Wife and I just returned from a much needed weekend away. We really need more than a weekend, but time and the budget don't permit much more right now.
We incorporated two of our favorite things -- seeing old friends and going to a Major League Baseball game.
We left the middle of Friday afternoon and drove to St. Louis, a less-than-five-hour drive from here. We met some of our best friends from Little Rock, a couple whose two children correspond closely in age to our older two but who declined to get on the bandwagon and have a third when we had Younger Son 18-plus years ago. To make up for their omission, we named Younger Son after my friend, the husband of this couple.
Even though we have not lived in the same town for nearly 14 years, we can get with these folks and it's like continuing a conversation that was only interrupted a few minutes ago. We have been with each other through some of life's biggest events, including our own weddings, births of our children and the weddings of each of our oldest children. They will be grandparents soon and you can bet that's a big topic of conversation now.
We got there Friday night later than they did and they had already eaten (he is a bit anal retentive and won't vary much from a schedule, something I love to remind him of), but we called them and they met us and sat with us at the restaurant where we were dining outdoors. It was a very pleasant evening and we sat and talked and laughed with them for quite a while.
Had a leisurely breakfast Saturday morning where more talking, laughing and remembering ensued. We drove out to a mall east of town and walked around and had a late lunch.
Got to Busch Stadium early for batting pracitce. The Cardinals were playing the Diamondbacks. Our seats were close together but two-and-two rather than four together, so the girls graciously took two of the seats so my buddy and I could enjoy the game together, something we do all too seldom. There is no bigger Cardinals fan than he and this was his first visit to the new Busch Staditum. I indulged him about the Cards, only lamenting the fact that Lance Berkman now wears a Cardinals uniform which I find unacceptable.
We each bought a round of hot dogs and beer for each other and thoroughly enjoyed the game and fellowship. My friends, there is just nothing like being in a big league stadium, especially with people you love.
The D-backs led most of the game but the recently returned Albert Pujols figured greatly in a Cardinals rally that tied the game at 6 in the 8th inning. The Cards pulled out the win in the bottom of the 9th. Great game.
Just what I needed.