[ View Thread ] [ Post Response ] [ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

BGonline.org Forums

My San Antonio Trip Part 1 (long, like Stick long)

Posted By: Stick
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015, at 9:34 a.m.

A lot of other people have already shared their thoughts on the tourney in SA. It having been my first time not only to this tournament but to even set foot in Texas, I thought I'd try to entertain you with how my trip went. This is more of a diary entry than a what was good/what was bad about the tourney post though there will be some of that and backgammon included of course.

I had played live backgammon exactly twice in the last ~8 months. Once at our local monthly tourney and my last ABT event. I was waffling on whether or not to go for quite some time. How could I leave this spectacular Ohio weather for fun and sun in Texas?! Eventually I decided to hop on board but I didn't plan my trip well. I was to get in the middle of Thursday afternoon, too late to enter the Dual/Duel even if I had wanted to, and I decided to stay like I usually do until Monday. This time there was a Superbowl party to attend. (though I couldn't give one shit about the game itself)

Day 1 (Thursday)

My flight was scheduled to leave early Thursday morning, maybe 10 o'clock. The night before instead of packing or doing anything other sane people generally do I decided to go out. Somehow a Wednesday night turned into a Saturday night and the festivities didn't end til almost 5am. I took a quick 90 minute nap with the expectation of sleeping on my flights then I woke up and tossed everything in a suitcase.

I don't get hangovers. I don't get sick. It's one of the few things I inherited that I'm over the top happy about. I may not have good eyesight, my mouth may have had enough dental work done to it over the years for both my regular dental and oral surgeon to retire one year early, I may have had to wear braces on my legs to straighten out my feet when I was young but damn it, I can drink the bar and wake up 2 hours later feeling right as rain. There are only two times in the last 15 or so years I can remember feeling awful with drinking involved. Neither of these cases was due to drink alone. One time was on a cruise in the Caribbean where the motion of the ocean nearly got to me. The other time was living in France riding the metro home where the stop and start jerking got to me. I tell you all this because on my no sleep barely stopped drinking schedule I called an Uber and my 15 minute ride to the airport was that same sensation. Who taught this guy how to drive??! He was every other second pushing the gas to accelerate, next couple seconds letting it slow down on its own, the accelerating again. I was on the border of asking him if I could drive.

I was fine, it was only a minor nuisance, but they would add up over the day. I got to the airport and as many flights had been over that period of time due to the northwestern blizzard, my flight was marked delayed. I went ahead, checked in, they gave me my boarding pass, yada yada yada...I'm waiting on my flight. I hear my name called. I don't think it's ever good to hear your name called over the speakers in an airport. I go up to the desk, they decided they wanted to switch my flights so that I might make my connecting flight. Okay, sounds good to me. Thing was, I already checked my luggage through and they said they couldn't guarantee that it would be on the same flight as me/end up in San Antonio at the same time I did. I had to sign a waiver that said "I recognize that my luggage is probably screwed and I won't bitch about it".

New flight in hand I go to the other gate to wait on my flight. After waiting a bit guess what?! Flight delayed lol When you're having a day that starts out like this you can only imagine it getting worse and worse. Being tired and annoyed already I seriously considered canceling my trip, going home, and taking a nap. Mentally flipping a coin the plane pulled up and I got on. I forget where I was even rerouted to at this point. I was happy to get on and get to sleep.

Sleep, well, that was derailed. Fortunately unlike you're all expecting at this point in the story it wasn't for a reason like crying baby or two morbidly obese people sitting on both sides of me. It's a Southwest flight, about the only airline I fly in the US. I like it because you pick your own seat depending on when you board. If I'm not in a hurry I can go to the clear back of the plane and sleep or be obnoxious with the back of the bus kids or if I need to make a quick transfer I can sit up front and jump off early. You can also pick who you sit by who seems like they wouldn't be a bother, who won't take up a lot of space, etc... I eyed a guy and a girl sitting apart, a seat between them, and knowing the flight was full anyway decided it's a small price to pay to sit between two young people instead of an aisle or window seat in the back.

I sat down and told them both of my plan to pass out within' 5 minutes and wake up when we land so that if they ever needed to move around me just to give me an elbow in the ribs and not worry about it. I have no problem whatsoever sleeping on planes and falling asleep before liftoff and waking up on landing is one of my favorite past times. That broke the ice and before I know it we're talking to Michael the snowboarder who is headed out west somewhere for an extended ski vacation and Gabby the model who is headed to LA of course. They were the demise of my sleep plan on the first flight but at least I resisted Michael's onslaught of Jack n' Coke orders.

One flight down and one to go I swept through to my next flight without much issue until I went to board the flight. Since they had printed out both of my boarding tickets in Columbus when I checked in to my original flight I noticed I had the same boarding pass as the person standing beside me!? That's not supposed to happen. So I wondered what was going to happen. That person got through fine but when they scanned my ticket I got a rejection beep and was held from getting on the plane. They let the other people board and then after a couple of phone calls and computer magic I was able to get on the flight. This time I did fall asleep before we even pulled away from the gate and woke up on the ground.

Once in San Antonio I went to baggage claim with fingers crossed. I should mention that at the last stop over I ran into a backgammon player. I didn't know who it was offhand but carrying a big old backgammon board is a big giveaway. He was standing next to me and I kind of smiled wondering if he knew me or if I was supposed to know him. My memory isn't the best for certain types of things. He didn't recognize me either but I said something and it turns out it was Jonah Seewald. We planned to meet at baggage claim and split a cab once we landed. Good deal, things were looking up, had another 90 minutes of sleep and a ride share to the hotel.

I found Jonah again easily at baggage claim, miraculously my luggage was there, and we were off in the taxi. Upon arriving at the hotel...oh wait, did you think we were just going to tell the cab driver where to go and that's where we would end up? Sucker...that's what we thought too. I had two feet out the door when we pulled up to the 'hotel' when Jonah, who had been to the tournament last year, noticed that we weren't at the right place! I'm not sure where the taxi guy thought we had said but we weren't far away. Still would have been quite annoying to get dropped off in the wrong spot, have the cab pull away, and then have to walk 4 blocks to your hotel with luggage in hand. Good catch Jonah.

Since I booked so late I was totally stuck roommate wise. I had to room with Rory of all people. He had already arrived, texted me the room number, so I figured I had to only stop by the front desk and pick up a key. When I went by though and flashed my id for the hotel room I had booked they told me they needed a card for the room before they gave out any keys. This didn't make any sense to me on two levels. First, I thought I gave them one of my cards to make the reservation to begin with. Second, how did Rory already have keys if they didn't have a card on file and they needed that to give out the keys??

I didn't want them to run my card because Rory had made a solid bet during the US Open (tennis) quarterfinals. He took Murray to beat Djokovic after they split the first two sets. The loser was to pay for the hotel room in Vegas. That got pushed to SA because I didn't go to Vegas. Murray of course crumbled like he always does. I was still tired and on a short fuse when they couldn't understand at the desk that if they didn't give me a card I'd just go get it from Rory who they obviously had already given keys either with a card on file or without. I walked away, bumped into Rory right away, and sent him to the counter. I don't know what the deal was but didn't care. Up to the room I went.

After traveling that much you all know the first thing you want to do is get out of whatever skank clothes you're in, shower, and put on fresh clothes. So even thought it was around dinner time and I bumped into a couple of people who invited me to dinner I had to decline so I didn't feel like Pigpen from the Peanuts the rest of the night. Luckily Rory Inc. hadn't eaten yet so I was able to tag along with them.

I didn't know San Antonio at all so I blindly followed. Dinner ended up being at a Mexican place on the Riverwalk myself, Rory, MCG, Raj, Hollie, and ...someone else. I will take this brief moment to apologize for everyone who I forget to mention in these situations because my memory isn't that of Jake Jacobs. My memory is shite for these types of details.

It was great seeing Raj again. I don't know how long it has been, maybe 4 years!? This tournament was great for importing the foreigners whether it was the Brits like Raj, Hollie, Peter, and Sean or the Japanese like Mochy, Michi, and Akiko. In the time since I last saw Raj his status has only risen. Why? Because somehow managed to pick up a gem named Hollie along the way. She not only puts up with Raj, his weird backgammon friends, but also spent an entire weekend at a backgammon tournament without knowing how to play backgammon. She did learn along the way so I'm hoping the next tournament I see them both at they're playing doubles together and she's giving Raj a hard time over some donkey play he's trying to make.

Technically when we got back I had nothing to do that night. One of the first people I ran into was Dave Rennie who you all may know either from the forums or from seeing his name flash before a big movie. I was yapping at someone and he turned around and said "I know that voice!" I knew his voice too and it was nice to finally put a face with the voice. I had tried to cyberstalk him before the tournament knowing that he would be attending but he had cleverly left the interwebs without a trace of his face. I tried Facebook, I tried imdb, nada. He had asked me the week prior to the tournament if I knew how to play Cribbage. I didn't at the time but I figured I could by the time of the tournament so I told him to bring his board. More on that later, day 2 I believe.

The rooms at the tournament were nothing special. The hotel was old and the rooms reflected that. When I went to shower and read the dial that said H and turned it expecting that to be the 'Hot' water and it wasn't I knew. I don't really care about the hotel rooms though. It's a place to crash is all. If you're spending a lot of time in your hotel room in San Antonio you're doing something wrong. The view was pretty nice. I read in the brochure there were tons of views available. We had one of the pool area with a small deck. Others had the Alamo to look at and I forget what else. One last gripe with the room, the AC didn't work the first X days. (X = at least 2) After the first night I noticed that even though we had it down the room never got cooler than 76. After that I opened the doors to the balcony and left them open the entire time to cool the place down.

I'll leave today's recap with tennis. Unfortunately for me the Australian Open was in the later rounds and the semis and finals were being played during the dates of the bg tournament. The start time of the matches given the time difference was 2:30am so that meant that every night I stayed up to watch whatever match was on getting to sleep, depending on whether it was men's or women's (potentially 3 sets or 5 though thankfully the women only ever went two sets while the men went 4, five if you want to count the joke of a 5th set in the Novak/Wawrinka match). This translated to very little sleep during the entire tournament and a two day zombie period when I got back to Ohio to make up for it.

I had planned on one post for the entire tourney but seeing how long I rambled on for Day 1 I think I'll stop now. The upcoming days should be a little more visually pleasing with backgammon positions or pictures from chouette play or of people. As always, if you read all of this you have issues. See a shrink.


Messages In This Thread


Post Response

Your Name:
Your E-Mail Address:

If necessary, enter your password below:




[ View Thread ] [ Post Response ] [ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

BGonline.org Forums is maintained by Stick with WebBBS 5.12.