My 2018 MLB Spring Training Grapefruit League Toyota Grand Slam Road Trip: An Awesome Dad Vacation (Part 1 of 3)

Yes, it’s true that just two weeks ago I made my big TV debut on The Lifetime Network. But a few weeks before I obtained my 15 minutes of fame, Toyota had already reached out to me and invited me to join them on a road trip across Florida; to be part of the 2018 Major League Baseball Spring Training Grapefruit League tour.

Now that I work from home as a freelance writer and social media specialist, I didn’t even have to ask to time off; like I used to when I worked in an office. Instead, I just had to (quite easily) convince my mom to take care of the kids for a week. And as for my wife, she was more than happy to let me go out for a 4 day road trip with a bunch of other guys who also write about cars for a living. She was all for it!

Toyota made it clear in the invite that they would be taking care of everything: My flight to and from Florida, all my meals, all my hotel stays, all my entertainment; and of course, brand new Toyotas to drive from Orlando to Fort Myers to Port St. Lucie. So yeah, as you can imagine, it was an awesome trip!

It was a welcome culture shock, as a stay-at-home dad who works from home, to enjoy the finest hotels (like Loews Portofino Bay at Universal Studios featured in many of these pictures), restaurants, and entertainment; while driving brand-new cars and meeting other guys who were a lot like me.

The vehicles I had access to included the blue (and also a maroon) C-HR, the silver Camry, the red Corolla, and the newly redesigned white Prius.

Over the course of three days of driving, we saw three baseball games:

The Pirates vs. The Braves at Champion Station in Orlando on March 5th

The Orioles vs. The Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers on March 6th

The Yankees vs. The Mets at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie on March 7th

The folks at Toyota even had a special Atlanta Braves jersey with my name on it, for me to wear to the Braves’ game. In fact, when the whole trip was over and I got back to Nashville, I had a Toyota backpack stuffed full of Toyota swag.

So as you imagine, there was no need for me to buy any souvenirs for my kids. I simply brought home all the Toyota goodies and my kids basically thought it was Christmas!

This is just my 1st of 3 posts about my amazing experience. Stay tuned for the 2nd, when I share about my day of driving the 2018 Toyota Camry, and the 3rd, featuring my experience in the 2018 Toyota C-HR.

I love being a daddy blogger!

To read all 3 parts of My 2018 MLB Spring Training Grapefruit League Toyota Florida Road Trip series, just click on the link below for the ones you haven’t read yet:

An Awesome Dad Vacation (Part 1 of 3)
From Orlando to Fort Myers in the 2018 Toyota Camry (Part 2 of 3)
From Cape Coral to Manalapan in the 2018 Toyota Camry (Part 3 of 3)

 

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!

4 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!

Dear Jack,

Had you ever told me, “Daddy, I want to ride in a real monster truck,” I have a feeling I would have searched the entire state of Tennessee and the 8 other states it borders; only to possibly find some outrageously priced, yet tame version of riding in a monster truck.

Fortunately, this past weekend while “ridin’ low in that Corolla”, we just happened to stumble into a perfect situation.

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!

While ironically attending the Spring Hill Ham Festival (I say ironically since you’re a vegetarian and I’m a vegan), we saw a sign for monster truck rides; only $5 per person.

(Plus, it was free admission and free parking!)

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!

It was misting, overcast, and late in the day. There was no line and we were the only riders on that trip.

This video I made shows not only what it was like inside the monster truck, Predator, but also outside of it as well.

Seriously, this was no tame ride. Plus, we chose the best seats in the truck; right there at the edge of the bed.

I would have been terrified at your age to do something so intense.

You only showed one quick look of concern, at first; to be following by smiles and laughing for the rest of the ride.

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!

Needless to say, we had a great time; in what might turn out to be a once in a lifetime experience.

And again, amazingly- it was just 10 bucks total for the 2 of us to ride!

While we were there, you also enjoyed climbing up and sliding down the “jumpy houses,” as well as getting to visit the petting zoo… or farm, I guess I should say.

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!

You also asked to play one of the games.

Basically, you spun a big wheel in which all but 3 of the options were literally labeled “Free Pixy Stick,” while the remaining 3 were simply left blank.

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!

Going to the Spring Hill Ham Festival was such a great experience for us as father and son!

Lesson learned: Even if you don’t eat ham, go to the Ham Festival if you get the chance!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: We Rode in a Real Monster Truck at the Spring Hill Ham Festival!