November 6, 2015

the day baseball shut down the city

let me first say that we are cardinals fans. first and foremost and forever. but as donald would say, the royals are our american league team. and that team has made life a little extra fun the past two seasons.

last year the royals ended a very lengthy stretch of being terrible by surprising everyone with a run all the way to game seven of the world series, and they did it with flair. so many games were won in extra innings and dramatic fashion. it was exciting, it was thrilling and it brought everyone together. people were smiling at each other in grocery stores and high five-ing in gas stations. the whole city was happy. it was a bummer not to win that year, but it didn't make it any less wonderful. and this year, they made it all the way.

the royals won the world series in new york city on a sunday night. the world series victory parade was scheduled for tuesday in kansas city. and i don't think anyone had any idea what was coming.

as cardinals fans, this really wasn't our party. but since we cheer for the royals too i was itching to get in on the excitement. pomp and circumstance has always been my favorite part of sports. early on parade eve i got word that the firm would granting a discretionary holiday on parade day. then donald's school cancelled classes. and the domino effect continued until most of the city had cancelled their tuesday plans in order to celebrate the boys in blue. while the news was covering the specifics of the free shuttles scheduled to take fans to the parade route, we naively made plans to drive down to the river market to park and walk a few blocks to the parade route the next morning.

the parade was scheduled to begin at noon and by 9am our plan was out the window. the highways were gridlocked and the downtown parking lots were already full. the free shuttles and city buses were overwhelmed. the whole city was trying to get downtown. getting anywhere near the parade route seemed hopeless and i was distressed. enter: donald the hero. he suggested we set out on an adventure and just see how far we could get. i'm so glad he did.

our game plan was to avoid the highways at all costs and see how close we could get using only side streets. we debated how many blocks we could realistically walk. [we suburbanites have no frame of reference for such things] we ended up finding free street parking a mere nine blocks from the north end of the parade route. we hoofed it over to davis park and found a lovely viewing spot in front of city hall.

we waved and cheered and got to be part of something way bigger than us. practically everyone in kansas city now has a parade story. some were relaxed and enjoyable like ours, while others were a bit more hectic. but we all made memories. all 800,000 of us. and it was a great day to be royal.

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