My family moved to St. Louis in the early 80s. I was in kindergarten and had to move in the middle of the year. But I didn't mind. Moving seemed like a great adventure.
I fell in love with everything in St. Louis, from the schools to the people to the local sports--especially the Cardinals. It happened to be this was where I started playing baseball for the first time, so naturally, I became a ridiculously fan of the Cards. My first professional baseball game was with Dad and his best friend in Busch Stadium. I remember I couldn't believe how big the stadium was!
Anyway, we moved after a little more than three years. I never went back until this summer.
Since the 1980s, I've had other chances to see the Cardinals in Atlanta. But I have yet to return to St. Louis for a game. I came close once during a conference for work, and it was during the World Series. However, I came down with pneumonia and was advised by my doctor not to fly. He said it could cause serious complications.
Still, I almost went on the trip anyway despite how terrible I felt. I ultimately decided I would have another opportunity to go to a game — someday.
So Dad and I planned a road trip to the WWI museum in Kansas City this summer, and the trip grew from there. Dad is an excellent trip planner and could have had another life as a travel agent or something similar.
One of the stops on the trip was, of course, a Cardinal game. We drove from Atlanta to St. Louis for the night game. I was thrilled.
And then the game was canceled due to weather. I couldn't believe it. I usually try to stay positive. However, maybe the universe didn't want me to go to a Cardinals game in St. Louis?
Of course, I felt that way before I realized how serious the weather situation had become. You might remember the string of terrible weather across the midwest in May of this year?
The TVs in the hotel showed the tragedy citizens across Missouri were dealing with, and I felt fortunate we made it safely. While we were bummed, it didn't take long to realize our disappointment was not a big deal compared to what people in the path of those storms coped with that month.
We were able to dodge the dangerous weather, hoping we change the tickets. It wasn't allowed, and we couldn't stay for the late game because of our itinerary, so we donated the tickets to the military.
Instead of going to the game, we ended up grabbing a hotdog across the street and watching the Cards on the TV. It was an awesome venue!
We had a blast.
I guess sometimes it doesn't matter if your plans don't work out as long as you stay positive. Besides, the best experience was hanging out with Dad.