Arizona Trip Rewinds USA Southwest Travels

Trip Rewind Arizona 2002 : Phoenix Arizona

Trip Rewinds are stories from my earlier travels prior to the Paws for Beer blog’s creation. The stories may be oldies, but hopefully you find them to be goodies 🙂

Over the next few postings I will tell you about my trip to Arizona in 2002.

I realize that 2002 was a long time ago but this trip changed my life (for the better of course). I had worked a full-time job while I was working my through a community college and had finally graduated with a AS degree. It took me 4 years to finish a 2 year degree. I never picked a major other than general studies – basically a cop-out because I did not know what I wanted to do. At the age of 18 I did not have a plan and even now at the age of 33 I am still confused about what I should do. I felt like I was going to college because that was what you were suppose to do after high school. I was never really interested in school, I am bad at math and have terrible reading retention.

I was relieved to be done with school and get my degree. I was burned out from the load of both school and work. I had also been commuting about 160 miles a week for those 4 years of school. That had also worn pretty thin.

I was rushing out the door at work one day for a dentist appointment. I was already running late and a co-worker pulled me aside and said I needed to come to a meeting right away. Our president demanded that I be there. Irritated I went to the meeting room and was greeted by our president and my co-workers. They had all gathered to throw me a congratulations party for graduating college. It was a nice gesture, but seriously I needed to get to the dentist! I calmed down about my dental appointment after one of my co-workers informed me that they had called to let the dentist know I was not on my way.

graduation cake
My congratulations cake and some pretty awesome hair in need of a haircut. Apparently I was too busy to get that done!

After we had some cake and I read the circulated congratulations card with a everyone’s signatures on it, I was handed a sheet of paper. The paper was my actual gift. My boss, along with one of our co-workers, a fellow NASCAR fan, had helped plan a trip to Phoenix Arizona for the NASCAR races. I was awarded two tickets to the Busch and Winston races (or Nationwide and Sprint as they are called now). The president of the company personally paid for two airline tickets to Phoenix and the race tickets were paid for by a collection of money from my co-workers. As I stared at the paper I think everyone was shocked by my reaction, because it appeared that I had no reaction. My reaction was internal however, what was flying through my mind was, hmmm… two tickets and two parents. I of course would be going, but which one of my parents would be going with me? It would be unfair to pick one over the other, we were all NASCAR fans.

happy photo of my mom
I’m guessing my mom (center) thought she was going for sure!

My parents decided that they would purchase two additional Busch and Winston Cup tickets and one airplane ticket to fly my Grandpa, my mom’s dad, out from California for the race. He was also a race car fan. So we were all set for the trip. We would met my Grandpa at the airport and head off to the races.

So here is where this trip changed my life. We had booked an overnight stay at a hotel by the airport as our house is about 2 hours away the airport. No one said living in a small town was convenient.

The next morning my mom or dad (I can’t remember – it was 12 years ago), double checked the pocket of the suitcase for our race tickets. We had for sure packed them… right? WRONG. We all began the frantic tear through our suitcases, shoving our hands into every pocket, unpacking everything. The tickets were not there. After some quick squabbling and decision-making my dad opted to run home to search for the tickets and my mom and I would go to Phoenix as planned.

My mom and I arrived in Phoenix and got situated at the hotel. She opened up her suitcase to unpack and suddenly said “Brittany, you’re never going to believe what I just found” and as she pulled her hand out of her suitcase there were the fricken’ tickets for the race. WTF tickets – why couldn’t you reveal yourself a few hours earlier?

So how this trip changed my life is that now I am a crazy person when I have tickets to something. I check numerous times before and while in route to my destination to ensure that I have the tickets. I call myself a crazy because even after I have checked while in route, I still check multiple times before arriving to make sure I have the tickets, even though technically I already know that I have them. But I have not forgotten, or thought I have forgotten tickets since!

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4 replies on “Trip Rewind Arizona 2002 : Phoenix Arizona”

Your poor Dad. Having to drive all the way home for no reason and then fly down to the race by himself. I have never understood what the universe’s reason was to bump me off that plane. It makes no sense even to this day.

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