I was seven or eight the first time I went to Atlanta. My dad took me to see a Braves baseball game at Turner Field. I’ve been to the city a few times since then, and all but one of those trips has centered around that stadium. When we heard it was being replaced, we knew we had to go for one last game.
There’s a theme in my life right now of plans going out the window. Originally, we were going to an evening game and staying overnight, but the only game we could get to before my trip was at 1 o’clock. I still voted for an overnight trip but Mom and Allison wanted to sleep in their own beds.
From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, we were surrounded by history. We were mere yards away from the monument to Hank Aaron’s 715th home run.
Once we reached the actual park, the history got more personal. The giant baseball where we took pictures at our last game, the programs my dad used to teach me how to keep score…even the helmet of ice cream he bought me at my first game.
With all of these memories — and the fact that it’s coming to an end — I expected to be sad. Instead, the nostalgia just fueled the game-day excitement. The Braves won, and I left the stadium elated. As we drove out, we went by the construction zone that is going to be the new stadium.
It’s more than a stadium: it’s a complex. There’s a hotel built into one of the walls. We’ve already discussed going to a game next season and staying in that hotel. And I’ve already imagined the day I take my kids there for the Season Opener.
In Atlanta, I was too busy looking into the new beginnings that I couldn’t be sad about the endings. Because it felt like moving forward, like carrying on a legacy and not like I was losing something.
That’s what I love about travel, and that’s what I’m looking forward to on my big Route 66 trip. Here’s to Onward.