KINGMAN, ARIZ. – This didn’t go exactly as planned.
Yes, I’m speeding through the Arizona desert in a humungous white Chevy Suburban, while my friend from college, Paul, handles the driving for now. If we don’t encounter any setbacks, we should arrive at Maryvale Baseball Park just in time for first pitch.
But let me back up a little.
After 14 years of visiting Arizona to watch the Brewers Spring Training, I felt like this year needed a change up of sorts. I’ve also visited Las Vegas each winter since 2008. Life has just gotten busier, so this year, we’re combining the two trips into one.
I’ll tell you much more about the Vegas part of this trip later, but the plan was to leave The Tropicana at 7 a.m. so we could have plenty of time to enjoy this interesting 291-mile drive.
Of course, leaving Las Vegas at 7 a.m. takes a lot of discipline, and I don’t have a lot of discipline in Las Vegas. We only had two nights in Sin City, and on Wednesday night, we wrapped up at 3 a.m. but were up by 8. The plan was to take it easy last night, and be asleep by 1.
The last time I looked at the clock before falling asleep it was 3:18 a.m.
Still, we got our bloated but dehydrated bodies out of bed this morning and hit the road at 8. The GPS says we’ll get to Maryvale at 12:48, which gives us just enough time to pick up our photographer, Eron Laber, who’s already in Phoenix, and grab our press passes before plopping down on the right field berm.
I’m so excited. Tired, but excited.
I’ll do my best to take you along on the trip with daily updates, until I collapse into my seat on the plane Monday afternoon.
Spring Training trips can all seem the same after a while. So far, this one is very different.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published May 13, 2015
Yesterday, Packers fans were delighted to watch Aaron Rodgers dominate on "Celebrity Jeopardy." Indeed, it feels nice to have a smart guy calling signals under center (in your face, Jay Cutler). But Wisconsin sports have been full of intelligent players through the years. Here are six.
Published April 30, 2015
Just a few years ago, all Katie Daly knew about candles is that they smelled nice, and she liked having them around the house. Her boyfriend, Cody Weiss, didn't disagree. But Daly, always a self-admitted "type-A antsy person" found herself bored and browsing Pinterest one day, when she saw a how-to guide to making soy candles in Mason jars. The corporate trainer melted some wax on the stove, adding some lavender oil - and found herself surprised when the candle actually burned.
Published April 6, 2015
Something weird happened to me around the beginning August last year: I started wanting the Brewers season to be over.
Published April 3, 2015
Here are seven recent Brewers pitchers that I would love to get back. Even if these weren't necessarily the best players, they each brought something special to the crew.
Published April 2, 2015
In a time when Zappos and Amazon and brick-and-mortar sporting good chains have cemented their spot as go-to places for running shoes and apparel, you might not think that starting a local running store would be a sound business idea. Don't tell that to Jessica and Trae Hoepner, the owners of Performance Running Outfitters, a business that started with one humble store and expanded to three, with a fourth in the works.
Published March 19, 2015
My 18th annual Brewers Spring Training trip is now complete, and I'm back in chilly Milwaukee, which actually feels a little better after a few days under the beating hot sun of the desert. This trip was a good one. A really good one. New experiences, old friends and lots and lots of baseball. But you probably know about all that if you read my blog entries this week.
Published March 18, 2015
When I left off yesterday, I was feeling tan, rested and ready for baseball, and we made the 30-minute drive from Talking Stick Resort to Peoria Stadium a little before noon. Brewers fans were out in force for the game against the Padres. St. Patty's Day revelry was in full effect.
Published March 17, 2015
I've said this before, but sometimes Spring Training feels a lot like the movie "Groundhog Day." Events, games and trips tend to run together, because with only a few variations, you're basically doing the same thing every day (and of course, that's a very good thing). But yesterday, we did something that we've only done one other time in 18 years: we didn't go to a Brewers game.
Published March 16, 2015
When you've been awake for 24 consecutive hours, due to an early flight, a time change and the excitement of an 18th consecutive Spring Training trip to Arizona, it's understandable to make a few bad decisions. Fortunately, the only one I regret is that humungous carne asada burrito from Filiberto's at 2 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, before collapsing into a few hours of sleep at the Talking Stick Resort here in Scottsdale.
Published March 10, 2015
Every year - since 1998 - I've made the trip to Arizona to watch the Brewers get ready for a long, long season of baseball. It's my favorite work/fun trip (edging out even Las Vegas) that I get to take, but with all the fun and sun in the desert, it's surprisingly easy to forget to pay attention to the baseball on the field.