What do you do when the family wants to go to Florida for April vacation but because you live in New England and the Winter was such a bastard this year you weren’t sure you would actually have an April vacation? This was my dilemma in early February, the snow was just piling on and if we have more than five snow days we lose our April vacation days. I also happened to check the cost of flights, about $3,500 for five tickets and decided I’m creative I can come up with something better.
The something better was some really creative and imaginative thinking, I thought the Celtic’s might make a run for the playoff’s and their final home game might actually have playoff implications. Amazingly enough it really didn’t have playoff implications because they clinched a spot two days earlier but who would of thought that other than the guy not wanting to pony up $3,500 on airfare.
The Red Sox happened to play the Washington National’s the day after the Celtics game. This was meant to happen and we had the bonus of a day game for the Sox. This was huge because no one wants to freeze their keester off with three young kids at a night game in April. This portion of the plan almost never happened because the wife couldn’t get the day off of work but luckily she got the day off the week before and by the magic of the secondary ticket market I got some cheap seats.
The following is what happens when attending two sporting events in less than 24 hours with three young children.
Tuesday 4/14/15 – 6:01 p.m.- We are in Boston and less than three minutes from the TD Arena (sorry I just can’t call it the Garden) and the road we need to take is blocked because there are about 15 ladder trucks completing the finishing touches on some kind of event. The bad news is the nice dinner near the arena is not going to happen because we have just been detoured for 45 minutes. The good news is three boys just got to see 15 ladder trucks in action.
7:25 – The game is about to tip off and of course Max our 2 year old needs a diaper change. This is my third rodeo though and I complete that task in record time and do not miss the opening tip.
8:02 – Max is getting antsy and somehow wedges his leg in the seat so when he moves it just makes it worse. I untangle him from his seat of torture and a few hugs from Mom and he is good, crisis averted.
8:22ish – Almost halftime and the Raptors overplay the inbounds and Marcus Smart runs free and throws one down lefty with authority.
8:27 – The 10 year old Brody and 6 year old Cameron are pumped because Lucky the Celtics mascot is going to dunk off the trampoline like they saw in the pre-season game in Hartford. Lucky doesn’t disappoint and he is unfortunately the boys favorite Celtic. Every time we play in the driveway they want to be the damn “Splash Brothers” from Golden State. Traitors!!!
8:43 – The scoreboard is playing the damn get loud sound monitor. Everyone cheers really loud to play defense. The place does get really loud and the Raptors lead had been cut to three but Kyle Lowry buries about a 40 footer and motions for the crow to shush. We kind of deserve that though if you need the scoreboard to tell you when to get loud you should get the gut punch three pointer at the end of the shot clock.
8:45-9:10 – Cameron set the record with three trips to the bathroom in the third quarter. The last trip is scary as some guy was punched out in the bathroom in front of his two kids. Stupidity, alcohol and violence a dangerous combination.
9:12 – The end of the third quarter and two guys are shooting for 45 seconds from 1/2 court to win a 4 day vacation in Panama. The sound system is playing some Copa Cabana song and I announce to the section my disappointment they are not playing Panama by Van Halen. One guy almost nails the shot about 6 times and then finally puts it in to the delight of all. The Celtics walk onto the court to start the 4th quarter with Van Halen’s Panama playing loudy and our section is pleased.
9:35 – The “Fan Cam” zero’s in on a guy and I immediately yell it’s “Moonlight Graham”. My wife knows immediately I am talking about Field of Dreams. I do not spot Ray Kinsella or Terrance Mann. I also did not here any voices telling me “If you build it he will come.” or “Ease his pain.”
9:48 – A minute and half left in the game and I am telling Brody “Marcus Smart needs to be defending whoever has the ball for Toronto, everyone else is getting beat badly.” Marcus Smart forces a tough shot and the Celt’s get the ball back. He then battles for an offensive rebound and turns it over. You win some you lose some I guess.
9:54 – Evan Turner puts the Celt’s up by 2 but Kyle Lowry answers by tying the game with 2.5 seconds left. My wife realizes Max is not waving his hands and cheering but has been signing to us that he is all done for the past ten minutes. We taught all three of our kids sign language when they were young so they could communicate when they didn’t have the linguistic skills. The funny thing is even the older two kids will use the signs when they are mad and not even realize they are signing. The wife and I look at each other and mouth “Oh shit. OT.” There is no way Max is going to last through overtime.
9:56 – Crowder sinks an impossible baseline jumper that is tightly contested to give the Celt’s a two point lead. High fives of joy from the fans in our section. High five of joy and relief between the Wife and I as Toronto’s last shot is partially blocked. No OT!!!!!
11:00 – Cameron and I take a late stroll for some milk so Max can have his morning drink. I am amazed how dead the city is as we pass only two people in our two block journey, this seems more like Hartford than Boston.
11:00 – 12:00 – Max gets his second wind. Oh No! this might be a long night and how are we going to survive the Red Sox game with a tired and cranky 2 year old tomorrow.
4/15/15 – 12:01 – Everyone is asleep. Phew!!!
5:30 – We forgot Brody’s allergy medicine and the sniffle monster has attacked. Early wake up call for his bunk mate. ME!!!
9:15 – Breakfast and I have eaten my 2 pancakes, one of Max’s pancakes, one of Brody’s pancakes and one of Cameron’s pancakes. I might not be able to eat the rest of the day.
9:30 – This conversation actually occurred
Wife: Wow. People in Boston really work hard.
Me: Yeah it must be tough to sit, read the paper, eat breakfast and talk on the phone or discuss something with a colleague.
Wife: But they are working all weekend.
Me: You know today is Wednesday
10:30 – Discovered a reflecting pool in Boston. Max asked if he could swim in the pool.
12:15 – Enter Fenway Park. Max trips on my foot and does a scorpion. (Land so hard on your face your feet curl up behind you and almost reach your head.) He is not happy and will not even turn around for the picture.
2:27 – We have a third inning melt down by Max and Wade Miley. The situation is not good for either of the M&M boys. I calm Max down with a walk in the standing room area in right field. Miley is not getting any relief….yet.
2:29 – Grandma is flipping out because a school group keeps standing up and cheering. I can’t for the life of me figure out if she is mad about missing Wade Miley getting lit up like a Christmas tree or because the kids are cheering when the Sox are getting blitzed. Wade Miley finally gets pulled, he needs a few beers after his outing. Max needs popcorn.
2:49 – Moment of silence for Boston Marathon bombing anniversary.
2:55 – There is a kids section in right field with Lego’s, video games and all sorts of kid’s crap you have at home. There are a bunch of TV’s in the giant room so the parents can watch the game. This seems very odd to me, if I wanted to have the kids play with toys while I watch the game on TV….. I would do that at my home rather than travel to a stadium and pay for tickets to a game I am not watching live. I quickly change the diaper and escape.
3:25 – Hanley Ramirez dinger 8-4 score bottom five. We might have a game.
3:36 – Brock Holt ground rule double 8-5 score bottom six. We have a game.
3:49 – Tyler Moore Nat’s 2 run dong. Game over.
4:03 – Sweet Caroline in the middle of the eighth a tradition. I think they need to mix up the songs in the eighth and see if the fans can sing along. Here are a few of my suggestions; Boyz II Men – I will make love to you, LL Cool J – Around the Way Girl, Sonny and Cher – I’ve got you Babe and any Taylor Swift song.
4:10 – Sox go down without out a fight. Their at bats are quick and everyone is chasing bad pitches. I think they might want to get the hell out of here and I can’t blame them, it’s an early game, they have tomorrow off and Friday is a home game. A real opportunity to see their families after being away for Spring training and spending the first week on the road.
4:27 – Stay for the final out even though they are down five. I don’t want to be that guy who leaves early and misses one of the greatest comebacks ever. Do I look like a fan of the Miami Heat?!?!?
5:02 – Arrive at car and begin to leave Boston with heavy traffic. Max and Cameron fall asleep immediately. Brody refuses to sleep in the car. I read him my notes of our adventure to Boston. He laughs hysterically, my wife is only mildly amused. I am satisfied I think I hit my target audience. Immature male that like poop jokes.
6:00 – Fought off the traffic and we are on the Mass Pike leaving Boston.
Celtics and Sox tickets $245, parking at North Station $42, Boston Midtown Hotel 1 night and parking $266, Food $300ish, three Red Sox hats $55, Gas $45. Total – $953
Florida – Airfare $3500, rental car $600, Disney/Universal 1 day $350, food $1000, timeshare maintenance fee’s $1300. Total – $6,700.
Most important two happy parenst and three happy kids.
I knew I was a creative genius and saved over $5,000!