I love being a dad. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. And one of the highlights of my time as a father happened last week, when Logan and I celebrated his sixth birthday by taking a road trip to Arizona to spend a week watching Spring Training baseball and just being together. That kid is so blasted fun, and I know it was a week that neither of us will ever forget.

On Sunday, the day after his birthday, we hopped in the car right after church and started our road trip — aka, the “carty” (because it’s a party in the car). That drive was when I started to realize that I don’t just like being with Logan because I’m his dad, I genuinely enjoy his company and think he is just one of the funnest people in the world. This picture sums up the drive pretty nicely (it’s a little blurry because I was, ya know, driving a car at the time):

In case you can’t tell, he’s watching a movie on the iPad, holding an orange soda in his left hand and a bottle of water in his right hand, and drinking a cup of root beer he has wedged between his arm and his chest. Oh, and he’s wearing one of my shirts because he was cold.

The two of us went to four games together: Angels vs. A’s in Phoenix on Monday, Dodgers vs. Padres in Peoria on Tuesday, Team Mexico vs. Dodgers in Glendale on Wednesday, and Rangers vs. Dodgers in Glendale on Thursday. The Tuesday game was the only one we stayed for all nine innings, because that was the only day that some clouds gave us some respite from the sun. The other days, we generally lasted six or seven innings.

Because Spring Training tickets are a lot more affordable than regular season tickets, we splurged and bought front-row seats for all four games. The coolest was the game against the Padres, where we sat behind home plate and ended up about ten feet from the Dodgers’ on-deck circle. Logan thought it was pretty cool to be that close to Matt Kemp (and Logan’s daddy might have liked it, too).

After every game, we would head back to the hotel, get our swim trunks on, and spend some time in the swimming pool. Then we’d go to dinner somewhere fun, and wrap up the evening with a trip to the hotel gym and then some homework.

Some other highlights of our time together:

On Monday, one of the security guards working on the field came over and gave Logan a game ball. He said one of the A’s’ players had asked him to give it to Logan because he could tell Logan was going to be a great baseball player.

All four games, we sat next to really nice people who treated Logan like a prince. The first game, I ran out of cash (not knowing that the concessions stands at Phoenix Municipal Stadium don’t take cards), and a cool older man from Seattle took Logan upstairs to get some ice cream. It was one of MANY ice cream treats Logan had that week.

Logan has his first several Dodger Dogs.

Logan had a blast playing photographer at the games, and he actually took some pretty great pictures.

The dude got a kick out of the fact that there’s a Major Leaguer named Logan:

Breakfast at Denny’s most mornings is every kid’s dream, I think. (Not pictured: the root beer I got in trouble for letting him drink for breakfast):

Logan also got his first Dodger hat and a couple Dodger shirts:

The players were cool, but we were less than 100 feet from Vin Scully!

On our fourth day, Logan finally got his first autograph, from Dodgers’ first-base coach (and former second baseman) Davey Lopes:

On Friday, Beth and the other two kids flew into town for a quick weekend visit. That night, we went to Chase Field for the United States’ first game of the World Baseball Classic, taking on the same Mexico team we had seen play the Dodgers a couple days earlier. It was basically a home game for Mexico — I’d estimate that 80% of the fans were rooting for the Mexican team — but it was a very fun environment to watch a game. There was a guy in the stands who is apparently famous, but I have no idea who he was. I just know that a ton of Mexican fans were getting their pictures taken with him. Here he is:

I used the panorama feature on my phone to take a picture of the stadium:

Then we spent Saturday visiting with cousins:

Sunday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel, did a little more visiting, and then headed home. Logan and I drove again (and I only got pulled over once!), and Beth and the other two kiddos flew home.

It was an amazing week, and like I said, it was one that neither Logan nor I will ever forget. I am so blessed to be his daddy, and I am so thankful that he and I got to share this experience.