956 Miles, 15 Hours, One Cubs Opening Day

Monday, May 24, 2010

956 Miles, 15 Hours, One Cubs Opening Day

. Monday, May 24, 2010

WAIW Nashville correspondent Conrad Bradburn checking in - Meggie [the girlfriend] and I recently attended the Cubs’ 2010 home opener with John. It was quite the experience, as neither Meggie nor I had been to an MLB opening day. It was your typical baseball game for us: great weather, excessive amounts of drinking, and a Cubs win (in my six trips to Wrigley the Cubs have only lost once). The one odd thing about the day: we woke up in Nashville and went to bed in Nashville...

Back in February, Southwest had a sale for $39 flights to Chicago. Of course, by the time I went to purchase, the flights going there from Nashville were sold out. I managed to find another $39 deal on United, then bowed to the man and bought opening day tickets during the Cubs’ marked-up pre-sale. (Meggie would like to note that she thought this was unnecessary, but when I couldn’t find the same seats on the day single-game tickets went on sale, I was vindicated). So we were set: one day, two different Chicago airports, and one official Cubs home opener. Fortuitous.

Opening Day began as we woke at 4:00am and arrived at BNA around 5:00am. With no luggage to check AND no carry-on bags, we had a fairly easy entrance (except the completely inefficient security checkpoint set-up). We left at 6:00am bound for O’Hare with word that we would arrive early… always great, right? Well we arrived early, and they gave us the wonderful news that no gate was available – but it should only take five minutes for one to open. One hour (and multiple angry texts to John) later, we finally parked at a gate. We hauled ass to the blue line and arrived at the Irving Park stop, where John promptly picked us up. We headed to his place to pick up his brother and all had Old Styles in hand by 9:30am on a Monday (screw the suckers at work!). FYI- Meggie slept the entire hour we were stuck on the runway (and the entire flight).

Old Styles down, we took the L to Wrigleyville and encountered a small wait to get into Salt & Pepper Diner. Salt & Pepper has got to be my favorite Wrigleyville bar ($8 pitchers and $4 bloody mary’s AND breakfast food). I get antsy at the slightest wait, so John and Meggie had to keep me line, but that place is well worth the wait. We all crushed some food and downed 3 pitchers of beer, and then headed off to the field. I grabbed a free energy drink on the way and then this happened:

The opening day atmosphere in Wrigley was great and the weather even better; but then we sat down and encountered the dreaded obstructed view:

Aside from the slight pole obstruction, the game was great: multiple Old Styles, multiple Cubs home runs (even Jeff Baker homered… who the hell is that guy anyway), a Soriano strikeout chasing a slider in the dirt, and our personal favorite: a chance to sing, “Go Cubs Go” after the win!

After the game, we all met up again, had a couple more beers at Goose Island and then we get on the red line heading south Midway, our second airport of the day. Aside from some mild douchebaggery by some Jersey Shore imports, the ride was uneventful. Upon arriving at our gate, I heard that our flight was full so I tried to get bought off the flight … but no luck. Instead, we departed back to Nashville and were home and in bed by 10:45pm. All in all, the whole day was a great experience and one that most people are probably not irresponsible enough to try! Many thanks to John!