Thursday, October 14, 2010
Luke and I left the house at 3:30 this morning, chauffered by Joe. Last night at about 10 o'clock, I decided I really didn't want to have to deal with parking our car and catching a shuttle to the terminal in the wee dark hours of the morning. So, I offered the parking fee to Joe, in exchange for taking us and picking us up late Sunday night. Since 21-year-olds don't have the same frame of reference for night and day as older folks, it seemed reasonable to him.
I was sooo glad to leave the driving part to someone else. Especially since I was going on about four hours of sleep. And one of us didn't wake up to his alarm, and another of us realized that she didn't check the gas tank and we had to stop to fill up.
As we neared the airport, the mom of one of Luke's teammates called and explained that they had parked in outlying parking, and were in the shuttle on the way to the terminal when they discovered that "someone" had left his backpack and ID in the car. So, Joe dropped Luke and me, picked up the friend's mom and drove her back to the outlying parking lot to get the forgotten backpack. Meanwhile I took her luggage and mine to check in. Only to discover that one of us (not me!) had exceeded the weight limit for her bag by one and a half pounds, which would result in a $50 charge. The attendant was so nice, letting me go through the overloaded bag, where I grabbed hair dryer, curling iron and hot brush (weighing exactly one and a half pounds) and shoved them in my bag, and our luggage was on its way, free of charge.
Exhausted, our group of 58 senior high school boys, coaches, and a group of bleary-eyed parents, headed through security and onto the gate, where our departure went smoothly.
It seemed like an entire day had passed when we finally arrived in Phoenix at just 7:25 a.m. -- to sweltering heat. By afternoon the temperature had climbed to 98 degrees, and I was sorely missing our gorgeous, cool, fall temperatures in Denver. Our teams played a total of four games throughout the day. Luke got the day off and will pitch in an early game tomorrow, when it will be considerably cooler.
The tournament is really a "showcase" where select teams from all over the country -- and some from as far away as Canada and Australia -- come to play, and are observed by college and pro coaches. It's quite an event, held in a complex of nine baseball fields and games being played continually. The hope, of course, is that the boys will be noticed and given an opportunity to play beyond high school.
And on that note, I'm off to bed. Reporting live from Phoenix. . .