. I like to watch foreign films and stay up way later then I should.

This is my journey towards a quality start in my own life. Stay tuned.