Thursday -- the flight from Sacramento to Phoenix started out well. We knew that there had been rain over the Phoenix area. What we didn't know was that the folks there were going to actually shut down the place around the time we were ready to land. We circled the runway for a while. Then the pilot comes on the PA and tells us we're going to Las Vegas to refuel.
So we land in Vegas, refuel, and wait to hear from Phoenix that things have calmed down enough that they'll let the planes land. Meanwhile there's some bitchy woman in the back with her husband and kid complaining that she wants something to drink (insinuating that it should be something alcoholic) and blah blah blah. Finally we get the call that our window has opened up, so we go and sit in line out on the tarmac. The woman bitches some more. At some point, either she calls or has the flight attendant call 911 for who knows what reason. We have to go back to the gate so the medics can check the wanker out. She storms off the plane and, according to what I overheard from the flight attendant, refused medical attention. Thanks to her, we lose our place in line, lose the window in Phoenix and have to wait about another two hours to take off.
When we finally get in at about 7 (we were supposed to land at 3) it is pouring rain. Our checked luggage is soaked by the time it gets to us. We have to wait in line close to 45 minutes for our rental car. We sorta get lost on the way to the hotel because there's construction all over the place. When we make it there, it's raining even more. The rooms are suites but they're all accessed from outside staircases. We were all pretty much drenched by the time we hauled our baggage up to the third floor.
By that time it was around 9:45. The hotel stops room service at 9:30. After a little hysterical stressed-out screaming, we located a Domino's pizza. Bless you, Domino's delivery man.
Friday... not a whole lot to tell. We went to IHOP for breakfast and then went shopping; since our room was a suite with a kitchen and everything, we were able to get milk and some fruit and everything. Then we went to Pinnacle Peak Patio for dinner, which is a really fun place. If you wear a necktie they cut it off and staple it to the ceiling/wall. There are also business cards tacked up everywhere. And if you order a steak well-done, they bring you a boot on a plate. Also, they have awesome home-brewed root beer.
Saturday was our first game. Scottsdale Stadium is very nice, our seats were good... sadly, we lost, but that happens. Mark Sweeney did get a two-run homer. Right after the game there was a dinner over at one of the other hotels attendened by Mark Sweeney, Steve Kline, Bengie Molina, Barry Zito and Bruce Bochy. One of the coaches, Tim Flannery, and Dave Flemming, one of the local radio guys. It was pretty awesome... Sweeney, Molina and especially Kline were freakin' hysterical. We got signatures from the players and Flannery, and I got a picture with Kline. Will post those once they are developed - it was on a disposable camera. We were still kinda hungry later so we went down to Coco's for some pie. Pie!
Sunday we drove to Peoria for an away game against the Padres. And, well, lost again. Because this one relief pitcher completely sucked and blew 8 runs in 2/3 of an inning. I don't think they just sent him back to the minors... I think they sent him back to Japan or wherever he's from. Ouch. Anyway, we went to the Melting Pot for dinner - once we found it, they were in a different location and I had to call information to find the little buggers - and ate soooo much omg.
Monday (wow, was it just yesterday?) we went to our last game. It was the first actually Arizona-warm day and I got a bit of a tan, woohoo. I also got Omar Vizquel's autograph after stalking the dugout for about two hours. Plus I was like four feet away from Barry Bonds. I think the kids who were standing next to be just about wet themselves. We actually won this game (Matt Cain did a terrific job, and Randy Winn knocked in all three runs) so that was a nice way to end the trip. Plus the stuff in the team store was on sale cause this is the last week of spring training. The place we were going to go for dinner didn't open til 7 (7! Half of the residents of Scottsdale are in bed by then!) so we went to this place we had overheard some people talking about, Don and Charlie's. It's very cool, especially for baseball fans. Check out the virtual tour. We were back to the room in plenty of time to start packing up and, of course, watch 24.
So today it was just a matter of getting up, eating, packing, returning the rental, and going to the airport. Everything went fine there, only we were a little late taking off because of some maintenance paperwork issues. But hey, I have no problem them taking time making sure that the plane is flyable. There was also quite a bit of turbulence, but surprisingly I was able to just read for most of the flight. Not bad. No problems at the Sacramento airport, except we were all starved because the turbulence meant no drink/snack service. So we stopped at an IHOP off I-5 on the way out and ate. Everything came full circle!
With the exception of Thursday, the weather was beautiful and Arizona really is lovely. The room sort of sucked, but that's just one of those learning experiences things. Besides, there was free wireless so I was able to download the BSG finale and watch it while waiting at the Phoenix airport today (that's another post entirely). I did most of the navigating and... I did a good job! And my aunt will attest to that!