Weekend in Arizona
September 14, 2004

So for the weekend of 9/10, we flew out to Arizona to see the Giants at Bank One Ballpark.  Janice and I flew out from SFO after yet another long day at work.   Perhaps to our benefit, they switched the scheduled pitching rotation for Arizona so that Randy Johnson could pitch on his birthday.  Instead of seeing him on Saturday, he pitched Friday night so that meant Saturday I would see the exact same pitching matchup as the previous Saturday which I saw in San Francisco.   Randy Johnson did pick up a win on that Friday night as we arrived in Phoenix and made our way to dinner and a night out in Scottsdale hitting the club scene.  Let me just say, Scottsdale is where the action is.  Downtown Phoenix just isn't happening.  There may be a crowd after a sporting event, but it is not the same.  It's not the party scene.  Arizona would lose the remaining two games as expected.  After all, I have been to only winning games for the Giants this season.   Well there was that one day I ate the meatball sandwich and the Giants lost.  Never again with that meatball sandwich.

As for our Saturday, before the game we met up with my friend Jason who recently moved back to Arizona from California.  We went for a round of golf near his home by the mountain.  Unlike the time in Vegas, this time I was prepared for the 112 degree desert sun.    There was plenty of water and gatorade.  
At the game, we found our seats at the ballpark before getting food.   We had to get a feel for the surroundings.  When we got there, there were plenty of Giants fans in the house including the girl in a Giants shirt and picture of J.T. (who ended up not being in that night's lineup) sitting behind us.  Good to know there won't be anyone throwing beer at the back of my head.   Well okay, the D-Backs were already eliminated from the division by the time we arrived in Phoenix so there really wasn't much fan support for Arizona.  But of those D-Backs fans who were in the house, they were booing just as much, if not louder, when they started to walk Barry yet again.  The bratwurst we bought at the cart were for the most part, not so good.  Definitely not the sheboygan at SBC Park.  My friends did suggest we should keep the winning ways and have a bratwurst.  If you know about me and the sheboygan brats at SBC, then you'll understand why.
So far I haven't seen a losing game for the Giants on the road in my lifetime from Seattle to Arizona.   If you count the tickets I purchased to L.A. before, the Giants did win those games.  Although I ended  up selling the tix when I couldn't make the trip.  Nonetheless, intention was to go and the Giants won.   ;->  
On Sunday, we had brunch at Christopher's Fermier Brasserie.    This was by far the best dining experience all weekend.   It was our last meal before returning home to San Francisco.  For certain it was the most memorable meal.  Not only did the restaurant staff display the best attention to customer service, but it was refreshing to be dining at a restaurant in Phoenix that wasn't part of another large chain.   From the design of the restaurant to the menu, everything stood out with it's own unique style.  We truly enjoyed our lunch.  The food was wonderfully prepared, especially the grand marnier soufflé to finish things off.  I only wish we had more time in the evening to enjoy Paola's Wine Bar.   Anyone planning to spend time in Phoenix, this is a definite recommend.  We know how to eat and this was tops.
We also made a quick stop at the Arizona Mills outlet.  We were on a shorter than desired timeframe for shopping because there was a plane to catch.  We scored pretty good with some power shopping.  Last Call does it again.  Unfortunately, I did give up my tix to the Niners home opener for this trip.  But in the end, the Niners did not look so good as I was checking the scores at the airport.  I did not miss much at home.  All in all, it was a fun trip.  I was glad to be out there with Janice.   As for the Giants, I have a feeling the NL West Division will be a close race to the last weekend.  

Routing for the Giants in Phoenix Soufflé at Christopher's Fermier Brasserie


One final side note.  Sam's Cafe was a chain I did use to like going to when traveling to the SouthWest on business.  But what is up with losing the breadsticks and picante salsa spread?  That was one of their best items.  They still had the white chocolate tamales, but the breadsticks were the fav of many.  Our waitress told us they stopped doing it in February this year.   Boo. 

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