Sunday, August 21, 2011

Touring Pennsylvania

The road trip to the Pikermi started Friday night and continued into Saturday. Titusville was about 5+ hours away, so we thought we would break it up and take in some sights along the way. Since the Little League World Series was in progress, we stopped off in Williamsport and caught a game - we watched the Aruba vs. Chinese Taipei ballgame. Wow - these little league players are very serious athletes - and so happy to be there. Yes, we did watch the ballplayer from Aruba rockin' out in the outfield. He was adorable!

The fans are equally as happy and excited to be there!  Reportedly 42,000 fans packed into the stadium on Friday night - I think this was the largest crowd the Little League World Series has ever seen.

Saturday was no different - the fans came out in droves. I was super impressed at how very well organized the entire event was. We parked Radar Luv and walked to the ball fields - on our way to the playing fields, this is what we saw:

Everwhere, fans were carrying resin chairs with the two back legs sawed off. These chairs make it possible to sit comfortably on the side of the hill adjacent to the ball field:

Fans lining up chairs on the hillside along the ball field
After the game, we visited the Little League Hall of Fame Museum. Walking toward the museum, we saw kids with cardboard squares, sledding down the hills on the side of the walkway. It was hysterical!

Little League Hall of Fame Museum
Upon entering the museum, there was a ProFootball Hall Of Fame Exhibit with paraphernalia from pro-football players who were also Little League ball players in their youth. Throughout the museum, there were many artifacts about Little League and how the rules and equipment have evolved over time. 

Me and My Wing-Man in front of The Little League Hall of Fame
I was most impressed with the Hall of Excellence. It was amazing to see the number of famous people who have played Little League in their youth. For example, there was a dedication to President George W. Bush, Rudolph Giuliani, Tony Dungee, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Selleck, Kathy Gerring and the first female to ever play catcher in the Little League World Series, US Olympian Krissy Wendell! This was a wonderful tribute!

At the end of the Hall of Fame, there was a dedication to two special Little Leaguers: Michael Cammarata, a NYC firefighter, who perished in the September 11 Attacks on the WTC, and Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who was born on September 11, 2001, and mercilessly shot and killed in the January 2011 Tucson, Arizona mass shooting. This year, at the 65th Little League World Series, the Cammarata and Green Families threw out the first ceremonial pitch, in commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11:

After seeing all the exhibits in the museum, we went into Williamsport to grab a bite to eat. We found a very charming little pub, The Bull Frog Brewery. We would definitely go back to the Bull Frog Brewery if we visited Williamsport again.

The pub was gorgeous: hardwood floors, paneling and tin ceilings. The food and the beer was perfect. In fact, we wanted to stay and watch more of the Little League World Series on the TV's, but we couldn't - Titusville was still another 3 hours west of Williansport!

We made it to the Titusville Community Center to pick up the race packet by the skin of our teeth! We were definitely worn out by the drive. Pennsylvania is beautiful country - BIG beautiful country. I did not realize there were so many rolling mountains - and land - speckled with farms, here and there - but lots and lots of land. This was a real treat for us - growing up in Northern New Jersey - you don't get too see very far - there are so many buildings - and not much land. 

Titusville is very rural, but it has some rich history. In 1859, oil was successfully drilled in Titusville, PA. The town grew from 250 to 10,000 people almost overnight! In 1871, the first oil exchange in the USA  was established in Titusville, PA. Dedication to Edwin L. Drake, the man who successfully drilled oil in Titusville, is seen throughout the town, as in the statue above, the Drakewell Monument and the Drakewell Museum.
Edwin L. Drake

Drakewell Monument
Next stop: Check in at the Comfort Inn in Titusville, PA and dinner. We found another cute microbrewery, right in Titusville, called The Blue Canoe Brewery. We couldn't believe there was no wait for a table on a Saturday night. We would have had to wait about 45 mins. to one hour to be seated at this time of night in NJ - especially in a place like this - a great brewpub with charm, great food and great beer!

Since the race started at 7AM, I started getting worried about what to do for breakfast. It didn't look like anything, but McDonald's was going to be open for breakfast - and you know how I feel about fast food. It made sense to go across the street, after dinner, and get some whole wheat bread and peanut butter at the CVS. So, after dinner, we drove across the street, but the CVS looked closed. When we pulled into the parking lot, all the outside light were turned off! This was hysterical - the CVS in Titusville closes at 10PM on a Saturday night! Every CVS, by me in NJ, is open 24 hours. And even when stores in NJ close, they never shut off their outside lights - for security reasons.  Thank goodness for the Country-Fare - it was like a minimart attached to the gas station. I bought Triscuits, peanut butter,  Gatorade and water and when I went to pay, I saw the largest selection of chewing tobacco that I have ever, ever seen! Wow! It was an entire wall! 

Once, back at the Comfort Inn, I got everything ready: 
  • My new, interesting food, Chia Chargers and Sport Beans with caffeine - my pre-race foods, CHECK.
  • Gu for mile 8 and a Power Bar for after the run, CHECK.
  • Garmin & heart rate monitor, Road ID, long socks, shorts, shirt - CHECK.
  • Butterflies in the stomach and pre-race Jitters, CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!

Train Smart Today!

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