Baseball in my family is much like food, it was always around somewhere in the background. During the spring and summer months, there was always a game on the TV and both my brother and I played little league. My brother went on to play baseball for his high school and his college. One of my earliest memories as a child was watching the Chicago Cubs games with my Pawpaw. He was a big Cubs fan. I’m not sure how his love for the Cubs started. All I know is that he loved the Cubs and Harry Carey, and so do we. My favorite part of the game was the seventh inning stretch when I got to get up and sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. I still sing ‘root, root, root for the Cubies’ no matter what game I attend. I remember running through the house screaming ‘Cubs win, Cubs win’ just like Harry Carey did. These are memories from my youth and memories of time spent with my Pawpaw.
So earlier this year when my brother, sister and I decided to take a sibling vacation for my birthday, we thought it was appropriate to go to Wrigley Field and see the Cubs live and in action. This was the first vacation we have taken when it was just us, the Mays kids. Usually I plan a family trip with our spouses, our kids and our parents. But throughout the years either my brother, sister or I are missing. So this year I decided that it would be just the Mays kids. Honestly I don’t remember the last time the three of us spent more than 24 hours together.
We all arrived in Chicago on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at different times. It was after 4pm before we were all together at the hotel. It had been a long day of traveling, so we decided to do something simple and close to the hotel for dinner. We had Chicago Style pizza at Giordano’s. We went back to the hotel to hang out and watch TV. The next day was my birthday, so we took to the streets of downtown Chicago. We started with brunch (because we slept in) at the Wildberry Pancakes and café. My brother found this place on his way to Giordano’s the night before. Well the wait was over an hour and half, so the hostess told us we could walk to a different location where the wait was only 45 minutes. I said sure thinking it was just down the street. It was actually about 11 blocks, close to a mile away. There was some complaining along the way and a couple of rest stops, but we made it and the food was more than worth the walk. The walk back from brunch was a much more leisurely walk. We stopped at a few stores. We bought some Cubs gear for the game the next day. We choose the restaurant we would have dinner at that night and made a reservation. We went on an architectural boat tour down the Chicago river. It was a 75 minute boat ride with a tour guide to discuss all the building along the river. It was a beautiful day to be on the water. We ended the day having dinner at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse.
On Saturday we went to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play the San Diego Padres. Which was kind of funny because my sister now lives in San Diego. We caught a Lyft to the stadium and when we walked around the corner and saw the marquee, we started pointing at it and getting our phones out to take pictures. We were so excited to be there. So we got our pictures and headed inside. The energy was so positive, everyone around us was happy and smiling. We got some drinks and headed to our seats. We sat down and just looked at each other. Almost in unison, we said we are really here, we made it. But what made it even better was that we were there together, and we toasted to our Pawpaw and Harry Carey. It was a great game. We stood up and sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the seventh inning stretch probably louder than anyone else. The Cubs won 5-4 and then we sang Go Cubs Go…Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go, Hey Chicago what do you say, the Cubs are gonna to WIN today! We stayed long after the game was over. We watched the field crew come out. We just stood there looking at each other not really wanting to leave, but we did.
When I say we had a blast together, I really mean it. We just hung out, ate a lot, and hung out some more. With the exception of the Cubs game we really didn’t have any plans on how we would spend our time. If we saw something we wanted to do then we did it. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, genealogy to me is more than just names and dates, and it’s not always about the research. Genealogy is also about time spent with family and making memories. These are memories that we will be talking about for many years to come. I will tell anyone who will listen about the time the Mays kids went to see the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field. I will also explain how this family tradition started with my Pawpaw and how it has been passed down through the generations. And this is why the journey continues…