Thursday, July 11, 2013

Watch Baseball in Comfort in Downtown St Pete.

Don't let the baseball purists tell you otherwise. Watching the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball in the air-conditioned  Tropicana Dome is pure comfort!

Our crazy section attendant Eddie, during the 7th inning stretch

Players may like real grass. Some fans may believe that it is part of the game to sit in heat and humidity or endure long rain-delays.

But not these fans.  And fans we are.  We're season ticket holders who even when traveling follow games on and twitter. We love our Tampa Bay Rays, we just don't love sweltering in the sun or huddling on a concourse while a thunderstorm passes.

There is nothing, nada, not a thing pleasant about sitting in a stadium on days when it is 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity outside. And, we're happy to be inside on those afternoons when pop-up thunderstorms, pop up right over southern Pinellas County sending lightning, hail and water spouts right into downtown St Petersburg.

Lucky for us, all we have to worry about is the walk to and from where we parked the car.

Once in the Tropicana Dome, we can head straight to Section 301 with a few detours for beignets, BBQ pork and hand-carved turkey sandwiches, and fresh squeezed lemonade. 

The Trop is a great venue for visitors to enjoy baseball. Rays fans are in general a friendly bunch (except to loud-mouth Yankee fans...sorry if you are one of them...consider yourself warned).

Rusty Kath provides entertaining in-house emceeing (listen for his occasional pithy remarks dropped in among the latest announcement of who has won Pepsi Bottle Race). 

Rays players often sign autographs right before the game down by the Rays dugout.  On Family-Day Sundays, there may even be autograph tables set up at the edge of the field for the latest favorites. 

The price of tickets is very affordable especially compared to many other stadiums MLB.

Food is good baseball park fare. We love the BBQ pork sandwiches from Everglades BBQ or the fresh carved turkey sandwiches from The Carvery.

Come up to Sections 300, 301, or 302 and join legions of season ticket holders who know the best kept secret in the Trop. High seats behind home plate? You can see everything! The prices are great and we have the craziest section attendants!

Parking is available at the Trop and at private lots north of the field.  Parking on 13th Street north is free if you get there early enough to get a space. A free shuttle is available from downtown St Pete parking structures (about 1 mile down central) with parking at the downtown lot just $5.

Check out the Rays website for special concert nights during the summer. Have small kids? Most Sundays are Family Days. Kids can run the bases after the game.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Ribs Were Worth The Fall

Let's just say I'm happy that there was no one with a video camera in front of Fred Fleming's BBQ last night. 

Driving home from the airport we decided to pop into Fred's BBQ for take-out ribs, beans and slaw. It was late, we were hungry, we'd been traveling most of the day, and neither of us remembered what was in the refrigerator, if anything. 

I was hungry, so I over-ordered. 

So there I was with two big sacks full of ribs and things and sauce. 


Thunderstorm just off to the north. 

I was practically skipping out of the door to the car,  when in the dark I did not see the BRIGHT yellow line denoting the edge of a small curb. 

Jerry said, "I saw you coming, and then all of a sudden, you weren't there anymore. I thought, did she forget something?"

Then he saw the top of my head, then my nose, as I pulled myself up by the door handle of the car, gingerly testing if ankle and knee still worked.

"What happened?" It was all I could do to keep from saying "whaddya think?"

Instead..."I knee hurts...but I saved the ribs."

(p.s. bruised, scraped, sore, but I'm all in one piece. the ribs? worth the fall)