Earlier this month we ventured back down to Florida for another Spring Training trip. This year we went to 3 parks; two of which we have not been to. Here’s a quick rundown of each place and tons of pics!
We left Auburn after work on Friday and got to Rob’s Gramma’s house in Spring Hill, FL. We popped out of bed to visit and make an early exit to head to our first game in Fort Myers.
Once we got to For Myers, we went by the hotel and could not check in yet. We went over to the Shrimp Shack for lunch. Pretty good food. We all got shrimp of some sort (Shrimp Skewers, Light Eaters Blackened Shrimp, and Shrimp PoBoys).
CenturyLink Sports Complex
Red Sox v Twins
Fort Myers (Twins)
Renovated: 2014 & 2015
We parked at an office building which was closer than many of the $10 stadium parking spots. It was $5 donation to March of dimes. Highly recommend that!
It was about time for the game to start so we found our seats and sat down. Then they made an announcement that we were in a rain delay. It wasn’t even raining! We went and stood in a covered walkway that was lined with stand up bar ledge.
The game started at 40 minutes later and guess what? Right after they started playing, it started raining more. I brought my zoom lens in to all the stadiums this year to work on my action shots. I love that they don’t care about the type of camera or the length of the lense at Spring Training.
They played 3 innings and then the game got called. The upside is that since it was a rainout, we should be able to get our money back for these tickets.
We came to our hotel room and checked in. We rested for a bit and then went to Fat Katz, which was right near our hotel. However, it was a crowded, hot mess so we left and after driving around for an hour we ended up downtown Fort Myers. We waited about 40 minutes to eat at Capone’s which is where we ate when we were there in 2014. Tonight we got Gamberetto (shrimp) and Al’s Carne Grande. Really good, high quality pizzas.
After that we walked down the street to Scoops on First for ice cream. I had the Calypso Crunch and it was absolutely devine.
Sunday morning we got up and Alex went swimming, which I had promised him the night before. Then we went back to the room, checked out of the hotel, and went to breakfast at First Watch in Colonial Square. Really trendy decor with healthy, fresh menu options. We ordered the works omelet, breakfast taco, Parma Skillet Hash, BLTE. We all got fresh fruit as our side.
Tampa Bay Rays
Charlotte Sports Park
Twins v Rays
Port Charlotte (Rays)
From there we had a 15 minute drive over to JetBlue Stadium. Traffic to the Stadium was heavy. You get funneled into the parking lot, which of course was a huge bottleneck. Parking at JetBlue was a bit of an ordeal just because of the way all cars are funneled into one huge grass parking lot. They have lots of attendants to point you in the right direction. You pay $10 to park in a grass field and it wasn’t too far to walk. There were people telling us what to do and then we turned and there wasn’t an attendant, several of us pulled in to a closer row instead of going all the way down the isle. An attendant realized it and yelled at a bunch of us that our car would get towed. Another, more reasonable attendant was like just make sure your car is behind the painted white line.
The next frustration was trying to get into the stadium. Rob had our tickets on his phone. They couldn’t get his tickets to scan so we had us go inside and they had to print our tickets. Then they went and scanned them. This whole process wasted a good 10 minutes.
On our way back to Spring Hill, we stopped at St. Petersburg for dinner but made a quick stop at the beach. It was off time so there was parking and not a gazillion people. We at Shells. We ordered shrimp tacos, shrimp pasta, shrimp and scallops pasta, shrimp and fish platter. Good food and you can call ahead and get on list 30 min ahead.
Monday morning we visited with Gramma, Grandpa, Mike, and Tara. We played Party Trivial Pursuit after having a yummy pizza lunch at Sorelle’s Pizza.
More visiting and then we headed to the game. Parking at Champion Stadium where the Braves play is a paved parking lot which has painted parking spots. We got a spot that wasn’t too far of walk. Braves are in the 2nd to last spring training season before moving to a new stadium in Sarasota. Champion Stadium is located at Disney at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the middle of Walt Disney World.
Phillies v Braves
Lake Buena Vista, FL
We stopped at McDonald’s for a snack. Andrew wasn’t feeling well. We got back to grammas about 11 and went straight to bed.
We walked around and looked at the different varieties of food options. We made our way to the berm past the pennant advertisements. We watched Swanson take batting practice and then he autographed some balls for kids and then said thank you and headed out to the field.
Before we went to our seats we got some dinner. We had BBQ sandwiches. Really good, but of course, pricey! We had really good seats for this game behind home plate. I enjoyed trying to get good shots of our favorite team and some of our favorite players.
The next day we had to rise early to pack up, visit a little and then head home around 10:30am. We stopped in Thomasville, GA for lunch at Sass. Shrimp and grits for Andrew and the rest of us got shrimp poboys. Sides we ordered were baked potato, grits, dirty rice, and loaded baked potato.
It was another great Spring Training trip. Always looking forward to the next year!