Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring Training Arizona 2016

Spring training in Arizona 2016! 

Sunshine, cold beer, baseball!  

It doesn’t get much better than that, especially if you live in the Midwest where a spring like day in March can quickly turn into a blizzard that night.
My husband and I just returned from our 4th trip. He is truly a die hard Cub fan and I enjoy a few games too. We saw three games this time all featuring the Cubbies. The excitement for the Cubs is at an all time frenzy. We are so excited! This will be our year!!! 

There are 10 ball parks in the Cactus League in the Phoenix - Mesa area and 15 teams: Cubs, White Sox, Angels, Reds, Royals, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Rockies, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Padres, Texans, Mariners, and Athletics. We have been to Sloan Park, Camelback Ranch, Peoria Sports Complex, Maryvale Stadium, and Hohokam Stadium.  

This season, we went to the Peoria Sports Complex, Sloan Park, and Camelback Ranch. Each ballpark has beautifully tended grass and gardens. Tailgating is allowed and encouraged in the parking lots at Sloan Park and Peoria Sports Complex. Funny story:  We were tailgating at Sloan Park before a late afternoon game. I sat on the open trunk of our rental car and the back bumper just fell off. It was a Toyota Yaris and it looked like the bumper should just snap back in but we couldn’t get it in position. I was feeling a little panicked but one of the other tailgaters came over and helped us fix it. The Yaris has to be one of the cheapest cars made. Thank goodness we didn’t have an accident because that car would not have been any protection. 

There was a lot more traffic this year and we were told that the traffic gets heavier as the season progresses. We saw several wrecks. 

Spring training games are much more relaxed than regular season ones. Everyone is really friendly and happy and ready to have a good time. No one cares if you move to a different seat. You get closer to the players and can even get autographs. You can watch the pitchers getting warmed up.  

There is a huge variety of foods and drinks to try. There are cocktails and craft beers. Although we just have to have a hot dog and peanuts at every game, we did find frozen yogurt root beer floats at the Peoria Sports Complex and a Portillos at Sloan Park. Delicious! Camelback ran out of food as it was a sold out game and I guess everyone was hungry. No worries - there was plenty of ice cold beer. 

We like to stay in the Tempe area around the college. We like the bars and restaurants on Mill Street. We usually can find a bar close to our hotel.  We stayed at the Candlewood Suites on West Baseline Road. We had a mini kitchen and a large bath. It was clean and comfortable except the pillows were flat as a pancake.  The staff was very friendly and helpful as well. We could cook breakfast or walk to McDonalds or Waffle House. There was a very nice outdoor pool and hot tub which we used every night. We chose Final Round as our last watering hole for the evening.  It was an interesting place. The owner was a bit of a grouch but the waitresses were very nice.  

We hiked up the Hayden Butte and around Papago Park for exercise. The desert is so beautiful and all the trees and shrubs were blooming.

Casino Arizona was disappointing. The bets on the slots cost twice as much as usual and you didn’t find that out until you started playing. It was definitely the devil’s playground as my younger son likes to describe casinos. 

It was a good time. The sun shined every day.  I cannot wait to go back.

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