Tag Archives: tampa bay rays

Father’s Day and Elliot’s First Rays Game

So it has been nearly three months since Father’s Day, and I honestly cannot remember what we did to celebrate Keith’s awesomeness. I took obligatorily adorable photos of Keith with the boys after church (I got one when all three were looking), and Keith got mega-Meyer-nap snuggles at naptime. Other than that, I’m sure we spent the day giving him our love, but the specifics just aren’t ringing a bell. Oops.

Later that week, we made our way to the Trop to see the Rays take on the Orioles. Elliot loved his first game, but I wouldn’t really know because I spent the majority of my time hanging with Henry around the stadium. Our main goal was visiting the touch tank so Henry could touch a stingray. That grosses me out, but he likes it and was willing to wait in line so we waited it out. He drank his free blue slurpee in line (before he dropped it and made a giant mess and freaked out over not getting to finish it), and we were in the last group to touch the stingrays. Except the stingrays were totally over people trying to touch them, so it didn’t work out. Luckily, the view of the game looks fantastic from the tank area so we watched the game for a bit.

Next up, we rushed down to a kid dance party/game that Henry LOVED. It combined his two favorite things, so I just let him dance and play for as long as he wished. I sat in a corner and zoned out; it was bliss. We tried to head back to our seats, but Henry found the coloring area so of course we had to spend some time there. He meticulously colored a DJ Kitty page and started a Raymond one before realizing he hadn’t made it to the kids block area and the game was winding down. We packed up Raymond to finish him at home and set off to play. Henry had so much fun; we never made it back to our seats. We eventually caught up with Keith, Elliot, Tom, and Margo after a game of tag (we couldn’t figure out where they were in relation to where we were). The Rays lost, but the gang had fun.

Rays Up at Fan Fest

For this week’s Field Trip Friday (on a Saturday – hey, I’m nearly in my third trimester and tired so the Hen is lucky to get a field trip these days), Henry and I traveled to St. Petersburg to attend our first Rays Fan Fest. A precursor to Spring Training games, this free event is for the fans – autograph signings, prizes, and activities for the kids were all happening.

manatee sitting
Since even the parking at the stadium was free, I thought it would be cool to take Henry because if he didn’t handle it well, it didn’t cost us anything to try. And he was a gem! One of the first things he did was reach down to touch the turf grass, and of course his next move was to take his shoes off to run around. Somehow I managed to stop him (a miracle in itself since this kid loves to be barefoot), and then we made our way around the field. He took off running (without me) the actual bases Rays players run so I had to sprint after him to catch up. I must have looked ridiculous, but he couldn’t stop laughing. 

Other highlights for Henry were getting a free lollipop from a pelican mascot (don’t know what team he was representing), the dance party with Raymond (the Rays’ actual mascot), practicing his pitching skills, and taking batting practice with some of the Rays’ pitching staff. This last one required a 40 minute (or so) wait in line, but he made friends with the kids in front of him so he did pretty well. Until it was his turn to bat. He was assigned to Xavier Cedeño, but he wasn’t having that and launched into a meltdown. Did I mention it was close to naptime? He wanted to be in the line with his new friends, and the Rays’ staff were kind enough to accommodate my tired kid. 

Choosing the pink bat, Henry took to the plate. After a few swings and misses, he connected the bat to the ball and got a hit! And he thought his batting practice was over – he did it! Except he had a few more balls left, so I convinced him to go back. He tried this time with a smaller bat for bigger kids, so it didn’t go so well. The ball player pitching kept trying to help, but Henry’s stubbornness confused him. When his turn was actually over, Henry didn’t want to leave so another meltdown ensued. I carried him kicking and screaming (while apologizing) out of the batting area. After he calmed down, we split an ice cream because we love ice cream and can eat it in February in Florida. Sleepy Hen laid down twice on our walk to the car, so I had to carry his ~34 pounds most of the way, but we had a fantastic time so it was all worth it.