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Archive for "Travel"

Traveling Home

Posted on March 3, 2021 by under Travel.    

Pictures on our trip home…

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I’m so glad I arranged for a car service because the Uber situation in Phoenix is quite horrendous. Drivers just cancel your trip at random. Our Execucar driver actually arrived at the hotel a half hour early. Thankfully, Karen and I were both ready. We arrived at the Phoenix airport around the time he was supposed to pick us up at the hotel.

I breezed through security since I have TSA pre-check and then waited for Karen to go through the regular line because they wouldn’t let her through with me. The flight from Phoenix to Houston was uneventful but it did include inflight entertainment. Karen and I watched Me Before You on the plane. I’d never seen it before and it was really good. Made me cry – bawl, actually.

We had a long enough layover in Houston for a quick lunch. Went to the food court and had Panda Express and then when I got to our gate, look who I found.

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It turns out Pat’s earlier flight got canceled and he got rebooked on our flight.

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Here’s a pic of Karen and Pat boarding.

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Our plane to Wichita was a really tiny one.

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I’m not sure what happened but somehow Karen and I weren’t seated together and Pat ended up in the seat in front of mine.

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I’m not a huge fan of having to wear a mask for hours on end but I guess that’s what we have to do now in the age of COVID.

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Karen was so ready to de-plane.

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Pat’s ride ended up falling through so we gave him a ride home. After taking care of the girls and starting a load of laundry, it was of to Chicken N Pickle — my home away from home — for a flight of margaritas because it happened to be National Margarita Day. It was so popular they ran out of paddles for the paddle flights.

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The flavors were (from left) strawberry, jalapeno, peach and regular lime. They were a delicious and satisfying way to end my first out of town tournament weekend. Until next time. GNG.

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Pro Mixed Doubles Day

Posted on March 1, 2021 by under Hobbies, Travel.    

Here are some awesome courtside photos from pro mixed doubles day on Sunday.

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Kasandra Gehrke and partner John Cincola

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Lindsey and Riley Newman

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Jocelyn Devilliers and Michelle Esquivel

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Ben Johns and Simone Jardim

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Kyle Yates and Anna Leigh Waters

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Yes, we were really this close to the players.

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Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova

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Had so much fun watching pro mixed doubles on Sunday.

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We wore our “I Love Lucy” shirts and got a pic the woman herself.

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Sunday was so much fun but also bittersweet because it was our last day in Phoenix. The entire weekend was a blast and it was the most amazing first tournament experience ever. I can’t wait until the next one!

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Pro Doubles Day

Posted on March 1, 2021 by under Hobbies, Travel.    

Saturday was men’s and women’s pro doubles day. It was a really long day. The guys started playing at 8 AM and didn’t finish until almost 10 o’clock in the evening. Saturday was also the day that I played mixed and even though I didn’t do well in my event I had a lot of fun spectating. We also got a ton of great pics.

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Here are a couple of pics from my mandatory player orientation for mixed doubles on Saturday. This is how they start all of the events.

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Karen, Chandi, Krista, and I with our #1 female pickleball idol, Lucy Kovalova.

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Karen and I also got pics with Dayne Gingrich (left) and Dave Weinbach (right).

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And also with our favorite men’s doubles team, the #WichitaBoys aka #TeamModel aka #TeamEurope — Patrick Smith (in white) and Jocelyn Devilliers (in blue).

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I also got some awesome pics courtside. This is team Waters, Leigh (left) and daughter Anna Leigh (right).

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Kyle Yates and Matt Wright — this is the first time I’ve seen them play together again since the Franklin Pickleball Masters pickleball invitational tournament at Chicken N Pickle almost two years ago.

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Lucy and Simone, who I like to call team #Lucimone, are the most dominant women’s doubles team and super fun to watch.

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#TeamSelkirk’s Tyson McGuffin and Riley Newman.

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The #CaliforniaBoys DJ Young and Callan Dawson pictured below both play for #TeamProkennex.

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#TeamUtah’s Tyler Loong and Spencer Smith were so much fun to watch.

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Our #WichitaBoys in action — Pat in white and Jocelyn in blue.

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Chandi and Krista made a Jocelyn sandwich to keep him warm.

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Arizona gets really cold at night. Pat was nice enough to let us borrow his clothes to keep warm. Karen got his pants and I got his pullover jacket. Jocelyn also let Karen borrow his hoodie. Our boys are the sweetest.

Though I didn’t do well, it was a very successful tournament day for the Wichita crew. Lucy and Simone took gold in women’s pro doubles and Jocelyn and Pat took silver in men’s pro doubles. It was totally worth sitting in the freezing cold to watch.

More from the PPA Arizona tournament next time. Until then GNG.

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Late Night Practice

Posted on February 28, 2021 by under Hobbies, Travel.    

Dylan Frazier and Chris Heck arrived in Phoenix on Friday night and went straight to the pickleball courts. We got to watch their practice session with Matt Wright and Kyle Yates.

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The funny part about this is that I think Chris only told me where they would be so I would take pictures but the best part is I got to meet a little chess master and had a fun little game of chess.

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I have to say, she’s the cutest opponent I’ve ever played chess against.

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Here’s a pretty picture of palm trees on the way back to our room.

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Until next time. GNG.

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Women’s Doubles Day

Posted on February 27, 2021 by under Hobbies, Travel.    

Friday was women’s doubles day. Karen and I didn’t do so hot in the tournament but we had a lot of fun watching Jocelyn Devilliers (aka Jay, the French half of #TeamModel) play singles and cheering from the sidelines.

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Here are some pics from that day.

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Ben Johns is always all smiles because he is the undisputed #1 pickleball player in the world. We were lucky enough to be courtside for some epic matches.

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Our pal Jocelyn took bronze and Ben and Zane (Navratil) battled it out for first and second, with Ben victorious in the end.

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As for the women, Simone Jardim and Michelle Esquivel played for first and second. Simone came out on top. Michelle took second and Vivienne David took third. The level of play was out of this world and it was so much fun to watch.

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Win or lose, Jocelyn always has a lot of fun and I like that about him.

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Here are some of my favorite photos of Jocelyn from pro singles day.

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Later that day, Karen and I hit Roy’s for happy hour.

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And then it was off to the pool.

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We had a great time hanging out at the pool but we couldn’t stay long because once the sun was gone it quickly got cold. That’s the crazy thing about Arizona weather. The weather is wonderful during the day but early in the morning and late at night, it still feels like winter. I’d been to Arizona before and should have known this but it had been over ten years and I’d forgotten how drastic the temperature difference is between midday and night. I was completely unprepared for it.

That’s pretty much all for now. More on the trip next time. GNG.

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