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S: Baseball Trip Summer 2011

FC: Baseball Trip Summer 2011

1: On August 10, 2011, we embarked on a 9-day Midwest vacation. We wanted to see 4 baseball parks, as well as other tourist attractions along the way. We started out in Chicago, Illinois. We visited the Shedd Aquarium and saw the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field. On August 11, 2011, we drove to St. Louis, Missouri. Along the way, we stopped at Lincolns Home in Springfield, Illinois, and ate lunch at Cozy’s Drive Diner along old Route 66. Once in St. Louis, we saw the St. Louis Cardinals play at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are Neil’s favorite baseball team. On August 13, 2011, we drove to Kansas City, Kansas and saw the Kansas City Royals play at Kauffman Stadium. On August 16, we drove to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On the way, we stopped at the Iowa State Fair. On August 17, we headed back to Chicago. Along the way, we visited the Field of Dreams Movie Site and had lunch in Galena, Illinois. In Chicago, we saw the White Sox play at U. S. Cellular Field. We drove over 1,500 miles in our rental car, but we had an incredible journey.

2: Chicago, Illinois | August 10, 2011

3: Here we are in Chicago on Lake Michigan. The Chicago Skyline is quite impressive.

4: Chicago's John G. Shedd Aquarium

5: The Chicago Aquarium was very nice. It was one of the most unique aquarium's we have visited. | The Beluga Whales, penguins, sea lions and large coral reef were some of the amazing things we saw at the aquarium.

6: Soldier Field | Soldier Field is the football stadium of the Chicago Bears. This field serves as a memorial to American soldiers who have died in past wars. There is a Memorial Waterfall with medallions honoring the different branches of the armed services.

7: Lunch at Lucky's | We ate lunch at Lucky's Sandwich Shop in Chicago. This restaurant was featured on 'Man vs Food.' The challenge is to eat 3 stuffed sandwiches in one hour. We each only ate a half of a sandwich and were pretty full. The sandwiches were very good.

8: Chicago's Wrigley Field Built 1914 | We finally visited Wrigley Field. We went to a game on Wednesday, August 10, 2011. The Chicago Cubs played the Washington Nationals. The Chicago Cubs won 4 to 2. | Chicago Cubs vs Washington Nationals

9: Wrigley Field was really nice. It was interesting that buildings surrounding the field had rooftop seating for the games.

10: In May 1844, the Lincolns purchased this home and lot for $1500. Abraham, Mary, and Robert, born August 1, 1843, moved into this comfortable five room home. Many of Lincoln's social and political beliefs were formed while he lived in this house at Eighth and Jackson Streets. Lincolns 3 other sons were born in this house. The Lincolns continued to live in the house until departing for the White House in February 1861. The Lincolns never returned to their house on the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets. | The Lincoln Home Springfield, Illinois

11: We ate lunch at the Cozy Dog Drive-in on Historic Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois. The Cozy Dog was the founder of the original corn dog. We all ate hamburger and fries, which were very delicious. | Journey on Route 66

12: St. Louis | Neil's Favorite Baseball Team | Cardinals vs Brewers

13: Cardinals | August 11, 2011

14: We planned this Summer Baseball trip so that Neil could see his favorite baseball team. | St. Louis Cardinals won 5 to 2 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

15: Busch Stadium was a very nice stadium. We had great seats for the first game.

16: Saint Louis Zoo | This was a very nice zoo. The grounds were very pretty. It covers 90 acres and was established in 1910.

17: There are 700 species of animals at the St. Louis Zoo.

19: The St. Louis Zoo had a very nice area for penguins and puffins. They had an outside area and an inside cold area. Inside you were really close to the animals.

20: Busch Stadium Tour | We got to sit in the Cardinals Dugout.

21: August 12, 2011

22: Playing in one of the fountains in the park in St. Louis.

23: On August 12, 2011, we went and saw the St. Louis Cardinals win over the Colorado Rockies 6 to 1. We sat in the Bank of America Box, which included an all you can eat buffet. Blair and Neil seemed to enjoy the food.

24: In 1848, Ulysses S. Grant and his new bride, Julia Dent, received 80 acres of Dent family land southwest of St. Louis as a wedding gift. In 1855, Grant built a four-room, two-story cabin on the property. The Grant family lived in this cabin for 5 months. Grant grew potatoes, wheat and other vegetables, gathered fruit from the orchards and corded wood. | In 1907, August Busch Sr. bought the Grant cabin. In 1977, Anheuser-Busch restored the cabin to its present condition. | Grant's

25: Farm | Today, Grant's Farm is is preserved as a living symbol of the Busch family's love for animals and Anheuser-Busch's commitment to wildlife conservation and preservation.

26: Pappy's Smokehouse St. Louis | Pappy's Smokehouse was featured on "Man vs Food." The Travel Channel voted it one of the 101 Best Places to Chow Down in American. Bryan and Neil enjoyed the ribs. Blair must have enjoyed her BBQ Chicken sandwich, because only crumbs were left.

27: Museum of the Westward Expansion | The museum tells the story of the United States' nineteenth century expansion from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. It also provides an overview of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

28: We took a ride on a replica 19th-century paddle-wheel boat, Tom Sawyer. While cruising down the Mississippi River, we enjoyed a historical overview of the area and the role this working river still plays today.

30: The Waterfalls at the Back of Kauffman Stadium were amazing. The statue pictured here is of George Brett, a former baseball player for the Royals. He is a Hall of Famer and had over 3,000 career hits. | Kansas City

31: We saw the Kansas City Royals play the New York Yankees on Monday, August 15, 2011. The Yankees beat the Royals 7 to 4. | Royals


33: Neil and Bryan played ball on the field, and we all inspected the corn field. | The movie Field of Dreams was released in 1989. The baseball field built in the middle of a corn field still stands today. | Field of Dreams | Dyersville, Iowa

34: We took a ride on the world's shortest, steepest scenic railway, 296 feet in length, elevating passengers 189 feet from Fourth Street to Fenelon Place. The cable car first operated in June 25, 1882. | Dubuque, Iowa | Fenelon Place Elevator

35: Galena, Illinois was founded in 1826 and was a center for lead mining. By the 1850's, Galena was the busiest port on the Mississippi between St. Paul and St. Louis. Today, much of Galena is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Main Street remains the narrow street it was in the mid-1800's. | We stopped and had lunch at the Green Street Tavern in the DeSoto House Hotel. The DeSoto House Hotel opened its doors in 1855. It is “Illinois’ Oldest Operating Hotel.” Throughout the years they have welcomed such memorable guests as Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, and served as the presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. | Galena, Illinois

36: We saw the Chicago White Sox play the Cleveland Indians. | U.S. Cellular Field | August 17, 2011 | This was a nice stadium, but ticket were expensive. We had to get high seats. Indians won 4 to 1 over the White Sox.

38: Neil got a hat from each Ballpark we visited. Here he is with his hats for Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. | This was an incredible trip through the Midwest. Blair and Neil should never forget our baseball park adventures.

39: Swimming in Lake Michigan Chicago, Illinois

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