Florida Draft Weekend

Months ago, members of our fantasy baseball league had discussed the idea of one day doing a destination draft where we all meet up for a few days. Things began to come together in January and this week it finally came to fruition. Four members of our league–myself, Walsh, Tim, and Pete, met up in Fort Myers, Florida for three nights. Non-league member Feeney substituted as the fifth man after one of the guys had to back out. The destination was chosen because it’s the location of Twins spring training. Walsh spearheaded the travel plans and we decided to stay at an AirBnb house near the water while taking in a pair of Twins exhibition games.

I flew from Austin to Charlotte to Fort Myers on Thursday, and was greeted by Walsh, who came in a day early for other business, at the airport upon arrival. We met up with Feeney and closed down the bars and crashed at a nearby hotel. Friday morning, after breakfast at Sunny’s, we checked into our AirBnb and were quickly united with Tim and Pete who had flown in from Minneapolis and New York. The day was spent hanging out and catching up before heading to the ballpark for the Twins-Orioles night game.

We all found the first game rather underwhelming. The Orioles sent over a lineup of little known minor leaguers, the scoreboard wasn’t working, and the crowd was full to the brim with low-energy senior citizens not making any noise. It was a real minor league sort of vibe at the park! Also, our fifth-row seats behind the Orioles dugout were shoulder-to-shoulder, making for a rather uncomfy seating experience. Nevertheless, a good time was had.

Saturday after breakfast we took advantage of our house amenities and got some fishing and kayaking in early. After some grilling, the live auction draft had begun. It’s much more fun to do in person with a few of the other managers instead of staring at a computer screen alone! At night we ventured way out to the beach for dinner and a few bars.

Sunday it was already time to check out, but not before a second spring training game. This time it lived up to the hype, with great first-row bar-top seats right behind the Twins bullpen. Lots of space to move around, built-in table, up-close access to the Twins bullpen, and for a while anyway, a competitive game with the well-known major league regulars for both teams. I forgot to apply sunscreen to my face and got BURNED viciously.

All in all, a tremendous trip! It has been such a wild few weeks with all this back-and-forth job drama and solo parenting during Lauren’s travels. This trip’s timing was perfect. It was great to finally have a few days to myself with the guys and not have to feel guilty about anything. I thought ahead, thankfully, and built in a recovery day Monday before I have to start the new job Tuesday.

Waiting to check into the AirBnB house.
Waiting for a ride to the ballpark.
Waiting for some action at the Twins/Orioles game!
Pete and Walsh–fast friends!
My kayaking debut.
Kayaking behind the house.
Draft time… more exciting than it looks!
Walking the pier at Fort Myers Beach.
Beers at the sand bar.
Walsh walks on the beach.
Glen Perkins gets some throws in in the bullpen prior to the Twins/Red Sox game.
Our awesome seats for Sunday’s game.
Walsh and bullpen coach Eddie Guardado
The gang says goodbye before parting ways!
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