Very good trip to St. Louis Tuesday and Wednesday. I headed over with a friend from Indy who had business in the area and generally takes in a Cards’ game when he is in town. He dropped me off and headed to his meeting, I did some walking and shopping and picture-taking, then caught lunch with Mr. N at a favorite from St. Louis trips past, Rigazzi’s. A little Sicilian lasagna and a nice fishbowl of Bud Light for lunch is hard to beat.

I was impressed by new Busch Stadium. It’s the first park I’ve been to that was built during the great stadium renaissance of the past 15 years, and delivered about what was expected. Lovely architecture. Fantastic sight lines inside the park, aided by the phenomenal view of downtown and the Arch. Lots of concession areas with plenty of room for mingling and walking without getting sucked into a line. Just an all-around good place to watch a ballgame, aided of course by the St. Louis fans, who even made old Busch a great place to watch a game. A couple of the locals I was with complained about the abundance of ads inside the stadium. Something about if they were going to have that many, they could have used less tax dollars to build the stadium.

I spent some time in the gift shop when we first got to town, looking for something to bring back for the girls. Just about every little stuffed animal would set you back about $30. A steep price for something the kids will just tear up. I guess that’s what winning a World Series can do for the bottom line the following year.

A couple other old friends, Mr. Y and Mr. B, joined us for the game. We had great seats, first row of the third deck directly behind home plate. Beautiful view of everything, including the horrificness that was Scott Elarton that night. Oh, a big highlight was Sammy Hagar tossing out the first pitch. When I say big highlight, I mean it was something unexpected, not like I ran down and tried to find him and get an autograph on my 5150 CD or anything.

After the game and a couple beers at Mike Shannon’s, my traveling companion and I hit the town pretty hard, taking advantage of the lack of kids and wives to hold us back. I’m pretty sure I drank about as much in one night as I normally drink in a month. When I hit the sack at 2:30, I had been awake for nearly 22 hours. To say that I felt the effects yesterday would be an understatement. I felt every second of 36. S. worked last night, but the girls were nice enough to have an easy night. Today, they’ve both been awful, but daddy got his needed easy night last night.

Strangely enough, for as much as I love baseball, this was only my fifth stadium in four cities. KC, Oakland, new Comiskey, and both Busch Stadiums. I’ve got to do better. I should have planned my trips better back when I was still traveling. I could have knocked out Seattle, Pac Bell, Dodgers and Angels, Phoenix, Denver, and Arlington.