Friday, March 23, 2007

Road trip all done.

Eight days on the road and 2,500 miles later, we arrive back home in time for me to show up for a Basketball game tonight against Murphy’s Market. We only had 6 players so I had to play more than usual. Ron denHeyer (My 6’6” buddy who uses Kettle Bells for exercise) scored 37 points to lead us to a 100-81 win. Dave Norton scored 31. I had 5 points and was exhausted from the start.

Robin and I started last Thursday driving to Woodland so Robin could attend a seminar Friday, and I could hang with my buddy Brad and go to Wiener Works in Sactown. It is a must for the dog fans out there. (14” of heart plugging ecstasy with piles of chili cheese fries!)

On Saturday my sister Michelle and her Husband Patrick Dietler renewed their wedding vows (25 years together) in front of many relatives and friends. Kids galore! We all went to the Spaghetti Factory for a rowdy reception. It was great. Lots of family and love.

Sunday Robin and I were going to drive to San Diego before heading to Phoenix. The weather report was not good, so we decided to head straight to the desert. Nearly 12 hours later we made it. Robin grabbed a coupon book at one of the rest stops we were at and we called an 800 number for a Ramada motel for $59 with a hot breakfast. We upgraded a little but were surprised to find a nice room at a great centrally located area. And we are talking full hot breakfast buffet! Eggs, sausage, waffles, toast, fruit, drink the whole thing. We went to dinner that night at Lone Star Grill and had an outstanding meal.

On Monday, I checked on line for spring training tickets and was kind of sticker shocked. I told Robin I would take my chances at the box office or scalpers. We went to Phoenix Municipal Stadium to watch the A’s play the Padres and I could not see where to park to buy tickets. I double parked and Robin took over the wheel and I told her to drive around the block. I bought 2 great tickets for $20 a piece and went back to the corner to wait for Robin. I got an earful from one of Phoenix finest police officers about my illegal parking maneuver and he threatened me with a ticket. I asked him where I could have parked to avoid this, and he pointed to the handicap parking area. Wow. Not in California anymore. The A’s lost but we saw many hits and HR’s. Tons of fun, but it was way hot. At one time we registered 99 degrees on our cars temp gauge.

Tuesday we went to Surprise to watch the Giants play Texas. When we approached the box office, I asked a guy where could park to buy tickets and he showed us an easy access area. I was offered a ticket to buy from a scalper who must have been in his seventies. Kind of funny actually. Usually they are young guys out here. The parking was free in Surprise! They have a volunteer group of 6,000 people called the Sundancers who help in the area civically. They help at the park doing traffic control and act as greeters. We saw 5 home runs, one of them by Barry Bonds. But the Giants lost.

Wednesday we spent the day in Scottsdale checking out art and sculptures. Oh, and we spent some money out there. We did the touristy type stuff. They advertise free trolley rides and we checked out the schedule and the stops on a map. Robin and I stood where a stop was supposed to happen, and they drove right by. I went to another spot the map showed and waved for a trolley that was empty to stop. He waved me away and drove up the street. I waved Robin to follow me as I chased it down to the next stop, and finally saw the signs designating drop offs. We got on the trolley (Only ones on it) and got a drive and a half! This guy almost hit cars and stuff all over! And he was not following the maps layout! After riding a few blocks he pulled over and said “I am taking 6 minutes off now.” The trolley in front of him was pulled over and a lady came over to BS with the guy. Another person came up and asked where the first trolley was going, and it was not the same way we were heading. Weird stuff. Our trolley ended up reversing our path and ending where we started. We jumped off a very bizarre trip. We went to lunch at the Red Tomato salad bar buffet and it was way good! That night we watched the A’s play the Royals in Surprise. We had lawn tickets and it was a great game. The A’s won 11-10 and Mike Piazza and Nick Swisher hit HR’s.

Thursday morning the weather turned bad. When we left it was raining and thunderstorms lighted the valley of the sun. It rained pretty good nearly to the California border. Robin is the consummate traveler. We drove over 750 miles with only breaks to gas up. She read and I listened to talk radio. We finished the trip today.

Can’t wait until we get to go next year!


Anonymous said...

Those coupon books can really be handy if you are traveling on their big discount days. I joined Trip Rewards club that honors nights at various hotel/motels and $$ spent at some restaurants and businesses. After so many points, I get a free night at one of the hotel/motels.

We usually travel a lot of miles per day also and stop at Costco for gas whenever we can.

Sounds like you had a great time.

Anonymous said...

Red Tomato? Are you sure it wasn't Sweet Tomato AKA Soup Plantation? Do you ever want to move out of Humboldt after taking trips like these? One trip to San Diego in 95 convinced me to make my Great Escape!

Anonymous said...

I made a Great Escape from San Diego. Too much traffic for me. Still go there at times and still don't like the traffic. Good weather if you live close to the beach. With their water issues, don't know what they will be drinking next. Treated sewer water? desalinated?

Fred said...

8:30 wrote [about Trip Rewards], "After so many points, I get a free night at one of the hotel/motels.".

Have you ever tried to figure out how many paid hotel nights you have to make to get one free night? It's a sizeable amount, although I forget just how many it is.

Nonetheless, I still use my Trip Rewards card. Doesn't cost anything for the card itself. I might get a free stay, assuming I live long enough.

samoasoftball said...

9:12-It may have well been the Sweet Tomato.

Fred-I should probably look into a rewards card.