Baseball. Sunshine. Garlic Fries. Who can ask for more?

This is why attending Spring Training has been on my Bucket List. And I got to check that item off  in March 2010.

Not only did I get to attend the famous Spring Training in Scottsdale, Arizona this year, but I had the opportunity to experience once in a lifetime moments.

It was such a great experience to watch the Major League Baseball players in a small personal setting. You see them on TV or at a Major League Baseball stadium with tens of thousands of people where they don’t even know you exist but at Spring Training, you can actually talk to them and see how cool they really are up close.

Along my trip, I got the opportunity to get Cal Ripken Jr. and Will Clark’s autograph. I am not going to lie, I heard of Cal Ripken Jr. before, but I couldn’t tell you if he was the ‘Iron Man’ of baseball or if he was a cast member on ‘The Bachelor.’ Thank goodness I had one of my best friends by my side to tell me this autograph was more important than my dream of getting Tim Lincecum’s autograph. I was the last person that he gave an autograph to and I keep telling myself it’s because he thought that I looked like a nice person, but he probably signed my baseball because I shoved it in his face and begged him. Those were just some of the amazing moments on this trip that made it more than just a check on my bucket list.

My best friend and I started our journey Thursday morning and headed toward the great city of Irvine to break up the long 12 hour drive to Arizona. We stayed with her lovely cousin and her cute little cat that likes to push open doors. It was nice to just hang out with the girls.

We decided to be crazy the next day and wake up around 3:30 a.m. to head to Arizona for our first Giants game at noon. I think my best friend took most of the heat though because she drove the entire way and even watched the sunrise as the rest of us slept. This decision most likely set our trip up for disaster because we were all exhausted. But I think we pulled it off pretty well.

We did take on the Scottsdale challenge and started out right at our free happy hour at our hotel. While we were sipping on our Arizona Sunrise drinks, we did take a look around and realized that among dozens of 60-year-olds we were definitely the youngest ones around but that didn’t stop us or the old timers from partying it up.

After a couple of drinks, our adventures in Arizona really took off with my fascination of all the cacti. Don’t ask me why, but I loved those prickly little things. It was like L.A.’s palm trees but more suited for the desert weather. My best friend’s cousin and I decided to find as many cacti as we could around our hotel – these desert plants were new to us. And all of this was just the start of our trip to Arizona to watch our Giants start the season off right (they won the World Series this year).

We ended our night in an Irish bar with a stripper pole. Unfortunately between all of us girls, we didn’t take on the stripper pole challenge but we did inherit some robot moves to impress the Scottsdale people. Not sure if it worked or not.

The next day we watched our boys in black and orange from the third base line while munching on some famous garlic fries. This game reminded me of why I love attending baseball games as much as I do.

The food. The sun. The people. And of course, our boys.

I’m not one to know all the players or their batting averages but I do love attending the favorite American pastime. What is better than laying back, enjoying the sun, spitting some sunflower seeds and watching some of the best athletes work their magic?

Overall it was a great trip and I definitely do not regret putting this on my Bucket List. Everyone should attend Spring Training at least once in their life to watch their favorite players amongst thousands of people and maybe get an autograph or two from some Hall of Famers.

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