Thursday, August 18, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

While on our New York Summer Vacation this year we had the opportunity to go to a Yankee Game (thanks to my in-laws).  There were 16 of us.  The group consisted of my in-laws, two brother-in-laws, my sister-in-law and 9 kids (all of which were our kids cousins).  The game was on a Wednesday afternoon and we decided to take advantage of public transportation to get there.  With so many kids ranging in ages from 5 to 11years old I thought it would be a great idea to use the buddy system.  We started on the Long Island Railroad or the LIRR.  Before we even got out of the car at the train station I wrote a tiny piece of paper for EACH kid with their name and the name of the their parents with a cell phone number.  They then put it in their pocket or if they didn't have a pocket it went in their shoe, hat or elsewhere.  They were instructed to hold their buddy's hand at all times but especially when we where travelling.  Instead of us counting heads then saying which one is missing, they knew who their partner was and if they couldn't find their hand.  This system worked just great for us!  BUT most importantly No One was left in NYC!  So we started on the LIRR - while riding a couple of us played the alphabet game to kill time.  Then once in Penn Station we moved like a machine to the subway.  Navigating a large group with many kids is tricky BUT completely do-able.  When we got out of the subway we walked down to the South Street Seaport where we would be catching the Delta Yankee Water Taxi
Which takes you right to the stadium for FREE!  If you want to guarantee yourself a seat then you can pay ONE DOLLAR and order them online & print at home (limit four tickets per customer).  The only catch (get it baseball terms) is that there is no return trip after game so you must take a cab or subway back to Penn.  Before we got to the dock we just happened to pass a New York Yankee Clubhouse Shop.  Which for us worked out pretty good.  We bought some hats, tanks tops and bobble heads.  I don't think the prices were any different then the stadium but you shopped at your own pace in the AC.   Hit the restrooms in the Seaport then sat and waited you a bit for our water taxi.
Waiting for the Water Taxi ~ "I think I see it, THERE it is!"

Delta Yankee Water Taxi

The ride on the boat was smooth and BEAUTIFUL!  It is rare to get a glimpse of the skyline from that vantage point.  We felt so fortunate just to be there.  The best seats are from the upper deck (another baseball term).  The kids got a little hot up there and went inside with Grandma.  We on the other hand enjoyed cold ones up top (yes they sell beer & booze ~ try a Flyball)!  I clicked away with my fabulous new camera that I will be blogging about soon.

Upon arrival to the dock at the stadium you have a short walk to get into the actual stadium.  Along the way there were many young guys selling cold water for $1.  That is the only thing we are allowed to bring in to the stadium, factory sealed water bottles.  Sure wish we had heeded the advice of a friend and brought some in.  Inside the stadium water is $5 a bottle.  We were in the upper (upper) deck. 
I had NO idea just how expense professional baseball games have gotten.  Since these days we are more of a minor league family.  Again, so fortunate to be there!  It was HOT, REAL HOT!  We could see the kids melting right before our eyes.  Even with all the excitment of being at YANKEE STADIUM it couldn't keep them cool.  We quickly got hot dogs, pretzels, chicken fingers, fries, lemonade and LOTS of $5 waters for the kids!  After they ate I promised a 4th inning SHAKE BREAK!  Thinking some frosty milkshakes would surely cool them inside and out!   Eight shakes and $64 dollars later ~ we returned to our seats and there was SHADE over our seats Hallelujah!!!  The sun was setting behind the stadium to our benefit.  The game was such fun even if the Yankees weren't doing so great to say the least.  
By the seventh inning stretch our bunch was needing a pick me up.  A little game is always good for that!  With my trusty new camera I took random pictures around the stadium using the AWESOME zoom on this little digital number.  I would then show the kids the picture on my camera and they had to find it somewhere, anywhere in the stadium.  Sounds easy, right?  Some were and some were SUPER hard!  I will give you an example.
The kids had to locate these cars - check out the blue arrow in the picture below

Other things they needed to find -
Can you find Snoopy?

 They also found -
This one was tough it was a peanut bag DIRECTLY behind us!
The camera game was such fun it got us all the way to the end of the game with some really little ones with little attention spans.  The bigger kids were even into it ~ by suggesting different items for me to photograph.  I will certainly try this trick again at another sporting event.  Game was ending figuratively and literally so we decided just before the ninth inning was over to boogie.  Subway back to Penn Station was very entertaining at the "rush hour".  We even saw Spiderman playing "New York, New York" on the saxophone.  Only in New York! 

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