All packed up and ready to go I arrived at the park and ride in Pomona around 11:35 pm on Friday. I somehow convinced my friend Anthony to drop off my friend Jessica and I. It was Jessica’s first trip and she was equally, if not more excited than I was to head to San Francisco with Pantone 294! Even though this wasn’t my first trip with Pantone, it was my first longer and farther trip than San Diego last month. Sitting in the car and waiting till other bus leaders got there I felt like a kid waiting for their best friends to show up on the first day of school so they can all face the day together.
My bus leader partner Arielle got there just after I did and then we had Tyler and Matt show up too! The last bus leader we were waiting on was Christina. It was time for Jessica and I to say thank you and goodbye to Anthony for dropping us off and head to Matt’s car to retrieve our box filled with the seating chart, extra waivers and giveaways. More and more people trickled in as we waited for the buses. Christina arrived and we were all talking about the hours ahead of us. Matt went around to start welcoming the attendees and remind them to have their waiver forms out and ready to hand over to get on the buses.
We waited some more...and waited. Then finally we see the busses come down the hill and people started buzzing with excitement. Arielle and I went around to inform people to start heading to their assigned busses once they parked, bus #1 in the front followed by bus #2. After we successfully loaded everyone onto the bus it was time to head to our next stop, Union Station!
Once we got there we were greeted with a swarm of Dodger fans waiting to load their busses in LA. We had a bus leader meeting to go over the game plan for the ride to San Francisco. Once everyone was settled in, all five busses were on their way! Pomona bus #1 was quiet and most people were getting some shut eye. Our first stop was in Kettleman City, a McDonalds combined with a Chevron Food Mart. People got out of the buses to stretch their legs, get food and use the restroom. By now the sun was up so we were up!
The next stretch of travel had more people buzzing, chatting and getting to know the people around them. We had just one more stop before we got into the city of San Francisco! At this final stop people changed, stretched their legs while wandering around the rest stop. Once everyone was ready, we took group photos of each bus and videos of each bus yelling "Let's go Dodgers!" This really got people hyped up and ready to make our way into the bay.
Once in the city we told our bus to start packing up everything they needed for the day. Some of us were preparing to get onto a boat for the pregame boat party. The busses dropped us off right in front of the loading dock for the boat. I watched the line of people for the boat party grow and grow. Once everyone was settled into the boat, I went around to take photos of different groups and things happening on the boat. We took a nice trip around the bay stopping in front of Oracle Park to let the Giants know that we were in town chanting "Let's go Dodgers" loud enough for all to hear.
Once we were back on solid ground, a handful of us went to get clam chowder bread bowls before we had to head over to Oracle Park. We all piled into a sightseeing van, told him our destination and we were off to the ballpark.
We got to the entrance, waited in line to get checked at security, scanned our ticket and collected the giveaway for the day, garden gnomes of the Giants announcers. Even thought this was my third time at this ballpark, the atmosphere at this game was nothing like I have ever experienced before. Playful, witty banter from Giants fans, people talking about us under their breath...being there during a Dodgers vs Giants series just makes the place feel different but being there with Pantone felt like being there with one big Dodgers family.
The Dodgers scored first then the Giants took the lead in the next inning. Then from the top of the 5th on it was all Dodgers. Scoring one run in both the 5th and 6th inning, then scoring 4 more runs in the 8th inning, it sure ignited the fire in the hearts of Dodger fans all around the stadium. With a final score of 7-2 Dodgers, everyone left the stadium happy. We headed to the bus pick up area, tired and ready to start the journey home.
Once all the busses were there, we started the journey home. To wind down from the day my bus watched Shrek. Once that was over it was lights out and quiet time. We made stops on the way home to stretch legs, get snacks and use the restroom. We pulled into Pomona around 7 am after everyone unloaded and the busses were cleared out it was time for all the Pantone employees to head home and rest up since Anaheim was the very next day!