Sunday, November 06, 2016

World Freakin' Series ...

... we have achieved "Championship Year"!

It was a week long trip! So this post is going to be long.

October 28th, 2016 - World Series: Game 3
We flew into Chicago on October 28th from San Francisco.  We landed about an hour before Game 3 had started.  We made it to our hotel in downtown Chicago in time for the first pitch.  We headed to Giordano's Pizza about a 5-minute walk away from the hotel.

Giordano's Downtown Chicago
This place had real Chicago style deep dish pizza. It was awesome and well worth the wait.  We had to order our pizza before we were seated.  The pizzas take a FULL HOUR to bake.  Check out the pictures!

Real Deep Dish Chicago Pie
Cheesy! Lots of toppings!
A couple of pieces filled me up!
Cleveland 1 - Chicago 0
Cleveland Leads: 2-1

October 29th, 2016 - World Series: Game 4
We spent the day sort of wandering around downtown.  We checked out "Cloud Gate" aka The Bean. Man was it busy! I was thinking how did Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan have so much space!  Check out Millennium park and we browsed some of the shops for Cubs gear.

Can you find Crystal? 
Yup, gotta lick the bean 

We took the L-Train (public transit it way better in Chicago then in Cupertino) to Wrigleyville about 3 hours before the game.  IT WAS PACKED! Full of fans. We  spent the next hour or so walking around Wrigleyville and the stadium.  The entire area was packed.  It probably would be Greg's worst nightmare.  People were everywhere. We picked up our Chicago Cubs World Series jerseys (Bryant for me [he is on my fantasy team] and Rizzo for Crystal).

Its a Goat!!!
Chicago's Finest on Horseback
All Cub'd out

I had a filling that had fallen out about 20 minutes before the first pitch, so we found a Walgreens for a temporary solution.  So, had to head back to the hotel and watched the game from there.

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More of Chicago's Finest (news reports said there were 1000 officers in the area)
The crowd at Wrigleyville
Fountain near our hotel dyed Chicago Cubs blue

Cleveland 7 - Chicago 2
Cleveland Leads: 3-1

October 30th, 2016 - World Series: Game 5
Today, we had made our way to the "Original Billy Goat Tavern" for lunch. This is the basis of the Chicago Cubs 'Billy Goat Curse'.  The owner was ejected from Game 4 of the 1945 World Series and he put a curse on the Cubs that they would never win the World Series again.  We went to the "original location" which is on Michigan Avenue, but actually in an alley below the Michigan Avenue.  It really seemed really sketchy. The service was terrible, but the food was actually pretty good.

Billy Goat Tavern

Inside the Tavern
Just outside of it

Again we took the L-Train to Wrigley Field, this time it was less packed. The entire area was also far less packed for Game 5. We entered the Friendly Confines promptly when the gates opened at 5:30. We explored the stadium. You could just feel the history.  It was amazing! The only drawback was that we did not get a "Seat Locator" ticket with our electronic ticket.  And MLB was not letting the box office reprint any of the tickets.  So, all we have is the print out - ugh.

Obligatory Wrigley Field Sign Picture
Yes the StubHub Tickets were valid!!
Up in the 500s
Not a bad view (Kris Bryant's home run)
Fancy Cubs Drink
Now this is a good portion of nachos!  Blue Jays take note!
Cubs Win!  Going to Game 6 at least
Cubs Win Game 5 - We are going to Cleveland!
As soon as the game had ended, I booked train tickets to Cleveland for the next day.

Chicago 3 - Cleveland 2
Cleveland Leads: 3-2

October 31st, 2016 - Off Day
We spent the day in Chicago because our train did not leave for Cleveland until 9:30 pm.  We went back to Millennium Park to "Cloud Gate" just to see if it was less busy.  And yes, it was.

Its so empty - They must of filmed Source Code on a Monday morning
Can you find Crystal?
We took an architectural boat tour.  I highly recommend it, it was very informative as well as enjoyable.  I did not get sea sick and there was a bar on the boat.

View from the boat
The boat!
We checked out the Navy Pier. We ate a late lunch at Harry Carey's Tavern on Navy Pier.  The food was not that great. But the atmosphere was pretty good.  It was windy and kinda cold.  But the pier was little emptier then Pier 39 on SF.
At the end of the pier
The pier is empty!
We decided to take the overnight train from Chicago to Cleveland.  It actually was pretty good and enjoyable. We booked a room in sleeper car which was less expensive then flight + hotel.  We arrived too early to check into hotel Cleveland, but the night manager was kind enough to allow us into our room until 7:00 am and we promptly checked in. I guess we looked so pathetic, she felt sorry for us :)

Union Station Chicago
Wrigley Field sign in Union Station
Arrived in Cleveland - 5:45 am
This is pretty much as exciting as Cleveland gets
No Game
Cleveland Leads: 3-2

November 1st, 2016 - World Series: Game 6
We did not get an opportunity to do much in Cleveland. We were pretty tired from the train ride since we got about 3 or 4 hours of sleep. So, we spent the day napping.  We did head to the a corner store and guess what! They have Labatt Blue!!
Yup! Labatt Blue!
Labatt Blue stand!
We took an Uber from the hotel to the stadium around 5 pm. Took about a half hour with 10 minutes of that time waiting to get out of Independence. Gates opened at 5:30 pm, so we went in as soon as we arrived to Progress Field.  We stopped by the Cleveland Fan Shop before the game to check out the goodies that they had ... and check this out!

Major League - Cerrano's Locker 
We had seats in the left field bleachers. So, I checked the video highlights of Kris Bryant's homerun in the first inning.  It went directly over our heads! I was the only one who stepped up on the bleachers.  But I took a screen shot and you can see a guy with his arm up (that's me) to the driver's side (or the left) is Crystal.
Kris Bryant's first inning homer
At Progressive Field
"Pete Rose-ing" the picture
View from the bleachers

Cubs win!
Chicago 9 - Cleveland 3
Series Tied: 3-3

November 2nd, 2016 - World Series: Game 7
Seat Locator "Ticket"
This is it! For World Series Championship and if you did not know, this was probably one of the greatest games I have ever attended. Crystal was literally shaking from the 7th inning on.

Hey! Its Barry Davis!!
View from the Seats
Yes, there was a rain delay in after the bottom of the 9th inning.  It just seemed that the Baseball Gods washed away the Billy Goat Curse for the Cubs.

In the rain!
Its really coming down
People taking shelter
After the rain delay ... well, you know what happens. CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!

Chicago Cubs fans certainly came out to see their team. I would say about 40% - 50% of the stadium were Cubs fans.  "Let's Go Cubbies" rang out several times during the game. Just unbelievable!

Cubs fans in our section
Just an idea of how many there were in attendance
Yes, the Chicago Cubs are actual World Series Champions
Chicago 8 - Cleveland 7 (10)
Chicago Win Series: 4 - 3

Post Game
We stayed at the Field for a good 45-minutes to an hour. So, we probably left around 2:00 am.  Since I did not book our flight out of Cleveland before game 6, all of the flights ended up getting booked from all of the Chicago fans. Thus, we booked a train BACK to Chicago leaving at 3:45 am (and arriving at 9:45 am). So, we wandered around Progressive Field looking for a taxi while checking Uber (it was surging). After about 30-minutes Eventually we had to take an Uber back to the hotel because we had to catch our train.  We changed out of our soaking wet clothes, grabbed our carry-ons and check out and took an Uber BACK to Cleveland Amtrak Station.

The train ended up being about 90-minutes late arriving into Chicago - so now we were cutting it really close.  It took us 30-minutes to get to the airport and we JUST made our flight to Denver. We landed in San Jose around 4:30 pm and picked up our boys and headed home.

That's it!  We have accomplished "Championship Year!"

Super Bowl 50 
Stanley Cup Finals 
NBA Finals 
World Series 

What is next!?!