30 April 2010

Go Crazy (part duex): Even Crazier!

Howdy from the ATL. I also have a few updates, and as promised will keep it short and sweet this time!

We now officially have a hotel in Boston via the extreme generosity of Mr. Neil Kelley. Neil is the business colleague of one of my co-workers, Chef Bob Derian. Mr. Kelley has reserved and purchased a night for Kevin and me at the Marriott Copley Place in downtown Boston which is a very short walk from Fenway! Neil, I hope we get to meet you during our stint in beantown, and we certainly owe you a frothy beverage if we can make that happen!

On a similar note my boy here at the office, Mark "THE SHARK" Bashuk reached deep into the bag o' tricks that he possesses and procured a device that will be essential to the success of not only this blog, but the lasting memories that will be created from this journey and shared for eons. Thanks to Mark, we will be able to bring you daily(and nightly) picture and video updates from the Flip Ultra that we will be carrying with us on the trip. Its easy to carry and easy to use. Also the potential for a full length motion picture if all goes well... ok maybe not but it sure will be fun, thanks a ton Mark!
The inaugural video, starring Alison, Mark and myself can be found here (it's a little blurry until I take off the lens film):

So I lied about the short part, I promise I tried...

later people,


29 April 2010

Go Crazy Folks, Go Crazy!

Lots of things have been happening behind the scenes.  Jay has been in contact with Meagan Swingle of the Braves, who has gotten us seats in the 755 Club at Turner Field for the game on May 28th.  We will then be receiving the "StubHub upgrade of the game" which includes a shot on BravesVision and recliner seats in section 307.  This is on top of the 4 field passes for watching BP before the game.  Frickin' sweet if you ask me; thanks for the hookup Meagan!  Now if you could just hook the Braves up with a win...

Also, my Mom got me in touch with Mr. Jim Gideon who has graciously gotten us a hotel room in Cincinnati only a mile from Great American Ballpark.  Much thanks to you sir!  Also through Mom, we've gotten a swanky place to stay in Westchester, NY for the Yankees game.  A certain Mr. Nick Johnson, who some of you may know as a current Yankee 1B/DH, has also offered tickets to the game to yours truly.  Hopefully, I'll get to meet Nick and thank him personally for the gracious offer.  All this goes without saying, much thanks to my wonderful Mum.

So much news since I last posted, and I do have more.  Mrs. Laura Pedersen and her husband, Mr. Brad Roller, have offered us a hotel or a home in Cleveland for the Red Sox/Indians game.  We're just waiting to hear the final details on that one.  Thanks a million guys!

On top of all the travel arrangements being made, there are some media and promotion opportunities out there as well.  Details to come on that front when I have all the info.

All this is great news of course.  It's reasons like this why I wanted to take this trip in the first place.  It's proof-positive why America is the kindest, warmest, and friendliest nation on the planet.  It's why I'm so proud to serve her in her time of need.  The generosity of the average American is far and away greater than anywhere else on the planet.  Folks, these are all complete strangers who are reaching out to help me make a crazy idea come true and I am eternally grateful.  I'll be leaving my current base in just over two weeks and am looking forward to getting this thing started.  I've got to make a few stops before I hit the US of A, but can hardly wait to see her again.  Until next time, PLEASE GET THE BRAVES A WIN.

24 April 2010

The Lineup is Set!

So upon our request Kevin so graciously gave Alison and I access to post on the blog! Hopefully, for your sake, you wont be hearing much from me... I figured since I could, I'd give the blog thing a shot. Plesae keep the criticism to yourself, especially you Alison, I just dont have time in my life to listen to it! ;)

As we continue to make progress on with all of the MLB teams we plan to visit, my excitement began to get the best of me. Originally, I was planning to join Kevin from ATL to DC. However, after discussion with my boss and my girlfriend, im in it for the long haul. Yes thats right Kev, 14 straight days of lil ole me. Not mention the circa 3,000 miles we plan to cover in that rental car. WAHAHAHAHA. We are really going to love or hate each other by the end of this thing, we shall see.

Anyway, what I wanted to update on is that Kevin's other friend (not only i assure you) Kyle will be joining us from Milwaukee to Detroit before returning home to his family. I look forward to meeting Kyle, mostly because he now owes me money...ha I officially booked our flights today from ATL-MKE on Airtran #420 at 130pm. That should put us there in plenty of time to hit up the beer and brats before the game at 6pm. This thing is on like Donkey Kong people and we appreciate everyone who has already contributed and plans to help out along the journey. There will be a list of credits a mile long at the end and we cant thank you enough for making this a very special 2 weeks for my boy Kevin.
One more thing before I shut up. Check out the map with all the stops and try not to call us crazy for even attemping this. The next post, assuming my rights arent revoked , will be shorter and similarly ineloquent im sure. Thanks for my chance people.

19 April 2010

Put Two More on the Board

I received word today (through Alison, of course!) that the Phillies (Go Braves!) and Indians have offered tickets on the days that I'll be visiting their fine ballparks.  From Jeff Sibel, the Indians Media Relations Manager:  "The Cleveland Indians would be happy to leave tickets for Kevin and would also like to extend an invitation to have Kevin and his guest(s) view the Indians batting practice and meet some of our players from the field before the game."

A big thanks to Jeff (Chief Wahoo?) with the Indians and Scott Palmer, Director of Public Affairs with the Phils.  You know, if they once booed Santa Claus in Philly, do you think they'd boo me as a Braves fan in hostile territory?  Ha, either way, it should be a great time for Jay and me there.  I'm currently looking for a few good men to step up and join me for the second leg of the trip in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Chicago (the second time).  

It's safe to say that things couldn't be going better at this point.  Things are really surpassing my wildest expectations at this point.  I just thought this was a pie-in-the-sky kind of fantasy trip, but it's just absolutely taking off.  My sincerest thanks to all so far!

16 April 2010

Bottom of the Fourth

As it stands now, I'd have to say we're batting about .750 with RISP (like Jason Heyward no less).  We have places to stay in all cities except for Detroit, Cleveland, and New York.  Everyone has really stepped up to the plate so far.  We've got tickets in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and DC so far, with hopefully more coming in the next few days.  Again, if you know anyone that will put us up for a night in any of these places, a phone call or email would be greatly appreciated.  Jay will be leaving after the game in DC and I will continue on to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago, then to Milwaukee to drop the rental car off.  We'll save some serious moola by dropping the car off there, thus making it a round trip charge and not a one-way.  Speaking of our rental car, we have a feeler out now with Enterprise, so maybe some kind of sponsorship or discount could be in the works.  I probably just jinxed it by mentioning it, but I don't believe in superstitions (as I knock on wood). 

Anyway, just wanted to give all four of you who read this a heads up on where things stand now.  This bandwagon is still accepting applications for anyone who can join us for a leg of the trip.  I think I can smell the hot dogs and Bud Light from here... :)

06 April 2010

Opening Day (or Night)

OK, so this has nothing to do with the trip, except to show that I'm a little excited about some baseball.  Currently the time in not-so-sunny Salerno is 1:24 a.m.  Turner Field does look beautiful though, especially with that J-Hey bomb in his first MLB at bat.  Kid's got amazing skills and I can't wait to see him in person as well as the rest of the team in about 53 days.

And no, my uniform is not Army issue green. :)

04 April 2010

Stealing Home

At this point, I didn't think I would be ADDING destinations to my trip, but it appears now I will start this great baseball journey in my second hometown of Atlanta to see the Bravos on the 28th of May.  There it seems I'll be getting the VIP treatment from the Braves PR department.  Jay and I will now fly from there to Milwaukee the next day to kick off the Midwest-Northeast swing and proceed from there by rental car.  We're currently still looking for rental car sponsorship for the trip, as well as places to stay in most cities.  If you have any ideas or know someone who might, please let me know.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have kindly offered us tickets to the June 1st game at PNC Park and I am eternally grateful.  Alison is continuing her ceaseless effort to contact other teams.  I believe I told Jay the other day on the phone that I would "buy her a Cadillac" if she's pulls all this off.  Perhaps that was a little too much exuberance on my part, but if you're reading this Alison, I'll see what I can do about that new Caddy :)

Also, implied task:  Anyone who would like to join us in Atlanta for the Braves/Pirates game on the 28th is welcome.  I'm sure there are quite a few of you who would like to make it for the whole trip, but the "home" game presents the best opportunity for anyone from Sweet Home Alabama who wants to see me while I'm on leave, as this will be closest I come to the Heart of Dixie.

01 April 2010

Double Off the Fence

Things are certainly looking good at this point.  A dear friend of mine, let's call him "Jay" (probably because that's his name), has agreed to join me for my fantastic journey.  For this I am eternally grateful.  He has also had his minions (thank you Alison!) get in contact with the Bravos PR department (and no Alison, you're not actually a "minion").  They responded in kind by offering tickets and other amenities.  Those amenities would be, and I quote, "we can also work out some other special experience for him… meeting some players, being recognized during the game on BravesVision, etc."  To say that I was ecstatic upon reading this would be a vast understatement.  Etymologists are currently concocting a new word to describe my elation.  I will have many people to thank for all of this, and one day, I'll get to all of them.  The generosity of all these friends and strangers may take years to repay, but I'll do my best.

Now, if you'll notice, Atlanta was not on my schedule of baseball stops.  This isn't because I have no desire to go to Atlanta (obviously), but rather out of necessity.  In order to see as many sites as possible, it is almost imperative to hit the northeast United States.  However, all East Coast R&R returnees from the Middle East return to one city, regardless of final destination.  Care to guess which city that is?  Why, that would be Hot-lanta!  So, I now plan to kick things off in Atlanta and then fly to Milwaukee or Chicago or wherever to start the rest of the trip.  

I saw "wherever" because planning things down to the minute detail are problematic at best when the Army's Rest and Recuperation Leave program are concerned.  My leave may be scheduled to start on May 29, but that doesn't guarantee that I will be in Atlanta on that date.  Therefore, I have to ask for everyone's flexibility in all this planning.  I will do my absolute darndest to be there when I say I will.  If any of you have followed my travails with travel on this deployment so far, you know that catching flights with the United States Air Force can be painstaking.  

I will provide further details on my whereabouts and plans as soon as I know them.  If you'll notice the countdown, it's only 58 more days until first pitch for this soldier, and suffice to say, getting any real work done has been difficult here, as all I can think of these days are peanuts, cracker jacks, and a Jason Heyward bomb.  

Thanks again to all of you.  Your help in everything so far has been nothing short of miraculous.  I pray I get to meet every single person that helps me in this quest and offer each of you my most sincere gratitude.  

Now let's turn two...