February 2008: Phoenix Arizona

Dorf high above Phoenix atop Camelback Mountain

One of the benefits of having soccer players in the family is the opportunity to travel to exotic, distant locales. In February of 2008 Nick's Mequon (WI) club was entered in the SCdelSol Presidents Day Tournament in a frigid Phoenix, AZ. With Yumi's demanding class schedule it was decided that I'd go along since Yumi would have to fly back on Sunday while the tourney ran through Monday. I'd be the designated baby sitter for the flight back to an even chillier Wisconsin.

As things turned out, potential bad weather back in the badger state and due to the fact that Yumi could not miss class on Monday required that Yumi catch an even earlier flight back home so as to avoid the bad weather. Got all that?.

The tourney did not go as planned for Nick's team as they managed only 1 win (on PK's) and scoring no goals for the weekend other than during warm up.

In the meantime, mother nature thought it would be fun to force us to endure unseasonably cool temperatures most of the weekend. I took the opportunity to begin my annual trimming of the fat by climbing Camelback Mountain on Monday morning. As I write this 2 days later, my legs are still feeling it. A hike with a 1300' vertical gain over just about a mile, might not have been the smartest way to begin training, but nobody ever accused me of being a genius anyway. The payoff for my sweat: a great view of a smoggy valley of the sun.

I was totally smoked by an old guy who said he makes the climb 3 times, 6 days a week. To make a long story short, he made it up and back twice and was on his third trip up before I even got back down. In my defense, however, I did spend some time at the top taking pictures and talking to a couple of other guys who were hurting more than I was. Also, I tackled this while wearing Teva's which actually earned me some strange looks and a few comments from the locals. Whatever.

The view from Camelback Mountain was worth my suffering one of the coolest weekends in Phoenix history

I returned to the soccer complex, woke up a still-asleep Nick and checked out of the motel. There were still 2 games left to play and the day was shaping up to be almost balmy with temps in the upper 50's.

Nick and I returned to a blizzard in Milwaukee right on time at 12:15 AM on Tuesday, spent another half hour waiting to get off the plane and another half hour waiting for our bags. We finally made it home by 3:15 AM.

A special note of thanks goes out to the flight crew who managed to get the plane back to earth in one piece in what proved to be a difficult landing.


February, 2008: Phoenix
Yumi, Nick and I go to a frigid Phoenix for soccer
August, 2006: Japan
Yumi takes her kids to Japan
December 2005: Ski Brule
Another exciting weekend of spills and thrills
August 2005: RMNP
Yumi and I take the family out to RMNP for a week.
December 2004: Ski Brule
We head back to Ski Brule and hit the slopes

October 2004: Agawa Canyon
Yumi and I go north

August 2004: Mall of America
We survived.
June 2004: The Dells
Waterparks and stuff
December 2003: Ski Brule
Skiing and snowboarding during Christmas break
August 2003: RV Tour
29' RV to Yellowstone, Tetons & Black Hills
June 2003: The Dells
What could be more "Wisconsin" than the Dells
February 2003: Toad the Wet Sprocket
To Milwaukee to see Toad


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