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Coming Home Happy

03 May 2005

So I had this grandiose plan to sweep Lori off of her feet by showing up on her doorstep out of the blue. In my last blog I mentioned that I'd hop on a plane to go and see her, but it's one thing to just say that and another thing to actually do it. That's a hard lesson that I've had to learn the hard way.

Yesterday afternoon I had an interview scheduled with The Score, a sports network in Toronto. Actually it wasn't an interview exactly, it was a full one hour Q & A seminar where I fielded questions from both phone calls and e-mails live via satellite.

I felt really good about the way the hour went, it seemed to just fly by. Not the smartest questions exactly, but I think I did a decent job of spinning the questions and providing those tuning in with some valuable information that will hopefully help to improve their game.

From there I went home to home to pack a small bag for a surprise visit to Grand Rapids. Once I had my bag packed I decided to head down to the Wynn and see how things were going. I played for a little while and left there at around 10:00pm for my red eye that left at 11:56pm.

When I got to the airport I tried using the automated machine to get my boarding pass but it informed me that I had to go to ticketing. I went to the United desk, and they told me that the flight was being powered by US Airways which was conveniently placed on the total opposite side of the airport.

I check in there, but curiously they only gave me one boarding pass. When I got to the gate I inquired about the connecting boarding pass and they told me I'd be able to get it in Philadelphia.

The flight was pretty full and I was seated in 8A next to the window. There were two older ladies next to me that seemed a little "off." The lady in the aisle mentioned to me that she was a cripple and couldn't get up. So I shimmied by them and hopped into my seat.

I noted open soars on their arms, blood stains on band aids and cloths also. They seemed like nice enough people, but they could of used a little work on their personal hygiene.

I read ESPN the magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly on the way there and didn't get a minute of sleep.

The plane let the gate a little bit late and we arrived in Philadelphia about 20 minutes late. I quickly head to the Information screen, and since I had no idea what airline my connecting flight would be, I looked for anything going to Grand Rapids.

It was 7:45am and I saw that there was both an 8:10am departure and a 10:15am departure. This was all the beginning of me losing my mind in a case of temporary insanity.

Without question, the Philadelphia airport has to be the most poorly designed airport I've ever been to. I was at Gate A 5 and my connecting flight left out of F 39. It was like a 10 mile jog to a shuttle bus and then another 10 minute drive to terminal F. You've got to be kidding me!

I ran as fast as I could, not even sure if I was on the 8:10am flight or not. As I continued to run, I figured that there was no way I could be on that flight as no human could have made it.

I didn't check a bag, and was running with my luggage until the handle broke off! Nice. I got the gate at about 8:12am and that flight had left. I assumed I was on the next flight, there was no one at the desk to help me find out.

Somebody finally showed up and checked to see if I was on the flight. Nope, but good news, there was room on the plane. I tried to buy a ticket from the lady, paying cash or by credit card and they accepted neither. Interesting…. Huh?
Apparently I had to go back out to ticketing and then come back through security… ARRRRGH! I had to run of course since it was conveniently located on the other side of the airport. How nice.

I decide to make a run for it and made it to ticketing at 10:00am (the flight was leaving at 10:15am). I paid $400 for another ticket and then had to go back through security again. I am “randomly” selected on most of my flights.

Their profiling system is the most ridiculously stupid system I think I’ve ever heard:

1. Buy a one way ticket, get searched.
2. Pay cash, get searched.
3. Book late, get searched.

Well that makes a lot of sense. I’m sure the bad guys could never figure out how to beat that system! My goodness. Luckily for me a guy in security recognized me and hurried me through, then gave me a ride on his cart to the gate.

All of that is only the tip of the iceberg, but if I told you all of the ridiculous things that happened to me at the airport this blog would quickly turn into a book.


My plan was to surprise Lori in the morning by giving her a call. When she answered the phone I was going to say, “Wakey, wakey, time for eggs and bacey.” That’s the way she wakes me up and she knows it drives me crazy!

Then when she got up I was going to tell her to look outside her door. In front of the door would be a dozen yellow roses and some Gerber daisies, along with a room service tray with eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, whole wheat toast, and some OJ.

Since I missed that early flight though, I scratched the breakfast idea and just got the flowers. My buddy Matt picked me up at the airport and took me to the best flower shop in town. Apparently he is a regular there since he usually has something to apologize for!

I arrived at Lori’s door, placed the flowers, and then hid outside as I called her. She didn’t answer…. Oh no! I tried again though and she answered. I told her to look outside her door and stayed on the phone with her while she took the flowers inside.

I mentioned to her that I’d really like to see her soon and that I wished I could have been there… then I walked in to her apartment. She was happily surprised to say the least.

We talked for a while, grabbed some lunch, and then head over to the park to throw the ball around. I brought two baseball gloves with me to practice for my May 6th first pitch- I don’t want to look like a complete idiot!

It started to rain, so we had back to her place for a Scrabble rematch. This time I was well prepared though, and with “Quad” I sealed the deal, closing our gap to 2-1 in favor of Lori.

After that we played our little movie game. We both pick five movies we want to watch, and then we cross movies off that we’d least like to watch until there was only one left. It was down to Joy Luck Club, The English patient, and Time Lime, and Joy Luck Club won out. What a crazy movie! The things that happened to those win, just unreal.

That was pretty much the end of our day together but I couldn’t have imagined things going any better. It was well worth the trip. Unfortunately, at 9:30am I was already en route back to Las Vegas for a photo shoot scheduled with the New York Times at the Wynn later today.


On a totally unrelated note, I’ve received interest from several players to play heads up for $500,000. Eli Elezra, Johnny Chan, Sammy Farha, and Barry Greenstein have already shown some interest. In fact, it looks like Barry and I will likely play 10 matches in 10 different games schedule permitting.

I’ll likely play a match later tonight and then possibly tomorrow afternoon. On that note, I’m in Chicago now and we are boarding!


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