It wasn’t a bucket list item, but the movie “Field of Dreams” is one of my all-time favorites and my family knows that.
So when they said, “let’s go to Field of Dreams for our final family getaway before we go back to college,” I was all in.
Field of Dreams is not close to Lima.
Our GPS told us to plan on seven and a half hours.
It took much longer with road construction, and frequent restroom stops with yours truly.
When we got to Galena Illinois, our navigator and chief trip researcher-wife Holly, said this was the town that was depicted as Chisolm, Minnesota, in the movie and where they tracked down “Moonlight Graham.”
So we drove into the downtown area to find the actual location and man what a bustling and beautiful downtown Galena has.
We finished up day one of the trip by staying overnight in Dubuque Iowa, just 25 minutes away from our destination.
I woke up Saturday morning with a big smile on my face.
I was less than a half hour away from the Field of Dreams.
We had hoped to have watched the movie the night before to “prepare” for our visit, but the hotel didn’t have a DVD player.
But I knew what was ahead.
As we drove nearer, the paved roads turned into dusty graveled pathways.
Remember, Field of Dreams was built in the middle of a cornfield.
And then we had arrived.
I knew what to expect.
We immediately jumped out of the van and grabbed our baseball gloves.
If you have seen the movie, it looks the very same.
The white farmhouse on the right.
The baseball diamond to the left.
And a cornfield surrounding the outfield.
I was at the Field of Dreams.
As I surveyed the Field of Dreams, tears began to stream down my face.
I began to think about my father.
Playing catch with him while growing up and even in his later years, we would toss the ball and talk baseball.
Playing catch with my twin daughters while they grew up, and then having the opportunity to do it again here at the Field of Dreams.
Knowing what the movie meant to me.
Believing in something, and following your dream.
And love for the game of baseball.
I haven’t lost that.
I never will.
It was an awesome experience that day.
We went into the cornfield and took video and pictures of us emerging from the stalks — our gloves in hand, ready to take the field.
We had daughter Sarah sit atop the small set of bleachers on the first base side of the diamond. Hot dog bun in her hand, and more pictures and video of her at the top of the bleachers and later Sarah on the ground, and me doing my best impersonation of Moonlight Graham to save the little girl from choking.
We weren’t alone on this Saturday morning either.
There were people everywhere.
We had our Indians garb on.
But there were Giants fans there.
Cardinals fans, Cubs fans, Padre fans, Red Sox fans.
We met a family that had driven in from Wellington, Ohio.
And they were doing much of what we had been doing for the past hour.
Living the Field of Dreams experience.
“If you build it, he will come.”
Remember that phrase in the movie — a voice telling Kevin Costner, uh Ray Kinsella to build the Field of Dreams.
Then Terrance Mann telling Ray, “people will come Ray, people will most definitely come.”
They are still coming today.
We had a wonderful family experience at the Field of Dreams.
I can’t wait to watch the movie again either.
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