At the beginning of this season, I attended my very first Astros season-opening home game. Living with a serious Astros fan in the house for decades, I’ve seen plenty of ‘em on television. Over the years, I’ve even gone to the ballpark for a bunch of games. But there is nothin’ quite like the electrified excitement of a brand-new season. It was just fun being there in the flesh and bones, especially with a sell-out crowd. With hand over my heart, the teeny tiny hairs on both forearms stood at attention and saluted during the National Anthem. That was just the beginning of a fun evening!

Can’t say I necessarily enjoyed the whole parking experience, though. Exiting the freeway on the north side of Minute Maid Park, it was hard not to notice the parking lot on the right charging 60 bucks … and then the one immediately on the left charging 40. The only thing that comes to mind with the disparity in price is the more expensive parking spot musta gave their patrons a bottle of very expensive bubbly with each parked car. Call me crazy … but we just moved on down the road.

I knew parking was going to be a major issue with all the construction going on downtown. I feel certain we will get a few ball games under our belt and find our “parking sweet spot.” We woulda parked a mile away and walked, but the hubster is still a tad “walking challenged.” I didn’t want to get too far from the ballpark. Circling some of the downtown blocks didn’t give us much hope that we weren’t going to have to take out a home equity loan to park our car.

Finally, we found a parking garage about six blocks from the ballpark. I think we paid 20 bucks. We didn’t do the happy dance … but it was a price we both could agree on without saying something very unkind to the parking attendant we would later regret.

“I’m not looking forward to the walk back to our car after the game,” Hubby stated as we slowly made our trek to Minute Maid Park.

While exiting the parking garage, I also noted the several long flights down the stairwell. Mental note … going down the stairs is way easier than going up! Note to self … locate a handy-dandy elevator instead of crawling up stairs when we were ready to head back home.  

The game was awesome and the food tasty! We ate very expensive burgers at the ballpark that were delish with a nice, thick patty and toasted bun. OK … so I was hungry and probably a little too easy to impress.  

We stayed long enough, bottom of the fifth, to see the Astros steal some bases, catch some fly balls, and run like crazy around all four bases a bunch of times. The hubster and I even beat the traffic out of downtown. I would call that a winning night for the Astros and for us!

As we exited the ballpark, there were a couple of bike taxis parked at the curb. I didn’t know Houston had pedicabs! We had used them a couple of times in the past while hanging out in New Orleans. I just remembered how nice it was to ride while someone else pedaled a bunch of blocks after we had pushed our tootsies to their limit. The young man that pedaled us back to our parking garage was an interesting fellow that provided non-stop commentary. The dude likes to jog … a lot. Sounds like the bike taxi business was made for him.

So bottom line … the Astros season is young and promising … and like the song says … I can’t wait to get back to root for the home team. Oh, and let us not forget there are also peanuts and Cracker Jacks!

Dixie Frantz
Author: Dixie FrantzWebsite: http://www.lifesloosethreads.comEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
I am a long-time Houstonian in love with writing, blogging, travel, quilting and reading. I have written “You Gotta Laugh,” a humorous newspaper column, for the past 21 years. The columns showcase the funny, amusing and sometimes touching slices of life from the suburbs. My writing credentials include more than 430 humorous columns, features and travel stories for The Tribune Newspaper.