Spring Training 2012: Day One

closeHey, just so you know ... this post is now about 6 years and 2 months old. Please keep that in mind as it very well may contain broken links and/or outdated information.

It’s (almost the end of) March, which means it’s time for my annual trip out west to Arizona. My brother and I are going a little later in the season this year and also bringing some other people along: his wife, our sister, and my daughter.

The tech arsenal for this trip is pretty much the same as past years: my iPhone (the new 4S instead of the old 3GS), iPad (no Bluetooth keyboard this time), Garmin nüvi (loaded with pertinent waypoints), and new camera. I also ditched the iPad camera connection kit since I now have the Eye-Fi card to wirelessly offload photos from my camera to the iPad.

Anyway, it’s time to see some Cactus League baseball!

5:50am (EDT): my daughter and I are at the airport, checking our bag at the ticket counter.

6:15: we’re through security and waiting at our gate. Even had time to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks. No problems with crowds or lines so far, considering it’s a Monday morning.

8:30am (MST): no problems with the flight and we’ve landed 30 minutes early at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport!

9:15am: ugh, we’re still sitting on the tarmac waiting to deplane! Apparently we arrived at “rush hour” and there are no open gates for us.

9:30am: we’re finally off the plane and in the terminal. So we landed 30 minutes early and then spent an hour sitting on the ground and ended up being 25 minutes late! We still have to wait for the rest of our party to arrive on their own flights, though, so it’s not a big deal, except for the inconvenience.

10:20am: we met up with my sister in the terminal (she was stuck on her plane for an hour too!), retrieved our luggage at baggage claim, and are now on the rental car shuttle. My brother and sister-in-law came into a different terminal and will meet us at the rental car center.

11:30am: we’re at Goodyear Ballpark, spring home of our Cleveland Indians.

1:05pm: My daughter got autographs from Luke Carlin (C, #45) and Matt LaPorta (1B/LF, #7) outside the team shop then we grabbed some food and are in our seats behind home plate (in the sun). The weather is fantastic, let’s play ball!

3:30pm: they tried to stage a comeback near the end but the Indians lost to the visiting Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 6-5. 🙁 Being here on a Monday is definitely different … the stadium was almost empty, not crowded at all.

4:45pm: we’re finally checked into our hotel in Tempe, across from the Arizona Mills outlet mall. We’ve had our first real problem of the trip. Upon arriving, the front desk clerk told us that the room type we reserved (a two queen-bed suite) wasn’t available for our first night so they would put us into a standard two queen-bed room and then move us into the proper room tomorrow. We have 5 people, though, and needed the two beds plus the sofabed in the suite, which the standard room didn’t have and there was no room for a rollaway. After some finagling, the clerk agreed to give us a second room for the first night. One of the rooms was terrible: it was on the first floor near the pool (so it was loud), no alarm clock, the smoke detector was missing (just a hole in the ceiling), and it would always take several tries with the key to get the door open (“our key machine is just janky, we’re getting a new one tomorrow” was the excuse). At least we’re only sleeping here … and we can get complimentary rags at the front desk! 😮

6:00pm: for dinner we drove out to the Mill Avenue District in Tempe and went to ZTejas, which was great.

7:30pm: after dinner we walked around the area for a bit checking out the other shops and restaurants.

8:50pm: back at the hotel, it’s time for bed! It’s midnight back home and we’ve been up since 4:45am EDT.

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