As some as you may have heard, I traveled to Orem, Utah for my first pro ball visit to see Daniel during an away series against the Orem Owlz. It had been more than two months since we had seen each other due to a call up (which we are not complaining about). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Utah, but it sure was a culture shock when I got there.
My plane landed and I was picked up by Berkley's (my amazing photog friend) grandparents. I had never met them before but they are the only connections I had in the area and they were so nice enough to pick me up. They were waiting for me with flowers and a welcome sign and I had tears in my eyes when I saw them and their kindness in a city and state where I would have been lost otherwise. They even gave me a care package filled with snacks and waters to take with me to the games. They are so cute and in love and I’m officially adopting them as my own grandparents so I now have a little piece of family in Utah.
After Daniel got there, we quickly decided that our go to spot was Chili’s. It was close to our hotel and we knew what to expect from it... or so we thought. We exchanged stories about drinking laws in our respective states with the bartenders and we were all shocked at how different things were in each state. There wasn’t much else around so before the game each day, I would go back to Chili’s to have a drink and an appetizer (because in Utah, it’s illegal to just have a drink by itself... crazy, I know!), and I made friends with the bartender. By my third day there, we were Instagram friends... shout out Steph from Orem Chili’s. There was also a Krispy Kreme in walking distance from our hotel that was giving us major fat kid vibes, especially because donuts are Daniel’s weakness. So of course we had to splurge and get a dozen which we totally deserved because we walked there... And you already know that Daniel ate the whole dozen too.
At the stadium, the first night, I made another friend when I realized I was sitting in his seat by accident. Come to find out that he is the host family coordinator for the Orem Owlz and he and his family let me sit in their season ticket seats with them for every game. By the end of the first game, I had him, an opposing team fan, cheering on Daniel as if he played for their team. He was even nice enough to give Daniel and I a ride when we needed it, and got me hooked up with a ride back to the airport too. What can I say... I guess I'm just good at making friends.
Daniel only played one of the three games I was able to go to, but man, it sure was nice to see him back in a uniform and on a field. Before this trip, I think I was definitely having baseball withdrawals if that's even possible. One of my favorite things to do is watch Daniel play the game that we both love. Since this was my first trip to watch him play pro ball, it was kind of surreal. I found myself sitting in the stands at one point thinking “Wow, here we are in Utah, a state that I never would’ve found myself in before. He made it,” and I was overwhelmed with pride watching him. As someone who isn’t very much of a loner, I spent a lot of time alone this trip and I realized, yeah, this is my life now, but I can do it. Because being there for him after he comes off the field is one of the greatest feelings. I wish the trip had been longer, but I don’t think a visit with him will ever be long enough.
All in all, I got to visit a new state, meet some super nice people, and see my man live out his dreams for the first time. Utah trip... you get an A+. You need to work on your drinking laws though.
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