Monday, May 08, 2017

Star Wars Night Part 3

Friday I left work at 545. C wanted to go out to eat, so we hit Moxie Burger to split a chicken sandwich and fries. Then to Trader Joes and the Bank. Anna came home from Athens and beat us to the house. I’d been tracking W&MC going to the chilly Braves game with Joel and his girlfriend. Later they ate Mexican, and didn’t get to our place until we’d gone to bed. Matthew also came in late. We had all six of us together!

That didn’t last long. M had to be at work at seven. W&MC had to get back to Augusta for the dance classes MC teaches. Anna slept in. C went to the YMCA. I cleaned upstairs and did laundry.

After 3:30 I headed out. Stopped by the library and Taco Bell, then checked out places to park for the Braves game. It was three hours before the game and the area around the ballpark was packed. Found a spot and walked up and through the crowd just about the time the Chop House Gate was opening. A long line of people were waiting to get in, so I didn’t pose for pictures with the Star Wars characters. Wore my new 1969 home jersey and a new cap. An usher greeted me, exclaiming “Don’t you look nice!” With rain in the forecast I left Uecker in the closet.

The area outside the stadium was where the Star Wars people were, posing for photos. Gates opened at five and that wasn’t long after I walked up. The line was super long to get in. An employee told me the “Braves Walk” was outside the park. I bet the Star Wars characters stayed outside the park for that. But inside the park was the lineup for the parade around the warning track. I made a beeline for that, and was near the front. But the parade was for fans dressed as Star Wars – and also Cub Scouts. There were a ton of Cub Scouts, more than Star Wars fans. So I really didn’t have time to pose with the Star Wars characters.

Talked to a security guard while waiting for the stands to open at 5:30. Forgot to greet my lady usher friend. At 5:30 we were let into the rest of the park. There’d been a crowd of people waiting and I hoped they weren’t all headed to the Star Wars parade line. I noticed a dad and his Cub Scout son ahead of me walking fast, and I followed them to the Third Base Ramp. Passed H&K Burger, which had a bunch of burgers already cooked up ready to go (after the parade I noticed fans lined up waiting for their burgers to cook).

Stood in line on the ramp for almost 30 minutes, talking to the dad and people-watching. Told the dad it was best to get there early like we did to be near the front of the line, which had stretched out of sight up the ramp – over a thousand scouts and Star Wars folk. After 6 pm we were led down to an area of the stadium I hadn’t been to yet, coming out onto the field at the left field foul pole. Walked counterclockwise around the warning track. Afterward when I went back up the ramp there were still fans at the end of the line coming down the ramp.

Traversed the crowded mezzanine up to my seat in the upper deck. A nice fun group was sitting next to me. Eventually felt sprinkles coming in from behind me. Later I walked around to my first visit to the Braves Monument Grove. The Clubhouse Store was too crowded with fans escaping the rain. During the game I was walking around and saw the helmetless blondes in Storm Trooper outfits. That would’ve been a great picture, but I missed it. Chocolate Papa posed with the blondes, but he poses with everyone. After a while I left early, walking through The Battery back to my car. A fun evening.

That Tuesday I had section 36 behind the third base dugout, row 8 – the company seats. Real nice. Johnny Pierce’s tickets are row one in 138, real close. Saturday was 418 row 12 – the top row above first base. Not bad for the top row. The stiff wind was blowing from behind me – I thought my cap would fly off. Later it died down, but during a thunderstorm I would’ve gotten soaked. When it rained the already crowded lower mezzanine was gridlocked, and the concession lines seem continuously long. Not sure but it might have to do with fans using the money loaded on the tickets – a slow process. On the 19th my tickets are front row upper deck down right field from first base.

The company parking is lot 11, the white building beyond left field. A short walk to the Left Field Gate, which is close to the seats near third base. Lot wasn’t crowded on the Tuesday. Saturday I scouted out free spaces and parked at the Goodwill on Cobb Parkway. So did two other fans I walked back with. Not too far. Photos below:

Got home before C and A, who’d gone to the Avalon to see roommate Emily (and eat Jeni’s Ice Cream). M was at a concert down on Ponce, and spent the night with friends.

Went to JFBC Sunday morning. Anna went to Grace Midtown. I did a little laundry and the dishes Sunday afternoon. Watched the Braves. Not much else.

Today C is at school. An has to go back to Athens. Will comes in tonight and flies to Dallas tomorrow morning. They drive to Houston Thursday to see the Rockets, then back to Cartersville Friday.
This Saturday is Star Wars in Gwinnett. I hear tickets are going fast. I’m supposed to get 5 bobbleheads but not sure how I’m going to swing it. A coworker and another friend might help.

Missy is moving to New Mexico, driving a RV cross country. Left two days late. Pulled out from Cumming yesterday morning but stopped at the Alabama line for a nap. Made it 530 miles yesterday to Monroe, LA. According to Google maps that trip should take eight hours, but I’m sure RV’s go slower than cars. Plus they have dogs and cats that need to stop. Today they hope to make it to Big Spring Texas, another 575 miles / 8 hours west. Missy is posting periodic updates.

Cumming to Santa Fe is 1417 miles / 21 hours, so Missy is making it a three day trip. Tyler Texas is about halfway.

My longest one-day drives:
1. Jefferson SC to Cooperstown NY: 780 miles (12.5 hours per Google maps). Left out early and arrived around 7 pm.
2. East Cobb to Auburn, Indiana: 650 miles (10 hours).
3. East Cobb to Little Rock: 535 miles, making several stops along the way.

Speaking of Monroe Louisiana, Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson attended Passion City Church yesterday.

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