Friday, June 20, 2008

Minnesota to Ohio

Tuesday, June 17: When Ryan said it didn't get light downstairs he wasn't joking. I woke up at 11:30 and it was still pitch black in the room. I walked upstairs and I met Dan, Ryan's older brother and their mom. She was making waffles for all of us which was glorious. I love waffles. I put my stuff in the car and ate waffles. Ryan and I went to the free Como Zoo which was fun. We watched the California Sea Lion show and headed back to his house to eat lunch-pizza. I got directions to the Mall of America and after charging my phone and watching a little tv/hanging out with Ryan I set off to catch the light rail train to the stadium. The train is underneath Bloomingdale's parking lot at the mall, so I parked on top and walked down the stairs just as the train pulled in. I got on and was off toward the stadium. It was pretty decent, 3.50 round trip to and from the stadium with free parking at the mall.

I arrived at ball park 22. The outside, as everyone had told me, was much more impressive than the inside. The inside was really crappy. I was kind of shocked, though I had been warned. Fortunately they are building a new park set to open just for baseball (no Vikings games) in 2010. I think I may have to go back to run the Twin Cities marathon and watch a game at the new park in 2010. It was a decent game, the Twins won over the Nationals and I saw a homerun as is customary for me at each ballpark.

After the game was over, I hopped back on the train, got back to Laz and started driving 52S-90E back through Wisconsin. I made it to Janesville a little south of Madison before I was beat. I fell asleep around 3:30AM in the back of Laz.

Wednesday, June 18: I got up at 9:30EST-so 8:30CST. I ate some random hot fries from a vending machine for 50 cents and drank some Gatorade as I rolled out. I was worried I didn't have enough gas to make it into Indiana so I bought really expensive gas for 4.229 a gallon outside of Chicago and kept on rolling. I made it to Lowell, IN and filled up for 3.979 (I had only put 2 gallons in at the 4.229 price). Then continued on my way to 65S toward Indianapolis. I ended up sitting on the highway for at least 45 minutes. I was able to load all my pictures off my camera and make some Minnesota Twins collages while waiting for traffic to move again. I was on the verge of turning around and going back up to 18 to go around the accident right when traffic started to move again. A semi had some how torqued and twisted across the entire north bound road causing the south bound traffic to be stopped by the police.

I continued on through Indianapolis (I went around 465E because 65S was only 1 lane due to construction) and then finally made it to Cincinnati at 6:30PM EST. My host was great and made me spaghetti and I was still hungry so he cooked me some scrambled eggs. Then we walked down to the store to get ingredients to make homemade brownies. We visited his house mate who lived upstairs and had made cookies from cookie dough he gave her. Then I made the brownies (which were delicious!) and he had bought Graeter's ice cream made in Cincinnati, so we had brownies and ice cream. Good times. We stopped by the neighbor's party and chatted a little with his friends. Around midnight we were finally ready to sleep... I had been ready from the long drive but it was fun to hang out.

Thursday, June 19: I woke up at 7:30AM and had to go to the bathroom. I walked through his room to the bathroom and upon my departure he said, 'good morning Jill' which freaked me out. I thought he was sleeping. I fell back asleep on the couch and thought about running... that didn't happen. When I woke up it was 9:30AM and time to eat breakfast and head out to the game. He made me a sunny side up egg sandwich and he had sausages and toast. (We had used all the eggs except one to make the brownies last night.) Then I changed, put sunscreen on and he walked me down to the bus/metro stop. Unfortunately I missed the 10:38 bus because it was early so I had to wait for the 11:18 bus. He went back to his house to meet up with another CS person who was coming to the game as well. I saw a car full of guys wearing Reds hats and I was going to try to hitch a ride with some of them, but no more cars with Reds fans drove past before the bus arrived.

I talked to the bus driver about his diet and he was very nice and told me about the different parts of Cincinnati that we were driving to. I arrived at the ballpark at 11:50AM and unfortunately all of the bleacher tickets were "sold out" at the box office so I just got the second cheapest... twice as much as the bleachers. I didn't have cash to buy from scalpers... so I really had to. I took some pictures outside with statues and then went in to take more pictures with the field behind me. I got my ticket signed by two of the players-#32, Bruce and another that I had never heard of. Sitting down where there were empty seats worked for me, I was in section 129 and had a great view of the players and field but my friends weren't able to get down without getting their tickets checked so I got up and we sat in the outfield, still on the bottom deck with a good view of the field and the "sold out" bleachers.

The game was kind of sad with the Dodgers beating the Reds pretty badly. Afterward we headed out to get Skyline chilli-"famous" Cincinnati chilli I had never heard of. It was pretty meaty, but good with the spicy-ish after taste. Then we went back to the bus, our friend forgot his sunglasses so we waited for him by the fountain and caught the bus back to his house where he got set to leave for a soccer game and I sat on my butt eating ice cream on the couch. It was good times. Before he left I was mentioning that I always hurt myself during soccer games and he said he never did, I was surprised, but figured he was just lucky.

While I was sitting on the couch, his new surfers came and I invited them in and showed them around. He came back and he had sprained his ankle! Probably jinxing himself when he said he never got hurt earlier. Everything was breaking-his milk jar, his body, the house (not really), it was pretty funny. We ended up with a lot of good times in 24 hours. I taught him about how to take care of a sprained ankle and took care of him for awhile. He called his nurse school neighbors, who I didn't think were much help, but whatever. I went out with one of the girls to get a bandage for his foot so he could wrap it.  On the way back into the house I stepped on some rusty metal pipe sticking out of the ground in the grass near the curb in front of one of his neighbors houses.  Blood came gushing out and I washed it off and let more blood bleed out so that all the rustiness would come out... and thanked God for tetnus shots!

It was fun getting to know the new CSers and meet his parents. They were great! They brought 6 pints of ice cream and crutches. Always a good thing when one has a sprained ankle. They left soon after and I got ready to leave and left at midnight. It's nice to make really good friends within a day.

I drove down 75S and when I was getting ready to get on 64E toward Richmond, the traffic literally came to a halt-for a good portion of an hour. I fell asleep in Laz for at least 30 minutes while he idled there on the highway. I was able to get about 50 miles more down 64E before falling asleep somewhere off the highway in a parking lot in Kentucky.

Friday, June 20
: I woke up, bought some gas for 3.999 and continued on my way. Before I crossed into the West Virginia state lines I had to nap again. I woke up to mom's phone call and set off toward WV and VA. It was a long drive. West Virginia is nice-"wild and beautiful" as their motto says but it's not the most fun when you're tired and alone. I hit VA and got a VA state map for the first time and a free bumper sticker that claimed the state's motto "Virginia is for Lovers" which I don't understand, but I'm a lover and not a fighter so I guess it works.

I rolled on down 64 through more traffic and construction. I finally arrived in Midlo, filled Laz to the brim at the BP in Brandermill and arrived at 4-4:30PM. I cleaned up and put away everything from my trip and heated some macaroni from a can before the family came home and we had some spaghetti for dinner. I had only eaten a power bar the whole day so I was pretty hungry. Afterward we had some moose tracks ice cream and I went through all of the pictures I had gotten, picked which ones I wanted on the walls, framed them and put them up. They aren't as straight as I'd like, but I'm way too lazy to try to line them up perfectly. I like the variety and selection up. Most of them are beachy/California themed pictures but there are some streets of Oakland and other random United States places. I have a picture of my family at Anita's graduation and of Herns, Manny, me and Noli at my graduation. All the rest are of places rather than people.  Cost for the road trip was more than expected due to the Cubs ticket, but approximately totaled $672.34 for nearly 3,000 miles, 8 ball parks, infinite good times, new friends, amazing hospitality, and unforgettable memories.  7 more MLB parks to go.  I am sending out thank you postcards/letters tomorrow to everyone that hosted me.

Well, my road trip for this summer is over, but my adventures continue.

-run for life

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