Wild Wild West…The Phoenix trip

I’ve been home for a week now so I figure it is about damn time I got around to finally writing this blog…not that anyone cares since no one asked for it

We had to leave at 4 am on Friday the 16th in order to get to O’Hare on time for the flight.  We never fly out of O’Hare because we hate it compared to Midway.  This trip would just reinforce those feelings.  It was -25 degrees when we left DeKalb…that is the regular temperature…not the wind chill.  It was f’n cold and I couldn’t wait to get onto the plane and get to Phoenix.  We got to the airport early and got our boarding passes.  It was then time to go thru airport security.

I had to take off my hoodie because I could have bombs strapped to me that the metal detector and such won’t pick up.  Stacy had to put her purse into my backbag because we had to have everything down in the carry on luggage and personal item to go thru security.  That was a first and we were annoyed that it had to be done that way.  We had to ask for our tickets to be changed so we could sit together since I used my credit card points to get my ticket and the TNT group that she was doing the half marathon with got hers.  Stacy had to “sign in” with the group leader at the gate and get her information for the race.  Since this was Stacy’s first race with the group, they shunned her.  They all stayed together in their little clique and didn’t so much as say boo to Stacy.  Even the leader had the social skills of a cockroach.  We could tell that it was going to be a fun trip with these people especially after all the troubles Stacy had with getting them to count her fundraising correctly.  We finally board the plane and our seats are the very last row of the plane.  Fun times!

We land in Phoenix around 10 am local time and it was 75 degrees outside…100 degrees warmer than when we left DeKalb!  We go and get the rental car, a light blue PT Cruiser.  PT Cruisers suck or at least the two we’ve ended up with as rentals suck.  Piss poor turn radius and absolutely no pick up when you step down on the gas.  Stay away from rental PT Cruisers.  We get to the Sheraton and go to check in but the lines are looooooooooong since every state’s TNT team is staying there.  BTW – TNT is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Team In Training charity group that fundraise A LOT of money to do these marathons/half marathons and there are a lot of people on those teams.  We take our bags to the room and then go to eat some lunch since we were starved.  We went to Hooters (I have an awesome fiancee.)  We then went back to the hotel to take a nap.

We got up from the nap and went to the Expo so Stacy could check in and pick up her race stuff.  The expo was much better than others we have went to in the past for these races.  We missed Shawn Johnson (Olympic female gymnast) who made an appearance.  We got a lot of free samples of stuff and picked up information for the other races for this year.  There was an Arizona State University table at the expo so I took a picture of it and sent it to Sox since he went to Arizona.  He texted back a very hateful message!

We then went to the Subway across the street from the hotel for supper and went to the movie theater next door to watch Bride Wars since Stacy had a coupon for two free tickets for it.  It had some funny moments in it and was definitely worth the price of free admission 🙂  It was then bed time so we could recharge and be ready for a fun Saturday.

Saturday started off by talking to Ian on the phone about the IWA show that I was missing that night.  He told me that Mike Burns (owner of Smart Mark Video) was in Phoenix to run the full marathon and we thought that was funny that we were both in Phoenix at the same time.  I called Burns and talked to him for a few mintues.  Stacy and I then went down to the pool.  The pool wasn’t much fun as there were a lot of people just sitting in the sun.  We were one of the only ones to get into the pool.  Once we got in, then it started to fill up with people and we decided to hell with the pool.  We got changed and went for a walk.

We found out that there was a TGIFridays inside the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball stadium so we walked there for lunch.

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The TGIFridays was not prepared for 40,000 racers to be next door to them looking for food.  They only had like 2 waitresses on duty.  It turned into an hour wait for a table but we could go sit in the outfield while we waited so we did.  There was a monster truck rally the next weekend so they were already prepared for that event:

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We finally got a table but that didn’t mean we were any closer to eating.  It took forever for to place the order and get the food.  So we took more pictures:

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We finally ate and left after about a total of 2 1/2 hours of being there.  It was less than 2 hours until the all you can eat pasta supper we were supposed to go to for all the TNT people.  We hadn’t heard one word from any of them since getting the packet at O’Hare airport over 30 hours earlier so we decided to go for a walk and see what we could find.  If we made the supper fine but if not, fuck em.

We found Alice Cooper’s sports bar while walking towards the Phoenix Suns basketball arena.

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We then found former Phoenix Suns player Dan Majerle’s sports bar:

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We continued walking and went to the Church of Scientology that we saw on our way to the hotel the day before.  I had expressed my disappointment that they didn’t have a couch outside so I could jump up on it and make an ass out of myself like Tom Cruise did on Oprah.  Well I found a boulder to climb up on and do it instead:

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Cars were driving past and pointing and laughing their asses off and honking their horns.  I was satisfied.  We walked around the corner and saw that they were having free personality tests for the scientologists.  I knew without taking the test they would find me to be an asshole.

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We then continued our walk and ended up at a grocery store so Stacy could get some Propel water and some sinus drugs so she would be prepared for the race the next day.  I then spotted a Whataburger from about 8 blocks away and decided that the month that had passed since my last hamburger was enough so we went to Whataburger for supper.  I was very pleased that I wasn’t hurting afterwards so now I know that I don’t have to give up cheeseburgers and steaks forever…just for large amounts of time.  We decided to head back to the hotel.

We got back to the hotel and flipped channels and there was nothing on.  We checked the PPV service at the hotel and they were advertising a porn knockoff of Indiana Jones called Carolina Jones.  We decided to watch that.  They tried to make it an actual movie but it was ridiculous.  After watching porn for awhile (they had so many titles to choose from…the scariest of which were a series of movies about having sex with mother and daughter), we then watch Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back.  I had seen the end but not the whole movie.  Fantastic stuff.  Still my all time favorite ending to a movie ever.  It was then time to go to bed so we could get up in time for the race in the morning.

The TNT people wanted Stacy to leave with them at 6:15 and stand around the start line for over 2 hours before the race started.  Fuck that so we woke up at 6:30 and got ready.  I drove Stacy to the start line and dropped her off still with almost half an hour to spare before the start.  I then went back to the hotel to clean up and get ready to go to the finish line to wait for Stacy.

I got lost and found the Angels spring training stadium.

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I then found the right Devil Stadium and parked and walked to the finish line.

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I tried to wait over by the marathon finish to try to see Mike Burns finish because he was going to finish his race before Stacy finished hers (Burns runs the marathon, Stacy walks the half and she started 90 minutes later than Burns did.)  I was going to start a “Smart Mark Video” chant as he approached the finish line but I couldn’t get a good spot and grew tired of waiting (I should have stayed at the hotel much longer than I did but I didn’t know what traffic would be like getting to the finish line.)  So I went and sat down by the half marathon’s finish line and waiting to hear from Stacy.  I watched several people get carted away on stretchers to nearby ambulances due to heat exhaustion.  It was about 20 degrees warmer than normal in Phoenix that day.  Stacy was ill prepared for the heat as well and it started to get to her.  Having a severe cold that I gave her didn’t help matters at all either.  Her herniated disc in her back started to act up as well.  She toughed it out and crossed the finish line but they had run out of medals for the half marathon.  Over 10,000 people that had signed up for the marathon switched to the half marathon at the last minute because they didn’t want to miss the Cardinals vs. Eagles in the NFC Championship.  Stacy was upset, tired, sore and sick.  She made it to a spot to sit down and did.  Her foot then started to hellaspasm due to her back and she couldn’t sit, stand or walk.  She told me that she had to “sign out” at the TNT tent which was like 1/4 mile in the opposite direction of where we were and where we needed to go to get back to the car.  I had to park a mile away from the finish.  She had just walked 13.1 miles and wasn’t in any condition to go to the TNT tent and then to the car.  I went to go sign her out myself.  They copped an attitude and told me that she had to do it herself and that she HAD to do it.  If my six months were already up, I would have yanked them over the table and curb stomped them.  Instead, I told them they could sit there and wait a long ass time before she came to them to sign out.  I hope their asses are still sitting there with their thumbs up their ass waiting because I gathered up Stacy and went back to the car.

We went back to the hotel and I finished watching the football game.  The Cardinals radio broadcasters are the worst announcers I have ever heard.  Hands down.  They almost made me a Philly fan but that would require a larger miracle than bad announcers.  We had run out of toliet paper by this point so I had to try to find some more.  There was a Mexican housekeeper in the hallway.  I tried to tell her that I needed more toliet paper.  She couldn’t understand what toliet paper meant.  She kept saying “toalla” which I remembered was towel.  I said no and repeated toliet paper hoping that with towel out of play that she would by process of elimination get what I was saying.  She again said “toalla?”  So I was forced to do the only thing left that I could think of.  I mock wiped my ass and then she got it.

I have a very strong feeling in my heart that these bastards know exactly what we are saying to them but pull that stuff just to see what ridiculous lengths we have to go to to get them to understand us.

We finished the night by ordering Pizza Hut and watching Showtime.  Their shows suck.  We were not impressed with the end of The L Word nor the new show United States of Tara nor with the Call Girl show.

Monday we went and ate at Alice Cooper’s restaurant and it was awesome.  The best celebrity place I’ve been to.  Better than Harry Caray’s, Michael Jordan’s, Toby Keith’s and all the Hard Rock and Planet Hollywoods that we have been to.

We then went for a drive to Camelback Mountain to take in some more scenery.  We passed a Jewish protest against Hamas and had to take a picture just to entice some kind of response from Sox.

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We drove around and found a bunch of mansions.  We drove through the neighborhoods looking at all of them that were for sale.  We found one that had a brochure and it was $4.25 million and it was the worst one that we saw for sale.  We had fun daydreaming about our retirement or just a winter home to get away from the subzero temps here.  We then had to go back to the airport to return home.

Overall it was a fantastic trip and a lot of fun.  I see Phoenix becoming a regular stop for us in the future especially since they have the PF Changs Rock N Roll Half Marathon every year right around Stacy’s birthday.


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