The term for people who make their primary residence in the Northeast yet "winter" in the South are called "Snowbirds." Little did Ms. Chap and I know that in our quest to get SOME semblance of Spring Training time with our beloved Mets, that term would be taken almost literally.
(photo from Chap's flickr feed!)
This trip, even from the time we decided to take a stab at going this year, almost didn't happen. But we worked our way around it. Chap had some timing constraints and from advice given to me and when I went in 2008, I knew I preferred to go during the early part of Spring Training, and maybe catch some open workouts. That said, we had a window of only two and a half days basically to go if we wanted to go together.
We were okay with it though. I was only going to miss a day of work and she had some stuff "set in stone" anyway that could not be rescheduled. Plus, after open workouts are done, there's not much to do in Port St. Lucie except to maybe drink, eat and shop (or go bowling at Duffy's, but neither one of us is a huge fan of it anyway). Save stimulating the local economy, we both thought we'd have a ton of fun with the drive-by style of visit anyway.
Until Mother Nature decided to intervene. As early as Tuesday of last week, the weather reports were starting to suggest that snow was going to happen. And we're not talking nice pretty snow. No, we're talking accumulations and accumulations, piles over piles of snow, making it impossible to get out of the New York area.
I refused to believe it. Until I saw it...
It suddenly dawned on me that Chap and I were, in effect, snowbirds on a snowy bird heading to a snowbird destination. And don't ask me how I didn't manage to try to jump off the plane when it was being de-iced. At that point, I was resigned to whatever. I just knew I was going to make it to Port St. Lucie, though. Ye have little faith who disagreed with me!! (though Chap later admitted to *not* quite believing)
(photo credit to Sharon Chapman)
And after about an hour and half of delays at the airport though, we were finally up in the sky. By the time we got to Florida, Chap looked out the window and said "What is that yellow orb in the sky?" I said we must be third rock from the sun, if that's the case.
So we made it, and everything after that was just gravy. I didn't get to meet as many players as I did in 2008, but I did get some pics with some ex-Met greats Bobby Ojeda (current SNY analyst) and another one with Darryl Strawberry, who according to ALL accounts, did not turn one kid, big or small, away from an autograph or photo. Thank goodness, cause the little furry kid I am holding in the pic below would have been TRES disappointed if I did not get another.
(apologies for the bad hair day -- damned wind)
It seems like my PSL visits are usually wrought with some kind of drama related to travel and this was no different. But this time the weather-related drama, double booking the rental car (resolved), our room not being ready at check-in (no biggie) and them not having waffles our last day in the hotel's complimentary breakfast (how DARE they not get the memo that the world revolves around me).
I will be posting some pics of the players at the practice in the next few days, telling the stories of how I went Saturday and Sunday morning to the open workouts. Stay tuned, MSFers!
(Note to my 2.5 readers: I messed up the font sizing and now blogger is on strike. I have been having technical issues from hell on all fronts, so deal with the larger font!)