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Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix -  Where we landed after my first cross-country flight

Downtown Phoenix Ramada - Our home away from home during the fiesta bowl trip, also the site of our introduction to many Kansans

Arizona State University, Tempe - Site of Sun Devil Stadium, where the Orangemen fought for their lives in the Fiesta Bowl

Club Rio - We were kind of there, unfortunately they don't accept those non-driver IDs from NY but it seemed like a cool place anyway

McDuffy's Sports Bar - Near Sun Devil Stadium

fiesta bowl, tempe

south mountain




fat tuesdays

sun devil stadium

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>>erica's road trips...arizona

Fiesta Bowl Trip, 1997 (pictures coming soon)
It all started in the fall of 1997. Every year before, I had spent my Thanksgiving vacation watching the Orangemen lose to Miami. I prayed that at least once before I graduated, I would get to see them win. My friend Shannon suggested jokingly that if they did win, we should go to the Fiesta Bowl. "Wouldn't that be funny, the two of us frolicking on the other side of the continental divide." (We had a running joke about the continental divide, but that's another story...) Despite my deathly fear of flying, I said,"If we beat Miami, we should plan a trip to Arizona." Of course, the Orangemen did beat Miami that year, and the fun began for me and Shannon. So one night in November, we sat down with a phone book and a pad of paper and called every hotel chain and airline until we found the best deals.

I managed to deal with my fear of flying and a few days before New Year's Eve, we checked into the Ramada in downtown Phoenix. The parking lot was a battleground of cars decorated with either KSU or Orangemen paraphernalia. As we went up the stairs yelling, "Go SU!" a bunch of Kansans started yelling at us and a beautiful friendship began between me and Shannon and our little Kansans, "Mark Wade," "dardis," Brandon, "Critter," "Silent Corey," and "Staaaaacey Leeeee." They were highly entertaining, but they were no match for Greg and Ike, who represented SU in the homemade wine wars.

Greg and Ike were staying with the band at some fancy-shmancy hotel up the street. They came looking for me at the Ramada but were held up by the psycho security guard, who liked to roam the halls and talk about his mother, Beatrice Arthur, his father, Bill Cosby, and his ownership of the New York Knicks, among other amazing facts about his life. Wow, all that AND he was a security guard at the Ramada, who would have guessed? So he was holding Ike and Greg captive with his active imagination when I stepped out of my room for a second. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door and found the two of them happier to see me than ever before. They joined us for some beers with the Kansans, and then helped finish off a bottle of homemade wine in a contest to see how long 5 guys could make about an ounce of wine last.

We spent one afternoon at Jimmy's Scottsdale home. While chilling by the pool, we heard a rustling sound in the desert area behind the house. "Oh no," cried Ike, "What if it's a coyote??!!" We all held our breaths as the sound got closer and closer, and then suddenly, out of the cactuseses – cacti – plants --– climbed…a poodle. Luckily, we all managed to survive. The best part of the day was that we got to see Yonny, who graduated the year before (and we have not seen since). Me, Jimmy, Yonny, and Jimmy's friend Rich went mini-golfing that nite, and spent the entire ride back debating whether or not Hall and Oates say "Wrapped up like a douche" in that Blinded by the Light song.

We lost at the Fiesta Bowl but it was still a fun game to be at. KSU's fans were all so nice that we didn't mind letting them win. We were also very grateful to them for sparing our lives considering that there were 4 of us in orange amidst a sea of purple. (An entire section of SU fans was missing, trapped by 2 feet of snow at Hancock Airport.) We spent 2 days climbing to the top of South Mountain, with a view of miles of the Phoenix area. Stacey Lee joined us on New Year's Eve walking around Tempe, but unfortunately everything there closed not long after midnight and we spent most of the time trying to find an overpriced cab. But it was still fun. And on top of it all, Shannon and I finally realized our dream of eating at a Denny's on the other side of the continental divide.


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