Peoria, Arizona: A glorious sunny day in Arizona! DT and I drove over to Peoria High School (Home of the Panthers) to jog on their track. It is Spring Break in Peoria, so the school parking lot was empty and the track was ours alone. Though the track needs resurfacing, the facilities at the high school are amazing. Huge school, performing arts center, baseball fields, basketball arena, indoor pool, and a large track/football stadium.
We had visitors upon our return to the motorhome. Long-time Readers Joan & Don live nearby and brought a big bag of lemons from their tree to welcome us to Arizona! Joan reminded us they won smoked salmon from a contest we held last year from Astoria, Oregon. (Which reminds me... it must be time for another contest! I will get right on that!)
I asked Joan how in the world they found us, as I did not give the name of the RV Park at the end of my column last night... only a description - run-down RV park behind run-down motel. Joan said from that description, they knew exactly where we were! Thank you, Joan & Don, so much for stopping by and thank you so much for the gorgeous lemons!Our pathetic situation in Peoria. I know a little bit about RV parks. We've stayed in worst places. I think. We have a 50-amp site, water, sewer and that is all we need. Plus, we have an empty dusty field behind our bus that is obviously some sort of wildlife sanctuary. In the afternoon, DT and I headed out in the Honda for a reconnaissance mission. I had found a supermarket yesterday and we had found a place to run. We needed fuel for the Honda, a taco and an ATM - don't forget, I was down to my last few cents after generously donating everything in my wallet to the Mandalay Bay Charity Casino. Our GPS told us where to find everything. We had a taco at Filiberto's a fairly large regional chain). It was just okay, but I was hungry and managed to down two chicken tacos. No rice. No beans. No drink. Tacos at Filiberto's are only $1.99... but the $2.05 tacos from Roberto's are much, much, much better. This is the second time we have tried Filiberto's and we won't go there again. Life is too short to eat "just okay" food. And... I am a well-known germ freak, but I just can't enjoy eating in an establishment that reeks of Pine-Sol. Gross.
We had tickets to the Mariners v Texas Rangers baseball game tonight (and several more games all week) so we also scouted out a route to the Peoria Sports Complex. It is only three miles from our campsite! Super-duper-fabuloa facility! It is shared by the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres during Spring Training.
Before heading out tonight, I made myself a drink with one of Joan & Don's lemons. Here's to you, Joan & Don! When Readers give you lemons... make yourself a drink with sparkling water.
(There is a slight possibility of Absolut Citron being in the glass as well.)
Believe it or don't... but this is the first time we have ever attended Spring Training! It was so wonderful. Being so close to the players, wonderful fans in the stands, a great facility and the temperature all evening did not require a sweater. Perfect!Here we are - enjoying Mariner Spring Training - Dad, me & DT. The Peoria Sports Complex at night
Mary asked that I take a photo of her favorite Mariner, Franklin Gutierrez:The elderly ladies seated in front of us - on a bus tour from Everett, Washington - called him "Frankie". Step it up, Mary. From now on, he is Frankie, okay? The score was not turning out well for the Mariners. We left in the 8th inning and went for a snack at one of the 7,312 dining establishments across the street from the baseball field. But, we are not the cleverest of travelers at times. We forgot it was St. Paddy's Day. Most of the "restaurants" were in the process of becoming "bars". At ten o'clock the kitchens closed, the DJ started spinning tunes and you had pay a cover to enter the joint.
Not for us.
Finally at 9:50p, we found a nice place - Fire Birds Wood Fired Grills, a chain from Colorado - with a quiet bar, no DJ, no cover-charge and a kitchen that promised to remain open until 10p in order to feed us. We chose snacks off the bar menu and found the food to be really good. DT ordered smoked chicken wings and I must say, they were absolutely delicious - smoky, meaty and the perfect snack to end our day in the sun. Jay Buhner was seated at the bar with a few of his cronies, and Dad was quite excited to see one of his favorite all-time Mariners.
It was a good day. Guess what? Tomorrow we will go to another game. This time, it is a day game and I will bring the big guns and snap - just maybe - a few shots of Ichiro. Do you think?
Until my next update, I remain, your Spring Training correspondent.
RV Park: Valley of the Sun RV Park. Bare-bones facility behind the Ramada Inn on Grand Avenue near the 101 Ring Road. $230 for a week. Our site is one of the few with 50 amp service. Back-in site over quickly-collapsing asphalt. Bath house and laundry and it seems RV guests can use the motel pool.