I finagled exit row seats for us and let him enjoy some Dean Martin on my MP3 player and showed him the joys of noise canceling headphones on flights with children nearby. He had a very enjoyable 50 minute flight. We arrived in Phoenix around 8:30 and off to the rental place for the car. Phoenix has really got the who airport car rental thing worked out. One shuttle brings you to the complex and all the companies are in the same building about 5 miles from the airport. I pre-paid for everything using priceline, love that! They wanted $36 per day and I offered $16 and got it. I've done the same in Boston for $12.00 per day in the past. We had a choice of any car in the row and I looked quickly and said "that one". My father looked confused and said why that one. I replied it has no plates. It's brand new. Sure enough it was a 2008 Suburu Lagacy with less than 1,500 miles. Nice car! I pulled my pre-programmed GPS out of my bag and popped it on the dash and hooked up the MP3 player to the AUX jack and we pulled out of the garage with just a barcode swipe to the windshield to the car as we paused for the gate to raise. My Dad was getting a kick out of my road warrior ways of travel. I guess all the flights I've taken in the past have taught me to appear a little travel savey at least in my Dad's eyes. We went over to the Hotel to see Jen and drop of the burritos I had in my bag. I didn't get pictures of the contraband but trust me the smiles from the recipients was worth the effort. I removed the foil wrapper and left them wrapped in the white butcher paper and in two 1 gallon freezer bags. The salsa cups even made it through the inspection in the FAA TSA approved less than 3 oz marked cups. I had enough electronic gear to keep them busy. The burritos never were questioned. I would have just checked the bag and hoped for the best otherwise.
Quick breakfast at Mc Donalds and it was off to the fields to see the 1st of 3 games for Saturday. The handy dandy GPS even told us the nearest food place and how to get there, isn't technology is grand?
Even the parking lot was pure softball, check out the decals. The first team drove in from Las Vegas. The second Team was a local Phoenix team.
Jen plays on a Varsity High School team and this tournament was for Travel teams. If you don't know know travel ball, they try out for the team and it's parent sponsored. They pick and choose the players very carefully and the better teams have the best pick of the quality players. Everyone want to play for the best team but they choose you to play with them if you fill a need they have. Jen's team uses this as a way to face better teams than they normally see and to get ready for the regular season that begins in early spring. They build continuity and enjoy the time even though they are playing a bunch of all star caliber teams. They lost the 3 games we watched but they were playing with 15 and 16 year old girls against mostly 18 year olds. I was happy to see the fun of playing was strong despite facing such impressive players. They played their first game with the 3rd best pitcher because the 1st was taking her SAT exams and the second was injured. I was proud to watch them fight what they knew was an uphill battle that first game.
Here is Jen warming up just prior to the first pitch with a wonderful throw down to 2nd base. Right on the bag.
The 1st string pitcher made it for the second game and warms up with Jen with some help from the coaching staff. They have a Lady manager who keeps the egos in check and it looks like they have fun when they have down time. look at the girls in the back ground relaxing after running drills for an hour.
Just prior to the 2nd game the ladies keeping loose and having fun. Jen is in the middle with the leg gaurds on.
I loved this girl. Always smiling and got on base a few times. But check out the lavender batting gloves!
Watching the game prior to their 2nd game, the sun sets and all you can say is WOW. This lady was pitching 58 MPH from 40 feet away. that's like a 90+ MPH baseball. but the movement is much more extreme. Screwball, curveball, rise ball, drop ball, fastball and change up. Not the easiest thing to hit.
After the third game it was almost 10:30 and we went back to the room for some well deserved down time and up for the next morning. We didn't get to watch the Sunday game but I talked to them after I got home and she had a good game. Nobody steals on her and I watched her pick off 3 runners who led off to far and she threw behind them to pick them off. Dad was proud.
Sunday Morning before I had to take my dad back to the airport and head home. 11:00 AM 66 deg and she was cold. I was feeling good because it was 95 on Saturday. They had snow in flagstaff Sunday, where they live and I know they were looking forward to the cooler weather I guess the J-lo glasses are in style because I saw Them everywhere.
Flight back was a little bumpy but We made it home safe and sound. Even finished a rug square on the flight home. Good news is that I'm having the kids fly home for the Hollidays one at a time. It's nice to have the 2nd bedroom.