Eat, Pray, Love

Though its been well-over 24 hours since I got back from Scottsdale, it would be incomplete for me not to write one last post closing out our trip. My cousin just started reading the book “Eat Pray Love” so she suggested I title this post as such.

I was never hungry on this trip, because it felt like all we did was eat!

* Two fabulous dinners at our favorite restaurant in Scottsdale – Dons & Charlie’s. And on the last night there, we were treated to see Willie Mays, who had a book signing event in the restaurant’s lobby. No, I did not get one (it was $200 for an autographed book), and photos weren’t allowed.

* In-between the D&C dinners, we were able to have a family dinner with my sister, aunt and cousin. Good times

* We also had all access to the Regency Club at the resort – a private lounge for Hyatt guests where we had access to free food! They served breakfast, afternoon appetizers and evening desserts. It was a convenient time and money saver to be able to eat right on property; and being that it was free, we felt pressured to take full advantage of it.

Between the dinners, free meals, and of course, ballpark food, I feel like I gained 10 lbs during the 3 days I was there! But isn’t that what vacation is all about? :)

All I can for “pray” is that we’re praying that our team does well this season. Lord knows it been a long time since Giants’ fans have had a team they can cheer in the playoffs and I have my doubts about this year’s team, but we’ll see. I hope they surpass my expectations.

Spring (Training) is all about love!

* Love of the traditions we’ve built over the past 16 years

* Love of visiting with our family

* And at our last Spring game of the season, I rediscovered my love for Dusty Baker
The Giants played the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, the team that Dusty now manages.

Before the games, Shari and I used to fight the crowd for prime position for photos and autographs. I noted in my post recapping Day 2 of our trip that I’ve moved beyond that now. I was content just taking photos from my seat. In fact, I’d even forgotten to bring my baseball for autographs.

This changed the minute I saw Dusty. As soon as he came out to the field, Giants fans FLOCKED to him. No other current Giants coach or player got that kind of response. People pushed and shoved to see him. Grown men yelled at his son, “Hey Darren, remember me from Foster City PJCC?”

I found myself right back in the crowd, for the first time this year, fighting for position for photo opportunities. And to Dusty’s credit, he signed…for everyone. He was so kind and gracious. He kept saying, “Guys, I gotta go soon” but yet still stayed and kept signing, even when his staff came to get him to leave because the pre-game ceremonies were about to begin.

Witnessing all of this brought tears to my eyes; it was like being connected to “my” Giants team all over again; the 1998-2002 teams. Rich Aurilia, Bill Mueller, Ellis Burkes, Jeff Kent, Kirk Reuter, Robb Nen, JT Snow and of course, Barry Bonds. The years that I often refer to as “the glory years.”

As hard as I’ve tried, I’ve found myself having a hard time connecting to teams from the most recent years. Its hard to get enthusiastic about teams that don’t win, who have under-performing, overpaid players. You all know who I’m talking about (and there ain’t just one of ‘em).

But seeing Dusty reminded me of just how much we love Spring Training, why we started coming back in 1994, why we still come to Scottsdale, and why we will continue to come, year after year.

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