We had a relatively fantastic weekend. I say relatively because that only applies if you enjoy fall weekends in warm locales sans children.

After years of talking about it, S. finally signed up for a medical conference outside of Indianapolis. A few years back we were on the verge of signing up to spend a weekend in New Orleans. Another time we strongly considered going to San Antonio. Each time either something else came up or we just put it off too long and weren’t able to plan the trip.

But we finally caved and flew out Thursday with one of her partners and her husband, someone I hang out with a little bit. They had friends attending as well, and when we walked into our hotel, they already had a round of drinks set up for us. Talk about a good start to the weekend!

The conference was at the Biltmore in Phoenix, which was a pretty spectacular location. Amazing architecture, a pretty relaxed setting, and a nice feeling of isolation even though downtown Phoenix was 10 minutes away and the sprawling suburbs of Scottsdale were right over the property line.

The ladies were in sessions most of the day Friday and Saturday. My buddy is a big baseball fan – and a Cardinals fan at that – and came up with the genius idea of going to an Arizona Fall League game Friday. It just so happened that the Royals and Cardinals put their prospects on the same team (along with the Yankees and Rangers) and were playing 10 minutes away on Friday afternoon. We cruised over and walked up to the stadium just before 11:30, an hour before first pitch. There was a line at least 60 people long to get in! Turned out a lot of those folks were autograph hounds, ready to pounce on prospects in hopes they turn out to be stars some day. By the time we procured our $8, general admission tickets, all those people had scurried down to the left field wall where the players slowly came out of the clubhouse to warm up.

The highlight of the day for me – well other than sitting right off the field, drinking a beer in the warm Arizona sun, and watching baseball on November 13 – was getting to see Royals prospect Bubba Starling up close. We were less than 10 feet away as he signed for some of the hounds. I’m not much on autographs, so I just snapped a picture and watched. My buddy got an autograph from one of the Cardinals prospects for his kids.


Then we hung out and watched baseball for a couple hours. The ball flew, so we saw a few homers. Bubba was 1–2 and flawless in the field in the six innings we watched.[1] We were sitting near some folks who had to be related to him. He talked to them at length before the game and then they cheered loudly for him during the game.

Also, it was pretty damn cool to walk around wearing my Royals World Series champions shirt. Especially with some Mets and Blue Jays fans wandering around. Not a bad way to spend the day.

Then back to the resort, where we met our wives at the pool. One of my sisters-in-law just happened to be in town as well, so she joined us for a bit. A nice dinner topped off the day.

Saturday was a nice, lazy day. I took a five-mile walk in the morning.[2] S. had a shorter day so we grabbed lunch at the pool and then sat and baked for a bit. I saw a few more folks with Royals shirts on. And sat near a Mets fan who appeared to making serious efforts not to catch my eye. Then a dinner with the two other couples.

S. had a quick session Sunday morning before we departed for the airport at 9:00.

All-in-all, a pretty good weekend getaway. We agreed we have to do this again and more often.

  1. I read that Saturday he got the extremely rare 9–2 force out at home. I assume he was playing shallow.  ↩
  2. A variety of old-man ailments kept me out of the gym and from running.  ↩