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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Amarillo Trip Number ??

The question mark in my title isn’t a typo, I’ve just been to Amarillo so many times I can’t keep track!

This trip was pretty quick and pretty uneventful. I was supposed to leave NYC at 1:30, then they moved my flight up to 12:30, then we were delayed until 1:30 and 1:50 and 2:15 and we finally took off at almost 3. Thank god I was scheduled to have a 3-hour layover in Dallas. I was sad to be stuck in NY rather than Dallas since there are a lot better places to eat and drink at DFW than at LaGuardia.

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Sunset over the Dallas airport.

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When I finally got to Amarillo I stopped by Blue Sky for my regular green chile cheeseburger and half onion rings/half fries. So delicious. I watched Barbara Walters 10 Most Fascinating People of the year special, she picks some odd people. I did finally get to see Honey Boo Boo in action though.

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I saw the beautiful Amarillo sunrise Thursday, went to my appointments, met an author who lives down there for lunch, went to the airport, and was back in NYC a little earlier. Not so bad!

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Cincy 2012: Day 3

Another year watching tennis in Cincinnati is over. Luckily today was a pretty good day. When we woke up it was raining, we got ready and ate breakfast at the hotel and waited for the rain to stop. Luckily it ended right around 10am and there were no delays in the tennis. Before we went to the tennis we stopped at Kroger to get Cincinnati chili packets and chips. And then we went to CVS for lip balm.

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We started off watching Venus on the practice court. She is really enormous in person.

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Our first match of the day was Del Porto vs Chardy. It was a little boring, Chardy didn’t play anywhere near as well as he did yesterday and DelPo won pretty easily.

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Next came Venus vs Stosur. I was excited for this match and it didn’t disappoint. It was really competitive and Venus looked good, although not as good as she did yesterday. But she still won in three sets.

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It makes me sad that the people who pay for the expensive seats don’t show up. Most of those seats in the lower level were empty because the people or businesses that buy the boxes don’t show up. But the upper level is packed. It sucks.

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After Venus came her sister Serena vs Kerber. Serena looked really flat and irritable and she lost in three sets. Sad but not shocking, hopefully she rests up for the US Open.

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The sun was really beating down on my back, as seen in this picture, so I wrapped my towel around my head. It worked really well!

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After Serena lost we watches Wawrinka vs Raonic. We actually saw Wawrinka all three days. He ended up winning in three sets.

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Then it was time to head to the bar. Out first night there I really wanted to get their Sweet Magnolia specialty cocktail, but I didn’t want to spend $10.

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And it was good! Although I wish it had been a little sweeter. I think it was lemon vodka, sprite, sweet tea, and some other type of alcohol. And it came in a really nice and sturdy commemorative glass.

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Then we headed into the packed stadium to watch Federer vs Fish. Fish played well, but you never really felt like Fish had a chance.

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Cincy 2012: Day 2

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Another day, more tennis. We started out watching Serena Williams practicing on center court. I love, love, love Serena and I was happy to finally get to see her here.

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We were looking at merchandise and came across this hilarious shirt that my friend ended up buying. I think it’s ridiculous in an amazing way.

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There’s something about Spidercam that my friends and I love. The first year it was at the US Open we were really freaked out by it (it’s the camera that flys around the top of the stadium on wires). Then my friend started referring to it as Spidercam and we were all impressed that she knew the name, but it turns out she had just zoomed in on it with her camera and read the name printed on it. So I was excited to see them unwrapping Spidercam and getting it ready.

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Our first match of the day was Del Potro vs Troicki, it was a major snoozefest, I stayed for a few games and then headed out.

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To watch Kerber vs. Hdlackeva, which surprised me by being a really great match. I caught most of the second set.

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Then it was over to watch the young American Sloane Stephens vs A. Radwanska. I was impressed with Stephens even though she ended up losing the match.

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Next was Murray vs. Chardy, I love Andy Murray, but he obviously just wasn’t feeling it. He lost in two sets and I had left after the first set.

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I stopped to grab lunch and headed over to Federer vs Tomic. I thought it might be a good match since Tomic is kind of an up and coming guy, but it was totally dull.

I left to go watch Cilic vs Andujar and then Venus Williams vs Errani, but apparently I didn’t get pictures of either of those. Venus looked amazing, I’m really excited to see her play Stosur today.

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Next came Wawrinka vs Nishikori, which I thought would be a more exciting match, but Nishikori just didn’t look very good and Wawrinka won easily.

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Finally we watched Berdych vs Raonic, which turned out to be an okay match.

We were in our way to find other matches to watch when it started raining. We hung around for a while to wait it out but I didn’t look like it was stopping. Plus we didn’t really care about any of the matches.

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We did however stop by the ESPN booth to watch the commentators for a little while. I love their whole team and I’m always happy to watch them. Especially Chris Folwer and Brad Gilbert.

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Which is why I was super excited to get to meet them. You might remember I met Brad my first year here, but I love Chris Fowler on tennis, the last World Cup, and of course College Gameday. We were kind of the only people around and I felt bad bothering them, but they were just talking and other people started chatting with them so I made my move. Chris was really nice, but not very chatty.

After that we headed out, the parking lot was a disaster with everyone leaving at the same time. I turned in my aggressive New Yorker personality and we made it out pretty quickly. We stopped back at the hotel, then went out for some ice cream and ended our night at Applebee’s.

We’re just chilling at the hotel now waiting for the rain (boo!) to stop. But it’s supposed to stop by midday so we should be fine!

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Cincy 2012: Day 1

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I am currently happily living it up in Mason, OH! The tennis tournament is called the Cincinnati tournament but it’s actually north of Cincinnati in a really cute town called Mason. Anyway, I didn’t mention it yesterday because I was paranoid, but I was like pretty much out of gas by the time I for to Ashley’s dad’s house last night. I used a single tank of gas to drive 7.5 hours, not bad, right? I was however really worried I wasn’t going to make it to a gas station. But it’s pretty much 4 miles all down hill so I barely had to press on the gas on the way to gas station.

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Once again we stopped at Pamela’s in Pittsburgh for breakfast. I had the strawberry hotcakes which are thin pancakes rolled up with strawberries and brown sugar inside. Then I added walnuts. And a side of potatoes. It was amazing. And I was so hungry I didn’t even feel stuffed when we finished.

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As always the highlight of the road trip was going through West Virginia. It’s both wild AND wonderful. The second best part is stopping at Flying J, which I didn’t get a picture of, oh well, I’ll get one on the way home.

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We’re staying at a different hotel this year, the hotel we used to stay in has a new owner and the reviews on Trip Advisor weren’t good. The new hotel is a little more expensive, but much nicer. The breakfast spread was bigger and the rooms are much more modern.

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We did our traditional Skyline chili dinner and then headed over to the tennis.

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The sun was very bright as we watched a doubles game between Gasquest/Benneteau and Baker/Ram.

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Luckily I could block it with my hand.

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We watched Ferrer/Wawrinka on the Grandstand, it was a pretty quick match.

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We ended the night watching Li/Cirstea on the main court.

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Our last stop of the night was grabbing ice cream at Graeter’s, amazing!

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Road Trip

Greetings from the road! As I’m writing this I’m in PA, but hopefully when you’re reading it I’ll be in Ohio!

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The theme of the day was traffic. I hit traffic leaving Long Island, I hit traffic in the Bronx, and I hit traffic in many places in PA. I think the only place without traffic was New Jersey.

Otherwise the trip was good. I left a little before 11 and I got here right around 6:30.

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The only annoying thing, besides the traffic, was that my EZ Pass didn’t work. I had trouble with it when I went to MA last October and my parents had trouble with it when they used it in May, but I called and was told everything was ok. Well, when I went through the toll it didn’t work and a cop had to come over. Annoying.

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I stopped at two rest stops, the rest stops along I-80 are just a bathroom, vending machines, and some picnic tables. They remind me of road trips in the 1950s or something. I ate lunch at the first one and I liked this sign in the bathroom.

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As you can see the scenery is pretty great. And it also rained a bunch. From NY all the way to when I got to my friend’s house it would just downpour for short periods of time but it would still be kind of sunny. It was so weird!

My friend’s dad and stepmom cooked us a lovely dinner which was so nice of them! And now it’s on to Ohio!

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Cincy Take Three

As this publishes I am on my way to my friend Ashley’s dad’s house to meet up with her and eventually be on our way to Cincinnati, OH for the Western and Southern Masters. I’ve done this trip twice before in 2010 and 2011 (Travel to PADay 1, & Day 2).

This year is somewhat different. As I wrote about at the beginning of the year, my love of tennis has somewhat waned. For a while I considered not going, but I didn’t want to disappoint Ashley and I really do love the experience and I know when I get there it will be a great time.

I’m driving to Ashley’s dad’s today, we’ll have dinner and hang out in her hometown before we head out Wednesday morning. Our plan is to stop in Pittsburgh for breakfast and then continue on to Cincinnati. We have tickets for Wednesday night, Thursday day and night, and Friday day and night.

It all sounds good, but there are a few things I’m anxious about (I’m a super anxious person, but most of the time I try not to focus on the anxiety and I definitely try not to write about because I don’t think this is the place for it, but for whatever reason I’m going to write about it now). First, Ashley has made a ton of tennis friends on Twitter, which is great, but I don’t always love meeting new people (which isn’t to say I’m not friendly, I think I am, but 12-hour days watching tennis are exhausting, and I’m not always in the best of spirits both while sitting out in the heat and at the end of the day) and I worry about getting left out since I no longer feel as passionately about tennis as I used to (and as I assume most of them do). Second, I normally drive the whole way. I love driving and Ashley doesn’t like it at all, so it’s always worked out well. But this year, in an email she sent me last week, she wrote about how excited she was to drive from her dad’s house to Cincy this year. Which was odd to me because I don’t remember ever discussing it. I looked back through our old emails and Gchats and didn’t find anything. And the only other way I talked to her was one night we went dancing in June, and I didn’t think it came up then. I asked her about it and told her I was happy to drive, but she didn’t reply (pretty typical). There are several reasons this makes me anxious. First, I’m a really nervous passenger, I like being in control and other people driving means I am not in control. Second, I tend to get really car sick and once I get car sick it can take until I fall asleep and wake up for me to feel better. Third, she is a very slow and cautious driver (which is great), but I know I’m going to get really impatient. Basically, being a passenger brings out all the worst aspects of my personality and I don’t want to start our trip out on the wrong note.

Well, that was way more information than I intended to give! I guess it’s not bad to get all of that out. I just need to relax. I’ll be back tomorrow with an update from the road!

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