Phoenix: Day 0

Last week, people kept asking me what I was doing during the long Presidents’ Day weekend. I said that Anne and I were going to Phoenix. Their next question was “What’s there?”. My response was “I have no idea.” Confused looks were returned.

When we saw the long weekend coming, we figured we should use it to go somewhere fun. We looked at the map and found Phoenix. We’d never been there before. There must be some interesting stuff there, so why not? If nothing else, it should be nice and warm. We had so much fun on our Idaho trip, it would be worth a try in another city.

After getting some advice from Chris (who thanks me daily for getting him OUT of Phoenix), we looked at some hotels in Scottsdale. Finding nothing cheap, I decided to check out Hotwire. It was kinda like gambling to push that “Book” button, knowing only that we would get a 3-star hotel in the downtown Scottsdale area. It turned out to be the Hyatt Place, which was recently remodeled from an Amerisuites. It looked pretty nice.

I used one of my flights earned from traveling back and forth to L.A. every other week for my part of the trip and we used our last CapitalOne miles for the other half. Anne rented a car with Enterprise and we were set.

Friday night out of San Jose was a zoo. Like 90% of the Southwest flights I take, this one was delayed. We wouldn’t get in until 11:30 pm. Remembering we had been stranded once before, I called Enterprise to see what happens if we get there past their midnight closing time. They said we could either come back at 5 am when they reopen, or get a car from a company that’s open 24 hours. Surely, we should choose the latter if needed.

We dashed off the plane in Phoenix and got on the rental car shuttle. The rental car center is like a 15 minute drive away. What’s with that?

I called Enterprise again to make sure they would stay open. By the time we got to their office it was 12:02 am and they were closing up, but still gave us a car.

The car was a crappy Chevy Aveo. It had power-nothing. I can’t remember the last car I drove that didn’t have power windows. It had neither a CD player nor a tape player. The rear brakes were shot. It drove though, so we got out of there and headed to Scottsdale.

Arriving at our hotel, we noticed a lot of limos and loud music outside. It appeared that there were several trendy nightclubs next door. That’s fine, but it was right outside our room’s window. We found that the fan of the air conditioner barely drowned out the thumping bass.

What was very nice was the 42 inch plasma HDTV in our room. It was the first time I’ve been able to spend some time with one of these beautiful displays outside of a store. The Discovery Channel in HD was awesome. It was late though and we had much to see for the next three days, so we went to bed.

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