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Failing to Take into Account the Fall Classic

October 30th, 2017 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers, tourism, Travel

I can’t adequately explain how this happened.

A couple of months ago, we finalized a commitment to an 18-day trip to and through Spain and Portugal.

Not a crazy idea, considering we are already close to the former, which is attached to the latter. Also, not crazy considering that 1) we have spent little time in Spain, aside from Barcelona, 2) had never been to Portugal at all and 3) a good time to visit both countries is … October.

But the plan left one major event not at all considered.

The World Series.

The Dodgers had not yet reached their regular-season peak, with a 91-36 record, but it was clear, when we paid housing deposits and finalized an itinerary … that the Dodgers were going to play in the postseason.

But somehow, the trip and the Dodgers winning the National League West … never collided in my mind with the force that they did on the calendar.

I knew we would be traveling the second half of October. I knew the World Series would be played from October 23 to, potentially, November 1. But I never considered each of those schedules at the same time.

That was a unfortunate omission.

By the time we set off, on October 16, the Dodgers led the Chicago Cubs 2-0 in the National League Championship Series … and I knew the odds were strong the Dodgers would play in World Series for the first time in 29 years.

However, there was no turning back — not with rooms rented all over the Iberian Peninsula, accounting for stays of at least two nights across northern Spain (San Sebastian, Santiago) and Portugal (Porto, Lisbon, Luz) and then into southern Spain (Seville, where we are now) ahead of what will be a two-day drive back to the south of France.

Finally, one day in late September, it struck me: I was going to be away from home for the final half of the NLCS and for the whole of the World Series.

The trip was a commitment, including two parents flying in from Southern California. But it could mean serious technical issues — in addition to the usual middle-of-the-night time-zone problems. For what could be the greatest accomplishment by a Dodgers team since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

And, of course, the Dodgers in the postseason have been interesting verging on entertaining verging on riveting throughout the postseason.

We drove 75 to 450 miles every few days, but from Point A to Point B to Point C pretty much no one in Spain or Portugal had any idea what this “World Series” was about.

Thank goodness for the internet and WiFi connections at all of our housing rentals.

As the Dodgers prepare for Game 6 tomorrow, I still feel like I let myself down.

Could we have arranged to finish the trip by October 23, the day before Game 1 of the World Series? Absolutely.

Could we have waited to start the trip on November 3, the day after a potential Game 7 in the World Series? Weather would probably not have been as idyllic, but sure, that could have been done.

But I just did not think it through.

Maybe I thought the Dodgers wouldn’t actually make it to the World Series; that was the way to bet the previous three decades.

Maybe I thought I could patch together some on-the-road network to watch games in the middle of the night. Technically feasible, in some places; not in others. But even that failed to take into account that I have done most of the driving (which will push up around 2,200 miles by the time we are done) and knew I couldn’t spend half the night watching baseball and then steer an SUV down an Iberian interstate, the following morning, for several hundred miles at a pop.

But here we are.

Even one of our parents, not a fan, last week said: “I don’t think I’ve ever been out of the country during the World Series.”

Who would do that? Especially when their team was on track to win 100 games and easily make the playoffs?

Who would do that? What baseball fan would leave the country during the Fall Classic?

Uh, that would be me.



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