Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Texas Two-Step

I got to Dallas around 4 PM on Saturday so I looked up “Costco” using my GPS and found one about 10 miles away in Ft. Worth. I filled gas, ate a Chicken Caesar salad and bought a 6-pack of white t-shirts. I was all out of clean shirts and I really needed to change. I got to the ballpark around 6 PM and immediately liked it when I saw it from the freeway. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere and looks really impressive standing alone. Here are some pictures of the exterior:

Ameriquest Field and the Prius' Rear End Posted by Picasa

Ameriquest Posted by Picasa

The stadium is built so that there is a large void between the stands and the outer walls where the concessions and souvenirs are sold. It’s different from other stadiums because the outer walls are more open and the void is very pretty. I tried to get a picture of the void but I don’t think I did it justice:

The Void Posted by Picasa

The field itself was really nice, too. They had enough quirks to be unique but not so many that it felt weird. One of their sponsors is Ozark Drinking Water and every time a Rangers pitcher would get a strikeout, the “K” would flash red. They’re also sponsored bt Southwest Airlines and after the win, the “W” was flashing red. The home bullpen is elevated in right-center and the fans get a great view of who is warming up. Here are some pictures:

Centerfield Posted by Picasa

Home Bullpen Posted by Picasa

Baseball under the lights Posted by Picasa

In center field they have a statue of Nolan Ryan and even though I knew his numbers I was still shocked to see them again: 27 seasons, 5700+ strikeouts in 5300 innings, 7 no-hitters and 25ish one-hitters. Insane:

Nolan Posted by Picasa

The game was good and I got to see the Rangers closer, Francisco Cordero, blow a 3-run lead by giving up a 3-run homer to Tye Wigginton. He comes in to “Eye of the Tiger”, one of the worst choices for closer music ever. Rocky is what teams play when they need to rally, not when they need to hold a lead and stop a rally. Anyway, I got to see Michael Young hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth and we all danced to Cotton Eyed Joe.

Fireworks Posted by Picasa

After the game I headed to Evin’s new apartment. She landed in the airport at 9 PM and we got to her apartment at about the same time. I helped her bring her luggage inside and met her roommate, Heather. Heather was all stressed out because she had been moving all weekend and I felt like a bit of a burden. I hate that feeling. Luckily, Heather couldn’t figure out how to set up the VCR and DVD players so I felt like I earned my place on the couch with my superior electronics knowledge. We were too tired to go out so we headed to the Conoco across the street, picked up some Shiner Bock beer and drank in her apartment until going to bed around 2 AM.

In the morning we went to brunch at a restaurant called Chuy’s. I’m almost positive that this was a different Chuy’s than the one in Van Horn but I could be wrong. I think that Chuy is just a popular name. Anyway, I had a breakfast burrito that was advertised as “Big as yo’ Face!” but I knew they couldn’t possibly make one as big as my face. Here’s a picture of the smaller than my face burrito:

Breakfast Burrito in Dallas Posted by Picasa

After breakfast we went bed shopping for Evin. I had no clue that mattress salesmen were such a slimy group. They’re almost as bad as used-car salesmen or telemarketers. *Shudder* Luckily there were 3 places on the same corner and Evin used them against each other, getting the last place to give her a sweet bed at a good price and throw in a bed frame for free. We ran a few more errands then went back to her place where the girls put the finishing touches on unpacking and straightening up. I left around 7 PM and headed to American Airlines Center for the Mavs game. The game started at 8:30 and was a lot of fun. The crowd was electric and they expect big things this year from Dirk and the boys. Here are a few pics from the game:

Just before tip-off Posted by Picasa

Chili Cheese Dog and Beer Posted by Picasa

Sponsored by...... Posted by Picasa

I spent the night at their apartment again and left at 8 AM on Monday morning. The drive from Dallas to Houston is only 4 hours long and it felt like cake. After driving through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas for 10 hours on Friday I think I can drive anywhere. I got to Houston around noon and drove straight to the stadium looking for hotels. I couldn’t find any so I pulled out my laptop, stole a wireless signal from the baseball stadium and found a good deal on the Sheraton in West Houston. The Sheraton is definitely the nicest hotel that I’ll ever stay at on this trip. It feels good every once in a while to see a valet and bellmen and whatnot. I spent a few hours tooling around on the internet and left for the game at 5 PM. Traffic was surprisingly light and I made it across town without much trouble. The street parking was really confusing so I decided to pay $5 and park in a lot about 4 blocks away. Minute Maid is pretty nice but I think it has a few too many crazy quirks. The center-field fence is 436 feet away from home plate and there’s a hill leading up to it and a flagpole on the hill. A flagpole in play? Also, there’s a point in left field where a short porch abruptly juts out and the fence goes from like 340’ to 365’. The game featured some nice defensive plays from the Astro outfielders and Andy Pettitte actually took a no-hitter into the 7th inning. Ultimately I got to see my 2nd blown save in a row as Brad Lidge game up a 9th inning grand slam to Nomar Garciaparra and the Astros blew their 2-1 lead, losing 6-2. Here are the random Minute Maid pictures:

Left Field Posted by Picasa

Left Field Gate Posted by Picasa

Brat and Beer Posted by Picasa

The ridiculous hill in center field. 436' in center. Posted by Picasa

The ridiculous Left-Field boxes Posted by Picasa

After the game I was really hungry so I hit ate at the steak place here at the Sheraton. Rib-eye never disappoints:

Rib-Eye Posted by Picasa

Tomorrow I’m driving to Enterprise, Alabama to see Cliff. It’s about 10 hours away and I need to get my butt to bed. Sorry if the entry feels rushed but it’s 4 AM over here. I’ll get a few updates in from Alabama. Until then, close your eyes, and picture me rollin’.


TitoSantana said...

Bro, First of all, I absolutely love the blog! I think its the best blog on the internet, seriously. But, bro, all the crap you are eating day in and day out is giving me hemorroids just reading this. Are you also doing a "supersize me" type of national tour? To see how much weight and cholesterol you can gain on this national trip? Bro, seriosly, cut the crap, and throw in some vegetables, grains, fiber, water once in a while. Your body will thank me! Ariba!

Anonymous said...

Seriously...you eat like you are suicidal...and good call on the burrito...no business owner would market a burrito that is bigger than YOUR face and expect to break even...in fact, a tortilla that is bigger than your head would run at least $3 a pop...Get ready for fruits, veggies, and tofu with Cliff. And get ready to take your ass to the gym. I heard you were in the Army once yourself, but then they realized it was costing too much to feed you, and let you go...

Schaefer's Mom said...

Schaefer, I know you're starting to LOVE the Prius, but all the butt shots of that car are beginning to worry me...


meanhappyguy said...

I didn't think anything was bigger than your face?

Had me going there for a second...

Loving the blog, can't wait to hear the Fenway and Yankee stadium recaps.


dave goldhammer said...

I just wanted to let you know that you're on probably the coolest trip ever. Although you should envy me, I just got back from an inspiring 13-3 loss by the M's. Keep up the blog, it's awesome.


Ivan said...


When are you going to be passing though New York and Boston? I will be living there from May 31st till early July. If you are in NYC during this time you can crash with Bri and I, watch some World Cup action during the day and catch a Mets or Yankee game at night.