SUMMER RECAP (JUL-AUG)
I have not forgot about my blog, it just got really busy and internet connection was minimal. Instead of continuing to post separate journeys I have decided to roll them all into one big post and get caught up. This post will give the highlights of our trip to Canada, Portland, Boston (Round II), New York, Pennsylvania, and our visit home before heading to Texas for our winter job at Amazon. Sorry, it's a pretty long read, but at least I'm now caught up!
29 Jun - 6 Jul
It's not about how fast you get somewhere, it's about the journey you take to get there. While most other cars are speeding along passing us like we are standing still, we take our time to enjoy our surrounds and take in the History in the small towns we drive through.
Calais, ME the small boarder town leading to New Brunswick, Canada had Saint Croix Island IHS. We stopped to check it out and adding another stamp in our National Park Passport Book before we crossed over into Canada. It is the site of early French Colonization. By what I have read and understood the first winter was to rough and after the ice melted the French Colonization moved to a less isolated location. Also, from what I understood the French relationship with the local Nation Tribe was more friendlier, maybe because they worked closely together and did not try to extinct them like the British did when they arrive to the new world.
With most of the day gone we drove as far as we could before stopping at a Wal Mart to spent the night. The next morning we would arrive in Cap Pele at our campground, ocean front water view to Prince Edward Island. We would celebrate Canada and American Independence Day this week along with crossing into Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
New Brunswick: campground, largest lobster, Hopewell rock.
Hopewell Rock high tide
Did some driving to light houses and cover bridges before returning for low tide.
Mystery Machine in some guy from lawn.
Prince Edward Island: St Dunstan's Basilica, Anna of Green Gables. Hiromi had to read Anna of Green Gables in school in Japan, so I thought it might be nice to see where the books were written.
Confederation Bridge to enter PEI. Free going in, but they get ya on the way out. C$45.50 to leave PEI so don't spend all you money... CASH only.
Before heading back home we had to stop for some ice cream.
With our week up we left in the early morning so we could get back into US in one day. We took the same boarder crossing as we did when we arrived and I started to get a little worried when the two RV's in front of us got pulled over and checked. We had no problem and passed in a few minutes of questions and searches of the RV and car. The two RV's in front of us had the passengers removed form their RV and three boarder patrols going inside their rig. Maybe they lied about the fresh fruit or alcohol they were bring into the US. Anyways, we where in the clear and on our way to Portland,ME.
The Class A and B that would get pulled over for further inspection.
PORTLAND, ME7 - 10 Jul
We are staying at Blueberry Pond Campground in Pownal, located between Augusta and Portland. This is a good spot to hold up for a few days as it is the center point of the places we want to visit with no more than a hour and a half drive in either direction.
Of course we had to stop by the State Capitol Building, Lenny the 1700 lbs chocolate moose, Nubble Lighthouse and lobster restaurant and Portland Sea Dog MiLB Baseball game.
Maine State Capitol Building
I can't remember where we took this picture, but since it's chocolate....
Hiromi loves chocolate and Lindor is one of her favorites.
Nubble Lighthouse and Lobster
My favorite player Travis Shaw game used jersey was in the team shop, I just had to add it to my collection.
Batting practice ball
Travis Shaw number forever on the stadium wall of greats
Mets prospect Gavin Cecchini on the on deck circle
Gavin Cecchini autograph on baseball after the game
BOSTON, MA (ROUND II)
11 - 12 Jul
Hiromi stayed at the campground and had the day to herself, while I headed to the city of Lowell to visit Lowell NHP before the short drive to the stadium to see my Indians Mahoning Valley Scrappers take on the Lowell Spinners. I will always root for the home team, unless they are playing an Indians farm team or a Kent State Alumni is on the visiting team.
Lowell NHP was a building with a very little exhibit. The movie did fill you in on the history of the city and how it keeps redefining it's self to remain a growing town.
To give the fans who was waiting to enter the game on this hot and sunny day there was a wrestling rig and match before the gates opened.
I love MiLB game between inning today they had a dog catching freezebees.
I thought I have seen everything in a baseball game, but the game ended in the 13th by a catcher balk and the Scrappers lost the game. You will NEVER see this call in the Major Leagues. Good news, I did go home with 3 balls. Gave one to a little girl when walking out the park, her brother had one and she did not... it only seemed fair they both leave a ball.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME COOPERSTOWN, NY
13 - 16 Jul
Before arriving to Baseball's Holy Grail of greatest baseball players who live in immortality, we stopped by Martin Van Buren NHS. The 8th President of the United States, one of the founders of The Democratic Party and later founded of the Free Soil Party (known today as The Republican Party). We toured his home, but no pictures allowed. Just from the outside.
Four days in Cooperstown and four days spent at the Hall of Fame. For military active or retired entrance is free, and for a baseball fan like me that's music to my ears. Hiromi would drop me off in the morning and I would spend all day in the Hall of Fame. She would pick me up in the evening and we would walk around downtown before driving back to the campground. There is no way I could add ever picture I took inside the Hall of Fame but here is a just a few.
ALTOONA & BUTLER, PA
17 - 22 Jul
My last push to see four more baseball games before heading home to see family and friends. First stop Altoona, PA to visit Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS then see the Altoona Curve. First we would learn history of how supply ships would be moved over the mountain by train and drop off on the other side to continue it journey to the West or East.
I would get to see three baseball games in two days as one game was a double header to make up a rain out earlier in the season. I would go to the first game alone. The double header was two for one tickets. Hiromi could not stay all day and watch baseball so she dropped me off and came back for the second game that was followed by firework. With the roller coaster them park in the right field wall something different from other minor league parks.The first day I would get one ball and the double header I would add three more.
The next day, we headed to Butler, PA to see two current Kent State play in the College Summer League. The stadium rule did not allow fans to keep any foul balls. Good thing we got there 5 hours early so we had a parking spot for our RV and got six balls from bating practice. I gave one to a boy I saw on the other side of the fence where no batting practice homeruns were getting hit to. When I got inside the stadium I was able to get pictures with the two current Kent State players.
HOME SWEET HOME: CANTON, OH
23 Jul - 27 Aug
It seems no matter how far I drive away from home, I always find myself returning. We have seen a lot of nice homes in many cities in the last three years, but home will always be Canton, OH.
The first weekend I made a trip to the flea market and struck baseball card gold. For only $30 I would get 30,000+ sports cards. It took awhile to get them sorted by brand, year, number order and logged into my sports card database. My collection currently stands at 98,591 items. My baseball card collection is complete up to the 2015 season, all I have to do now is inventory my football, basketball and non sports cards I have been collecting since 1987. What will my total collection final count be and how much will it be worth?
My Kent State Alumni on custom made 5x7
17 in two years
Hiromi and I would go fishing at an extended families private lake. Eight of us went, we had a good day and caught a lot fish.
My family has tickets to the Hall of Fame Football game that kick off the NFL season for as long as I can remember. Funny how I was home to see the game live. The Steelers vs Vikings with the stands full of black and gold Steelers fan. However, the Vikings would win the game.
Best seats in the house (Row E 50 yard line)
My last baseball game of the year and first time I've been to Canel Park since the team's new owner changing it's name from Akron Areos to Akron Rubberducks. It was firework night so of course Hiromi came to the game. I liked the upgrades to the Homerun porch in right field and party corner in the left field. It's easier to watch the game for the fan instead of the seats that were there. My goal was to get autographs of the young prospects. The autographs was pretty easy to get, only three fans asking for autographs and the players I called out came over to sign. Our seats was behind the dugout. When getting autographs a father and son had first row seats, but the wall was to high for the son to see over so we traded tickets. Good thing happen when you do good for others as I got two ball in that seat. One from the pitching coach when returning from warming up the starting pitcher before the game started and another foul ball down the line that I reached over the wall to grab. I tried to find that father and son to give him one of the balls, unfortunately I was not lucky.
With the end of the 2015 baseball season just around the corner, I figure this is the best place then any to give my number to the 2015 season. I attended 51 MLB, MiLB or college summer league game, while getting 170 autographs and caught / retrieved 99 baseballs that have left the field of play.I gave away 13 balls to kids who did not have one, Not to the ones who kept asking for one, but to the ones who I seen trying all game to get one and never got lucky enough. If I give one away another one will come my way. The game attended are up a few from last year while the autographs remained about the same. The ball total is a dream and I can't even believe how many I got. From 2005-2014 I only had caught 24 balls. In the 2015 season along I more than quadrupled the number of baseball caught in the the last ten years. I don't think I'll ever get that many baseball again, but this season is one that I will never forget.
A lot of people outside of Ohio know Kent State not for being the second biggest University in Ohio behind The Ohio State. They know the history on May 4th 1970 when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed college students protesting the Cambodian Campaign announced by President Nixon just a few days earlier. I took a trip back to my University to take these picture that remembrance of that event.
I knew when I saw this potato that any food my mom would cook would taste good.
In Aug 1979 my family returned from our summer vacation in Florida and as my grandfather pick us up and driving us home a plane crashed at Akron Canton Airport. The pilot of that plane was the catcher of the New York Yankees and Canton's own Thurman Munson. That day was the first time I ever saw my grandfather cry. I visited the Yankee's captain final resting place.
Hiromi before and after pictures of her hair cut.
Hiromi never fired a gun and it gave dad an excuse to pull his guns out. We spent over an hour at the shooting range. I have to find the time to post the video of Hiromi's shooting to my youtube page... it's a must see.
My mom said she don't take good pictures,... I beg to differ.
Amazon in Haslet, TX