Arizona Trip 2007

I have a couple of really good friends from school. Although I kept saying that I will visit them many times, I have not got a chance to, since, well, they got married.

7/27 Going to Arizona

Woke up at 4:30am, took shower and headed to airport around at 5:00am. I could not do any stretching and only had enough time to grab my regular breakfast before leaving. The road to the airport was okay because of not much traffic but misty rain gave me hard time driving in the dark. Arrived at parking but the shuttle buses are quite full so I just decided to get to the terminal on foot. I have never taken the path so I had to follow the signs carefully. At the airport, there is a sky bridge, as well as ground crossing. Checked in my baggage, went through the security then I was at the gate by 6:00am. With some concerns over the weather because the rain began falling hard as the time for boarding gets nearer. I cannot do anything about it so I decided not to worry about it. I had two cases of hold up at parking spot before, so I did not want it to happen again. The boarding went smooth and the plane departed the gate with no problem. Took off in the air almost on time.

An MD-80 waiting at the gate

AA1615 DTW-ORD 7:00AM(EDT)-7:15AM(CDT)

The flight to Chicago was okay, the downtown area of it was foggy so I did not get to see much of the town. The plane landed fine, and I walked up to the another gate after checking the connection information. I did not want to do or buy anything particular but decided to grab water and newspaper. I brought the last Harry Potter book which I am almost finish reading with me so I had no problem waiting for a couple of hours before the next flight.

I cannot see much of skylines

AA2481 ORD-PHX 9:25AM(CDT)-10:55AM(PST)

B-757 at the gate JAL and ANA. I hope to go home someday...
Salina, KS, notable on its 2mi runway (which is unusual for Kansas, but ready for spaceshuttles) A typical Midwest farmland view
When I get to see green and montains, I am almost Colorado Mountains with less trees, a sign that I am approaching Arizona.
Almost there. Arizona State University

Arrived at Phoenix airport.

The plane start boarding. This one was the one I could not get the seat toward the front. B757 surely a bigger than MD-80. The plane was taxing off the terminal and I get to see a B747 belongs to JAL (Japan Air Line) and B777 for ANA (All Nippon Airways). This airport take care of many flights to Japan... I missed Japan a bit. The flight to Phoenix takes about 4 hours. It flew over some citied and towns which I do not recognize, but Salina, KS was the one I definitely know what it was. Due to its 2mi long runway. When I started to see some mountains with almost no green, I know I am getting closer to Phoenix. The plane approached from the east, and landed okay. There were few bumps in the air prior to landing though. By the time plane landed, It was nearly 2:00pm in EDT so I was quite hungry.

View from the airport Camel Back Mountain


Toyota Prius, first time driving it

Old Spaghetti Factory

I went down to lower floor to get my baggage but since I arrived around 10:45am, it was too early to call my friend but I called and left message to let him know. I just sit in the chair and read Harry Potter book until almost 12:00pm when I decided to eat some at a restaurant at the airport. It was around the time when my friend called me ack. Took me about one hour to finish food, catch a shuttle bus to a rental car center, which I have not known from the last trip. They now have a huge facility housing all rental car companies, and connecting to terminals with shuttle busses.

I got a 2007 Toyota Prius. I have never tried it before so it was my first time. Driving that particular hybrid car is very funny but sensational. The good thing was I have driven several cars with push button start, or hybrid so I had no problem on getting familiar with the car. There is no key to enter, you just need to unlock it with a remote key, insert it to a slot in the dashboard and press Start button while I am pressing brake pedal. The car have some slight yanking shock while I am accelerating because the motor and engine have to combine power or switch each other. So as the brake which initially you get some feedback from the disc brakes but then motor will work as generator to create drag. The engine stops when I am at intersection to wait for the green light, I appreciate it. Left the parking lot around 1:15pm saw a streak of smoke coming up to the east side but I did not care. Later I found out that two helicopters covering the car chase had midair collision.

I tried to get to my friend's house around 2:00pm but maybe too early so I just worked out at Life Time Fitness nearby the house. Since I did not have time to stretch my body in the morning, I did not do much. I took my friend to a tour on the facility since he was looking for a gym. After that, drove up to his house, dropped off few of my stuffs (I was carrying company issued laptop, as well as some perishable items!). Hit the road to get some drink and chat to catch up with the time since the last time we met. The place we went did not have good service, and the nachos were room temperature so we decided not to go there anymore. We waited until 4:00pm since his wife had few things to take care of.

The road to downtown was a bit crowded since there was a baseball game going on at Chase Field. Around 7:30pm, we had dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory in the downtown. I know there are some of the restaurant with the same name somewhere but it was my first time going there. I was not sure what to eat so I chose sampler dish. We had good time unlike the snacking at bar, the server was very nice and I had no trouble finding him anyway. After coming home, we watched a movie on HD DVD. The video quality is much better than regular DVDs and I was quite impresses, although I believe Blu-ray Disc will be the winner... Or not?! Coming back to Hotel around 10:00pm. Continued reading Harry Potter book. Going to bed around 11:00pm. I had a pretty good day.

7/28 Day to catch up

Woke up at 6:00am, my friend wanted to work on his yard so I went to the gym again to workout. I had a pretty good one and finished the whole with steam sauna. I headed back to the hotel and I got phone call from my friend just as expected. I withdraw some money from ATM on the way back because I did not have much cash. Scottsdale has both Bank of America and Chase Banks, which I can use my check card to get cash without fees. The climate in Arizona was quite hot and unusually hot over the past couple of days. I immediately began sweating as I step outside of the car to use ATM.

I drove up my friend's house, got ready and headed out. I let him tried on Prius and see how he feels about the car. It was a bit funny for him also. He told me about the speeding cameras on the highway, the same one I used for coming up here. I might have been caught on driving a little fast, though. Oops. We had pizza and chicken wings, stopped by climbing wall to check place out and pool. We played it for a while. On the way back, we stopped by at Sprouts which is some kind of organic food place, I thought it is similar to Trader Joe's but I guess they also have them.

We began cooking around 4:00pm and the good thing was the weather was holding while cooking outside. I cooked some Japanese meals, as well as sharing some fruit juice, and snack beans. We had about 6 other people so it was just fan talking to them. The meal was very nice, too. Said goodbye to my friend around 10:30pm and left the place. I will come again sometimes. Once I got to the hotel, I tried to keep reading the Harry Potter since I only have 40pages more to go but felt so sleepy so I did not get chance finish reading it. Packed my stuffs and going to bed after setting the alarm clock for 4:15am.

Life Time Fitness in Scottsdale, AZ, not much different from what I see in Detroit.

7/29 Coming Back to Michigan

Woke up at 4:45am, instead of 4:15am. I don't know what happened to the alarm clock, or maybe I was too tired? I did not have much time so I just washed my face, hit the road, no shower, no stretching. I drove down to the south for a while until I hit Shea, then got on the 202 then 101. Drove to the rental car center and then arrived at airport. I checked in (with ticker already printed yesterday). I had a some time before the boarding starts, so I walked around the terminals, and also bought myself a sandwich for lunch. The four hour flight will take a while and it will be already 1:00pm when I get there. I finished reading the book while I was waiting at the gate. (I won't write any spoilers...)

Left hotel at 5:00am, got to the rental car center 5:45am, arrived at terminal 2 around 6:00am, cleared gate 6:35am.

The departure of plane was delayed because one of the flight attendant had problem at hotel room (My best guess is simply over slept. Hahaha). The plane departed to East, flew over Liberal, KS and Dodge City, KS later. Saw several wind farms. Good to know that this country is getting aware of what we need to do for the environment. The plane landed with no problem.

Since the flight was late already, I had to hurry up to the connecting gate. I boarded, but the plane from Chicago to Detroit was late about half hour, seems to be that there was a passenger needing supplemental oxygen. After the delay, we took off and flew in cloud filled sky. It was not raining so it was okay.

Picked up baggage, walked to my car and drove off from the airport. I went straight home, but I went to Meijer before too late to get grocery. My refrigerator was out of stock very much. Going to bed around 1:00am, I guess I am still in Arizona time...

AA1524 PHX-ORD 7:45AM(PST)-1:05PM(CDT)

MD-80 at the gate.

Phoenix Downtown

See you again!

AA0844 ORD-DTW 1:50PM(CDT)-4:15PM(EDT)

B-757 getting ready

Wind farm in Kansas

Wind farm in Michigan

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