My drive wasn’t all the bad to begin with. I had breezed through the first part of it and next thing you know I was in Chicago and I wasn’t too much further until I would see the sun come up. While in the Chicago area I had to make a restroom stop, so I took an exit and when I got back on I evidently missed a toll booth (the kind where you toss change). There was no light on, you couldn’t really see it until it was too late and by the time I realized what it was, the flash from the camera dang near blinded me! At that point I was stopped and could have backed up and paid the toll, but figured “WHY? They are still gonna ticket me” so I kept going.
By the time I hit the Michigan border, I was in trouble. I had already had 2 5 Hour Energy drinks (1 as I was leaving Minneapolis and another 5 hours later), had moved on to a couple small bottles of Coke and I was still freaking tired. At this point I still had almost 2 hours to go to where I was going to meet my former General Manager and his wife for breakfast and then another hour plus past that to my friend Lisa’s house. I was fighting it. All I really wanted to do was to get some sleep, but if I did, that would throw my schedule off. If I wasn’t meeting them for breakfast I would be ok. I kept telling myself, “If you can make it to breakfast, you will get a chance to relax a bit, then you will be good.” I kept telling myself this… over and over and over again. It didn’t work. So I upped the amount of caffeine I was drinking. I went from a 20 oz bottle to 1 little bottleS, yes, bottleS, I grabbed 2! I also grabbed some chips to snack on and it wasn’t long before I could feel my body kicking my ass! I started shaking, or at least I felt like I was shaking. I wasn’t actually moving, but I could feel like I was. Both of my arms, my chest, my neck and even in my face and bottle lip was doing this. Maybe shaking isn’t the right word, but maybe quivering. It freaked me out.. BIG TIME! I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on. I kept telling myself that it was the caffeine and to stop drinking it. Or maybe it was the sodium from the chips combined with the fact that I was already swollen so bad that was doing it. Whatever it was, it just kept getting worse. When I got to the Denny’s where I was meeting Keith & Gretchen, I realized I was almost an hour early. Being early should have been a good thing, I could have got some rest in the car. That wasn’t going to happen because of whatever it is that I was dealing with. I got out and headed into the diner to get some water and hopefully just sit there and wait for my company to show up. That didn’t work either. I had to keep excusing myself to go out and get some air. I was having a little hard time breathing but I really feel that was more of a panic attack brought on by whatever this was I was dealing with. Eventually my friends showed up, a little early even, we had breakfast and even though I had to go walk outside a few times to get air, I think we had a good visit. It had been over a year since I had last seen them. Wish I had been feeling better and could have stayed longer.
Against Gretchen’s best wishes, I went ahead and hit the road after breakfast. She wished I would go get checked out. I felt that I was getting a little better and that if I could just make it to Lisa’s I would be good after I could put my feet up and just relax a while before we went to the game. That drive, just over an hour, was brutal. See, my head/brain was wide the heck awake, but my body was falling asleep! It was terrible. It was right then that I swore off the 5 Hour Energy drinks! If they were truly the cause for what I was going through, NO MORE! As I got to Lisa’s in Westland, MI, I could barely handle being in the car, I had to get out. I had to relax. I needed to put my feet up. This was important. Evidently 14 hours of driving, after being up and going all day long, is too much for me any more. Just this past October I had driven 22 hours home from Denver, but I did get a good nights sleep the night before and hit the road in the morning. I guess that is the difference.
I was so glad that Lisa had nothing planned and we could just sit around and talk for a while. I needed that. As it is, I fell asleep on her a couple times, but my body needed it. After a great home cooked dinner (thank you again, I needed that too after eating out every night while on the road), I asked Lisa what was the last possible minute we have to leave to make it before first pitch? She told me and that gave me 55 minutes to go rest. I had been texting with my wife about me not going to the game. She reminded me that I had no possible make up for this game and that if I missed this game, the rest of the trip is moot. She was right, so a nap was in my future. Lisa told me later that I was asleep within 2 minutes of my head hitting the pillow on the couch, if not sooner. I guess I really did need it because even her youngest 2 screaming and playing didn’t budge me. Sleep was a good thing!
As I got up and got ready to go to the game, I felt like a different person. It was then that I realized that maybe the caffeine had something to do with it, maybe it was the 5 Hour Energy drinks, but I truly feel the biggest problem was the lack of sleep. By the time I took that nap I had been up and running for 31 hours or so and did all that I had in that time. I am almost 40. Evidently my body can’t do those things any more. I was ok with that because I knew going in that this portion of the trip was gonna be crazy. My next 2 longest drives I would have Chuck with me, so that would be a big help vs being by myself. Either way, we hit the road into town and got to Comerica Park in plenty of time before the first pitch.
I love Comerica Park. For the first 3 years after my first visit there I referred to Comerica as “My favorite of the new ballparks”. I loved the decorations, with the Tigers all over the place. I loved the history of the Tigers as you walk around the park. The statues and retired names/numbers in the outfield. The old wood chairs that pay a tribute to the days gone by at old Tiger Stadium are still very cool. There are so many cool things to love about Comerica Park. This was my 3rd game there and each time I have been with my friend Lisa and her family. My first game with then was July 24, 2002, vs the Royals. The game lasted 1 hour and 41 minutes! People were just getting there as they were calling “Last Call” in the 7th inning. It was still daylight out as we left that game. It was crazy! My second game was 4 years later, August 22, 2006, vs the White Sox. Was weird being back there. This time, not quite 5 years after my last game there, was just as cool as the first 2 games.
The game itself was great! Gotta love seeing your home team, the Seattle Mariners, win on the road. For the official 30 ballgames for my “SeeAll30 Summer”, this is the only game I will see the Mariners on the road. I have been lucky enough to see them at other parks in the past though in Oakland, Anaheim, Chicago (AL), Boston, Texas and New York (AL). This just added to my list. Maybe that should be my next goal, to see the Mariners at all 30 ballparks, whatcha think dear? 🙂 Anyway, the game was great because as much trash talking as Lisa and I had been doing leading up to this game, with her Tigers, the Mariners stuck it to Detroit 7-4! Ichiro went 3-5 and so did Alex Liddi. It was quite cold though, but what should I expect for Detroit in late April, huh? I was having a lot of fun just hanging out with Lisa’s family at the game, but by the 6th inning my tank was almost empty from my nap. I very rarely leave a game early, but by time for the 7th inning stretch, it was certainly on my mind. 6 outs later we got up and started the slow walk around the park which put us at the gate right on time and we got outta there long before the crowd.
The rest of the night was filled with just relaxing and visiting until I finally had to get some sleep. I was going to need it since I had to get up and get to the airport in Pittsburgh tomorrow to pick up Chuck & fellow ballpark chaser, Lori Martini. We got a doubleheader tomorrow with the Noon game in Pittsburgh followed by the nightcap in Cleveland. Another long day tomorrow, followed by a crazy driving day the day after… but more about it then… time for me to get some sleep so I can get up and be on the road by 5am. Night! 🙂
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Here is a link to my pictures from Comerica Park.