The Opening Ceremonies are supposed to be what sets the mood for the weekend, and for as frustrated as I was when I when it ended, it only got worse on Friday night. We looked at the things we could do after the ceremonies. I learned last year you couldn’t do it all. Our choices were to go on the autograph hunt, stay in this room for Cubs Bingo, or go watch the live broadcast of WGN Sports Central in the ballroom down the hall. We did the autograph hunt last year, and learned you found a line and just stand there, not even knowing who you are in line for, and since they only sign for about a half an hour, you aren’t guaranteed an autograph anyway. We decided to try the Cubs Bingo. We can sit down (after standing for a long time for the Opening Ceremonies, that sounded like a good idea.). They kicked us out of the ballroom that had the Opening Ceremonies and made us form lines in front of the 4 doors that led into it, as they had to set up the tables and chairs for the bingo thing. We did and were toward the front of our line. We’d definitely get in! We stood in line for about an hour. It came time to open the doors, and they realized as they opened them, that the door we were behind had a table and chairs set up right in front of it! So by the time they moved it so we could get through, we got in there and the entire ballroom had already filled up! In the matter of just a minute or two. The frustration continued. My dad and brother decided to go to the WGN thing so they could sit down, and I took my son over to the kid zone. We walked in there and I couldn’t believe how much they had downsized it from last year! As we were looking around, we could hear things starting up in Bingo in the ballroom right next to us. We heard Wayne Messmer say how he needed to make sure he got this in, and he needed to start out the activity the right way, he asked everyone to stand, kindly remove their hats, and join in with the singing of the National Anthem. Really? REALLY? (BIG FAIL, AGAIN!) We wanted to be in there in the first place, and then the one thing I was looking forward to during the Opening Ceremonies was taking place in BINGO? Ugh
Back to the KidZone. There was 3 tables set up at LegoLand, last year they had a HUGE area set up with legos everywhere. Last year, there was a whole gaming system set up in half the room with Xbox, Playstation, Wii, iPads, DJ booth, laptops, any kind of gaming system you could think of, and a phone charging station set up where Moms and Dads could charge their phones up while the kids played. This year, just about 6 TV’s set up with just the PS3 and MLB 12 The Show set up. NEGATIVE on the whole downsizing! The batting cages weren’t even open. So, unless your kid wanted to build with the few legos they had, do the “bozo buckets”, or wait in line for a PS3 game to open up, the Kids Zone was not really offering much for the kids. There was a ball field set up on the far side of the room, but no bats or balls available to do anything but run the bases and slide into each base. It would have been nice, too, if they offered some chairs along the wall for parents to sit on while the kids played, but those didn’t exist either. We got bored quickly and headed over to the WGN broadcast to just sit down and hopefully get entertained a little while getting to sit down. We did get entertained. I did find out that the new pitcher, Scott Feldman may be giving Matt Garza a run for his money as far as being the prankster of the team! Also, learned what an “Upper Decker” is when it comes to practical jokes! Don’t ever let Feldman near your toilet! It was an entertaining session… and I’m pretty sure Garza is still somewhere laughing hysterically!
That ended about 10pm. It had been a busy night of doing nothing in particular. We were very hungry. I took my son upstairs to the room and went to go find something to take back to the room to eat. But wait! It’s 10pm… the restaurants are closed. The makeshift hotdog/hamburger stand had been taken down! Not a vending machine in sight! I searched the hotel high and low and nothing but hundreds of fans in the lobby gathered around boxes of pizzas delivered by various local pizza places. I hurried up to the room as by this time, it’s close to 11pm and hoping it’s not too late to order something. When I got up there, no phone book in the room. My phone was dead and on the charger, so as soon as I got enough “juice” in it, I pulled up pizza places around the area. Time was ticking away and was afraid I wasn’t going to get an order in on time, not to mention, what time it would actually get delivered, but when you have a hungry kid, you gotta do what you gotta do! I called place #1… closed. Place #2…rang, and rang, and rang, no answer (not sure if it was closed or just swamped with phone calls from the hotel with other people in the same predicament I was in). Finally, got a hold of place #3 at 11:15pm. Ordered a large pizza and 6 pack of soda. $50!!!!!! Really? It would have been cheaper to eat in the overpriced hotel, but he’s hungry. ”We’ll be there in an hour”. So, at 12:15pm, we would finally get to eat! Just kind of how the day was going.
So, about midnight, I made my way to the lobby to wait for the pizza guy. There were still hundreds of fans loitering in the chairs, floor, and standing outside. Then I realized why! As soon as one of the many players were making their way back to the hotel after actually going out for dinner, the fans would swarm to them. In just the 15 minutes I was down there, I was able to see Jody Davis, Trey McNutt, and Todd Walker (actually got my picture taken with Trey and Todd, so I guess the day wasn’t a total fail! ). Took the food up to our room, tried to get some ice from the ice machine on the floor, but go figure, it was out of ice…. we each ate a piece of the pizza and decided it was time for bed, each of us hoping for a better day on Saturday.
part 3 to follow...
Baseball season's underway...
So you'd better get ready for a brand new day
Hey Chicago whattya say?