Saturday started early. There was no way I wanted to miss any of the Cooperstown experience. I was so excited to be there and could barely contain my enthusiasm. Since parking in town was hard to come by with record setting crowds, the plan was to arrive early, see what there was to see, and then perhaps squeeze in a brewery tour. I wanted my husband to have a good time too, and as a Brit, baseball is just not his thing.

Here’s how it actually went.

We left the campground around 6:30 am. As I climbed into the tent Friday night, I made sure I had my clothes for Saturday with me. Apart from the moisture from the humidity, my clothes stayed dry despite hours of pouring rain throughout the night. Saturday morning I emerged from the tent dressed and ready to go. I was able to apply eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick quickly from the passenger’s seat.

We arrived in Cooperstown hoping for, but not expecting any parking anywhere within the town center, even though it was only 7 am. Unbelievably, we did find a spot right in town, about four blocks from the Hall of Fame. The streets were already buzzing with activity, with hundreds of people milling about, vendors set up with tables on the streets, selling mostly Cal paraphernalia, but also Tony Gwynn souvenirs and Cooperstown memorabilia. Starving for breakfast, we passed up the bakery displaying donuts and muffins for the Doubleday Cafe, which offered a hot delicious breakfast for a steal of a price. The wait at 7 am was already 20 minutes, and the restaurant was packed with diners already elbow deep in a coffee, pancakes, and scrambled eggs.

When we did get seated, we had a good, hearty breakfast, eggs, whole wheat toast, coffee, potatoes, all for under $12 for two people.

Next, our plan was to wander around Cooperstown to see what the vendors had, then go to the Hall of Fame, see about autographs, etc. Because there’s so much to report, I’ll do it in sections…