I ran through a whole host of titles for this one:
- There, There, and There and Back Again
- A 5,500 Mile Journey
- See’s No Evil
- 99 Problems and a Ticket Ain’t One
- Kinstler’s List
In the end, I was asked this week how I was doing and I was able to remove my tongue from my cheek and really mean it when I said “Living the Dream”. The past week has been a whirlwind that was highlighted by getting to take in Game 3 of the World Series in San Francisco. But before I get to the whole story, let’s take a look at some of the stats from this week:
- Total Miles traveled through the air this week: 5,468
- Airports & States I spent time in this week: 6
- Flights taken this week: 6
- Movies watched on flights this week: 5
- Different States I watched the first 4 games of the World Series in: 4
- Different Time Zones I spent a night in: 3
- Different Airlines taken this week: 2
So , here’s the story behind it all:
The first part of the story is a massive THANK YOU to Brad & Wendy Kinstler for facilitating all of this. So if you like this story and think it was cool, you should pick up some See’s Candies for Thanksgiving (I especially recommend the Apple Pie Truffle).
Anyway, so after the Royals clinched the LCS and the Giants were up 3-1 in their series, on a hope I dropped a note to Becky’s Aunt Wendy to see if they might have access to any seats should we end up in the series. The answer was no, but if you are patient, we can see if anything comes up. So with that glimmer of hope (which I will admit aided in my daydreaming of the possibility and not necessarily being able to sleep well that night) I went through the weekend. I already had two work trips scheduled for that week so I worked to get ready for them. As of Sunday night there was no news on whether or not a San Francisco trip would be in my future. I went ahead and packed for the week in a manner that should cover both potential outcomes for the week.
Monday morning began at 4:00am as I started the process of flying to Denver, CO on the first leg of my trip. Everything went well and I went about my workday. Then at 3:02pm MDT I received the text I had been dreaming of. If I could make it to San Francisco, I had a ticket to a World Series game.
Note: I have a goal of seeing a baseball game in every MLB Ballpark, and San Francisco was one of the parks I still needed to visit. It is widely considered one of the Top 3 ballparks in the country. So seeing a game there would have been a huge treat no matter what. But to do it in the World Series was an unbelievable opportunity. But then to do it in the World Series when the ROYALS are in the World Series?! That is the stuff of Fairy Tales. I’m still blown away that this opportunity came my way. (This is what I looked like Monday night just thinking about this)
So next came flight planning. I tried to just alter my existing flight and cover the difference out of my frequent flyer point balance, but apparently that isn’t something that can be done. So on Monday, when I need to fly Friday, I’m trying to find 2 one way flights (MN to SF to KC) that will land at the right times and that I have enough points for. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t as easy as normal to get flights into SF during the World Series weekend. I was able to find only one combination of flights that would meet my needs for the game on Friday and to get back for work on Saturday afternoon. The crazy parts? The frequent flyer points needed for the flights were 300 less than my complete points balance, and there was only ONE seat left on the MN to SF flight that I needed to take! I hurriedly booked those two flights, one routed through Phoenix and the return routed through Milwaukee. I nearly caused myself heart issues when I realized I accidentally booked my return flight prior to booking my outbound flight when the outbound flight was the one with only one seat left, but ultimately both got booked. I now had to just make it through the week and would be looking at the ultimate reward at the end of the week.
I was feeling comfortable with what I had scheduled since the flight landed at 3:00 on Friday and the game was a 7:00 game. That was until I realized that the game started at 5:00 PDT which meant I had left myself very little time for any sort of delay, and with the number of flights I’ve had delayed through the years, it made me VERY nervous. In fact, that is the biggest reason that I didn’t shout from the rooftop all week about going to the World Series. I was way too concerned that I’d make a huge deal about it and then miss out. And when you want something as badly as I wanted to go, you don’t want to have to explain to the world that you didn’t get to because of mechanical issues with a flight. Trust me… this makes sense if you if you’ve ever thought that it matters which shirt you are wearing during a World Series game.
So then it became a matter of working the rest of the week, travelling some more, and then praying that Friday would go off without a hitch. I watched Tuesday’s game at the Fox & the Hound in Lone Tree, Colorado decked out in all of my Royals’ gear and was promptly disappointed. I was in Minnesota for Game 2 and I opted to watch that from my hotel room in different Royals’ gear and enjoyed the outcome far more. Thursday was a respite and time to get ready for Friday. As of late Thursday night, all flights were on schedule and the weather looked favorable.
Friday morning I made it to the airport extra early to make sure I didn’t do anything to jeopardize things. Everything went according to plan, at least other than running into the first Giants fan of the day in the airport who happened to be heading to SF as well. There would be a lot more in the gate area when I got to Phoenix waiting to board my flight to San Francisco. I knew it was already time to make sure to play nice. Everything went smoothly on that flight as well and I finally began to relax because I knew I was going to get to live out the dream.
Of course at this point I still didn’t know how good it was going to get. It turned out that our tickets were in the Giants’ suite they have for their corporate sponsors (of which See’s Candies is one). So the seats were straight down the left field line, the ballpark was beautiful, the food was free (and tasty), the weather was gorgeous, and the Royals came out on top in a nail-biter. Literally. I can’t remember biting my nails in the past decade, and I spent the final four innings biting my nails. But oh what a feeling and what an experience! I will spare you every little detail, but Escobar, Gordon, & Hosmer all came up big at the plate and HDH with a side of Finnegan were great out of the bullpen. It was everything I hoped for and more. (On the off chance you recorded the game, pause it right when Michael Morse’s near-HR lands and then look a couple of rows above the ball in what looks like a big window. There are two gentlemen in gray and one is wearing a blue hat. That is Brad and I. Or you can see us here…when I’m still in blue)
The only thing that is still needed is for the Royals to win the series so that I can have been at a World Series victory by the World Champions. (Here’s hoping at least!) Even if not, it was truly an experience of a lifetime. Here are just a few more pictures from the night:
Thank you again to Brad & Wendy.
(Now, let’s go Royals! Time to #TakeTheCrown)