I love baseball. I’m not a “glued to the tube” type of fan, mind you…I prefer to see the game in person. To me, watching a baseball game on tv takes most of the fun out of it; it’s like watching paint dry. (Unless of course, it’s the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs. Then, I’m totally watching from my couch with no complaints!) Being there in person means you get to enjoy all of the music they play, you get to do the “wave”, you get to do the 7th inning stretch, eat all of the junk food that is sold there, you might possibly catch a ball, and so much more. One thing I don’t like very much is to be around a bunch of people at a ball game of any kind (Lacrosse included!) who would rather talk non-stop than pay attention to the game. I mean, talk if you must, but move out of the way of others who are trying to watch!

Yesterday Jim’s company had its annual family picnic at the Kane County Cougars game, and we were pretty excited about it. The company reserved the huge party deck just beyond right field, so there would be no sitting in the stands for us. We were allowed to arrive anywhere between 4:00 and 6:00 (the food line was going to open at 4:30 and the game started at 6). Naturally, I wanted to sit at one of the tables on the very edge of the field, to avoid getting aggravated at the people who would be–no doubt, it being a company picnic and all–in favor of chatting rather than watching the game, so we arrived close to 4:00. Here’s our view:

Company Picnic People Watching is a sport in itself. It’s interesting to see people jockeying for position; some people rush right up to the company President to say hello and some people wait it out so as to not look overly eager. Some people wore clothing that I would consider a little dressy for a county baseball game, and one woman in particular was clothed in something that I would consider not dressy enough for a company event: she was braless in a clingy cami top. Yikes. Everyone, luckily, was well-behaved (for a company event, that is) although the sixteen-year-old did overhear someone saying that “There’d be drinking games later.” Yikes again!

We took some photos to mark the occasion:

We ate our dinner and talked amongst ourselves while we waited for the game to start. Jim did a little mingling with his co-workers, and a couple of them came to sit at our table. When the game started, the boys were already deciding which inning we would go for snacks. Being seated out on the party deck, it was quite a walk to get the treats, but we thought of it as burning off a little bit of what we would be eating on the trip there and back!

As the game progressed, the thirteen-year-old–a chip off his old momma–kept rolling his eyes in my direction because people wouldn’t shut up. We scooted closer to the railing so we could pay better attention to the game, but it was difficult, that’s for sure. I was getting totally into the game, as was he. We have had some issues lately with him being “embarrassed” when I do things to have fun in public (the horror! his mother: HAVING FUN?) and so, being sensitive to this Teenage Disease, I restrained myself just a bit…but when they played “Who Let the Dogs Out” I just HAD to “WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF”, hands up in the air. I got a smile out of him so it was all good.

In the meantime, some of the little kids from other families were playing catch right behind us, and I heard a little girl stop the game by yelling at the top of her lungs, “PAUSE!” Remember when you were little and stopped a game by yelling at the top of your lungs, “TIME OUT!” No more. I guess the Age of Technology has even stuck its head into the game of catch. “PAUSE!”

At the top of the 4th inning, it was time to get snacks. The sixteen-year-old and Jim took off (while we saved our seats!) to go get Dippin’ Dots. Oh happy day: they still sell them at the game!

When they returned, the thirteen-year-old and I went to retrieve OUR favorite baseball game snack. Okay, ONE of them. It was a Funnel Cake, and I can’t express to you how happy those things make me.

Although I could have easily knocked back the whole thing (and 5 or 6 more of them) all by myself, we shared it because we had another snack on the horizon…

…Cotton candy. Yum. Did you know that an entire bag of baseball park cotton candy has less sugar in it than a 20 ounce bottle of Coca Cola? Interesting, huh?

And so there we sat, watching the game under a cotton candy sky:

The game itself was pretty boring, until the very last inning. We were down 5-1, and suddenly the Cougars exploded, scoring an amazing 5 runs in the nick of time. After the game, there was a performance by an amazing band, the Marching Cobras of Kansas City, Missouri.

Rather than stay on the deck for the fireworks, we walked to the car to watch them, to beat the crowds out of the parking lot. It was Jim’s genius idea, and it worked out great. We were probably all the way home by the time anyone else even got to their cars, and as an added bonus, we got a better view of the fireworks. Sitting on the party deck, you’re very close to where the fireworks are launched and the air is full of smoke by the end of the show. This was way better.

All in all, a great evening! Family fun, a nail-biting 9th inning, good music, gorgeous fireworks, and more sugar than I would eat in an entire month. Now that’s a good time!