Royalty Tours USA

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Royalty continues our Labor Day Weekend getaway by going to Wrigley Field and Kane County on Sunday!

Harry Canary doing Take Me Out To The Ballgame

After we got a good night sleep at Super 8 in Elk Grove Village, we went to the Pine Grove Family Restaurant in nearby Rosemont on our way to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs and Giants wrap up their three game set.

As for the Pine Grove, the King and I have gone there for the last 15-20 years when we make our annual visit to Chicagoland. That place still serves good food despite under going some renovations and ownership changes.

This time we had a hearty breakfast which set the tone for another great day in the Midwest.

After we finished eating, we drove to Wrigleyville and we found a parking spot on the street again.

Since we had our tickets for the game already, we were able to go right in. It worked out well we enjoyed one last visit to baseball heaven for this year.

As for the game we saw, the Giants and Cubs battled from start to finish. The Giants lead early, 3-0. The Cubs came roaring back as they took a 5-3 lead partly due to Alfonso Soriano who hit a three run homer. In the 6th inning, the Giants came back and they tied the game at five. It stayed that way until the ninth inning when the Cubs called on their closer Carlos Marmol to keep the game tied. He failed to do so. The Giants scored twice in the frame as two former Mets came through with big hits. I'm referring to Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro who both delivered run scoring singles to ultimately lead the Giants to a 7-5 victory on the North Side. With that being said, the Giants left Chicago taking two out of three from the baby bears. That was much to the delight of the many Giant fans who spent their weekend like we did at Wrigley Field.

After the game, we sadly said goodbye until next year. We proceeded to walk to the car and off to Kane County we went to see the Cougars play. Kane County is the home of the Midwest League Single A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They play at Fifth Third Ballpark which is located in Geneva, Illinois. That's 40 miles West of Chicago. We took the impressive Lake Shore Drive which runs along Lake Erie and through the Loop which is how they refer to the downtown area in Chicago. We then got on I-290 to I-88 which is a toll road that goes out to Kane County. We dodged some traffic and we arrived in the parking lot at the ballpark around 6:10PM for the 6:30PM start.

They had a sold out crowd on hand and we needed tickets. Luckily as we got near the entrance to the ballpark, a few people had some extra tickets and they said we could have them. We were so grateful. We thanked them and we headed inside for our second game of the day.

We wound up getting more than we bargained for. We got free tickets to see the game plus we got some special added in house entertainment too. First of all, we had the pleasure of seeing Nancy Faust who played the organ at Old Comiskey Park back in the day as well as New Comiskey Park which is now called U.S. Cellular Field. The King and I used to visit her when we went to see the White Sox play from 1988-2005.

We told her many years ago we were from New York. She no longer does the White Sox games. She's been doing the Cougar games this year on Sundays from May on. We had no idea. What a pleasant surprise it was to see and hear her. We went over to say hello and she remembered that we're from New York. We both lit up like a Christmas tree. Her presence made our night.

We settled in seats right behind home plate and we enjoyed the game between the Kane County Cougars and the Peoria Chiefs who are the Cubs' farm club.

Shortly after the game started, we got to take in the Zooperstars who we've seen perform a number of times over the years at different minor league ballparks. We got to see a Michael Jordan impersonator swallow an umpire whole. He did so to the song "Eat It." I told some young kids next to us that they were in for a treat. They couldn't stop laughing. The same could be said for many others of all ages who obviously have never seen the act. In addition, Harry Canary was on hand and during the seventh inning stretch he did "Take Me Out To The Ballgame". It was fun to sing along to it.

As for the game we saw in between, the Cougars won, 5-4 in ten innings as Alex Llanos got the game winning hit.

After the game, we headed to the car to beat the traffic as many stayed in the ballpark to watch the post game fireworks they had. The King and I enjoyed the display on the way to the car. It was a very nice show.
Since we were hungry, we drove up the road to the Country House to have a post game meal. They're known for having the best burgers in Chicagoland. I remember having one in a past visit a few years ago. This time I decided to have salmon which was excellent along with an Old Style beer which is the local beer that's been served in Chicago since 1902. The King went with a Bison burger and he was a satisfied customer.

After we finished our meals, we took a ride to nearby Elgin, Illinois where we spent some time pressing our luck at the Grand Victoria Casino. We wound up killing some time and losing some money but we had a good time doing so.

When we decided enough was enough we went back to the hotel to get some sleep as the week came to a close.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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