Itinerary: That’s a Lot of Baseball, 17 – 27 March 2016

Thanks to two credit card sign-ups with Southwest, my US baseball plan will be funded by my stash of Southwest points. Beyond that, I also earned the very lucrative Southwest Companion Pass on 02 February, giving me the privilege of taking someone with me for free (well, just the $5.60 security fee and international taxes) from 2016 – 2017.

I have a rather weird itinerary for this trip, because my partner wants to visit his grandparents in El Centro, and he wants to watch the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in his hometown of Mexicali.

17 Mar: Seattle – San Diego – El Centro

18 Mar: El Centro – Mexicali – El Centro

19 Mar: El Centro – San Diego

20 Mar: San Diego – Houston – San Jose, Costa Rica

21 Mar: San Jose, Costa Rica

22 Mar: San Jose, Costa Rica

23 Mar: San Jose, Costa Rica – Houston – Albuquerque

24 Mar: Albuquerque

25 Mar: Albuquerque – Phoenix

26 Mar: Phoenix

27 Mar: Phoenix – Seattle


USA – Peoria, Arizona, 20 March 2011

So, what could be so compelling, that I will drive more than five hours to the Grand Canyon, only to spend 1.5 hours there, and not a second more?

Baseball. Mariners Spring training to the be specific. That was the highlight of my trip. People have commented on my obsession with baseball/softball. I guess they realized it way before I did myself. Yes. I am willing to fly more than 3 hours, and drive more than 10 hours to attend a 2 hour game that is of absolutely no consequence. That is the distance that I am willing to go for baseball.

Well, after heading north from Peoria and dropping off the two at Grand Canyon, I backtracked, and drove solo for five hours to go for the 1 pm game at Peoria, Arizona. Despite my frustration at finding the Peoria Sports Complex, it was definitely worth it. The drive was pretty interesting; I actually saw some pretty huge cactus! And ball game was worth it. I got the super cheap seats, and Erik Bedard took the mount today. He had his stuff, and whiffed the San Diego Padres. Also, cheap as my seats were, I was actually super close to the bullpen, and guys like Michael Pineda, David Aarsdma and Brandon League were hanging out in the bullpen, so I got pretty close to them! I didn’t get to stay to the end of the game, as I had to drive back to Grand Canyon to pick the two, and head back to Vegas, but well, at least when I was leaving, the Mariners were winning. (I checked the scores a couple of days later – they won! :))

Another semi-highlight of the Peoria part of the trip was trying In-&-Out Burger. It’s a super popular joint in the Southwest, and I guess, particularly California? I asked for advice from J about what to order, since he’s quite a fan of it. His suggestion was great! I had the double meat, animal style, and fries well done (something like that), which translates to double meat burger with grilled onions and mustard, and super crunchy fries.

‘Twas a good day. Gave me enough adrenaline for the crazy 8 hour drive back to Grand Canyon. On the way, we stopped by a KFC that actually had a buffet. It’s a same that the KFC buffet was over by the time we got there. But as it was 10 buck 10 piece Sunday, we got ourselves a huge bucket, and stuffed our faces. It was oddly satisfying. KFC really doesn’t taste as bad as everyone makes it out to be!

A nice day of spring training baseball at Peoria, AZ

Mariners Bullpen

In&Out Burger. Left: Double Meat, Animal Style; Right, Cheeseburger

USA – Las Vegas/Boulder City, Nevada to Grand Canyon/Flagstaff, Arizona, 19 March 2011

Long driving day, and we had a late start, as I needed to finish my assignment, oops! 😛

The main attraction of today’s trip was actually the Grand Canyon, but it involved quite a long trip, as I persuaded the other two to do a detour to the Hoover Dam, and we were spending the night at Flagstaff.

The drive to Hoover Dam was actually took quite a while. There was traffic going there, and getting parking there was tough (well, free parking anyway). But I think this piece of engineering marvel was not to be missed. If I don’t remember wrongly, this is a legacy of the Great Depression, whereby there were many mega construction projects to try and pump money into the US economy. It is also the raison d’etre of Las Vegas. Without irrigation, many of the places in desert Nevada would not have come into being. For popular culture reference, I think I was enraptured by it being featured in Transformers. It was definitely worth the detour.

After our brief stop at Hoover Dam, we pretty much drove straight for Grand Canyon. With my lead foot, we managed to arrive about 1.5 hours before closing. Thankfully, we were able to ditch the car, and take the shuttle buses that run around the Grand Canyon. The main thing I remember us doing (I kinda napped for most of the shuttle bus ride due to exhaustion) was us getting off at a look out point, and seeing the Canyon, which was made of many multi-coloured layered rocks. I guess it is some sort of geological feature. I thought it’d be interesting to see it from the bottom, but that was basically my only encounter with it – a grand total of 1.5 hrs (on my priorities in life, later).

Following the brief tour of the Grand Canyon, I drove for another 1.5 hours for the place we were going to room for the night – Flagstaff. I chose the spot, because it was nearish to the Grand Canyon and also near Peoria, my next destination. Also, I was attracted to its old-school charm, and its location on historic route 66. Sorry there were no pictures, as we arrived pretty late. But it had some old-school charm. Perhaps I’ll return some other day.

Hoover Dam – Powering the Area

My only photo of the Grand Canyon

US Spring Road Trip: Nevada, Arizona, California, 17-26 March 2011

Took a road trip during Spring break. Here’s the itinerary:

17 March 2011: Seattle, WA – Long Beach, CA – Las Vegas, NV

18 March 2011: Las Vegas, NV (Ski trip)

19 March 2011: Las Vegas, NV – Boulder City, NV – Grand Canyon, AZ – Flagstaff, AZ

20 March 2011: Flagstaff, AZ – Grand Canyon, AZ – Peoria, AZ – Grand Canyon, AZ – Las Vegas, NV

21 March 2011: Las Vegas, NV – Death Valley National Park, NV/CA – Las Vegas, NV

22 March 2011: Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA

23 March 2011: Manhattan Beach, CA

24 March 2011: Los Angeles, CA

25 March 2011: Santa Monica, CA

26 March 2011: Los Angeles, CA – Seattle, WA