Update: My grandfather was charged $79 for his carry-on bag by Frontier from Fort Lauderdale-Phoenix, despite it having his CPAP machine. Employees are paid a commission on bag fees, so it’s no surprise they charged him for a bag with a medical item.
Yes I know, grandkids don’t let grandparents fly Frontier or Spirit, but the only other nonstop option from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix was Spirit and that flight timing didn’t work out. That’s also part of the reason for flying back from Las Vegas for a JetBlue flight. 😀
I wrote a complaint to Frontier and they denied him a refund, but I wrote back saying my next step would be to file a DOT complaint and they promptly refunded his credit card!
Sometimes just the threat of a DOT complaint works as well as making a DOT complaint.
I have long talked about going to watch the Tribe’s Spring Training with my grandfather. Thanks to him, my summers for decades have been synonymous with creating memories while watching Indians games at the ballpark. Not just in Cleveland, we have also driven to an Indians game in Fenway while stopping at 3 sports Hall of Fame museums, and gone to memorable games at the SkyDome, PNC Park, Yankee Stadium, and many more ballparks.
The winter is trickier for planning a trip together, as my maternal grandparents snowbird to South Florida, but I’ve had my eye on meeting up in Arizona for a few years now. Alas, COVID got in the way, followed by the baseball lockout last year that scrubbed my plans.
My grandfather is now 84, may he live and be well, and I figured this would be as good of a time as ever for us to finally make the pilgrimage and watch some Cactus League ball. The Indians were the charter members for Cactus League baseball in the 40s and I love hearing the stories from my grandfather of him going to watch Bob Feller pitch in the 1948 World Series while being one of the record setting 86,288 fans who watched the game. Little my grandfather and his Cleveland born parents know, when they paraded for the Indians victory in October 1948, that it would be the last such parade for generations to come. I did enjoy going with my grandfather and Rafi to the Cavs 2016 parade, but baseball has always been our shared passion. The Indians sure came close that year, but it wasn’t meant to be as another team with an even longer drought would win it all.
During COVID, United added many new routes from Cleveland, including nonstops to Phoenix, in doing so they got American to cancel that route. And of course that route ended up getting cancelled after last winter. So, now only Frontier and Spirit have daily nonstops from Cleveland to Phoenix, and I’d sooner take a connecting flight than fly those airlines… However, Southwest has Sunday only nonstops to Phoenix, so I booked myself on that using points during a fare sale, and booked a flight for Rafi, too. After discussion with my wife we decided not to take him out of school for the trip, but I never got around to cancelling his ticket.
On Friday, I messaged Southwest multiple times to cancel Rafi’s ticket, but oddly enough, they never responded. On Shabbos, the day before the trip, I told the kids I was going with my grandfather to Phoenix and Rafi asked if he would be able to come with us instead of going to New York for the Chidon Hamitzvos trip that he earned through extracurricular learning and testing.
Lucky for Rafi, they never did cancel his ticket, but at that point I figured I’d let him go to sleep for the night and surprise him in the morning.
My grandfather mentioned that he had never gone to the Grand Canyon, so our tentative schedule was to watch ballgames on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and then drive up to Sedona and the Grand Canyon on Wednesday, spend the night there, and then fly home from Las Vegas on Thursday.
My wife Mimi had a Hyatt anniversary night expiring at the end of February, and Rafi and I had Fairmont Platinum for Life free nights and suite upgrades also expiring at the end of February, so I booked the Hyatt Tempe Mission Palms for Sunday and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for Monday and Tuesday using free nights.
Mimi was able to DM @HyattConcierge on Twitter to have them transfer her anniversary night certificate to me, which can be done at the same time as booking a room. That way I was able to take advantage of my Globalist benefits for the stay as a the primary guest, instead of her just adding me as an additional guest.
That worked out well, as the hotel was also happy to provide us with kosher breakfast in lieu of the standard Globalist breakfast.
Rafi got the shock of his life when we woke him up and told him that he was coming along to Phoenix. But most importantly, he grabbed a bunch of baseball cards and baseballs to get signed!
The last time I flew Southwest was when Rafi was an infant over 11 years ago.
We couldn’t check-in 24 hours in advance due to Shabbos and wound up with Group C boarding. Officially family boarding, which occurs after Group A, is for children 6 and under, but the gate agent said no problem when I asked about boarding with Rafi during family boarding. Others with kids that were over 6 boarded then as well. Perhaps they’re unofficially going with the DOT definition of a kid being 13 and under?
Even with the family boarding, the first row with an open aisle seat was the 3rd from the rear of the plane. And while we sat down in the aisle and window seat and there were some empty seats on the plane, people tended to walk all the way back in hopes of finding an empty aisle or window and once they made it to the back, they settled for a seat there rather than in the front. So while rear rows are emptier on other airlines, they were full on Southwest. Rafi slid over to the middle seat rather that have someone in between us.
Southwest is great if you don’t have status on any other airline, but I’d probably take the connection on another airline if I’d do it over again. I like having an extra legroom seat, which isn’t offered on Southwest. I didn’t care for the open seating boarding process, though I understand that it works out well for many families. The WiFi didn’t work for the first hour and a half of the flight and I was surprised by the tiny cup of seltzer that I got on Southwest versus the full can proactively offered on other airlines. And of course there’s no seatback entertainment on Southwest.
The extent of the in-flight entertainment was the plane circling around the New Mexico/Arizona border due to storms in Phoenix. We nearly diverted to Tucson, but luckily I kept my streak going of more than 1,000 flights without ever being diverted.
After landing, I rented a car from National, and Rafi and I headed over to nearby Manhattan Pizza while we waited for my grandfather’s plane to land.
The pizzas were delicious, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re in a rush. They only open at noon and it took some 45 minutes for our food to be prepared.
12″ Original pie, $17.50, was great:
12″ Margherita pie with onions and fresh garlic, $23.50, and was fantastic:
Onion Rings, $8.50, were not as good as the pizza:
It took some extra time to find my grandfather with some confusion about the North and South pickup points, which requires a long diversion to travel between when walking across the hall would have been the better solution, but after figuring that out and surprising him with Rafi being there, we made our way to Goodyear Ballpark for our first spring training game.
If you’re not a baseball fan, there’s no way to describe the feeling of the magic found at the ballpark. It was chilly out, but we had a glorious time creating warm memories together while watching America’s pastime.
Tickets from the box office were more expensive than I thought they would be, but as usual StubHub came through with excellent last minute seats at bargain pricing.
Goodyear Ballpark is fantastic. It has a great old school feel, you’re right near the field, and best all, the protective netting ends at the dugouts instead of stretching to the foul poles.
I could sit out here all day and listen to stories from my grandfather while watching baseball.
One thing to keep in mind is that most of the star players only play through the 5th inning before checking out.
Thanks to the lack of protective netting, it’s easy to get autographs before and after games:
Baseball is undergoing major changes this year, and the games felt very different. This was just the 2nd day of Spring Training games, so there was definitely a learning curve at play and that will likely continue into the regular season.
- There is a 15 second pitch clock with no runners on base and a 20 second clock with runners on base. Hitters have to be ready in the box with 8 seconds left in the pitch clock.
- Bases are comically larger, to encourage more base stealing.
- Pitchers can only attempt 2 pickoff attempts per at bat.
- The shift has been banned by requiring 4 infielders to be on the infield dirt with 2 on each side of 2nd base when the pitch is thrown.
That’s a whole lot of change for a game that doesn’t change rapidly.
I have mixed feelings about the changes. One of the glorious parts of baseball is the lack of time pressure. Every other sport manufactures drama and anxiety via the clock. But don’t we have enough of that in our daily life? Isn’t it nice to enjoy something without time restraints?
But the new generation doesn’t have patience and to be fair, games have gotten much longer than they used to be.
MLB is very pleased with the pitch clock changes. The average 2023 spring training game was nearly half an hour shorter than it was in 2022. The pace of the game is quick, with much less down time than before. Clearly, these changes resonate with a new generation of fans. But my old school self wishes there was a way to accomplish that without garishly large pitch clocks.
The shift bans and large bases are an artificial way to create more small ball, which is trying to return the game to what it was before players started trying to just hit a home run or strike out. Again, I can’t say that I’m a fan, but I understand the reasoning behind the rules.
And everyone hates when a pitcher throws to first base a dozen times to keep the runner in check, but baserunners are now given a huge advantage with the new rules and bases that have grown by 20%. It will be interesting to see if some teams take advantage of them to an extreme and force MLB to modify the new rules.
The jury is certainly out, but overall, casual fans will certainly enjoy many of the new rules and the more concise game.
After the game we drove to check-in to the Hyatt Tempe Mission Palms. The hotel is pretty dated, but employees were very friendly and they offered to bring a rollaway bed for Rafi at no additional charge.
We went to dinner at Kitchen18, which was crowded. As expected, service was very slow and we never did get our mixed drinks, but portions were very generous and the food was pretty good.
Fish Tacos, $12.99, were very good:
Rafi loved the chicken strips, $13:
My grandfather enjoyed the Sesame Chicken, $26.99:
My mushroom onion burger, $23, didn’t come out for a solid half an hour after the other entrees, but it was a solid burger, though the side dishes were cold by the time it arrived:
There were lots of people enjoying the rooftop and hot tub of the Hyatt Tempe Mission Palms both at night and day, though the pool itself was not warm enough to use in the cool February temperatures.
They delivered kosher breakfast to the room free of charge thanks to my Globalist status, which was a nice treat! I reserved 2 breakfasts the week before, without knowing Rafi would be coming, but there was plenty of food for the 3 of us. The Cholov Yisroel meals were provided by Imperial Market, the kosher grocery store in Phoenix:
Just a short drive from the hotel is Sloan Park, where the Cubs were hosting the Guardians. Once again, StubHub proved invaluable for getting a front row bargain.
The outfield area of the park is a beautiful place to watch the game from and try to catch some homers:
Sloan Park has protective netting that hinders the player interaction that’s possible at Goodyear, but there are some spots you can sneak into for an autograph.
Interestingly, we found that most fans only go to their home team’s park, despite all of the Cactus League ballparks being located in the Phoenix area. That also means you have great odds of getting autographs at an “away” ballpark.
Rafi getting the hang of racking up the baseballs and autographs:
Sloan Park is also a treat for AvGeeks. The frequency of planes flying over the ballpark is astounding!
We sat next to a fan at the game who called himself a bad Jew and I explained why we won’t believe in that and how we all have potential to fulfill our mission in life. He mentioned that he was supposed to be with his dad, but he passed away and he decided to go, thanks to his inheritance. I was just happy to be at the game with my grandfather and son! He is running for a seat in the Canadian parliament and we spoke about Stephen Harper, who I spent 10 days with on our Antarctica cruise. He was running as a liberal, but we spoke about what a friend Mr. Harper was to Israel and that support of the only democracy in the Middle East shouldn’t be a political issue.
You never know who you’ll bump into at a game!
After the game we drove up to Scottsdale and checked into the Fairmont. We were upgraded to the Privado casitas, which include a dedicated check-in and concierge, spa access, complimentary valet parking, a lounge with free drinks and snacks, and more.
We were whisked via golf cart to the Privado check-in. Due to a massive conference, the main pathway through the hotel was blocked by tables, so they drove us around the long way to get there and we got a tour of the grounds. It was cold outside, but it was really cold in that golf cart!
We were in the upstairs suite, which doesn’t have elevator access:
The room itself looked great, with a pullout couch for Rafi in the living room:
And the bathroom was massive:
The hotel even provided a kosher wine welcome amenity, which was a nice touch:
The room did have some glitches, with some outlets and TVs that weren’t functional. It took quite some time for those to get worked out, though I couldn’t complain for the rate I was paying for the room…
We went to check out the grounds and pools, but for some reason they were all down for maintenance.
The grounds are very nice though:
We went to Fata Morgana for dinner, which was just a short drive from the resort.
Moroccan cigars, $14.95, were clearly from a frozen package:
But the poppers, $14.95, were excellent:
The salad platter, $19.95, was also just packaged salads:
The kids shnitzel platters, $14.95, was good, though Rafi enjoyed the Kitchen18 version more.
Pita Lachmajoon, $18.95, was good:
The Sabich sliders, $19.95, were very good:
Homemade churros, $11.95, were excellent:
Even late at night, the Privado concierge and lounge was still open:
Privado guests also have access to a private pool, which was nicely heated, and hot tub:
Privado guests also have access to the very nice spa facilities:
Hot waterfall pool:
Spa rooftop pool:
For lunch, we went to LaBella Pizzeria, which opens at 11am, which works out better for going to ballgames than any other restaurant in town.
Indeed, we saw fans of other baseball teams eating here for lunch as well.
Here they were busy cranking pizzas and had a large selection ready when they opened:
The stuffed cheese slices, $5.49, were excellent. Why don’t more kosher pizza shops make these?
They also had a Mexican menu and my grandfather loved the chimichanga, $17.99:
The fish tacos, $19.99, were also delicious:
And then it was back to Goodyear to watch the Royals take on the Tribe. It’s a good plan to get to the ballpark at least an hour before first pitch if you want to get autographs:
Rafi also made his Kansas City cousin very happy by getting a baseball signed by Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Pérez.
A warmup and a signed ball for Rafi by Oscar Gonzalez. But I didn’t think to show him the video from JJ’s wife before his walkoff in last year’s playoffs.
Another glorious afternoon at the ballpark:
Does it get better than this?
Or in the words of Field of Dreams…
One advantage of being a kid? You can call on Myles Straw at the end of the 5th inning to come over and sign his baseball card.
Can’t do that at ballparks with protective netting!
Guardians rookie Tim Herrin was making his debut and his girlfriend sat next to us. He pitched and came over to her to say goodbye when she had to run to the airport after he pitched. It was a cute moment that you don’t get to see during the regular season.
In his MLB debut regular season debut, he was the first player to ever face 4 or more hitters and strike them all out.
Goodyear has a great history “museum” covering the Cactus League:
For dinner we went back to Kitchen18, where we had some delicious bourbon poppers, $13:
The brisket sliders, $14, were a bit too cholent-like:
The crispy rice sushi, $14.99, was pretty good:
And my grandfather loved his pastrami burger, $28:
On Wednesday, we had planned on driving up to Sedona and the Grand Canyon National Park, but mother nature had other plans as they were expecting 2 feet of snow to fall.
Instead we decided to spend another night in Phoenix. The timing worked out well as it was March 1st, the day I get my new year of Fairmont free night certificates, so I extended our stay by a night, and booked tickets on Stubhub to watch the Guards play the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
And instead of driving north, we’d head south after the game, to have dinner with my paternal grandparents who live in Tucson.
We stopped off for lunch at LaBella again, and had a onion slice of pizza, $4.95, that was good, but was missing that delicious stuffed crust:
The onion rings, $10.99, were excellent:
And what’s life without a milkshake:
Rafi’s Chidon Hamitzvos final was that day, so he took that 100 question test during lunch. He breezed right through it and I figured he would perhaps match what he had done in the prior year. But we found out 2 weeks later that he had aced the test, won a trophy, and won an invite to be on the Chidon game show competition in Newark Symphony Hall.
Now, Rafi wasn’t supposed to have gone on both trips, but given the game show invite, I wound up having to take him to New York to compete, where his team tied for first. Talk about knowing how to get a BOGO deal…
Getting autographs at Camelback Ranch:
It’s fun to watch the players entertain themselves as well!
And warm up:
Camelback was the only stadium that didn’t allow us to bring in any bags or snacks, which was pretty crummy. It was definitely my least favorite of the Cactus League ballparks that I visited.
With rain in the forecast, the crowd was sparse:
The giant pitch clock. With 8 seconds left, the batter has to be ready to hit:
White Sox fans next to us heckled the 3rd base umpire in middle of the game, “Hey Blue, you don’t know the rules!”
The ump just laughed and said, “Sure don’t, I just hope I do by Opening Day.”
The rain started coming in the 7th, so we left and drove down to Tucson to have dinner with my paternal grandparents. They’re in the mid-90s, may they live and be well, and I wanted to bring dinner from Phoenix, but my grandmother insisted on making dinner.
Little did I know, her oven and stove broke that morning. But somehow she was able to have a brand new one delivered in the afternoon and she had a delicious dinner cooking when we arrived.
The drive to Tucson was very congested, with a highway that clearly wasn’t designed to handle the amount of traffic that is now on the route.
After shmoozing and dinner, it was time to drive back up to Scottsdale. The rains were blindingly torrential and we drove past numerous accidents through some very scary driving that night. Waze had us exiting the highway onto surface roads at several points on the drive to bypass backups.
But we made it out of Tucson before an inch of snow fell on the city in a once in a generation snowstorm.
I seem to have a knack for getting stuck in massive snowstorms. We spent 36 hours stuck in Dallas during the once in a generation snowstorm in 2021.
Even North Scottsdale got hit by rare snowfall:
Getting wild out here with this latest band of snow pushing through! #azwx pic.twitter.com/BdBOph7vfS
— John Sirlin (@SirlinJohn) March 2, 2023
On the way home, I ordered Uber Eats from Fata Morgana to the our hotel, so that we would have food for the Grand Canyon the next day. Alas, there were no drivers to be found in the torrential rain, and Uber cancelled the order. I didn’t notice that while we were driving until I was off the highway.
The restaurant said they didn’t have the food and the kitchen was closed, but they kindly agreed to fry us up some shnitzel to go, which we picked up before going to the hotel.
Back in our Privado casita, things were not going as great. My grandfather’s bed was soaked from a leak in the ceiling. The hotel was very apologetic and offered to move us to another casita, but that wasn’t what we wanted to do in a storm late at night after a long day.
Luckily the leak stopped and they changed his bedding, so we didn’t move rooms that night.
But before I’d stay in the Privado casitas again, I’d definitely ask if the roof still looks like this:
The Privado agents were very apologetic and didn’t charge my free night certificate for the night and also waived the resort fees for the stay.
The next morning it became clear that there was no way we were visiting Grand Canyon National Park. Every route into the park was closed due to snow:
But we had flights out of Vegas that night, so we said goodbye to the Fairmont Princess and hit the road:
But I had a surprise up my sleeve for Rafi and my grandfather. While the highways north of Phoenix were all closed, we were able to drive northwest and detour to Grand Canyon West!
After a couple of hours on the road, we stopped for gas and lunch at the Mobil station in Wikieup, AZ. The snow capped mountains that we were bypassing were hauntingly beautiful:
I had put our shnitzel into a HotLogic Max and plugged it into a DC inverter, so we had piping hot food for lunch.
But Rafi was most excited when he saw the Dippin Dots at the gas station. It’s not often you can find kosher parve frozen treats in middle of nowhere!
We just had to gawk at the mountains along the way:
After another 2 hours of driving, we made it to Grand Canyon West.
I was at the Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim as a kid in 1995, though the government was shutdown at the time, so most parts were closed.
I went back as a 21 year old with 3 friends from my smicha program in LA, where we spent a wonderful Shabbos.
Oddly enough, as we were walking around our lodge on Shabbos afternoon we passed by a wedding party and heard someone say “$%^&!, the Rabbis found us!”
Well, we weren’t sure what to do, but clearly there was a reason we were in that place at that time, so we gave over a d’var torah and wondered about the hashgocha protis that led us there. After all, wherever we go, it’s because G-d wants us to be there and accomplish something good there.
In 2020, on a DDF RV trip across the country, we tried to make it to the Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim, but the road there was already closed in early November due to snow.
And once again, the snow stopped us from making it to the National Park, but Grand Canyon West is in the Hualapai Reservation, which was accessible.
It’s a lot more commercialized and expensive than the national park, but it’s still beautiful and I think it counts to check off my grandfather’s bucket list. You can save if you buy a Groupon, though they don’t sell Groupons on the day of your visit.
The marketing highlight is the Skywalk, a glass bottom walkway suspended thousands of feet above the canyon floor.
The official pictures make it look pretty awesome with the glass bottom floor:
But the reality isn’t like that. Or at least not when we were there.
The glass floor was very cloudy, which made it considerably less intense and thrilling than you would expect.
Perhaps the crummiest part is that they don’t allow you to bring your phone or camera onto the skywalk. And you have to go through a metal detector to ensure compliance.
Is there a way to understand that as anything except for a way to get you to cough up $50 for their digital pictures?
But hey, it worked.
Grand Canyon West admission includes a shuttle with a couple of stops and vantage points.
If you’re feeling brave, you can climb to the top of the hill for the best 360 degree views:
Rafi and I did that climb:
Though he was disappointed that I didn’t let him do this:
And there was no good spot to emulate this:
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The snow really added a nice element to the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River:
Though it’s no Bryce Canyon in the snow:
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We rejoined with my grandfather and then hit the road to Vegas.
But of course Rafi saw the signs for Hoover Dam along the way, so we made a quick detour there as well:
Driving through the Hoover Dam viewing area, you can climb up to the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge for a great vantage point of the dam:
And then from the Hoover Dam Access Road you can see the bridge viewing point:
In Vegas we stopped at Kosher Chinglish, my favorite Chinese restaurant in the world. It’s not your typical Chinese dishes either, the owner’s parents hail from Hong Kong and make some authentic and delicious Cantonese food.
Poh Poh’s Chicken Dumplings, $14, are absurdly delicious:
Egg Rolls, $14, are very unique tasting:
Rafi gobbled up the chicken wontons, $11, which are great:
The Hong Kong Crispy Noodles dish, $36, is one of the most unique out there. Eat it quickly and you’ll get crunchy noodles with the chicken, beef, and bok choy. But wait a few minutes and the crunchy noodles are delicious softer noodles from the broth.
Sweet and sour chicken, $23, is one of the best versions of this dish I’ve had:
Beef rib with green beans, $25, has an incredible flavor, with succulent meat that is cooked to perfection:
I’m a hopeless lemon lover, and the lemon chicken, $23, is sheer perfection. Out of this world fried chicken with a tangy and zesty lemon sauce. It doesn’t get better than this!
We had some macorons, $12, for dessert, which are good if not incongruous for a Chinese restaurant:
And a hot chocolate cake for $12, which was fine, but nothing special:
And then it was off to the airport. I checked in my bag with United while my grandfather waited in the car and then I dropped him off at JetBlue and we said our goodbyes until Pesach.
It was a trip and memories made that will last a lifetime!
When we went to return the car, I misjudged just how long the return shuttle would take. The shuttle that was there was full, but waiting for some reason. It took another 25 minutes for the next shuttle to depart, which made things uncomfortably close for our 10:15pm flight.
Luckily I had checked the bag earlier, as we would have missed the T-45 bag cutoff after the rental car shuttle.
United killed off their Las Vegas-Cleveland nonstop flight last year. That left Frontier and Spirit as the other options, and I booked the United saver award over that. Breeze also flies nonstop from Vegas to Akron, though their flight left Thursday at noon, which wasn’t useful for us.
I booked via Newark on the United 757-200 with lie-flat seats up front, and sure enough, we both cleared into first class:
The seats are the old Continental BusinessFirst seats, but they were great as lie-flat beds and we instantly fell asleep after takeoff.
We had a 1 hour connection in Newark, but I wanted to take a quick shower and check out the new United Club there.
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a shower after a red-eye. The shower rooms are certainly not as luxurious as the Polaris showers, but it’s great to see United bring back showers to clubs, which were a standard feature in the Continental days.
There’s not much kosher in the lounge aside from Lays chips and the Coke Freestyle machine:
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere:
I went to check if there were any parve non-dairy creamers at the espresso bar (there aren’t) but the sunrise caught my eye.
For the next several minutes I was mesmerized by the sunrise:
The lounge itself is certainly a welcome addition to Newark.
And then it was off to catch our connecting flight home, running past the Polaris Lounge:
And past the next club that United will open in Newark:
I shlepped home some Chinglish for Shabbos for us and some friends, which was still delicious that night. And of course I stopped by the Priority Pass lounge in Cleveland to pickup a free 6 pack of beer as well as Kind bars and Dirty Chips.
Hey, free is free!
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My grandfather said his favorite part of the trip was watching Rafi run around, as he scooped up dozens of baseballs and autographs. I’m pretty sure more than half our luggage weight was made up of signed baseballs!
But the quality time together was what was truly priceless. The only question is what took us this long to take a trip like this?!
To all the baseball fans out there, happy Opening Day. Go to some new ballparks this year and make some new memories!
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45 Comments On "[Update: DOT To The Rescue Even Without A DOT Complaint] Trip Notes: Spring Training With My Grandfather And Son; Phoenix, Tucson, Grand Canyon, Vegas, And More!"
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Thanks for the narration of your trip! Very interesting and informative! Take care!
Baseball, food, national parks, and an under the radar Jimmy Buffet reference. Your trip blogs are by far the best thing you offer on this site. Keep them coming.
any minyanim along the way ?
Too bad Siegel’s in Phoenix closed after 50 years. It used to be the only kosher place in town. Had GREAT food at incredibly low prices.
A real shame
Thank you for sharing this great trip. I enjoyed reading about it even if I’m not a baseball fan. KFP
Incredible pics btw… the food and especially the sunrise
Stayed in the hyatt Tempe hotel great for category 3 beautifull pool with 2 hot tubs and a nice courtyard, does hyatt order kosher breakfast gorgeous all globalist? I stayed in park hyatt Manhattan and they did
Depends on the hotel.
Podcast with your grandfather? Many of us would enjoy the stories!
A great read. As always
tldr.. but thanks for sharing Dan. i wonder if this post was meant for you and yours or us?
PP gives “arrival access” at Bar Symon in cle?
Never had an issue. Fun way to stock the house.
we always pay for earlybird check-in on SWA when flying on Sunday. It’s worth the $20 in the scheme of the vacation. You only need to pay for one of you and your party boards with you now.
True, but is it worth it if you can get family boarding?
Very nice TR! Thank you for posting.
Any particular reason you didn’t go to milk and honey in the jcc?? The food is very good there
I keep strict cholov yisroel.
Next time you’re in Tucson, send a message. I run the Kosher Pizza Cart in Tucson. I could have made fresh pizza for your family. Also, if your grandfather ever needs anything, I am here.
Very cool, thanks!
Cute fam! After reading the entire write up the only thing I can think of is pizzaaa!!!
What’s the “Indians” on your jersey? Is that the minor league team of the Guardians?
How’d you get your name on the welcome sign?
Just need to ask 🙂
I had a blast being with you and Rafi was the best part of our trip. Can’t wait for the season to start love you and rafi
very nice read.Quality time with zeidy is the best investment!
how nice of you to take your zaidy!
More trip reports please
you literaly plan out my next vacation
I love your trip reports!
Sounds like your an awesome dad and and an awesomer einikel!
Have a chag kosher v’someach
If i have a complaint against virgin would dot help ?
Did the carry on have other things in as well besides for the cpap machine? I was under the assumption that just cpap doesn’t count, but if its a bag that has cpap in there, that does count? Thanks
Did this trip I summer it was epic
I’ve lived in Phoenix for 20 years and never went to any of the Spring Training games. Probably something we should look into doing one of these days. Glad you enjoyed our great city.
Important not to let them take any more advantage of senior citizens or any travelers. Always good to make a little noise. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Thanks for the update!
howd did you keep the food on the return flight cold?
The Aunts comment on the 2006 Extravaganza post is nothing short than hilarious 🙂
Are you INSANE?????? Sitting on each plane praying you’ll make the next one for two straight days sounds more than torturous.
your slightly more sane aunt”
This was such a fun read, Dan! Building family memories is priceless, but when it can be done for less $$$ than the average trip, it’s somehow more enjoyable
As I live in Chicago I fly southwest a fair bit. More than once I have had a friend in Australia check me in for an early Sunday morning flight.
How day you get into the united club if you were flying domestic?
My wife davened at the Zemech Zedek Shul even before it was on Lee Road and of course, when it was on Lee Road with the Kazins. Is there a chance she knew your grandfather and parents back then?
Definitely, what’s their name?
I love reading through this.
Thank you Dan!