Friday, 11 April 2014

Of planes and baseball - America 2014; Part 1

I've got to tell you. You need to brace yourselves for quite a few posts about America. I mean I could try and condense into one or two.....but I'm not going to.

Consider yourselves forewarned.

Let us start at the beginning.

As I mentioned in my last post, the turnaround from engagement to wedding was kind of fast. Knowing me and the kind of person that I am you may think that I would have been all over the planning of it.

I was not.

It just seemed to creep up on me and became on of those things that you say to yourself "Oh that's after Christmas, I'll think about it then" - and then suddenly it's mid-February and you realise that you're going away in a few weeks and nothing is organised.

We had a vague idea of what we'd do when out in Arizona. We didn't want to be too under feet whilst American Boy and American Girl were in the lead up to the wedding and still at work and we wanted to take the opportunity to do a bit of road tripping when out there. Cue lots of list-making and looking things up on Google Maps and looking for accommodation and getting tips from anyone we could ask.about where to go.

One piece of advice I was offered was from someone who recommended that we upgrade our seats from Economy to Premium Economy for the flight. We were taking the direct flight from London Heathrow to Phoenix Sky Harbor which is over a 10 hour flight. So not a short flight. I listened to my friends and I thought "Nah. We'll be fine." - basically I'm a cheapskate.

The worst thing about being in economy is that they make you walk past the Business Class seats in a Bullseye "This is what you could have won" style. As I gave everyone richer than me deathstares I realised that there was a nagging noise in my ear. What was it? Oh it was the sound of a child. Screaming.

This child then went on to scream for what definitely felt like the next 10 hours.

It must have been awful for the parents. Terrible. There they were with a baby (who was actually silent) and a toddler on a 10 hour flight. No mean feat. But my god I wanted to hurt somebody. Shut. the child. up.

We ended up in the middle of the middle of the plane. The person next to me fell asleep as soon as we took off and stayed that way for the night 9 hours, the guy next to The Person did not move for the whole flight either (he didn't wee, how is that possible?!) so we weren't massively comfortable. About 5 hours in I eventually found a position that didn't cut off the circulation to one of my limbs and determined to stay in that position. When I then tried to stand up I realised one hip was about 5cm higher than the other.

By the end of the flight I didn't know whether to cry or cry. The Person had managed to get some sleep, I got nada.

(The child was still screaming when we went through immigration. I hoped they might not let them in to the country but sadly it wasn't to be.)


You know what you do when you go to Phoenix in March? You go to Spring Training baby.

Spring Training took me a while to get a hang of but basically a load of baseball teams from up where it is cold have parks that they have built in places where it is hot so they can come and do some practice! So the Chicago Cubs leave behind the freezingness and the snow and the horrible weather and come to the boiling hot Phoenix. I'll be honest, I'd rather practice in the snow than in 30 degree heat but I'm just crazy like that.

So you can be dedicated and go and sit in the boring stands or you can take a blanket, sit on the grass and get drunk and not really watch the baseball.

The other thing you do is eat a hot dog.

Here we experienced American hospitality at its best. When we went up to order our hot dogs they were just in the process of making some more. The guy who served us apologised about three times in the space of about 3 minutes that the hot dogs were not ready immediately.

I wanted to take him home with me. It's hard to imagine the same happening if you went up to order a Pukka Pie at the Emirates...

From the baseball it was on to drinking and then a little bit more drinking. More sitting in the sun and talking. A slightly anti-semitic moment in a bar. (Don't ask, I can't even go there.) Before ending the day on this rooftopAmerican Girl and I talking whilst American Boy and The Person ended up inexplicably inebriated, gesticulating wildly, silhouetted against the setting sun.

I decided a screaming child on a 10 hour flight was probably worth it.

(But you bet your backside we upgraded to Premium Economy seats for the way back.)


  1. Baseball is one of the games of America I just can't grasp, I just find it dull - just looks like rounders to me lol - i'm all about the hockey. Hot dogs are pretty neat though, but i'm bias living near Detroit with the proper Coney Chili dog - the best!

  2. i think I'd love the baseball!

  3. Premium economoy = ALWAYS worth it. My top tip is that if you join the BA frequent flyer scheme, they often upgrade you for free when the flight is overbooked. It happened to me and my bro on the way home from Seattle and then again the following summer when I was coming back from Jo'burg. The second time, I gave the check-in lady so much shit because my boarding card was for a seat other than the one I'd pre-chosen online. She didn't tell me that the reason it wasn't my seat was because I'd been automatically upgraded. I felt so bad when I got on the plane and realised!

    1. Also, apparently I can't spell economy. Oops!

  4. Arizona sounds awesome, my friend spent a year there and I was just so jealous! Screaming children are hell, I don't envy you that journey!

    Maria xxx

  5. Commiserations on the screaming child, but once they start, even the parents can't stop them. They just have to sit there and feel totally humiliated by a 2 year old (been there...).

  6. I had a moment where I thought I'd missed something big at the beginning of this post, I think I'm right that it's your friends getting married, not you.... but yeah, AZ looks like fun, that's a beautiful sunset right there, and I'm super jealous. Not so much of 10 hours of screaming though. I'm reminded of my Nigeria flight home- 7 hours of 6yo pulling my seat, *sigh*


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