Friday, April 23, 2010

Tokyo to Los Angeles to London to Phoenix - Month-long trip is set!

I've been planning to see the Blue Jays in Phoenix since the major league baseball schedule was released last year. But I've been unable to book the trip since I expected my girlfriend to have a business trip to London around the same time. I didn't want to miss the chance at a free hotel room in the most expensive city in the world, so I was waiting until her business trip was set.

Word finally came down that she was to go to London in late April. The Iceland volcano caused a few delays, but things are returning to normal, so she's going next week. This is bad for me because next week is Golden Week in Japan, when we have 4 holidays over 5 working days and everyone flies somewhere for a vacation. Naturally, airline tickets are outrageously expensive and there's no way I can afford a ticket to London leaving this coming weekend and then another ticket to Phoenix in May.

So I thought about it and remembered that often Los Angeles is a cheap destination when all else fails. So I checked the availability of flights to LA that leave before Golden Week, and then from LA to London around May 1st. It's about the same price as flying directly to London from Tokyo on May 1st! So I can combine the trips - a few days in LA, then off to London for 3 weeks, then back to Phoenix for the Jays. Even better, there's NHL playoffs in LA this weekend with game 6 set between the Kings and Canucks on Sunday. I'll pop up to Lancaster for a minor league game on Monday and try to see the Lakers host Oklahoma City for game 5 of their series on Tuesday. There's a two-city minor league doubleheader on Wednesday and the Pirates and Dodgers after that. I may try to see the Brewers in San Diego as well.

Things get interesting when I make it to London. The May 1st weekend sees a number of games in the area - I'm hoping to see a Sunday afternoon game in Fulham as West Ham tries to avoid relegation. After that, there's the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Portsmouth. Held on May 15th, it's unlikely I'll get a ticket for this match. In fact, for most games, tickets are going to be very difficult to acquire. European soccer is a different beast - you can't just show up and expect to get a seat - some sections are restricted to supporters and often tickets are not sold to the general public. We'll have to see what happens when I get there.

Anyway, the tentative full schedule is below:
Apr 25 Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings 6:00 (Game 6, Western Conference QF)
Apr 26 High Desert Mavericks at Lancaster Jethawks 7:00 (California League)
Apr 27 Oklahoma City at Los Angeles Lakers TBD (Game 5, Western Conference QF)
Apr 28 Visalia Rawhide at Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 10:35 (California League)
Apr 28 Lake Elsinore Storm at Inland Empire 66ers 7:05 (California League)
Apr 29 Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers 7:10
May 2 West Ham United at Fulham 3:00 (EPL)
May 15 Portsmouth v Chelsea 3:00 (FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, if I am lucky to get a ticket)
May 20 San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks 6:40
May 21 Toronto Blue Jays at Arizona Diamondbacks 6:40
May 22 Toronto Blue Jays at Arizona Diamondbacks 5:10
May 23 Toronto Blue Jays at Arizona Diamondbacks 1:10
May 24 Toronto Blue Jays at Anaheim Angels 7:05
As always, I'll have updates here, so stay tuned, this should be a pretty exciting trip!



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