Monday, February 21, 2011


Friday night we took the boys on a surprise trip to UF to watch the very first game of the Gator baseball season, which happened to be at home against USF. They were thrilled when we finally told them in the car where we were headed. Remember it's part of Parker's current lifeplan - to play baseball for the Gators before playing for the Rays!

UF has a great setup for parking at these events. We used one of the commuter parking lots (for free) and could have rode a school bus shuttle right up to the baseball stadium. We opted however to walk as it was such a nice evening and we had time; the boys made us promise to ride the bus back.

What impressed Parker the most as we were walking was how many bicycles were on campus in the bike racks! He's been riding his bike to school pretty much every day and there are only ever 5 or 6 bikes in the rack at his school. And he is the only first grader who rides his bike. Here's a shot of one of the bike racks - bless his heart, he tried to count them all as we walked along!

Here we are at the stadium. The teams were warming up on the field as we walked in. They had just finished batting practice and apparently had hit a few balls right by the guys who were taking tickets at the gate. They gifted two of these real NCAA balls with the Gator logo on them to the boys as we walked inside!
Here's the hometeam being announced. They are the defending SEC champions and a couple of their graduated seniors from last year came out to throw the first pitch.

The boys were fascinated by Albert the Gator wandering through the stands and loved it when he raced the Chick-Fil-A Cow down on the field during one of the inning breaks.

There were plenty of snacks to enjoy - here's Wesley enjoying his bag of popcorn without taking his eyes off the field.

We had really good seats near the press box just on the first base line side of home plate. Several stray balls when over the net and behind us over the back of the stadium. One of them even went into the open press box windows.
The game was everything we hoped it would be. It finished up with a 7-2 victory for the Gators (it was 7-0 until the top of the 9th). And of course we rode the bus back to the car as we had promised the boys. They are already asking about going back to see another game! The boys managed to stay awake the whole way home - but they crashed out hard when we got them into bed.

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