Thursday, August 2, 2012
Beginning ‘Bucket List’
A former high school classmate and basketball teammate, after finding out about my road trip last week, asked if I was taking care of my “Bucket List.”
I’d never really thought of it that way, since hopefully I have a lot of life left in front of me. But yet another birthday is rapidly approaching in late August.
Historic Wrigley Field has long been a ball park that I wanted to visit. I once told my wife Pam – “I want to go there before I die.”
The Bucket List is a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner, written by Justin Zackham, and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The main plot follows two terminally ill men (portrayed by Nicholson and Freeman) on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.”
Wednesday morning of last week, I loaded up with friends, Don Brooks (of Oxford) and Terry Hoffman (of Holly Springs), to begin our Major League Baseball tour. The destinations, in order, were St. Louis for the Cardinals versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee for the Brewers versus the Washington Nationals and Chicago for the Cubs versus the Cardinals.
I’d had the dates marked on my calendar. It ranks up there with my most anticipated vacations ever.
Pam packed us some drinks and snacks. Clothes-wise, we packed light – mainly shorts, T-shirts, a pair of tennis shoes and a ball cap.
Our first stop was St. Louis.
We planned on the front end to take turns driving, making it easier on all of us. Don was behind the wheel about three hours Wednesday and then I took us on into “The Gateway of the West.”
It’s always special to see The Arch.
We made it to the Embassy Suites downtown in five and a half hours.
I had talked to Don and Terry about a favorite restaurant my family found when visiting St. Louis three years ago. They took my word and went along.
The Broadway Oyster Bar is located just a couple of blocks from Busch Stadium.
It is located in a unique, 150-year-old building and is called “one of St. Louis’ most beloved party places for over 30 years.”
We did not do too much partying before the game at our age, but we enjoyed some terrific food.
By now, you know how much I love seafood, particular oysters. We started with an appetizer – Oysters Cardinale – six fresh shucked oysters topped with a Cajun crawfish and rich cream sauce then baked. I followed that up with an oyster po-boy. Don and Terry had jambalaya.
Then it was time for our first game of my “Bucket List” trip.
The new Busch Stadium opened April 4, 2006. Its seating capacity is 46,861. It was my second visit to the beautiful ball park.
Our seats were great, along the first-base line and not too far up. We were three of about 37,000 in attendance to see the Cardinals down the Dodgers in dramatic fashion, 3-2 in 12 innings.
Game time temperature, a a little after 7 p.m., was 104 degrees. When we left the ball park at about 11 p.m., it was still in the mid-90s.
Day one was a big success – good food, good friends, a close game and our choice of teams won.
(Editor’s Note: The trip to Milwaukee will be featured in next week’s Fielder’s Choice.)
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