Great Memories and Family Time


For years, our family has been blessed to be able to take some wonderful vacations. Since we have been married, my wife and I have taken a trip every year.  Our goal has been to visit multiple states and see various sites. Our somewhat cheesy end goal is to visit every state. To date, we have been to 32 states, so we have plenty of traveling left to do. Last year our two boys got to experience their first taste of live Major League Baseball and they loved it. While at one of the games, our oldest son spotted a Stadium Passport. Inside of the passport was a listing of every MLB stadium, along with fun facts, that could be time stamped by ballpark attendants validating your trip to each stadium. We made a deal with the boys that we would make an effort to visit all of the ballparks. Last year we took the boys to visit Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia, Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, and the historic Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Our goal this year was to visit several more stadiums and while doing so reach a few new states. We purchased our airline tickets as well as tickets to various parks throughout the country including tickets for opening day of MLB in Cincinnati, one of the most celebrated days in sports…….and then COVID-19 hit. Little league baseball was cancelled, Major League Baseball was cancelled, our flights were cancelled, and travel was discouraged.

With the virus in full swing, families were forced to find a new normal with less travel and more recreational time for camping, fishing, and boating. We headed to the Lake of the Ozarks.  We could stay at the lake with our family and basically isolate from the rest of the world. We made some great memories. It was much needed family time. We took multiple short trips to the lake where we swam, went out on the water, and spent time just being together. The kids did end up getting to play a short and condensed fall ball season and we were able to watch games on TV once the MLB season was resumed. Even in the short and condensed format we enjoyed it. I hadn’t realized how the longer trips kept me focused on travel, either driving or flying and less on the kids. I loved having our family to myself where we could visit without interruption and make memories. I hope that my kids had just as much fun doing this as they did travel around the country.

By: Ryan Troutman

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