To Burlington

As we left Fort Ticonderoga, we headed north along on the western shore of Lake Champlain in New York. Then we turned east to drive on a bridge to cross Lake Champlain, returning to Vermont. As we entered Vermont, we turned north to finish our day’s drive to Burlington, Vermont.

We spent the evening at motel in suburban Burlington, in Colchester, Vermont. We planned to attend an evening ballgame in Burlington but we were foiled again by a major parking fiasco.

The Vermont Lake Monsters, the rookie league affiliate of the Oakland A’s, play their home games at Centennial Field in Burlington, Vermont. They share this field with the University of Vermont’s baseball team. The ballpark is on the university campus, and parking restrictions in the area are severe.

We left our motel, which is 1.5 miles away from the ballpark, with 50 minutes to spare before the first pitch. When we arrived at the ballpark, we found that the limited parking spaces at the ballpark were already filled. We were directed to the university’s field house, over a mile away, where we could park and catch a shuttle bus to the ballpark. We drove to this parking area on the other side of the campus, as directed, and found a large line of people waiting for shuttle buses. At that point, we blew off the ballgame and returned to our motel. I’m not going to park a mile away from the ballpark and then arrive at the ballpark in the 3rd or 4th inning after a long walk or a ride on a shuttle bus. If I can’t be in the ballpark for the first pitch then I’m not interested in attending the game at all.

This was an extremely frustrating night for me. I wanted to see my A’s rookie team play, but the parking situation was completely unacceptable. As an out-of-town guy that’s 3,000 miles from home and unfamiliar with the local university and the parking options, arriving at the ballpark 45 minutes before the first pitch, I expected more help from the team’s staff to find parking.

If we had known about the incredible parking fiasco in advance, we would have taken a taxi from our motel to the ballpark and avoided the parking mess altogether. We’ll do that next time, if there ever is a next time. I don’t know if I’ll ever be in Burlington, Vermont again.