Fans of the San Francisco Giants love the Giants. Last Sat. was the annual grandpa – granddaughter trip to the ball park. Seats at Oracle Park were purchased in early June, club level, first base line, very fine seats. The downside to buying tickets on the famous Stub Hub Internet ticketing service came home at the checkout page, we all have to make a profit, but 28 percent seems excessive. Putting aside the ticket price and the fee and the cost of ferry tickets. A word of caution be sure you purchase a ticket from Larkspur to Oracle Park and make a separate purchase from Oracle to Larkspur or you may end up with two tickets over and none back. You drive!
The day started with a stop at granddaughter Taylor Hanson’s house, departing at nine. A quick stop to pick up two pastries and we were on the road again. We made Larkspur in forty minutes with time to spare. We got in line behind a hundred or so who came earlier to wait for the eleven-twenty departure. Granddaughter asked, “Why are we here so early grandpa? The ferry doesn’t leave for nearly an hour.” I explained that the ferry departs at that time, it takes time to check each ticket and to do a security search for each person, plus, we get to sit most anywhere we want. The line was hundreds deep behind us when the boarding began, riders were tripping over us looking for a good seat. She got it then.
We sat with two ladies who were on their way to a private birthday party in the Tony Bennett box, first class. They are nice ladies, we were envious. Once at the dock it is an easy walk to the line for another security check and a scan of our electronic tickets. We might have picked a better day for the Giants, but the weather was sunny and warm with a gentle breeze. A flock of pigeons set up camp in the outfield and refused to move, the giant TV said they were the rally birds. That explains why they were walking. A new wrinkle was the baby wag, about the eighth inning, people who brought their favorite baby(s) stood up and wagged them for the cameras, very funny. The Giants had a mini rally at the bottom of the ninth and the rally seagulls circled the park with hot dog scraps and spilled popcorn on their pea brains.
The ferry ride back to Larkspur was on the upper deck, sitting next to us was a young couple who said, “How can it be a bad day, look at this beautiful day on the bay. Of course, it would be better if they won.” The downtown view was spectacular, the giant office buildings were like toys, the view from the middle of the bay out to the bridge and Alcatraz was deep Pacific Blue, the sky hosted a few fluffy, white puffs, that scurried overhead. The giant catamaran ferry zipped past our ship as if we were on a barge. I asked where the young couple were from, I don’t know why I was startled by their answer, “Rohnert Park.” Josh Silva, of Oliver’s Market and beautiful Ellana Johnstone, 5th grade teacher at Meadow View Elementary. We saw no prisoners playing basketball at San Quentin on the way back. The efficient crew set up the departure ramps and we walked to the car under sunny skies and an easy drive home. What a wonderful way to spend a summer day.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.