Day 1 of our NCAA Tournament Trip
Watching the Lobos Play in the 2nd Round

March 15, 2012

Day 1 NCAA Trip Here we are off to watch the Lobos play in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament in Portland, OR.

I learned from a dear friend that taking notes everyday is a great way to remember what happens on trips.

We have a 6:10 AM flight on March 15, 2012 but its only 2:15 AM and we can’t sleep so we are up having coffee and wondering what posses us to quickly plan a trip and go watch the Lobos play basketball. They are playing Long Beach State.

We have coffee and packed the suitcase and weighted it as we want to be under 50 pounds on Delta or its an additional $90. Our scale shows 43 or so pounds.

We are off and stop by the back and get some spending cash and arrive at the airport in about 30 minutes as there is no traffic. We check in and check the bag and it is a whopping 59 pounds. Oh crap, so we remove 5 pairs of jeans and get it to 50 pounds. We will hand carry the jeans. We purchases a carrying bag and put the jeans in that bag and head for security. Security is well run but with everything happening I always fell like I am naked as I go through the scanning device. We are done and notice a few other people with Lobo shirts. Seems like 6 of us in all on this trip are going to the game. As we made these reservations at the last minute we have two seats that are in the middle and not close to each other so Diana goes up and persuades the gate agent to give us adjoining seats on both flights.

If I had gone up there the guy would have said “Too Bad go sit down”. The first leg from ABQ to Las Vegas is uneventful as we sleep and relax. We arrived in Vegas at concourse B and quickly run to concourse C and boarded the flight. We had time to pee and I sent a message to my son Mike who had just delivered a load of passengers to the airport. The second leg was a little bumpy but we went up to 36,000 feet and it was smooth. Coming into Portland it was windy as the plane was rocking and doing a little crabbing as we landed into some stiff wind.

All is well as we picked up the car at Avis and pulled out our Garmin GPS device and programmed in the destinations of the hotel and arena. Driving in a new town is exciting but watching there directions and listing in to my expert navigator Diana means total concentration. We are doing well and Diana calls the final turn at the hotel by the Shell gas station which is two traffic lights away and I realize I am in the turning lane for the first traffic light so I have to take that turn which puts us right back on the the Freeway. The GPS tells us “Recalculating” in other words we got lost and its going to figure out how to get back. We listen and take various turns and we realized we are about where we made the wrong turn and the GPS is jabbering away and then it just stops talking. Oh shit, but we see where we need to go so we make it to the hotel without the GPS which has just for some reason “Shut Down”. Bless that dumb device....

We check in to the hotel and the room is not ready but that is OK as we want to head for the Rose Garden Arena which is 8 or so miles away. Getting to the arena was not to hard under the guidance of the Garmin but I had pictured a large arena with a huge parking lot around it. That was not the case as it was a large arena with parking building and in the heart of downtown Portland. We went around and around looking for a parking place as most of the lots where full. We finally arrived back at the arena and asked one parking attendant where we might find a parking place and he turn left on “muemaeeua” and go to 7th street. His tongue piercing made his speech hard to understand. We turned left on ““muemaeeua” and found a parking place in Lloyd Center for a $9 fee. We had seen as high at $20 parking places on our 25 minute tour of the parking lots in downtown Portland. We walked the 7 blocks and on the way we passed a “Red Robin” and we decided that since we had not eaten breakfast we would eat lunch there. We watched the game before our game on TV live as we ate so we could determine about what time to walk the remaining few blocks to the arena. As we walked we encountered light rain and very windy.

The arena holds 19,000 people and it was huge.. We arrived during the Louisville and Davidson game and are seats where available so we sat down and watched that game. Come to find out our tickets where good for the session not just our game but both games. I would say in the arena so it was almost full. The games was fun but the Louisville cheerleaders where the main attraction for me. I noticed them right away with their full tanned skin, perfect abs and bare mid drift. Wow. Diana noticed a little latter which then allowed me to comment.

Our game started out with two nervous teams and no scoring of the first fine minutes... I felt we did not play that well at the start as we could not seem to get the ball into the paint so we did outside shooting. The Long Beach guys in the paint where very good. I mentioned the team was nervous and that is not to say Diana and I where not serious, Holy Cow, I am not sure why I watch these guys play as they are not always on their best playing behavior. Anyway we won 75-68.

We walked out of the arena and walked to the car and turned on the GPS and as we started out of the parking lot Diana’s phone rang-a call from my sister Marge saying Diana was on national TV. At the same moment my cell chirped as my friend Dave was telling me that Diana was on TV. Later Bob, Roy also saw Diana. I was on my knees praying during that TV shot. I know how the first Apollo moon landing must have been where there was way to many events occurring to allow the computer to resolve them all-Complete overload. All I could remember was the old saying I leaned when becoming a pilot-Flight the Balloon(Car) and work the other issues as you have time. We did OK and returned via car to the hotel and ate at a local restaurant, Elmer's, the food was outstanding. We closed off the evening about 8 PM after being up since 2 AM for a good nights sleep.

Inside of the Arena

Very Nice Seats

The complete picture album