Just Planes and Automobiles...No Trains

Trip Start Jan 16, 2012
Trip End Jan 23, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Up about 7:30.  Skip was already up to have coffee and read the USA Today.  He doesn't sleep much.  I'll wait and read the paper on the plane.

Skip and I packed the dozen balls we (he) brought and had signed by all the players.  We took them as carry-on.  The two bats which were signed by all the players and Jermaine Dye, we wrapped in a towel and put them in my golf bag.  Made sense.  

About 9:00 am we headed to check out and then to the pick-up place.  Our driver was there by 9:10 am.  After stuffing most of the luggage into the trunk and one suitcase in the front seat, we headed to Sky Harbor Airport (about 25 minutes).  

We got to the airport and he dropped us off at the Southwest curbside check-in and headed toward security.  Skip was worried they might have trouble with the signed baseballs.  You never know about TSA.  Skip opened the box so the x-ray guys could see clearly inside.  We went through the new x-ray screening device.  (I didn't feel violated!)  Then some guys hand searched us, paying close attention to our watches (say what?) and my credit cards (which I had to hold in my hand above my head while being screened).  We were both cleared and more importantly, the dozen balls made it through as well.  

We headed to the gate and found a little eating establishment (like a Chili's) and had a seat.  Skip got into it with the waiter about the type of ID he needed to serve us alcohol.  They were both just being obstinate, but bottom line, we ended up sitting at the bar and getting a beer and sandwich, much to the displeasure of the waiter.  Now the bartender, he was awesome.  Vance from Rockford, IL.  We hit it off right away and we were best buds from then on.  

We got on the flight and of course a nice, but large man sat between us.  Should have told the skinny guy just before him to sit down!  Rather uneventful ride back to Chicago.  I was expecting lots of snow as we landed, but apparently it had rained yesterday, so there wasn't much on the ground.  But was cold...25 degrees...compared to 72 when we left in Phoenix...yea, it was cold!

We got our luggage, (checking carefully to make sure both bats made it safely in my golf bag). Skip's daughter, Kate picked us up and we headed toward Hinsdale.  We got there, unloaded me into my car, Skip into his house and divided the bats and balls and I headed for home.  I couldn't resist stopping for some sliders at White Castle on the way home.  Don't get 'em often, but I like 'em.  

I was home by about 7:30 pm after a successful trip.  I can't thank Skip enough for asking me to go.  I enjoyed the baseball, the golf, the camaraderie, seeing my Uncle Johnny and Aunt Rose and just the plain fun of the entire week.  Again, not sure I'll go to Cubs Fantasy Camp next year, but it sure has piqued my interest.  

P.S.  Sandy and I have planned another great travel adventure.  We will leave in late June for a European river cruise starting in Amsterdam in ending in Budapest.  Have I told you how much I hate this retirement thing????  

Thanks to all of you for playing along!!!

Double Eagle Dave        
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Curt Simpson on

Wow, what a great impromptu trip!! I would have loved all the baseball stories just as much as the golf. Gotta love the insider's view!

Glad you had fun.

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