Revealing my 2018 ballpark resolutions

Since 2014, I have posted travel resolutions for each new year.  They typically related to traveling to see new Minor League Baseball stadiums.  As I rung in the new year, I sat down and posted my resolutions.  So here are my resolutions for the upcoming year.

My first resolution for 2018…

Over the past six years, I have managed to see all of the MiLB teams in my current home state of Alabama.  However, I have not seen them all with my now wife Katie.  Since she moved to the Yellowhammer State just over a year ago, she has stated how much she wants to see all the teams in the state.  In fact, it was a resolution I made last year, hoping to see all three teams in 2017.  We’ve seen the Birmingham Barons on multiple occasions, as Regions Field is just about an hour away from our home.  However, she wants to attend the Barons’ annual game at Rickwood Field.

So our goal for this year is to visit all three teams over Memorial Day weekend. Tentatively we’ll start our trip with a game on the Gulf Coast in Mobile, and then work our way north through Montgomery, and conclude our trip with the Rickwood Classic in Birmingham.

My second resolution for 2018…

For the past few years, I’ve been made resolutions to see all three MiLB teams in Kentucky. Specifically, I made the resolution in 2016 and 2014, and resolved to see the Lexington Legends in 2015.  I’ve fallen short each time, and so far have only seen the Bowling Green Hot Rods.  I first saw them in 2014 by myself (read about it here) and next saw them in 2016 with Katie (read about it here), and enjoyed the game from the club level.

The plan this year is to see the Legends and Bats on the way back to Cincinnati, Ohio, after the A.P. Human Geography Reading, which is the first week of June.  The game schedules line up to allow us to visit both ballparks after spending a few days in Ohio, so I’m pretty optimistic that we will get to visit these two ballparks.

My third resolution for 2018…

Last year, I learned that there was a conference/convention for people who blog about beer. It was in the fall in 2017, so I was unable to attend because of my other commitments. However, I followed closely the announcement of the dates and venue for 2018, and decided that I would attend it this year.  So while I will be going to Loudoun County, Va., primarily to network and learn more about beer blogging, I’m going to arrive a few days in advance of the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference to visit a few MiLB teams in the area.  There are a LOT of teams within a two-hour drive or so from the conference hotel.  So I am not 100% sure what teams I will see just yet, but I felt like I should visit the Potomac Nationals because of the continuous rumors about the team moving into a yet-to-be-built stadium or potentially relocating.

My fourth resolution for 2018…

Last summer, I started a new “collection” with my wife Katie.  In an effort to keep us traveling and visiting new cities, I purchased the MLB BallPark Pass-Port.  There are a variety of books you can purchase, but I opted for the “big book” that contains a set of pages for each of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums.  A friend I met through participating in the A.P. Human Geography Reading has been using the passport for years to track his family’s quest to visit all 30 parks, and finally last summer I decided to join the craze.  It functions like a standard international passport that is stamped each time you enter a new country.  The idea is to “stamp in” at each stadium and journal about your visit as a way to preserve your memories of visiting a new place.  There is also a book that focuses on Minor League Baseball ballparks, which I purchased for Katie and I to chronicle our visits to MiLB stadiums since getting married.  So we now have something new to do when we visit stadiums together.

My resolution about visiting a new MLB park this year is that Katie and I have planned our summer around a variety of events, and have tried to find a time to visit a new ballpark.  Unfortunately, we have not been able to figure out a time to visit a new stadium.  So I am hoping that making this resolution will set us on a path of making the time to visit a new park together in 2018.  As much as I’d like to plan a long trip around visiting a new ballpark, I will be content to visit over a weekend for the sole purpose of getting another stamp in our “big book.”

RECAP
Do you make travel resolutions for the new year?  Are they about visiting countries, states, sports venues, or something else?  I’d love to hear what others resolve to do related to travel each year.  Share in the comments, and let’s keep each other on point to fulfill our travel resolutions for 2018.

William Howard Taft Burial Place in Arlington, Va.

Following his defeat for re-election in 1912, William Howard Taft and sought the opportunity to practice law.  He ended up becoming the Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School.  Taft held the academic position until 1921 when he was appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court, which made him the first person to serve as both president and chief justice.  He served as chief justice until 1930 when he retired because of his poor health.  On March 8, 1930, Taft died from cardiovascular disease.  He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, thus becoming a first president buried at the cemetery.

Noted sculptor James Earle Fraser designed the 50-foot granite monument at the graves of William Howard and Helen Herron Taft.
William Howard and Helen Herron Taft were the first president and first lady buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

George Washington Burial Place in Mount Vernon, Va.

The estate that is George Washington’s final resting place sits along the Potomac River near Alexandria, Va.  However, Washington did not purchase the property, but inherited it in 1754 and did not become the sole owner until 1761.  Mount Vernon is closely linked to Washington because it served as his country home for the majority of his life.  Following his death, the property fell into disrepair, but was saved from demolition when The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association purchased the property in 1858 and eventually restored the mansion to its previous grandeur.  In 1960, the Palladian-style mansion became a National Historic Landmark.

Immediately following his death, Washington was interred on the property in a family tomb that be built after inheriting the property.  Following debate about moving his body to the capital city that bears his name, he was re-interred in a new tomb built on the property in 1837.

Visitors can participate in the hourly wreath laying ceremony at his tomb.  The event usually involved three to four individuals, so if you want to participate you should arrive about ten minutes before the hour to be able to partake in the wreath laying ceremony.

The Old Vault where George and Martha Washington and some family members were entombed.
Details of the tomb Washington wanted built were specified in his will.
The Washington family tomb with the American flag and Washington’s flag as General of the Armies.
Marker above the Washington family tomb.
Sarcophagi of Martha (left) and George Washington (right) with a wreath laid during an hourly ceremony.

William Henry Harrison Birthplace in Charles City County, Va.

On the banks of the James River, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred on Dec. 4, 1619.  The 8,000-acre site later became known as Berkeley Plantation and eventually the home of the Harrison family.  In 1726, Benjamin Harrison IV built a Georgia-style three-story brick mansion overlooking the river.  On Feb. 9, 1773, William Henry Harrison, the youngest child of Benjamin V and Elizabeth Bassett Harrison, was born at the house.

In the early 1900s, Malcolm and Grace Jamieson bought the house from his father John and restored the home.  They ultimately opened the house to the public.  In 1971, the home became a National Historic Landmark.

Historic marker outside of Berkeley Plantation mansion.
Main entrance to the mansion.

John F. Kennedy Burial Place in Arlington, Va.

Following his assassination in Dallas, the body of John F. Kennedy was flown back to Washington, D.C.  He laid in repose in the White House’s East Room for twenty-four hours.  Kennedy later laid in state in the Capitol rotunda before a horse-drawn caisson took his casket to Arlington National Cemetery where he was interred just below Arlington House on Nov. 25, 1963.

Kennedy’s friend and architect John Carl Warnecke designed the grave site, which Jacqueline Kennedy stipulated must include an eternal flame.  After several years of design work and construction, the grave site was dedicated and opened to the public on March 15, 1967.

The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame grave site includes Kennedy’s wife Jacqueline and their two infant children, Arabella and Patrick.
Headstone of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Headstone of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.