After our game in Arlington, we picked up a few hitch hikers at the local International House of Pancakes. My sister, Courtney, and two of her kids, Sam and Reese, joined us for the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals games. Unfortunately, my other niece Addison could not make it because she was headed off to Camp Ondessonk.
We were excited to see some familiar faces on the road and to have my Dad share this experience with two of his grandchildren. We would have to get creative on sleeping arrangements with three additional people, but fortunately, everyone was pretty low maintenance!
We had a day off the first night everyone arrived, so we headed to a KOA campground in Montgomery, Texas and setup everything to cookout. This particular KOA had a great pool and slide for the kids, so that kept them entertained. My mom and sister were able to get some laundry done while I rode my bike up and down the highway. It was a great day to relax before we headed to Houston for the game Friday night.
I was excited to see Minute Maid park because it looked really unique on television. I have seen it quite a few times as it always seemed like Pujols was hitting a home run off Brad Lidge over the train tracks in left center. At first glance, the area surrounding the ballpark left much to be desired. I couldn't help but notice the lack of retail destinations surrounding the park. Moreover, it was hard to find anyone wearing any Astros gear. Much different feel than in St. Louis and other parks we've been to.
Once inside, our opinion of the park improved. It does feel a bit older, but the playing surface is pretty unique. The hill in center field looks ridiculous, but the back drop in the outfield was fun to see. The food was pretty good, too. The kids were able to find nearly everything they wanted in short order.
My Dad liked the park, but after getting reprimanded by Dave Kienzler, he wanted to be more conservative on his rating of Minute Maid Park.
Pros: Unique stadium layout, i.e. Tal's Hill, train in left center.
Cons: Area surrounding park, lack of fan support.