Man, just when I wanted to go to bed, they start airing an episode of Intervention I haven’t seen yet. Crap.
Yesterday was a blur of travel. I haven’t gone on a commercial flight in quite some time, since every time I’ve traveled with the team the last few times, it’s been on a charter. I wasn’t quite prepared for the cramped conditions of a normal airplane. It smelled like cat food on top of garbage for most of the trip. That, combined with the guy across the aisle who wouldn’t stop staring at me (and he wasn’t even cute, so it was a complete bust), and it was a long, long flight to Charlotte.
Once we got to North Carolina, we all split up in search of food. After perusing the fare, most of the team along with Shea and Marisa got Sbarros while I bought a salad from a local deli to eat on the connector flight. I complained to Dad that my bag straps were breaking. He told me “You shouldn’t have taken all that stuff on your carry-on!” But I needed my computer! And my books! And…magazines. And…lots of other things that I ended up never using on the flight because of the lack of space.
On the second flight, I was placed next to a man who kept turning his phone on to play Fantasy Football after the flight attendant had expressly advised us to keep them off throughout the flight. He also had a scabbed over piercing in his ear, which wasn’t so much gross as it was totally repulsive. There was a brief moment of hope when I looked down a few seats and saw a completely vacant row! Victory! I had just grabbed my bag to make the move when who should swoop in and steal my seat but Miss Heather Buck. Her defense of “I’m taller!” won out.
After a little bit of turbulence (although someone could open their bag of peanuts loudly and I’d mistake it for engine failure), we arrived at San Antonio Airport. The air was hot and close. The airport bars blared mariachi music. The intercom announcements repeated in Spanish. And I was starving.
We arrived at our hotel, an absolutely beautiful piece of modern architecture located smack dab on the Riverwalk. Our first dinner in Texas was everything that a good Mexican meal should be: jicama/mango salsa, salad full of black beans, and cornbread studded with jalapeño pieces. I drizzled some honey on top of mine.
Today, after an amazing breakfast (I think I’m going to become best friends with the omelette man in the restaurant buffet), the team had film and practice. I was pleased to find out that Kaili is back to practicing and should be clear to play for tomorrow’s game. The practice went according to plan, judging by Dad’s reactions. He did try to rile Tina up after practice and commented on her tendency to check with him after every good or bad play. When Dad gets angry I tend to put on my iPod, so I don’t know exactly what was said. I was too busy getting blissed out by Lady GaGa.
After practice, I got lunch and went to the gym, and hung out in my room for a little while. Tonight we had our welcome dinner/riverboat tour for the Road To The Championship special, sponsored by ESPN and the San Antonio Silver Stars. It was great fun, if a little freezing cold, to go on the Riverwalk boat tour and see all the old structures. I was in particular taken by the Selena bridge, named after the Tejano (or Tex/Mex) superstar tragically killed in 1995 by the president of her fan club. As we passed under it, Kaili and I started singing songs from the movie and I attempted to highfive her from across the boat. The only hiccup in our plan was halfway through the trip, our boat’s power went out and we had to load another boat! Shea was convinced we were the victims of sabotage.
After that little drama, we went back to the hotel for the welcome dinner, which was absolutely delicious. I must admit it was a bit awkward…for the interview portion, Dad was sitting up on a podium with Gail Goestenkors, Kristy Curry, and Pat. I was terrified it would be unbearably awkward, but Dad and Pat both handled the situation quite well. Dad knows when to be gracious under fire. Besides, had he put one toe out of line, I would’ve given him hell.
I can’t exactly talk about how this conversation came about, but I can tell you the bare bones, and the fact that it occurred between bites of flourless chocolate cake.
Shea: Man, they hate us.
Me: There was a Roman Emperor named Caligula, and he once said, ‘Let them hate me so long as they fear me.’
Oderint dum metuant..