It’s here, the final month of the season. September 1st always seems so far away when we first arrive in Arizona in February with so many unknowns before the baseball season starts. Now, as we play our way thru September we are starting to look to February and hoping that the 2019 season shapes up to be something other than a repeat of a 90 loss season. In fact, Marty and I just booked flights for February. We really do plan our lives 6 months at a time.
Speaking of planning, I’m pretty excited to be able to share our off season plans. It’s always a gamble to book a vacation early in the baseball season because you just never know when the season will end. We all hope we are playing until well in to the month of October but when it becomes obvious you won’t be, it’s time for me to start thinking about our next adventure.
Back in February, before we even left for spring training Marty and I attended the Dragonfly Gala which raises money for the Dragonfly Foundation to provide comfort and joy to kids battling childhood cancer. As part of this year’s gala, a silent auction was held for several trips all over the world. Friends of ours were telling us about the one they bid on and my husband, shockingly, said to me, “go pick the one you want and make a bid.” I was stunned but immediately chose an Italian vacation package and wrote my name and my bid down ASAP. The auction went on for several more hours but I was determined there was no way we were getting out bid. That evening we left the Gala with a 6 night Italian vacation in our pockets. We have several years to plan the trip but once it became obvious the Reds were going to be done playing baseball on September 30th, I started making that little award certificate into my dream vacation.
October 7th, one week after the end of the season, Marty and I will board a flight from Cincinnati flying directly to Paris, France. We fly over night so hopefully we wake up refreshed and ready for a full day in Paris before we are picked up by a driver and tour guide for our private tour of Normandy, France. We both love history and walking along the beaches of Normandy will no doubt be a very moving experience and might well be the highlight of our trip. We will spend the whole day in Normandy before taking a train back to Paris.
We will then fly to Florence, Italy and make our way to the Tuscany area of the countryside and spend 4 nights in a restored 17th century villa in Chianti, Italy. Back to Florence for a few days to tour the museums and see the statue of David. We will end our Italian portion of the trip with three nights in the beautiful Hotel Splendido in Portofino on the Italian Riveria. We then fly back to Paris and spend the last three nights touring the city and the Palace of Versailles before flying back to Cincinnati.
I still can’t believe this is our vacation! Marty has been to Scotland and Ireland, I have been to Poland, Hungary and was born in Germany but this is our first trip to Europe together and we are both so excited. I am still stunned he agreed to take such a big trip a week after the season after all the travel we do during the year but this is going to be very different than a typical baseball road trip.
Thank goodness for the MLB network since I know we will both want to catch as many post season games as we can while traveling. Because we can’t get too far from baseball, Marty and I will be taking part in the Annual Reds Celebrity Cruise leaving November 4th for 7 nights from Port Canaveral Florida with stops in St. Thomas, St. Marteen, and Nassau. If you love baseball and cruising or just want to try a cruise for the first time there is still time to sign up and join us through Provident Travel. Marty, former Reds players Jack Billingham, Jim Maloney, Doug Flynn, Buddy Bell and
Corky Miller will also be on board and it’s guaranteed a great time. Would love to have some Ashland area fans on board with us. You can find information on line at Provident travel or call 800-989-8900.
In the meantime, the Reds will continue to play out this season doing everything they can to win as many ballgames as possible. I have to admit I enjoy watching the Reds trying to keep someone from making the post season. Every game still counts and this last month of the year there are a lot of eyes glued to scoreboards all across baseball in many a clubhouse.
Until next time,
Amanda Ingram Brennaman