This was my second trip to Arizona for Spring Training. My first trip was in 2008 - though that one was a longer trip with more ballgames. Ken went once before that, too. But this trip was a short one - one game. We took a half day at work on Friday and drove out to the airport for a 3pm flight to Phoenix. We got to the airport early so we did what many would do....
We enjoyed a Bloody Mary and a Guinness...
The flight down was uneventful with some beautiful views. I snapped a couple pictures when I realized I could see Half Dome.
Just over the engine that's Half Dome
Here's a closeup
Greg and Yolanda picked us up in the South Arrivals area (Greg had many years experience driving around Phoenix Airport - Yolanda flew out of PHX while they lived in Arizona - so he knew exactly where to send us for the easiest pickup.) It got a bit surreal then however, because while we were leaving the Arrivals area we noticed a lot of police cars. And I mean 15+ cars - with whole sections of the roads blocked off and cops milling around everywhere. We were looking around trying to see what was going on (Greg was being a good driver and not rubber-necking while the rest of us craned our necks) when we spotted the body (mostly covered by a blue tarp) in the middle of the road. We found out later that it was a suicide - jumped from an upper floor. Sigh.
But on a happier note we had no issues getting to the hotel and we met Mom and Dad there and the six of us went to dinner at the Italian restaurant next door. I wish I could remember the name of the place so I could warn people away. But it's one less thing to clutter my memory. Suffice it to say the service was awful and the food mediocre, at best. But the company was great!
Saturday we managed to fit in a visit to Sheplers - a very large Western Wear store in Phoenix (Mesa technically).
Dad's on his way to the Men's section
I'd never heard of it before, though when I Googled it I found out there is one in Reno.....guess I know where I'm going in July! Greg and Yolanda passed on the shopping opportunity but Mom, Dad, Ken and I spent about an hour there. (And yep - I was still able to fit all my purchases in the same single carry-on suitcase we came down with.)
From Sheplers we drove over to Greg and Yolanda's hotel. Greg had brought a six pack of VB back from Australia so of course a few had to be enjoyed before we walked over to the ballpark....
Like my Bundy (Rum) it is something we have only gotten when someone is kind enough to bring it in their luggage. Greg and Yolanda were kind enough - we each got our favorite Australian beverage this trip!
When we got to the stadium we had to take this photo op.
The Giants were playing the Milwaukee Brewers and we missed Posey's start by one day. But we still were able to see a great game. (My favorite kind - high scoring with the Giants winning!)
Zito pitching - check out that arm flex...
In the 5th Inning Ken and I walked over to see Jeff and Marcia and Christopher but we missed Jeff and Christopher - they'd headed back to the hotel pool - so we invited Marcia and her friends over into the empty seats next to us.
Kathy Ken and Marcia - isn't it fun to see someone from home when you're out of state?!
Dad, Mom, Greg, Yolanda, me and Ken on a beautiful Spring day in Scottsdale
We watched three home runs (I'm not counting the one for the Brewers) - two by Tommy Joseph (? - maybe one day I'll look back and say "I saw him when") and one by The Panda (Pablo Sandoval) - and numerous hits. Final score Giants 13 Brewers 3! Go Giants!
I managed to video Pablo's home run - First baseman didn't move and it sailed FAR over the right field wall/patio.
After the game was over we went back to Greg and Yolanda's hotel room (there were still some VBs left) then we walked around Old Town Scottsdale for a couple hours. I had a minor heart attack shortly after entering the first store. I spotted some Ariat shoes (some of my favorite) and got totally distracted looking through them. When I didn't see anything I liked I left the area then did one of those "pat my side to feel my purse" moves and realized I didn't have it! I frantically looked around for where I put it down and didn't see it anywhere! (I was using my camera bag as a purse) I went to the counter to ask if anyone turned it in - Ha. Not likely. I told Ken and we went back to the car to see if I'd left it there. Nope. I knew I had it when I left the stadium because I took a picture of the men walking ahead of us. But I couldn't remember for sure when I'd had it last after that. Greg was great and offered to go to the hotel to check if I'd left it in their room. I swear he was only gone 5 minutes when he called me to say he was back and had my bag!!!! Yay! Now I could spend the rest of the evening not worrying. And yep - I "celebrated" by buying a beautiful Silver necklace inlaid with Jasper and Onyx (of a horse head, naturally).
While Mom and I were in the jewelry store Ken, Dad, Greg and Yolanda stopped at one of the restaurants that had a bar and the games on TV. From there Greg and Yolanda and Ken and I walked to the Old Tortilla Factory (about 5 blocks) while Mom and Dad went back for the car (so we wouldn't have to walk 10 blocks after dinner). On our walk we saw the fire department putting a fire out...
At the Old Town Tortilla Factory we enjoyed appetizers on the patio followed by an excellent dinner in the dining room. 100% better than Friday night's dinner.
...in a 1962 Impala.
Sunday Ken and I had a 1pm flight so everyone got together at 9:45 for brunch at The Good Egg. Another tasty meal. We were sad to say bye, knowing Greg and Yolanda were flying back to Australia on Monday and we wouldn't see Mom and Dad until May when they come up before their cruise.
And it was hardly marred by the plane troubles we had in Phoenix. We spent an hour on a hot airplane waiting while they tried (unsuccessfully) to fix the air conditioner. They let us fly to Sacramento on the plane, even though there was only one working air conditioner (let me tell you that ISN'T enough to even put a dent in the heat). So we were grateful to get to Sacramento only an hour late. It could have been much worse.
Overall it was an awesome weekend in Arizona with family!
And for those of you who know my Dad and Brother - let me leave you with this eye-searing photo taken in the Giants Dugout Store (and no, they didn't make a purchase!)