We experienced great weather on our recent trip to Florida: record warmth and widely scattered barbecue. Our day at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland was fun-filled despite the fact that the Orioles lost to the Tigers 15-2. From there, we traveled to Bradenton on the Gulf Coast and saw the Blue Jays beat the Pirates, 4-1 at the latter’s home ballpark, McKechnie Field. McKechnie has been refurbished since Al and I first visited in 2012 (when we also saw the Pirates and Blue Jays play and on the same date. It was déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say.) A boardwalk has been added above the outfield fence providing a marvelous place to hang out on a sun-splashed day. As you can see from the photo below, you can also look right down into the Pirates’ bullpen.
We did not make it to Gainesville to see the University of Florida play. It was drizzling and down to 48 degrees by game time and we opted to stay home. Of course, the Gators were hosting the University of Maine Black Bears who no doubt thought that playing in 48 degree weather was tantamount to playing in paradise. It’s definitely all in your perspective. We arrived home on Sunday when the temperature was approaching 50 degrees and our neighbor was out in shorts and bare feet. In Florida, everyone wears a winter coat when the thermometer nears 50.
Amazingly, it only took an hour and 40 minutes from take-off at Orlando-Sanford to landing in Hagerstown. I knew we were close to home when I could look out the window and see the Seven Bends of the Shenandoah River. It might not seem like it, but this view will be all green, too, soon enough. Well, not “soon enough,” but soon.