I 'm getting really antsy.
I can barely stand that there is Cardinals baseball -- or at least elements of
Cardinals baseball -- going on somewhere and I'm missing it.
Heading down to spring training is the highlight of my year. But I'm not
headed down this year until the third week of March. So, whether or not the
groundhog saw his shadow, I'm still looking at five more weeks of mental
I used to miss St. Petersburg quite a bit. But as the Cardinals passed the
decade mark in Jupiter, I have to admit that it now feels like home. In fact,
there are so many things we have found to do in South Florida that there is
no way to fit them all in during one visit. So, here is my spring training can't
* You can't go to Florida without going to the beach. And you can get to the
beach from just about anywhere in Jupiter by heading east until you run out
of land. But don't settle for just any beach. Head to John D. MacArthur Beach
State Park which is an isolated island that will give you a chance to see the
shore as nature intended it to be seen.
Open 365 days a year, it costs $5 per vehicle but it's well worth it. It's located
at 10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive off State Road 703. For more information or
directions, call 561-624-6952 or check out www.macarthurbeach.org.
* Want to meet the players? Your chances of getting an autograph at a
game are slim because they're otherwise focused.
Go to the morning drills -- which start around 9 a.m. -- on the practice fields
beyond left field of Roger Dean Stadium where the Redbirds play their spring
games. There the players are much more accessible as they come and go.
Another great place to get autographs is to wait outside the players' parking
lot early in the morning or after games. It's beyond right center field of
Roger Dean Stadium along University Boulevard.
Also, check out the night spots the Cardinals frequent. They include the
Waterway Cafe on PGA Boulevard just west of A1A and Abbey Road Grill and
Raw Bar at 10800 Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens. Abbey Road is the n
earest eatery and bar to the team hotel.
* I'm not going to recommend a seafood place because there are a million
of those. The one dish I crave from the Jupiter area is the hot wings at the
Thirsty Turtle Sea Grill in Juneau Beach.
It's not fancy, basically a bar and restaurant in a strip mall. It has a New York Yankees theme, so you may want to leave the Cardinals cap in the car. But
skip the extra hot dog at the ballgame and head there afterward. You'll find
it at 13981 U.S. Highway 1.
* There are really no bad seats for games at Roger Dean Stadium. But there
is a big difference between the bleachers and the box seats behind home
plate. You're not going to get good seats through the Cardinals because
season ticket holders snap them all up. But I have had luck on Stubhub.com
buying tickets right behind home plate for not much more than face value.
You can also usually buy tickets from scalpers outside the stadium. But I'm
not willing to drive 2,500 miles round trip without the tickets already in my