Here you go...
For those who wanted to know, we had a good time at our Chicago/Texas trip. As usual, the Cub fans were out in full force. All three games were really good, but our focus was leaning towards the Blackhawks' hockey games, so we stepped out a couple times to go watch them.
Stayed at the Sheraton next to the park. Being able to walk spared us the nightmare of traffic, which looked really bad. The hotel was clean. The walls were very thin. But I do recommend it.
As for the Ballpark, as an outsider, here is my point of view, having visited about 70% of the parks nationwide:
* The design is outstanding. Its really a beautiful stadium that you should be proud of. Not all the new parks are this aesthetically pleasing. (I find Philly and Cincy to be kind of drab and ugly).
* I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd find this park very family-friendly. Its a great community stadium, and the ticket prices seem fair enough.
* Good retail shops.
* Great fan support. In some cities, people don't wear the home team's gear to games. Ranger fans were showing their loyalty. I like to see that.
* Great looking women! Possibly the best I've seen for a series. Haven't been to a game in San Diego or Arizona yet, but I think Texas is ranked #1 right now. St.Louis' middle-aged women really look great too, for some reason. (And they are probably the most-knowledgeable I've seen anywhere). And the Wrigley Field bleachers are tough to beat when it comes to college-aged girls. But the Dallas-area women seem to have a little something extra going on. And that Texas Twang is priceless.
* The concourses are a little tight, mostly due to all the vending booths along the sides.
* Service at the concessions was the slowest I've seen at any park. By far. All three days, we spent way too much time in line, and missed action on the field. Very frustrating. The speed the staff moves at would not be acceptable at other stadiums.
* The restroom facilities seemed rather sparse. (Only 2 men's room stalls to service the entire outfield bleachers??). I found myself waiting in lines too often, even when there wasn't an end-of-inning rush.
* The video boards are insufficient from most viewing angles. We sat in four different sections throughout the stadium, and often had trouble reading the stats on the boards due to the small size. Especially when sitting along right-field, where you can't see the 'big board', and need to rely on the board on the left-field wall. I'm guessing that a lot of the older crowd can't read it at all.
* The ushers seem way too paranoid about fans cheering or standing. I continually saw them reprimanding fans who were really not doing anything wrong, obscene, or annoying. Its a ballpark -- not a movie theater! Why is everyone so uptight?! It felt like the opposite of an East Coast stadium. But I suppose if I had kids, I would appreciate this.
AS FOR ADULT ACTIVITIES...
Some of you wanted to know about our "exotic dancer" findings....
On Sunday night, our hotel shuttle driver recommended we go to Jaguars -- about 15 minutes from the ballpark. It is BYOB, so we grabbed a case. It was $15 to get in, and $9 for a tub of ice. Its a nicely laid out and clean club, and the quality of dancers was a solid B+. Crowd was small, maybe 15 other people there. Staff was all friendly. Dances were $20-$30. And between the three of us we spent way too much. Way way too much. Go there and enjoy. Ask for Chloe, and hold on tight :)
Good luck for the rest of the season, Ranger fans. Just get a stud pitcher, and I think you have a really good team that can do some damage in the playoffs. And as for the guy with the "Welcome to Wrigley Field South" sign in the bleachers, I was going to send a beer down to you, but I got sidetracked and forgot. Nice representation, though. Rock on.
Thanks for all the harassment everyone. Best wishes!