#4477 – blister in the sunburn

so i went down to florida to see my ol’ coworker cheryl and to go to an o’s spring training game.

sunday: dad dropped me off at the airport and i flew direct from BWI to ft. myers. when i got to the airport and was waiting for my luggage at the carousel i thought my luggage was never going to come out – the carousel kept going around and around and no new luggage was coming out, and then the carousel stopped without me seeing my suitcase. eventually with a “phut!” my suitcase came flying out of the baggage door and the metal shutter in the baggage area slammed closed.

cheryl and her boyfriend mark have these coolers on their deck filled with beer and they were kind enough to stock up on some MGDs for me. once her son ryan came home, he and a coworker friend of his and i went to the batting cages nearby to hit some dingers at a family fun-park run by mike greenwell before coming back to the house for dinner. got blisters on my thumbs from the batting cages, ouchums.

monday: cheryl and i stopped off at burger king for some eats on our way to the ballpark. this lady working at the ballpark who was taking peoples’ tickets as they entered saw me in my orioles hat and shirt and complimented me on being “a true orioles fan” as she let me into the park. we got some beers and scoped out the park and jay gibbons’ hair:

“My wife told me if I don’t cut it, I don’t have to buy her any purses all year,” Gibbons said, smiling. “I told her I’ll look like John Lennon for her. It’s like a contract extension, not having to buy her a purse all year.”

the o’s didn’t seem to be doing too well during the game at first (we’d put in pinch-runners who would screw up and get out for stupid stuff), but eventually we rallied up 5 runs (even a home run by nick markakis!). chris ray didn’t seem to be doing too well and he gave up 2 runs in 2 innings if i remember right. we were worried about that since he is our closer after all.

there were a sprinkling of orioles fans around the park… some old ladies sitting in front of me were rooting for the o’s. one guy after the game recognized cheryl’s baltimore accent. we shouted “O!” during the national anthem and got some dirty looks, bahahaha. they were nice to us out-of-towners… when they announced the gametime temperature they first announced the temperature in baltimore (59° F), minneapolis (65° F), and ft. myers (85° F). they even played “thank god i’m a country boy”, but not until the middle of the 9th inning – don’t know if this was on purpose or not.

i also saw probably the world’s oldest beerman:

afterwards, cheryl and mark and i went out to see the sunset (they wanted a photo of the sunset for their house) and to get dinner at this crab shack:

the crab cakes on the menu said “those folks from maryland love ’em!”, but we didn’t care for them at all and doubted that there was even a speck of crab meat in these crab cakes. had seafood and a beer and came back to the house to get some z’s since the sun had tired me out. i ended up with a sunburn on my forearms and a little bit on my face and ears from the baseball game; though my seat was under an overhang, the shade zipped away and left me a bit reddish.

tuesday: cheryl let me use her pickup truck while she was at work; i drove over to ft. myers beach (“lovers key state park”, to be specific). entrance fee was $1 and the park ranger taking peoples’ money sounded like don knotts. walked through the park and took some photos of the wildlife, and got to scope out a tortoise as he was munching on some greens. kicked off my shoes and walked up and down the beach and waded in the water a bit… MAN did that water feel good, i can’t wait to go to the beach this summer and wish i had brought my bathing suit with me down to florida. i want to get my swim on!

drove back to the house, grabbed my luggage, and stopped by cheryl’s store so she could take me to the airport. i had accidentally spent my last $1 on entrance fee to the state park and didn’t have $1 for the toll on my way back to her work, so now i have to mail in $1 to lee county or else they’ll be upset. 🙁 whoops!

my flight out from florida was delayed, but i didn’t have any trouble checking in or on the flight. my troubles were once my flight landed – i arrived, and my bag didn’t (even though it was a direct flight from ft. myers to BWI). they speculated that it was loaded onto a different flight, and they actually called me about 20 minutes ago to tell me that it finally arrived at the airport and they’ll deliver it to my house tomorrow. it would be a total non-event except that my jacket was in my suitcase (i had worn it down to florida and since it was so warm up in maryland i figured i wouldn’t need it on my way back and stuffed it into my suitcase… and forgot my keys were in my jacket). lucky me i’ve got a plastic spare-key for my mini in my wallet and an actual spare key in the apartment, and festive was able to let me in after dad picked me up at the airport and took me home to my car and i drove back to the apartment. to add insult to injury, the flightpath for the planes arriving at BWI tonight takes them right over my house in annapolis… too bad they can’t kick the suitcase out the door with a parachute on it!

pictures from tuesday will be coming tomorrow; all the photos so far are up here. need to head off to bed now to get my z’s on and head back to work tomorrow.