SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was hoping to see a World Series trophy hoisted in October at Globe Life Park.
Instead he had to settle for such mundane sites as the Mona Lisa, Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum, but that's what you do when your season comes to an end sooner than expected.
You take your family on a two-week European vacation to Madrid, Paris and Italy. On the day the Mets and the Royals opened the World Series, Andrus and his girlfriend Cori Febles were having their picture taken in front of St. Peter's Basilica.
"It was an amazing trip," Andrus said. "It was the key to forgetting what happened. Just go away and get away from it all and relax. Don't think about anything or baseball."
Don't worry. Andrus would not have been in Rome if the Rangers had been in the World Series.
"We were planning to go in November," Andrus said. "But when we lost, I decided to move it up."
That turned out to be a good thing because the original itinerary had Andrus and his family being in Paris on Nov. 13. That was the night when a series of terrorist attacks in Paris left 130 people dead. The bombings and shootings took place in cafes, restaurants and a music venue in a part of the city where Andrus and his family had been a few weeks before.
"We walked all through there," Andrus said. "My girlfriend called me right away, she was crying and telling me what happened. I was like, 'Wow!' It was a good thing that we went when we did."
Andrus and his traveling companions found enough excitement in things like having Sangria and pork at Sobrino de Botin in Madrid, the oldest restaurant in the world, or dining at Le Jules Verne on the second level of the Eiffel Tower.
"This was my second time in Paris, but the first time all I saw was the Eiffel Tower," Andrus said. "This time I wanted to see everything. The view of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower was unbelievable.
High on the list of things to see was the Louvre Museum, starring the Mona Lisa.
"The Mona Lisa was amazing," Andrus said. "It was really far away and inside bullet-proof glass, but it was really amazing to see a piece of history like that."
After Paris came Venice and a nice cruise down the Grand Canal in a gondola. Then it was off to Pisa, Florence and finally the Eternal City.
"That's where we spent the most time in Rome," Andrus said. "Our hotel was near the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, everything."
The highlight for Andrus was being able to take his mother Elvia to see the Vatican.
"It was a dream come true to be able to take my mother to the Vatican," Andrus said. "We are Catholic, and she always talked about being able to go to Rome and see the Vatican. She was walking around buying coins and stamps and everything. To be able to finally do that for her was a real blessing. To me that was what was most special."
He also didn't have to worry about answering any questions about baseball.
"Nobody recognized me," Andrus said. "I saw one guy in Rome wearing a baseball cap, but it was the Yankees. In France, nobody wore a baseball cap. They aren't going to recognize you unless you're Derek Jeter, Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera. That's just the way I like it.