Spring Training

Back to the Tempe Elks

Before I left Yuma I called Liam, the camp host of the Tempe Elks Lodge.  He assured me that there was a spot available.   This is the 2nd year I will be staying there.  It is convenient for a few games and is in a location I am familiar with.  Plus the fact that there is full hookups will really make it comfortable in the heat.  So off we went.

It only took a few hours to get there and when I did I looked up Liam.  I mentioned that I had parked last year in the space right behind his rig.  However this year he said my rig would be hanging out too far and wouldn’t let me stay there.  There didn’t seem to be any other space available so i started looking on my GPS for other campgrounds nearby.  Then Liam came running over and said he had a space for me.  The guy on the end space was moving so I was able to take his spot.

After parking I went into the lodge, enjoyed a beer and paid for 9 days at $20 per day.  My son Curt will be flying in on Thursday so I will have a few days to myself to do laundry, shopping, etc.

Happy Saint Paddys Day

The Elks Lodge was having a Saint Patricks Day dinner so I planned to go to that.  Of course I had to have a couple of Guiness to start off the celebration then I had a delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner.  It was one of the best I have ever had or was it the Guiness talking to me.  HA!

I was checking out my email on my iPhone when I realized that Barb and Chuck (my friends from my Amazon days) were in the area.  I called them and low and behold they were in Mesa just a hop, skip and jump from me.  So off I headed to Mesa to meet them at an Irish Pub.  It was great seeing them again and we had a lot of catching up to do.  Then we were going to another place they had mentioned and in the process of driving over there my car started to die on me.  Fortunately we were stopped at a light and I was able to get there attention.  Chuck and I pushed the car through the light and into a parking lot where I called Coach Net to get a tow back to the Elks Lodge.

Within an hour the tow truck was there and I was on my way back to the Elks with my broken down car.  I knew what the problem was since I had the same problem in Fernley when I was there.  ALTERNATOR!!!  I had my alternator changed twice while in Fernley.  The first time the alternator was defective and they replaced it again.  It has only been in the car for a few months and now is bad for the third time.

I wasn’t sure what to do with the car in the morning.  I looked on Yelp and low and behold there was an 5 star auto repair joint just 2 blocks away.  I walked down there to see when they could get to it.  They were very busy but would try to fit me in on Thursday.

So now I am without a car and my son was flying in on Thursday.  I decided to call Enterprise to see about renting a car for a couple of days.  I also contacted my son and told him to take a shuttle to the Elks Lodge as I wouldn’t get the car for a couple of hours. Then Gene’s Auto Worx called me and said it was the alternator and they would tune it up as well.  They said it would be done in the afternoon.  First I have 0 cars in the morning and now I have 2 cars in the afternoon.  DUH!  I called Gene’s back and asked them if they could hold the car until tomorrow after I return the rental car.  What a day!

Our Annual Spring Training Get-to-gether

This is the 2nd annual spring training we have planned.  We will be going to 2 baseball games and a hockey game.  The first baseball game was in Glendale which is way on the other side of Phoenix about 25 miles from the Elks.  We saw the Angels play the Indians at Goodyear Ball Park.

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The two best players on the Angels.  Mike Trout at bat and Albert Pujols in the on deck circle.

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Two of the best fans during Spring Training.

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The hockey game was also 25+ miles from home so we did a lot of driving on those days.  We also wanted to see the new Cubs ballpark in Mesa which wasn’t as far.

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Here are these same two goofy fans.  HA!

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CHA CHING!!!

Before we went to the first game we stopped by Arizona Casino to try our luck.  I was lucky right from the start.  I put $40 in a slot machine and won $90, then ran it up to $140.  Then I tried my luck at a progressive machine and low and behold I hit a jackpot of $522.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have never been lucky before except in small amounts.  I immediately cashed out and called it quits.

The ballgame was fun especially since the Angles trounced the Indians.  Lots of action and in one inning the Angels had 4 triples.  WOW!  The hockey game was very exciting and lot of noise.  It was a great time.  Our last game was a Padres/Cubs game at the new ballpark in Mesa they built for the Cubs.  A great park and another fun game.

We went to a Gordon Biersch Brewery where we had ate last year as well and sat on the balcony overlooking downtown Tempe.  It was a great dinner and capped of our 2nd annual spring training.  We are already making plans for the 3rd annual and discussed some options like different ball parks.

Back to Yuma

I was going to leave on the 24th and head to Yuma to exchange my hearing aids for a set that comes with rechargeable batteries.  I don’t want the hassle of buying batteries all the time.

When I got to Yuma I had a big surprise.  I pulled in the Casino parking lot right across from Chris.  He had just returned from a few weeks in Mexico and we had a lot to talk about.

Later in the afternoon Debby and Kim picked us up and we went to the Elks for a great dinner and lots of catching up with what everyone was doing.  It was a great time, but unfortunately didn’t get any pics.

Back to California

After picking up my hearing aid charger I made a beeline to the Oceanside Elks in Oceanside, CA  I will be here for several weeks to take care of business and just plain relax by the ocean.

More to come later.

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Spring Training Weekend – Part 2

Off to a Hockey Game

After seeing the Angels practice we stopped and got all the fixin’s so that we could have a barbeque.  We happened to be talking about hockey and Curt did some investigating on his IPad.  He found that the Phoenix Coyotes were playing the Calgary Flames in Phoenix that night.

He purchased the tickets and after a great steak dinner we were off to the game.  I haven’t been to a hockey game in years so it was a real treat for me.  The traffic wasn’t bad until we got near the off ramp where it seems that in another stadium they were holding a concert.  What a traffic jam.  However we were just a bit late for the game and just as we were climbing the stairs the noise level increased and we realized the Coyotes had just scored a goal.  What luck.  Fortunately the game didn’t end at 1-0.

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It was a good game and the Phoenix Coyotes won 3-2.  Here we are at the game.

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 We were busy all day with both baseball and hockey.  How good is that!!!

Busy Bees

Sunday we had tickets for the Angels vs the Mariners game.  We had a light breakfast and headed over to the ball park so we could get to see batting practice.  As we walked up to the front of Diablo Stadium the crowd was waiting at the top of the steps for the gates to open.  All of a sudden the police were forcing the crowd down to the lower steps.  What the heck is going on?

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It seems they located a bee hive that was in the stands.  The fire department had to come out and spray it down to get rid of the bees.  Then they let the crowd back up the steps but they didn’t open the turnstiles yet.  So there we were packed in like sardines with the hot sun drenching down on us and no where to go.

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We finally got into the park and all was well on the western front.  We had great seats just behind and to the left of home plate.

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It was a good ball game although the Angels lost to the Mariners 5-3.  Over the entire weekend the baseball teams we were rooting for both lost and the hockey team won.  I guess one out of three isn’t too bad, but it is Spring Training.

Then we went back to the rig where we had another barbeque and watched a movie.  Then at 11:30pm it was off to the Sky Harbor Airport.  Fortunately it was only a few miles away and there was no traffic at that time of the night.

Great weekend

It was really great getting together with my son Curt for the weekend.  We both love sports and seeing games and it was really a fantastic weekend.  I would like to make this a tradition and get together for Spring Training next year if possible.

Spring Training Weekend – Part 1

Lucky to land a space at the Elks Lodge

I left Hot Springs LTVA Wednesday and traveled to Tempe, AZ.  I used the Allstays App on my IPhone and found an Elks Lodge in close proximity to Sky Harbor Airport where I will be picking up my son Curt.  He is flying in late Thursday (actually Friday) and leaving late Sunday (actually Monday).  He will be staying with me as we attend a couple of Spring Training Baseball games.

The Elks Lodge is also close to the Tempe Diablo Stadium where we will see the Angles on Sunday.  I was sure lucky to get a space as I got the last space available when I checked in.  I plan to stay here for 7 days before heading back to Yuma to have Chica’s teeth cleaned.

I am in the last row.  It is a fairly large park with 26 full hook-up sites.

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The only bummer is the Animal Hospital and Kennel that is located on the other side of the block fence surrounding the park.  The dogs start barking at 6:00 in the morning and hardly ever let up all day and late into the night.  However we have gotten used to it and it hardly phases Chica anymore.

Here is Chica basking in the sun on our new flooring as a hundred dogs are barking only 50 feet away.

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Goodyear Ball Park

We hung out on Friday and did some shopping and a lot of catching up since we last saw each other.  It was sure great to see my son again and spend some time with him.  Friday evening we saw the Texas Rangers vs. Cincinnati Reds ball game.  It took place in Goodyear, AZ which is on the other side of Phoenix.  We left early as it was Friday during rush hour traffic.

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Here is a selfie I took of us at the ball game.

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We were lucky that they had $1 beer night except it was a bit chilly so we only had one each.

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Angels Batting Practice

While out shopping on Friday I decided to head over to the Tempe Diablo stadium where the Angels would be playing on Sunday.  We were able to get into the stadium since there was no game and the guy in the Team Shop told us to return tomorrow about 10:30am and we could see the Angels practice out in the field.

We got up early (sure can’t sleep with all the noise from the dog kennel next door) and headed to the park.  It was very cool.  You can get very close up to all the players and some of them would even sign autographs.

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Albert Pujols catching a ground ball.

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Everyone was yelling for Mike Trouts autograph.

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But Josh Hamilton did stop to sign autographs.

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Curt (on the right holding up the ball) tried to get his autograph but just missed since there were so many people.

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It was a very fun day seeing all the players practicing.  I will have more to post tomorrow about our exciting weekend

Chica’s Birthday

Chica’s Big Day

Yesterday we celebrated the day that Chica and I first met each other.  It was on February 25, 2013 that we both came into each others’ lives.  Since that day we have traveled in 2 countries, 2 provinces, and 10 states and almost 10,000 miles.  We have been in 100+ degree heat in Libby, MT and -4 degree cold in Fernley, NV.  But it has been a wonderful experience for us both.  Her she is trying to play with her friend Elvis.

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I bought a big cupcake for her and we lit the one candle.

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I’m not sure she knew what was going on but she was sure hamming it up for the camera.

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Then I got the presents out.  I am not sure she is too keen on a new collar, but I’m sure she will like it better then the one she has.  She also got a small beaver and a small ducky.  She really likes both the beaver and the ducky.

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It was really a fun day.

Produce Stands

One big advantage of staying in the Yuma area is the great produce stands they have.  We got to going to one that was not too far from us and had very fresh produce and really good prices.  I didn’t really stock up as I wanted to cook it when it was really fresh.  So I might go into town and stop here on the way home.  This one was located on Hwy 95 just south of 7E.

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Martha’s Gardens

A couple days ago we all piled into Jim and Gayle’s car and decided to check out Martha’s Gardens.  They have all types of dates there in many sizes of boxes.  It was very nice with lots of places to sit and eat.

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However they were very expensive so we decided to buy dates at the smaller produce stand shown above.  The dates there were very good.

Yuma Water

The water we got from the RV park was not very tasty and we heard that water in the area is not really good.  That must be the reason that you see water stands everywhere throughout the Yuma area.  Normally you get 5 gallons for a $1.  We even found one stand where you get 5 gallons for $.50.  What a bargain.  Here we are getting a supply of drinking water.

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Jim, Gayle and Debbie depart

I have had a wonderful time with Jim, Gayle and Debbiie.  Thanks so much for showing me such a great time.  Chica had a great time with Sophie, Elvis, Rupert and Elliot as well.  They left this morning for more adventures in California.  Chris and I are left.  I have a couple more dental appoints the first week in March and will probably head to Phoenix/Mesa area the second week to meet up with my son and attend some Spring Training games.

The weather here has been fantastic since I arrived here on the 3rd, however it is scheduled to rain this weekend so that will help keep the dust down.  It should also bring out the desert flowers.  I will take a few hikes before leaving to get more pics.

From cold to hot…

Cold and raining

The weather last week was very strange for this area.  It got very cold and the the torrential rains and hail began.  I was working at the ballpark when it started.  The rain started on and off and it delayed the start of the game.  Then a torrential rain started with very high winds and even hail.  The stands emptied in a hurry.  This is a pic taken from inside my work tent looking out to the field.  The fans had scurried off to a protected area to get out of the rain.  This was the only guy left.  The stands were full about 5 minutes prior to this.

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The umpires called the game and everyone went home.  All the street lights were knocked out on my way home and it took quite a while to get through the traffic.

Met fellow bloggers and other friends

I drove home and changed into some dry clothes and then headed over to Cracker Barrel where I met some friends for dinner.  It was a great time.  I met Jim and Sandie from Where are the Dixons, Ray and Cindy from Ray and Cindy’s RV Travels.  I also saw Kyra and Key who I had met the night before at Casino Arizona.

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Key writes the The Ramblin Rivercat blog.  Then there was Jan, Dianna and Bobbie.  I copied this photo from Jim and Sandie’s blog.

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Everyone had a great time and lots of conversation about places we had been and where we were headed.

Caught up with a lot of good friends yesterday.

Yesterday morning I got a call from Shannon who was my neighbor at Amazon last winter.  She was also the friend I drove with to and from Amazon.  It seems as though she just landed in Apache Junction last week and was headed my way to pick up some items at Camping World and Trader Joe’s.  We got together at Cracker Barrel for lunch and rehashed old times and made some plans to do some hiking around Apache Junction.  I am really looking forward to it.  Didn’t get any pics but will be taking my camera with me when we go hiking.

Get together at Phil and Sindy’s

In the late afternoon I was invited to Phil and Sindy’s rig, which is only a couple of spaces from mine, for hamburgers and hot dogs.  Our mutual friends, Steve and Marti and grandson Ryan, where coming by to see them from California.  It was really fun getting together with everyone.  Steve, Marti and Ryan will be going to a couple of Spring Training games while in town.

Chica update

Chica is doing quite well adjusting to her new home.  She is now almost housebroken and I have here on some new dog food that the vet recommended.  That pipsqueak is so lovable.  She has to get on Daddy’s lap every night.  She doesn’t like when I leave her alone, but that will end shortly and she won’t have to worry about that any more for a while.

I took her to a park and went for a long walk.  Her whole 3.5 pounds was actually pulling me.  I have included a few pics of her doing her thing.  The first is with her ducky which she loves so much.  She also has a zombie and a chew bone, which I will show later.

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It has been a really fun week.  I mentioned the weather was very cold and rainy.  Well that is changing big time.  The past couple of days it has been in the 80’s and the next couple of days it will reach 90.  What a change.  Almost time for the A/C.

Take me out to the ball game….

Spring Training has started

Well after all the training and orientation the games have finally started.  Saturday was my first day on the other side of a cash register at a baseball game.  I was willing to do anything they wanted of me and was made a cashier.

HELP!!!!

I thought that being a cashier would be somewhat easy. NOT!!!!   For one thing there is no register to add up or even keep track of all the customers purchases.  You had to write everything down in order to remember what they ordered.  Also there were so many different prices that it was impossible for this fool to remember without checking on my price sheet.

Next, if the customer bought beer you had to remember to check their ID, not sell more then 40 oz. per sale and open the can and bottled beer before you gave it to the customer.  Too much for this old brain to remember, especially when customers are ten deep waiting to get there food and drinks.

Plus this was only my first game.  The crowds buying food and drink slowed down after the seventh inning so they cut me lose for the day.  I punched out and then I was able to see the remainder of the game.  Cubs 11 – Angels 2.  Angels lost big time!  Bummer!  They also lost a split roster game. Giants 4 – Angels 1.  Angels won 0 lost 2.

This is a pic I took with my IPhone at the game.

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Sunday was my second day at the ball park…

I was going to go into the park and talk to my lead person Sindy that I would prefer another position if at all possible.  She had already made plans with her husband Phil, who worked a booth next to hers, that I would do food preparation instead.  That sounded great to me!

So now I am building cheeseburgers, Brats, Portabella mushroom burgers and hot dogs.  During the beginning of the game it gets really busy with everyone trying to get their food and drinks from the concession stands.  The cheeseburgers are flying out of there.  Two of us work together to fill all of the orders for two cashiers.  There is not a whole lot of thought process required, which is fine with me.

Still very cold

Yesterday it was 50 degrees with the wind blowing like crazy.  We had to keep weight on everything to prevent it from blowing away.  It was a real challenge working today.  I didn’t bring another tee shirt so there were times when it got fairly chilly.  At least we had the steam ovens for a little warmth.

They asked for volunteers to leave, during the third inning, as the weather was very cold and the crowd was rather small.  My helper who was very experienced as he had been doing this for the past 3 years volunteered, so I was by myself to handle the orders of two cashiers.  It gets busy in streaks and there were times I was really hopping, but I was able to keep up with the flow.  As it turned out the game lasted 4 hours (compared to 2 1/2 hours for a normal game).

I didn’t get a chance to see the game.  I cannot see the field where I am working, but I can see the scoreboard.  By the time we finished cleaning up, the game had already ended. A’s 7 – Angels 5.  Angels won 0 lost 3.  Go Angels!!!

Day off

Today is a day off for me.  The next game is Tuesday when the Angels play the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Hopefully they will start winning a few of these games.