Boo for TSA. Yea for Fenway Park.
Back around the middle of June, I applied for the TSA Pre√, filled out the paperwork, had my fingerprints and handprints taken, and paid the $85 fee. The clerk told me at the time that I could expect to get my approval in about two weeks.
That was good news because I had several trips planned: a round-trip to Chicago on NARP business, another trip to Chicago for the start of a trip to Boston and on to Europe, and eventually a return flight to Maui out of Los Angeles.
It has now been five weeks and one day … and a person somewhere within the Department of Homeland Security has just told me she has no idea why I haven’t gotten my Known Traveler number yet. She also had no idea why there had been no response to the what’s-taking-so-long inquiry another one of her colleagues made ten days ago.
And, of course, I’m leaving tonight on a flight to Europe and will once again be going through security without Pre√. I hate complainers, but sheesh!
In addition to seeing the Red Sox play two games in wonderful, iconic Fenway Park, I took took a tour of the facility yesterday morning. Frankly, it was a disappointment, although I can see that first-time visitors could find it interesting. The surprise for me was in how many people were taking the tour. There were about 75 people in my group and there was a group of similar size both in front of and behind us. As we left the ballpark there were hundreds more people lining up for still more tours. This is a wild guess, but I’ll be there were 15 to 20 groups touring Fenway Park yesterday … at $18.00 a pop!
However, I was reminded once again what a wonderful experience it is to see a ballgame here in Boston. The public address announcer gives the names of the next batter in a calm professional voice–making very little distinction between Red Sox and visiting players. The scoreboard provides updated statistical information about the players as they come to bat and when a new player enters the game defensively. Yes, there is cheering, but it is spontaneous and it originates from the crowd. In other words, the Red Sox know that their fans understand the game and, accordingly, they treat us with respect. So, if you’ve never been here, put Boston and Fenway Park on your to-do list. But skip the tour.
Next post from Paris.