Opening Day is less than three weeks away. Believe me, I am aware. But before debuting my 2016 road trip itineraries (coming soonish!), I’d like to finish my series of 2015 “Return to the Road” posts. (These posts, as you probably know, highlight my non-ballpark road trip experiences.)
My fifth and final road trip of the season was a late August/early September jaunt through New England. As you can see, the Vermont Lake Monsters trip was actually a one-off stop in July, but I’m going to write about it as if it was part of this itinerary. It’ll all make sense in the end.
From Norwich to New Britain to Lowell to Pawtucket, this trip was a blur. Regarding those cities I have nothing in my files regarding anything that happened outside the ballpark. It was simply a matter of keeping one foot in front of the other as I mixed metaphors while bouncing from one place to the next.
The only random picture I have from those first four days is this selfie, taken at a Vietnamese restaurant somewhere in the vicinity of Lowell.
Jake and I grabbed lunch from one of the food trucks set up in downtown’s Kennedy Plaza, and then took a seat in this rather idyllic wooded environment.
Before leaving Providence, I checked out the site of the proposed downtown ballpark that would replace Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium. For myriad reasons, this plan has since been abandoned.
I saw a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game on the night of September 2. The following afternoon, before leaving town, I made a pit stop at a local record store.
Pitchfork Records had a ramshackle, curmudgeonly vibe. I know I bought something, but, at this late juncture, I can’t remember what it was. Just know that if I bought it, then it had to have been good.
Deeper into the evening, I made a pit stop in Laconia, New Hampshire. You wouldn’t know it by looking at this particular photo, but this building houses one of the world’s largest collections of classic video games.
My photos do not do Funspot justice, but for people of a certain age it is a major nostalgia trip. For people of a younger age than those of a certain age, it is a blast from an unknown and now largely incomprehensible past. Coin-op is dead. Long live coin-op.
A tribute to Keith Apicary, video game legend:
And this, I assume, is a tribute to a Minor League Baseball legend:
I skipped the miniature golf.
Though I’m a fairly decent bowler, my candlepin efforts were abysmal. You get much less pin action than with “normal” bowling, and I could not get in any sort of rhythm. I was also confused by the fact that one gets three rolls per frame, but a spare only counts if all the pins are knocked down in the second shot. I didn’t get any spares.
Afterwards, I was too frustrated to join — or start — the party.