For the first installment of this story, please see yesterday's post.
The three of them piled into the car and got ready for their drive to the city. It would take about two and a half hours provided traffic was clear, and considering it was Saturday morning, they figured there would be plenty of time to get there, find a parking spot and make it in time for batting practice.
“Mom,” Eric said, “Is dad gonna drive over that cool bridge?”
“You mean the Golden Gate?” she replied. “That’s up to your father, and only if we have time.”
“Dad, why do they call it the Golden Gate anyway? It doesn’t look very gold to me.”
Chuckling, his father told him, “It’s not really about the color of the bridge son. Remember, California’s State motto, The Golden State?”
“Oh yeah, so do we get to check it out?”
“We’ll see, maybe after the game”
With that Roger started the car and announced, “Who’s ready to go to a baseball game?”
Both of his passengers announced in unison, “We are!”
As they had expected there weren’t too many cars on highway 70 heading to Sacramento, and even as they travelled along interstate 80 towards Vallejo they managed to make good time. The closer they got to Oakland however the once quick pace they had enjoyed, now became a slow crawl. It had been several years since Gail or Roger had driven on any of the bay area roads and they could hardly believe how much more traffic there seemed to be now.
“How are we doing on time hun?” Gail asked.
Her husband replied, “We should be fine as long as it doesn’t get any worse. I figured we’d hit a little slow down, but even this is surprising.”
Meanwhile, Eric had already started the ‘Are we there yet? and ‘How much longer? statements about fifty miles earlier. The two juice boxes he had drank on the way had now worked their way through his system and his parents got the obligatory ‘I need to go potty’ call from the back seat.
His dad called back to him, “Can you hold it for a little bit? Now is really not the best time.”
“I’ll try!” he heard.
About ten minutes later, but only about three miles further, they passed a small fender bender on the side of the freeway. Once they were on the other side of the accident however, the flow of traffic picked back up and they were once again zipping along.
That was until they heard, “I can’t hold it anymore!”
Gail pointed out an exit ahead and noted that there was a McDonald’s sign she could see to the right. Eric practically jumped out of the car as soon as it stopped and made a b-line for the restroom. A few minutes and a Happy Meal later they were back on the road.
No sooner had they settled back in and they were on the Bay Bridge.
“Is this the Golden Gate?” Eric asked.
“No sweetie,” his mom told him, “this is a different one. This one is called the Bay Bridge.”
During the next few minutes as they travelled high over the San Francisco Bay, Eric pointed out every boat, ship, buoy, and seagull he could see. He craned his neck to see as far out the window and over the railing as he possibly could, as if something more grand was sure to be directly beneath them. He thought it was especially neat that there was an island in the middle of the bridge.
Shortly after reaching the west end of the bridge and making a handful of turns, the three travellers found themselves at the parking lot of AT&T Park, the home of the Giants.
to be continued