The back story and planning behind going to the SABR Conference

The whole crazy West Coast trip started because of an MLB mass email telling us about this SABR analytics conference. Eric forwarded it to me (I had deleted mine, actually, without reading it) and I clicked through. Immediately I wanted to go. Baseball and analytics? Yes. Then at the bottom of a page I saw it. Clubhouse Confidential was giving away 2 passes a day for two weeks via Twitter, starting the next week. Maybe I could win tickets? That was asking a lot. But surely my chances of winning were pretty good. "If I win passes, can we go?" "Um, sure." Sold.

You know how this goes next. At the beginning of the week, I missed the "be the nth person to retweet this" post by half an hour; I didn't actually know what I was looking for at that point, but now I knew. Tuesday, our Internet was out (thanks a lot, Comcast) for almost the entire day, and at that point I didn't have a smartphone. Wednesday, the Internet was back except for exactly the time they were giving away tickets. I kid you not. Thursday, the giveaway time was during the class I teach. But Friday. Oh, Friday. I knew Friday was my day. I watched the post very carefully. I was about to hit retweet and then my computer kind of froze up a bit and I thought for sure I had lost it. When my computer regained consciousness, what felt like ages later, I went ahead and hit retweet. Twitter told me I was the 27th retweet; they were looking for the 25th. I was saddened but not defeated (I still had a whole other week to win).


To my surprise, about 5 minutes later I received a message from the Clubhouse Confidential Twitter account that I was the 25th retweet and to please send my contact information! I couldn't believe it. Literally. My best guess is that two people in front of me didn't follow the rules somehow (I made sure I was following the rules) and that let me win the passes. In any case, I was freaking out because I never, ever, ever win anything, ever. And I had just won two registration passes to a baseball analytics conference. Yeah. You know I sent my info over stat. Then I proceeded to call Eric's phone a million times and email him to all his email accounts, you know, just in case. I am sure he thought I was dying or something bad had happened. But nope, something awesome happened instead. He kind of laughed and was not nearly as excited as I was (he wins things all the time), but still seemed to like that I had won after all.

We pretty quickly made travel arrangements; we'd leave out of BWI on Wednesday evening so Eric could work that day, and we'd stay at a budget hotel a few blocks from the conference hotel to save a significant amount of money. Then came the next big question: the conference was the first weekend of my spring break. What should we do with the rest of break? I slyly (or not so slyly) suggested since we are already going to be so far west, we should stay west and see places we hadn't been to yet. Places like San Diego and San Francisco. (I actually had been to San Diego before, but only for a few hours and not with Eric.) After a bit of thought, he agreed. So then we (I) got to make those plans; things to see, friends to visit and stay with, travel arrangements, the whole shebang. I love planning things (probably way more than I should) and I spent a solid month figuring out what we should do and when and all the other things you think about when planning trips.


Then the arrangements were all made. Our friends knew we were coming. Our passes were printed out and waiting for us in Phoenix. But apparently not too much was going to be easy on this trip. On Sunday, Eric started not feeling very well, which would continue on for a few days. On Tuesday, we got an email saying that our flight out of BWI Wednesday night had been cancelled because of the supposed monster snow storm that was coming in. Eric was smart and quickly changed our flight to the one that was available in the very early morning while I waited on hold for an hour with the airplane company to see if they couldn't possibly put us on a flight later Tuesday (they couldn't). Oh well, the benefit to the early morning flight change was that now our flight was non-stop!


We woke up Wednesday (at 3:30am) to snow falling rapidly, but nothing sticking. (Snow has stuck once the whole time we've lived here; there was, like, half a centimeter on the ground and it was gone the next day.) We were at the airport by 5am and waiting at our gate by 5:30. We then got to wait at our gate for almost 2 hours. Our flight was supposed to be at 6:50am. By 6:20, when we were due to board, our flight attendants hadn't arrived yet. They arrived about the same time we were supposed to take off (where were they? we have no idea; they definitely strolled up to the gate with no concern for time). We finally got on the plane around 7:30ish and then got to wait another hour while our plane decided it didn't want to do anything properly (maintenance issues always inspire confidence in flight). Then we spent another long while (much more than the 3 minutes the pilot announced) getting de-iced with some crazy orangeish-pinkish foam.


Then, finally, somewhere around 8:30, we took off. We got to the Phoenix airport and navigated our way to the light rail system, then walked our luggage a few blocks to the hotel (which we arrived at super early but the nice man let us check in anyway, once we found him). By this point we were pretty exhausted (and Eric still wasn't feeling well), so we rested a bit and then went out to grab lunch in downtown Phoenix. The conference started on Thursday afternoon, so we had a bit of time to explore the area before settling in to baseball.
The back story and planning behind going to the SABR Conference The back story and planning behind going to the SABR Conference Reviewed by Maria on 4:04:00 PM Rating: 5

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