What We Did For the 4th of July

John and I are big Phillies fans.  We have Sunday series tickets, so every time the Phillies are home on a weekend, you can find us at Citizen’s Bank Park.

CBP on Father's Day, 2010

View from our seats at CBP

We are very lucky.  Because I am originally from Pittsburgh, and almost all of my family still lives there, we can travel across the state pretty easily.  Because the Phils and Pirates are both in the NL, we are assured that the Phils will play in Pittsburgh at least once each season.  This year, it happened to occur over the weekend of July 4th, so we ended up spending the holiday with my family.

We opted for tickets to the Saturday night game, which was sold out.  Yes, a sellout in Pgh.  Doesn’t happen all too often.  But, we were able to get great seats on StubHub for a great price (much less than we would have paid for equivalent seats in Philly).  Let’s see if you can guess what made this game a sell out.  I’ll give you a hint.  Look at all of the red in the following picture, taken before the game.

PNC Park, Pre-game, 7/3/2010

Yep, that’s right.  Phillies fans sold out the game in Pgh.  Actually, they sold out all 4 games of the series.  When you get this many fans for a team, it virtually becomes a home game.  It was so awesome to hear all of the Phillies fans cheering during the game.  There were some prickly Pirate fans in the bunch though.  The man behind us, as we were cheering after the first score of the game, yelled that we should all go back to where we came from.  Three things about this 1) Technically I was raised less than 7 miles away, so this is where I came from; 2) If all the Phillies fans would leave, we’d be taking all of our money, that was going to the Pirates, with us; and 3) There are more of us than there are of you, so watch out.

After the game (which we won), there was an amazing Fireworks display

I need to learn to take better Fireworks pictures!

Although they were great, it made me think of something.  The Pirates are terrible.  They are beyond horrible.  It’s been this way for quite a while.  When I was growing up, they were a great team, usually in contention for the division title, often in the playoffs (although this was when the Braves were winning everything, Boo!).  They had a great franchise with an amazing franchise history.

When you go to the Pirates games, it’s much like going to a minor league baseball park.  There are “free t-shirts every Thursday”, games for the kids, game-shows between the innings, very long fireworks displays, etc., etc.  All of these designed to bring fans and “visitors” to the stadium.  All of which cost a lot of money.  I have a better way to bring fans to the stadium.  Spend the money you are using to woo fans on creating a great, contending baseball team.  You don’t need gimicks if you have great baseball.  A good team will bring the fans as sure as the Pied Piper can lure children.  It’s much like Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”  In this case, it is a good baseball team and they are the fans.

Sunday, we met up with some of my FIFs for breakfast, then has a cookout with my family.  It was so much fun spending time with my brother and SIL and my sister and BIL.  I can’t remember the last time that we laughed that much.  I was crying, that’s how much I was laughing.  One of the best days I can remember having with two of my siblings.  Later that night, we headed over to my cousin’s house for fireworks in McKeesport.  I have to admit, they put on a great display.  I was impressed, McKeesport!

On Monday, we were heading back to Philly, but before we left we ate this

Top Layer of Our Wedding Cake at 1 year and 1 month

My parents’ had been storing our wedding cake in their freezer.  We pulled it out, thawed it, microwaved it a little, then the 4 of us (my parents and the two of us) ate it.  Yes, I know you’re supposed to do this on your 1 year anniversary, but we were in Vegas.  Close Enough.  At our wedding last year, we’d had slices from a different section of cake, which was banana with cream cheese frosting – AMAZINGLY YUMMY!  The top layer was different.  It was vanilla cake with strawberry filling.

How was it?  Well, as good as you could expect after a year.  The buttercream frosting was like cement.  But, it must have done a pretty good job of protecting the inside because the actual cake and filling weren’t too bad.  I was crossing my fingers that whole time that we wouldn’t get food poisoning and fortunately, we didn’t.

All in all, it was a lovely weekend, but, it sure was good to get home Monday night 🙂

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