Archive for March 17th, 2008

The Captain Says Goodbye To Florida And Hello To St. Louis

With our time in Florida drawing close to an end, Megan and I decided to spend one more weekend in Orlando enjoying all that this state has to offer.  For us that means premium outlet malls, Disney World and spring training baseball, in that order.

Normally Megan is more of the outlet mall shopper, but this time around it was me.  My new job requires me to dress rather professionally.  This is not exactly my forte, which makes having a wife quite handy.  She helped me select some professional clothing, and even left enough time for me to browse the Converse outlet.

We stayed at Disney World again thanks to the graciousness of Megan’s parents.  This time we stayed at the beautiful Saratoga Springs, right across the lake from Downtown Disney.  If you’ve never been to Downtown Disney you should definitely check it out.  It’s look like a bunch of corporations got together and agreed to let a nine year old design their outdoor mall.  Lots of bright lights and neon, lots of huge tacky stores filled with touristy nonsense, and lots of quirky chain restaurants.

The other big part of our weekend focused on baseball.  The Cardinals were in Orlando to play the Braves at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.  Although it was the Braves’ spring training facility, you wouldn’t have guessed based on the large number of St. Louis fans in attendance.  The fans made quite a showing.  The team, not so much.

Most of the Cardinals hitters looked pretty sharp, especially Rick Ankiel and Brian Barton.  They got off to a quick two run lead facing Tim Hudson.  Then Cardinals pitching came in to confirm my fears.  Clayton Mortensen started the game and was not very impressive.  Then LaRussa put Izzy on the mound in the fourth inning and reminded me why I dread him.  Izzy walked the leadoff man, gave up a hit, and then left one over the plate for a three-run homer.

After that, the rest of the game didn’t really matter.  The only thing worth noting is that our much-hyped rookie Colby Rasmus was not impressive.  He missed a crucial catch in center field, and struck out with two on and two out.  He’s gonna need to step up if he wants to fill Edmonds shoes.1

Despite the 5-12 loss, Megan and I still had a great time.  The weather was gorgeous and it’s always fun having a bit of St. Louis here in Florida.

After the game we relaxed at a Disney pool for a couple of hours.  As you can see, trying to take a picture at Disney without kids doing handstands is difficult at best.

Before we left Orlando we found time to hit another outlet mall and even found time to catch one of the new rides at Disney.

As you can see, the looming recession has already hit Disney World pretty hard.  They’ve really scaled back their theme parks.2

Our weekend was really the best way for us to enjoy Florida one last time and get excited about moving back to St. Louis.

Ciao,

Raoul

1 Jimmy struck out all the time with two on and two out.  But at least he always made the big catches.

2 Actually taken in front of a Dollar General here in Tallahassee.

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