Monday, March 15, 2010

Houston Astros Spring Training in Kissimmee, FL

This weekend I flew down to Orlando with Garrett's sister Elyse to meet their parents in Orlando, FL. On a mini vacation that revolved around Garrett, rollercoasters, and eating out, I had a fabulous time!

First I'll start with Garrett. He was definitely in his element. It was obvious that he was happy to have broken up the monotony of training alone in the offseason in Greenville NC by coming to Spring Training in Florida, where he could train with 140 other guys at various levels of the minor league system. As a side note, we should all be jealous that he gets to play his sport for his living considering that baseball is the one thing in life that he quite arguably loves as much as his family and girlfriend. ;o)

For those that do not know me, I am still struggling to learn all of the acronyms used in baseball, what all of the statistics mean, how the baseball farm system works, and the list goes on. Although Garrett and his mom have told me most of what I need to know, I will admit that I bought a book called Watching Baseball Smarter, which helped a little. Despite my attempts, I still annoy Garrett and his mom with all of my questions that they have probably already answered twice before.

Getting back on track, on the last day in Florida, Garrett's entourage of his mom Ann, dad Scott, sister Elyse, girlfriend Caitlin, Aunt Robin, and Cousin Meghan all headed to the Astros spring training complex to give us a glimpse of what the system looks like. After seeing George Bush Sr's entourage of Escalades pull into the field ahead of us, Ann knew the gatekeeper who let us into a semi-secret entrance. Since Ann and Scott had already been to the fields a couple of times before, Ann led the way and we sat quietly on some bleachers, so as to not disturb the players.

Unfortunately we did not get to see Garrett practice because his field was off limits to the public. Luckily, a couple days prior, Ann got to see Garrett throw a Live Bullpen (aka Live BP), in which Garrett struck out some guys. On this day, we did get to see other minor leaguers go through various conditioning drills so I got an idea of what Garrett does every day. Everything was very organized and the players on the five different fields all finished up around 1pm. Garrett came striding towards us, which is when I got to take stalker photos of him (see below).

Garrett running away from the Entourage
Notice here Garrett is touching his butt as he goes into the locker room

If you look past the fact that you have to stay in a hotel room for an indeterminate amount of days, weeks, months...and the fact that you have to eat out every single meal of the day, it's really quite a fabulous gig that Garrett has going on. At least he has his parents to take such good care of him when they visit. :o)

Other than watching baseball, Meghan, Elyse, Scott, Robin and I all went to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios to ride lots of roller coasters and other 3D/4D rides on Saturday. My favorite was definitely the Hulk and then the Krustyland 4D ride. The Disasters ride in Universal was closed so that was a bummer. We also got to see the construction of the new Harry Potter park, which was sweet!
Combined with several yummy meals out to eat, I enjoyed spending time with Garrett's family members and running through the beautiful streets of Celebration, FL. Not sure when I'll be seeing Garrett again, but I'm hoping it's definitely before September. HA!


Stephanie and Adam said...

I heard you all had a blast! I hate that I missed it! I also heard you are having a time with the whole Universal/Disney difference ;) Wish we could have seen you!

caitchris said...

Yeah - i think i finally figured out the difference between disney/universal because ann was adamant to get it drilled into my head that DISNEY and UNIVERSAl are two completely separate entities. LOL

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