Sunday, August 14, 2022

Joining the Fenway Fan Frenzied Fanatics!

Moody Beach Thousand Trails, site #309. Highs: high 70's-'80's, lows-high 50's-60's. AT&T cell: can't even find a server to run a speed test. T-Mobile wifi: 6.95 download, 0.45 upload. That's terrible! 

last visit to Schoodic Peninsula and Acadia NP 2022

We left the Acadia National Park area and all the wonders it has to offer this week. Sparky is sad to leave, but more adventures are coming that's for sure. And, we might even return next summer for the awesome temperatures we had for 85% of the time we were here, over 14 weeks in Maine!
Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve on the walk to the beach

We landed back at Thousand Trails Moody Beach, actually in Wells, Maine, but the post office across the street from the park says it's Moody, Maine. We settled in quickly after a funky start with the neighbors behind us. A guy came over to say hi and proceeded to let his dog run loose all over our lot while we were in the middle of trying to unhook. (A big no-no in 99% of campgrounds, dogs are supposed to be on leash even at your site.) The dog promptly said hello by pissing on our electrical and water post and the owner said nothing. Sparky hadn't even hooked up the water yet. UGH! On a brighter note, we met a super nice family on the other side, the Young family, and boy, are they young! With three young children, they are full timing and loving it. We love seeing their family at dinner at regular hours at the picnic table every night. Great kids and kudos to them for taking their family on the road for some amazing experiences. (Twins at one end of the table!) Can't imagine all the stuff and supplies needed to store to take a family on the road full time, but they do it! The kids were adorable and the parents super nice. It's always wonderful when RVing to meet new people on the road and hear their experiences and the why's and how's of how they came to be traveling.

Sparky got back into her routine of riding the Eastern Trail, a really nice ride out behind Kennebunk Elementary School. It's shady for 4.9 miles so Sparky will often do a double loop to stay in the dappled forest shade. If you don't mind riding out on city streets, the trail goes much further but cuts back and forth between nice rail bed trail and city streets in New England towns along the way to Bug Light lighthouse if you are heading northeast on the trail and want to get a lot more miles in.

Two days after we arrived, there was a "woody" car show right down the street. Sparky was waxing nostalgia, as when she was a toddler, she went to preschool a few days a week so her mom, (mother of five children) could get a little rest. Sparky was picked up with her siblings in none other than probably a Chevy woody station wagon, most likely a model in the late '40's. So she went and checked them out. The cars were very cool and classy! WOW! This one was a 1946 Ford. It looked a LOT like the car Sparky remembered getting picked up in for preschool back in the early fifties.
Loved some of the hood ornaments....
Such a classic era....A used 1950 Ford Country Squire woody station wagon in the day cost 1695.00.
Sparky thought this guy (below) REALLY dug his wheels....He had a hard time getting out of his car, and joked that he probably wouldn't be doing it much longer. He had Great Race stickers all over his car and the current one for this year. Sparky didn't get a chance to talk to him, but the Great Race is a really cool car rally involving antique cars. It's been going on for 39 years and has made its way through 46 of the 48 states. This year was a 9 day, 2,300 mile car rally of sorts, not really a race but a time, distance and speed rally. The vintage cars date back to 1916. The drivers and navigators get precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way. Cars start and finish one minute apart if all goes well. This year the race started in June in Rhode Island, and finished in Fargo, Minnesota. The challenge is just to get these old cars to the final destination each day. We bet this guy had stories to tell. Wish we could have talked to him!

Historical Boston's Fenway Park
Three days after arriving in Wells, Sparky's brother Rich took us to a Boston Red Sox baseball game. Wow! What a treat! We rode Amtrak into Woburn, MA where Rich picked us up and had a short drive into Boston to go to Fenway Park, "America's most beloved baseball park." It is also the smallest MLB park and is irregularly shaped due to Boston's famous crooked streets. (or so "they" say....) It is even on the National Register of Historic Places. 

We parked at the Harvard Club (Rich is an alum) and had a quick bite to eat. Once we arrived at the park, our seats were behind home plate up high in the grandstands and had a wonderful view of the whole field, but not so much the scoreboards and the high fly balls. The scoreboard at Fenway is MANUALLY scored. Remember seeing the score boxes removed by hand as the score changes and the replacement score put into place? Fenway still does that. If a player hits the ball thru the hole in the score box while the score is being changed, the batter is automatically rewarded a "ground double".

Fenway is steeped in tradition. It is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium, built in 1912 and redone in 1934 and has had upgrades and renovations over the years. Because of its age and physical constraints to how it was built where it was located, it has some quirky features like the Green Monster, the Lone Red Seat, the "Triangle", Pesky's Pole, the Fisk Pole, PLUS-crowd song traditions--"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond, which is sung at every game and has quite the story behind it. More about that in a minute.

The Green Monster is a painted wall with the scoreboard that is about 315 feet from home plate. Sparky expected a monster face to be illustrated on it, but nope! Just a wall, but it is THE left field wall at 37.167 feet  high which is one of the highest walls in MLB. It's a challenge to hit a home run over that wall and a psychological challenge as well, but it benefits right handed hitters as it is a shorter distance from home plate than most other baseball parks. Supposedly, the story goes that the Red Sox owner at the time noticed all the bars and restaurants near the park had an unobstructed view of the park, so he ordered construction of the wall the keep people from getting a free look at the game. The inside of the wall has hundreds of signatures from current and former baseball players. Tradition says if it's the first time for you to play at Fenway, you gotta sign your name on the wall.

The Lone Red Seat in section 42, row 37, seat 21 designates the longest home run ever hit at Fenway, by Ted Williams in 1946, at a distance of 502 feet. His record still stands, but there have been some contenders to that record.

The Fisk Pole, is the left field foul pole named after Carlton Fisk, who hit a game winning home run in Game 6 of the World Series, that stayed fair and bounced off the pole. 

The Pesky Pole is the right field foul pole named after Johnny Pesky, who was never known for home run hitting, but one day hit a home run that struck off the foul pole.

The "Triangle" is every center field fly catcher's nightmare at Fenway. It's the deepest part of Fenway, at 420 feet from home plate. A ball that lands safely in that area will usually ensure a triple. If it bounces badly, the hitter might even get a home run out of it.

guy in green proposing
The game was a close one, and an interesting one with some funky plays...."What the heck was that all about???!!!" but some of the best parts are the people watching, too! Rich and Sparky went to get a drink, and on the way back to our seats, we saw out of the corner of our eye a guy down on one knee, proposing to his girlfriend. At that moment, the stadium played, "Hey, Baby, Would You Be My Girl?".....Over 36,000 voices chimed in roaring that song. It was great! Of course, she said yes. Can't imagine anyone NOT saying yes in that moment in front of all the fans while you are being shown on the Jumbotron! Update: A woman actually said "no", in 2017, much to the embarrassment of her boyfriend at the time and they were caught on camera arguing. Oh, dear!

Then, in the middle of the eighth inning, here comes another Fenway tradition. A little background maestro, please.....In 1997, an employee played Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" in honor of someone she knew that just had a baby and named it Caroline. Of course the crowd sang along, and it was played off and on as a "feel good" motivational song over several years. Along came a new manager of the ball park, and he decided it should be played every game as the crowd response was always strong and seemed to rally them into more positive spirits whenever it played. In 2002, it started being played at every single game. For years, fans wanted Neil Diamond to come and actually sing it. In 2010 he did and again, in 2013, shortly after the Boston bombing, he came and rallied the crowd, donating his royalties to charity. The fans now belt out Sweet Caroline every game in the middle of the eighth inning. So good, so good!

It was hard to describe the emotions that rolled through the crowd during this song. EVERYBODY sings it and with an almost sell out crowd last night for the Red Sox/Yankees game, we all sang our hearts out..."SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD!" and "BAH, BAH, BAH!" If you don't know that song, check it out and also the "Hey, Baby, Would You Be My Girl" originally sung by Bruce Channel-it's on Youtube.

Rich and Sparky
Even though the Red Sox lost, 3-2, we had a fabulous time. Such a unique experience and so wonderful to get to see some baseball history up close and personal. And of course, Sparky was so happy to see her middle brother, Rich and his wife, Lisa. Thanks, guys, for a memorable trip!

We headed back on the AMTRAK 11:30 PM train to Brunswick, arriving at 1:20 AM in Wells, very tired happy campers, er, fans....(On game days the 10:30 PM train out of Boston back to Maine bumps the time an hour later to 11:30 to accommodate ball game attendees to head back home). So nice of Amtrak to do that! Very happy with all the times we have ridden Amtrak to Boston this summer. Very few delays, really nice conductors coming and going. We will say that stops are NOT announced consistently. Some trips they told us every stop, other trips you either had to ask or keep a sharp eye out for the station. If you were to take a nap, you snooze, you lose! Maybe.

beautiful sand patterns
Other than walks to the beach (30 min. from the campground) we plan on just taking it easy, tending to minor chores around the RV, more bike rides on the trail, and MAYBE one last train ride to Boston as we love visiting there so much. The Wells area is almost completely a beach town destination and a foodie destination for all things seafood. It really is a great little town and a great location for exploring Boston utilizing the Amtrak out of Wells. Hope you enjoyed hearing a little more about historical Fenway Park. It was a wonderful experience and you can do tours there, either in person or virtual. 

As we count down our stay here in Maine, we are thinking and planning our drive out of Maine, towards Ohio and Indiana.  A week and a half to go and off we will go, heading in new directions and adventures....Bye for now......


  1. Great report. Always wanted to catch a game there. So much history. Learned even more from your post

  2. Nice post Jeannie. I'm not a baseball fan but I would really have enjoyed being with you.

  3. Awwww....thank you. It was a really fun game, and I'm not a baseball fan either!