Before I even say anything else, I have to say THANK YOU to my brother-in-law, Ray, who got us tickets to the game, and THANK YOU to Joe (our nephew) and Emily (his fiance and our soon-to-be honest-to-goodness-real-relative) for taking Alex and Julia FOR THE NIGHT so Bill and I could have FREEDOM and FOOD and FUN and FENWAY all for ourselves.
So we dropped the kids off with Emily in the early afternoon (and the kids were just as happy to be away from us - "Sleepover! Without Mom and Dad!") and hit the road.
The weather was amazingly summertime ballgame perfect - no rain. That was our big concern, since it's been so rainy this year. It would have been horrible to be rained out on this night of freedom.
Anyway, we had a great, great time. Just walking around in Boston - haven't been there in ages - was nice, and then we headed to the Cask & Flagon for lunch and lucked out in getting an outdoor table on Lansdowne Street, right near the Green Monster seats.
We sat with our beers and eventually our food, watching the people and the activity. And being relaxed. I actually felt the tension leave my shoulders and the back of my neck. I think that particular layer of tension has been in place since we started the whole bedroom project. Nice of it to disappear for a while.
Earlier, on the ride up, I'd suddenly become very emotional and weepy. I'm not going to say what all it was about, just because, well, I don't want to, really. It was too...too much. I don't want to stir it back up. (I also admit I'd run out of my antidepressant and hadn't had the prescription refilled...so I'd kind of left that mental/emotional gate unlocked, opened, and with a big WELCOME sign to all those kinds of weep-inducing thoughts.)
Anyway, as we walked around outside Fenway, the weepiness hit me again out of the blue when we saw the banners and corresponding retired numbers.
Particularly a couple of these
This brings me back to childhood and 1975 and watching playoff games on big old televison sets up on those tall A/V rolling carts in my elementary school. Yaz's signature is stamped on my very first glove, and I remember playing catch with my father in our back yard. I still have the glove.
And also, know what? I've never watched a game at Fenway til this past Saturday.
So that, too, could be why I got a little weepy, too.
But I worked through it (it helped to have Bill poking fun at me - it sounds cruel, but it actually makes me laugh when he does that) and we kept going, around to Yawkey Way and the cheerful mob there.
We finally decided to go inside and find bathrooms and our seats, and as we walked in and around and between mobs of people, I saw one, and then two, people out of the corner of my eye as they walked past us and I turned around and called one of their names and sure enough, it was Bruce and Liz.
Out of around 35,000 people, we happened to be walking one way as they were walking the other AND we passed right next to each other (otherwise I probably wouldn't have noticed them at all). How bizarre and cool is that? So we talked briefly and then headed off in our opposite directions. Turns out they were sitting sort of across from us, only much closer to the field than we were. I didn't know where their seats were (forgot to ask, what with the surprisingness and all) but the other day I asked, and this morning I was able, after a lot of cropping and enlarging and sharpening of images, to find them.
About ten rows up, and on the aisle. Cool, huh? I love my telephoto lens.
Anyway, I have posted all the pictures (except the REALLY blurry ones, which I deleted) on Facebook, and you can see the different albums at the links below.
But I am posting some of my favorites here (in addition to the ones you saw earlier in the post), just because I'm so pleased that I got them at all.
(I love this couple - Bay and Papelbon.)
(That - above - was a home run.)
Again, Ray, thank you for the tickets, and thanks Joe and Em for taking the kids.
We had a fabulous night.