Friday, June 23, 2023

Vacation Part 1

 I have been back from vacation for a few days, and we did a lot, but had a great time. There were a number of baseball things during the trip, and of course, baseball cards. 

We left DeLand on a Friday after I got off work, and stopped somewhere in North Carolina for the night. The next day, we drove to West Virginia and saw 2 of Karens cousins before going in for the night. That Sunday was a Pirates-Mets game at PNC Park. I have so many great things to say about not only PNC Park, but also the city of Pittsburgh. I would almost think about moving there if it weren’t so cold in the winter. A pro-union city, a beautiful park, a beautiful city, rivers, bridges, hills…it just seemed great. Driving into the city, we went through a tunnel that went under a mountain. Coming out of it, you are met with the beautiful city skyline, rivers, a few bridges, the other side of the hill, and it was just spectacular. We got to the park, and it was also spectacular. Every seat was angled to the mound so you had a great view of the game, and seeing the other seats angle from our view in LF was different. 

I wanted to see the Pirate Parrot and try to get Manny Sanguillen’s autograph, so before the game started, I took Kyler to walk around the park. We never did find the Parrot, but found Manny’s BBQ stand after walking around the outfield area. It was a nice area. There were some playground areas and toys for the kids, you could see the Allegheny River from the entire OF area, and there were tables where you could sit and watch the river/game, some food and bar areas, and some statues, just a great way to have a park layed out. 

By the time we found the BBQ stand, I was hungry and the game had started. I got in line and spotted Manny getting out of a walker and going to a table with markers. I got a 15 dollar macaroni and while I was paying, Andrew McCutchen came up. He was somehow still at 1,999 hits. I should’ve looked for a TV or just got out of line and walked the 6 feet past the stand so I could watch his AB, but I didn’t, and of course, he got the hit right then. Karen got some video of him running to 2nd and I believe she got a pic of him before the AB, but I would’ve loved to have seen it. 

After I paid, I noticed a TV at the BBQ stand where I could’ve seen it, and also noticed that Manny was gone. There was a line by his table, so I just decided to wait. He came back after 30 minutes and signed my cards.  
My first Topps sunset card signed since I started collecting them. 

We had some friends, the Dickinson’s, that we have known for a little over 10 years. They went to our church in DeLand, and moved back to Pittsburgh, where they are from, about 6 years ago.  Karen Dickinson played guitar in our band at church, and her husband John is hilariously funny. They have a son Calvin, who just had a baby, and a younger daughter Gracie, who couldn’t make the trip. They met up with us at the game, and took us up to a nice lookout point in the city, and then to a local restaurant. I spent most of the day talking sports with John and Calvin, and also got some nice facts about the city. Karen caught up with Karen (lol), and Kyler entertained the whole crew. 
The crew at PNC Park 
At the lookout point. 

The next day, we drove to Niagara Falls, and had a chill day. We stopped at a Target, and I got a blaster of Heritage. I was a little disappointed with the collation (between 2 blasters and a 10 pack box, I got triples of a few cards, and doubles of 2 inserts), and noticed that SPs were a little tougher to pull and that every 4th or 5th pack didn’t have an insert of any kind. I’ll cut to the chase and post the highlights of the Heritage cards. 

I got 3 of the Blue Sparkle cards, but those are going in trades, so I just shown the 1. I pulled a Brandon Crawford relic, which was kind of meh for me. He was on that overrated Giants team that beat my Tigers in the World Series. There was a guy with a Crawford jersey at the Nats game I went to. I wish I would’ve had it with me, cause I would’ve just given it to the guy. I pulled a few flashback cards, and like 3 of whatever the rookie inserts were called. Those are the SPs, which are probably going to go to Night Owl if he is going for the complete set. 

The Falls were incredible up close. We got soaked while riding the Maid of the Mist. 

After 3 days in Niagara, we drove to Washington DC on the 14th, which also was my 40th birthday. We arrived in DC, and met up with Karens old plaster from Virginia and his wife. They took us out on their boat. They lived in this nice community which featured many empty nesters and had nice little restaurants and shops in it. I would love to move to a place like that later in life. It had everything you needed in the village within walking distance, and was along a beautiful lake. 

There was a little outside stage area and it had a big ‘LOVE’ sign and we got our picture in it. 

The next day, we went to see the White House. I will stop here as it was a long trip and so many things, so I don’t want to drag this on. 

It’s good to be back home and in a routine, even if it does include work. I think all of us are refreshed and with some great memories. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post. 


  1. Get some rest! Happy belated birthday!

  2. Seems like a great trip. ... I've been to Niagara Falls many times (used to work in the city) but have never been to the Pirates' park, have got to get there, maybe next year.

    I'll happily take any Heritage SPs you want to send.

  3. Happy belated birthday! Looks like you had a lot of fun. Those LOVE art pieces are all over Virginia. I have one in my hometown designed to look like fishing equipment.

  4. Happy belated birthday! Sounds like a fun trip.

  5. Belated happy birthday! Glad you got the quality time in. Didn't know Manny would sign for free, unless you have to buy something from the place haha