A Bang-Up 4th of July!

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July.  We celebrated Independence Day with friends and family – a picnic, a ball game, and a wonderful fireworks show.  The weather was perfect and the day went about as well as a day could go, with one small exception.

We started with a quiet morning at home, then went to a picnic at the home of friends.  John and Jackie (son and daughter-in-law) were there along with John’s best friend, Steve, and his girlfriend Amy.  We had red (strawberries), white (chicken and ice cream) and bean (baked, of course) food.  Yummy!

Springfield Bog map
There is only one trail at Springfield Bog – the aptly named Prairie Trail
Hiking with Tom, John, Jackie, and Sully – the dog
A small section of the trail goes through the woods
Enjoying the beautiful day and the acres of wildflowers

We went for a walk at Springfield Bog – which is a lot drier and more meadowy than it sounds.  The wildflowers were in full bloom and it was a wonderful walk.  It was also good exercise after that yummy food at lunch.

At 5 we met a group of friends and family in the church parking lot and climbed on the Vus – so named by the youth group because it is a small bus with 15 seats – combination bus and van.  Tom drove us to Cleveland and we were all chatting and laughing and having fun on the ride up to the Indians’ Stadium.

Until that one small exception to an otherwise perfect day.  We were getting off at the exit for the stadium when an SUV swerved out of the lane next to us and into us – BANG!  Tom did a great job of getting over as far as he could to lessen the impact so it ended up that there was very minor damage to the Vus, but the SUV did not fare as well.  They had a crushed side, a ruined side mirror, and a flat tire.

Very minor damage to the Vus
More damage to the SUV
Changing the tire on the SUV

As soon as we determined no one was injured, we continued off the exit ramp and stopped on the curb of the street.  The 11 passengers on the Vus walked on to the ballgame, and Tom and I stayed with the family from the SUV and waited for the police.  The Clark family was very apologetic and admitted it was entirely their fault.  We exchanged all the necessary information, the police arrived in a timely fashion and we were soon on our way.  Tom and I really felt sorry for the Clark family – it was a new SUV and they had already had one flat tire.  They were heading to the game for their son Connor’s 18th birthday but they did not buy tickets ahead of time – and the game was sold out!  Although it will be a memorable birthday for the family, it was not the one they had planned.

Tom and I got to the stadium later than planned and had to wait in a HUGE line to get in.  I’m not sure when the Indians became so bad at managing large crowds, but they only had two gates open and the lines were horrendous.  We listened to the National Anthem while we were in line.  But we got to our seats at the beginning of the second inning.

For the last several years we have splurged once a year to get club seats for our entire family.  Because the group rates are so discounted it is cheaper for us to get 20 seats (a group) than it is to get 14 seats (what we need for our family) so we invited some friends along too.  We had two rows of 10 seats each and no one paid much attention to which seats were “theirs.”  We moved around all evening, getting food as we wished and sitting in any available seat beside anyone we hadn’t talked to yet.  The food was excellent – regular ball park fare as well as some more upscale food.  I had an arugula salad, mashed parmesan potatoes, and smoked barbecue turkey with moose tracks ice cream for dessert.  More yummy!

The game itself was dismal – Tomlin threw strikes like he was throwing batting practice.  The Indians only had two hits going into the ninth inning, and Brantley’s home run in the ninth was the only run and the only time an Indians runner got past second.  But it was a beautiful evening and there were plenty of people to talk to.  Because the game was sold out, some fans in the bleachers started The Wave and it made it around the stadium twice.

The horrible lines going into the stadium – see how far away the gate is?
Sister Julia, brother Steve, and me
John and Jackie in Indian’s regalia
Steve and Amy
Karen Graham and her dad Dr. Burtner
Tom and Esther Shuman
Not the Indian’s best day
Tom and my mom, Betty
Nick Varga
Niece Kat and sister-in-law Kathy
Fireworks after the gam

After the game there was a presentation of military veterans and active service people, and we got to witness a group of 100 new military recruits being sworn in.  Then the fireworks started and they were great.

Afterward, it was horrible getting back out of the stadium – only two gates open again – glad there weren’t any terrorists!  And the entrance onto 77 closest to the stadium was closed.  So it took 1/2 hour to get out of the stadium and then another 45 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic to get on 77. But everyone stayed calm and patient and we eventually made it home safely.

This 4th of July was a wonderful time of celebration with family and friends.  Perfect weather, great food, and people we love around us.