As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, today was a short trip Southwest to Mooresville (still in North Carolina) to reacquaint with a University of Florida comrade (and meet his post-UF family). A nice casual dinner was planned after first stopping by his house.
It was more like getting acquainted, since my memory of people and particulars from college center mostly around my playing sports and time away from the dorms.
We had a great dinner and chat, basically delivering a “history from then” to each other about life after UF. Yet another great person to be able to spend time with during the GNABRT.
Today is also the companion piece to yesterday’s evaluation blog, as I think through my travels on the Great North American Baseball Road Trip.
So, responsibilities first.
The city: Mooresville, North Carolina. The city has an odd history, in that it’s founding and naming happened more by chance than intent. As might be suspected by now, the railroad played an integral role in the chance.
When tracks were laid in the area, it crossed the land of a small planter named John Franklin Moore (you can see where this is going). He built a depot, encouraged trade and within a short period after the Civil War was settled, incorporated the town under the not-too-audacious name of Mooresville.
This still tiny town (a little above 30,000), boasts some big-time notables. Lowe’s corporate headquarters is located here. The city is widely known among the NASCAR circuit since many of the racing teams and technology suppliers are based here. It has carried the nickname “Race City, USA” because of this prominence.
What went wrong on the GNABRT:
– A lot can be summed up with 4 words: Seat of the pants. While I planned the trip extensively based on the MLB schedule, I didn’t put enough time into the ancillary planning. Trying a number of permutations to create less herky-jerky driving might have been a better priority than the quickest path (days) to hit all 30 ball parks.
– Concurrent with that, though I wasn’t going to book hotels ahead of time, I would have been better served looking up the hotels for location and price. Additionally, I spent the first half of the trip booking through the web services instead of the hotels themselves, losing out on thousands of points that might ultimately have gotten me a free day in Kissimmee or somewhere likewise special.
– I packed poorly for the trip. Granted, I didn’t expect the whole west coast to be in the 60’s in July, but having to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of long-sleeve shirts should not have had to happen.
– I totally underestimated the cash needs of the trip. In my defense, I did not expect to have such difficulty in locating Wells Fargo ATM’s, but still, the tolls alone drank deeply from my wallet.
– Speaking of tolls, I should have researched that more fully. I don’t know if non-residents can apply for E-Z Pass (the electronic toll gizmo for the central and northern states), but it would have made life a whole lot easier (and quicker).
– From a snack perspective, my only error was in having sodas instead of tea. I got fizzed out early on in the trip and water sometimes just doesn’t cut it when you want some flavor. Later in the trip I picked up some plastic Lipton bottles and finished strong.
– You would think, living in Florida, I would figure this out, but I got sunburned twice on the trip. And I had sunscreen with me, too. Sheesh.
– I probably over-prepared for the trip, with plastic bags, foil, etc. I don’t know what I was thinking…it’s not like I was roughing it.
– I had an oopsie early on in the trip. I kept all my bath items in a large plastic ziploc and at some point, my toothpaste and scissors met (the scissors won). I noticed this when applying toothpaste to my brush and seeing toothpaste coming out from the middle of the tube. I put a band-aid on it and all was right again in the world.
This was going to be my last laundry day on the trip, since I would have enough to carry me home to my own washer and dryer. Alas, ’twas not to be as the Holiday Inn washing machine had an out-of-order sign on it (and after I filled up on quarters…meh).
When I hit Marietta tomorrow, I will ask of my hosts to use their machines. Otherwise, I will not be getting dressed on Sunday.
3 days until heading home!