Sunday dawned warm and fair, but the forecast for the afternoon was rain and cold. We had heard on the TV about Atlanta’s snow. After all of Saturday’s activities we were slower getting going. We biked to breakfast. The first place we went to wasn’t scheduled to open for a few days, so we backtracked. On the way back we stopped at a little nature preserve. We didn’t see any fauna, but there were pretty flowers and interesting plants to photograph. Afterwards, we stopped to eate at a café on a near by public beach. The café was an open air affair, with a canopied cover and over looked the beach. It was busy, but we got a table right away. I had eggs, but Anne had the special, bananas foster. After breakfast, we returned to the motel. We only got two miles.
We had talked about it before, but never really decided, anyway at this point we decided to go see the Saint Louis Cardinals, who are in spring training at Jupiter, Florida. We were pretty close to the stadium, but since we didn’t exactly know where it was we drove around for a while before we found it. We bought loge seating; second row from the back, just to the right of home plate, on the Cardinal side of Roger Dean stadium. Fortunately, we were in the shade. We were playing the Marlins and were playing as the visiting team. We got seated at the top of the third.
This was my first spring training game. I can see the attraction. Not only do get to enjoy Florida’s weather, but the tickets are cheaper, the seating is better and there is more action in one game, then you might see in a week of regular season. Also, it was like little Saint Louis at the game. We sat next to a retired couple from Saint Louis. He had been a school teacher in the Ferguson school district, so Anne and he hit it right off. In front of us was a Saint Louis car dealer, who continued to do business throughout the game on his cell. We also met several other Saint Louis residents at the game.
Behind us, though were a New York developer and his son-in-law. They kept a running dialog going throughout the game. The gambit of their conversation ran from the mundane, development opportunities in Florida and New York, to the absurd, the etiquette of Caribbean pirates and their yacht owner victims. I bit my tongue, but I really wanted to bite theirs.
The game ended in a Cardinal victory. There were well over twenty hits in the game. At first, I could not understand the uneven levels of play throughout the game, until it dawned on me, half of the players are major leaguers and half are only minor leaguers or soon will be.
In our search for the stadium we had driven by a nice looking fish house and had decided that was where we wanted to eat dinner. After the game we still had some time to kill before dinner time, so we stopped at another nature preserve, near Juno. It had turned cold, windy and cloudy by then; hence Anne’s attire in the picture to the left, but that is not snow she is standing on, but white sand. Afterwards, we ate at the Juno Fish House and got there in time to qualify for their twilight specials. Anne had the mahi mahi and I had the tuna. The food was excellent.
Monday morning we had a continental breakfast at a French café. The owner-baker was a gruff Frenchman. He had French satellite TV on in the café. The waitress was a sweet late fifties/early sixties something women. I think we caught her on her first day on the job. When it came time to process the credit card she told us she hadn’t waited tables since she was sixteen. We slipped her a good tip and offered her words of encouragement, as did other patrons. All of which only seemed to infuriate the Frenchman even further.
The flights home were tediously uneventful. The snowstorm that had hit Atlanta on Sunday had moved north and on Monday was pounding the Northeast, but it left us unaffected. We didn’t have a long enough layover to arrange another rendezvous, but our layover was long enough for me to become totally bored. It was a good thing that Anne had her knitting needles to defend herself from an annoying spouse. We arrived home safe and sound. It was a great vacation.