It was a fairly-well laid plan.
Hop a flight out of a Dayton at 7:11 a.m., land at LaGuardia at 9 a.m., catch a cab to Shea, and arrive 2.5 hours before game time. Alas, we just heard an announcement here at Dayton International that said, "Attention passengers of flight XXXX, we have just received word that the plane is still in the hangar. Our new departure time is 7:30."
Seriously, that's what it said.
Which begs the question: whose job is it to remember to take the plane out of the hangar?
PILOT: OK, I've got my coffee, I've got my wheelie carry-on bag, I've got my clipboard, I've got my badge, I've got my copy of Maxim. But it feels like I'm missing something. . .
CO-PILOT: Yeah, I feel the same thing.
PILOT: Hmmm, what could it be. . .
CO-PILOT: Wait a minute. . .
(Look at each other with wide eyes)
IN UNISON: The plane!
So now I'm stuck here in Dayton for another 19 minutes of my life, which, I can assure you, are 19 minutes that won't be flashing before my eyes whenever it is I go.
Here's how small the Dayton airport is: when the cab driver drops you off, he doesn't ask you which terminal you need to be dropped off at -- he asks you what door you need to be dropped off.
Some airports have a TGI Friday's inside. The Dayton Airport has a popcorn machine (OK, so they have a Cinnabon, too)
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of Ohio. The Great American Ballpark is nice enough, but there are a few problems with it. Namely, that you have to watch the Reds (I kid, I kid). But seriously, for some reason, they designed the ballpark so that it faces the Ohio River, instead of the Cincinnati Skyline. And the Ohio River isn't exactly the most picturesque body of water in the country. Actually, it looks like Willy Wonka's chocalate river, except with logs and garbage and, I'm sure, the occasional human body floating in it.
Anyway, enough about Ohio.
I figure I'll chime in with a post card at the end of each road trip. Not because the information is particularly useful to anyone, but because I'll likely have plenty of time to kill in terminals while waiting for departing flights whose planes ARE STILL IN THE HANGAR.
So here's the first one:
ROAD TRIP POST CARD - SERIES 1
CITY: Cincinnati, Ohio
DATES: Fri., April 4 through Mon., April 7
SERIES RESULT: Split 2-2 with Reds
PHILS RECORD GOING IN: 1-2
PHILS RECORD COMING OUT: 3-4
NEXT UP: The Mets in New York
WHAT WE LEARNED: 1. Pat Burrell is in a monster groove right now. Two home runs yesterday in the split-salvaging win. 2. Ryan Howard is still striking out (three yesterday, 10 this season). 3. Cole Hamels should win a lot of games this season. Give him five runs, and it's hard to imagine the Phils losing many when he pitches.
WHERE TO STAY IF YOU GO: The Courtyard Marriott in Covington, Kent; The Marriott in Covington, Kent. The team stayed downtown; most of us scribes were across the Ohio River in Kentucky. It's within walking distance of the stadium. Walk over a bridge that looks like it was built of out scrap metal salvaged from World War I, and you're there. Believe it or not, walking around Covington, you got the feeling there were a lot of people who had never made it to Cincinnati.
WHERE TO EAT IF YOU GO: 1. The Montgomery Inn, Cincinnati - Renowned for their ribs, the Inn is a great steak-and-barbecue place; 2. The Behle Street Cafe - A quaint little place in downtown Covington with a really nice atmosphere.
FUN FACTS ABOUT CINCINNATI THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE TRUE BUT WIKIPEDIA SAYS THEY ARE: 1. It was originally named Lisantiville by surveyor John Filson. The name was derived from four terms, each of a different language, meaning "the city opposite the mouth of the Licking River." "Ville" is French for "city," "anti" is Greek for "opposite," "os" is Latin for "mouth," and "L" was all that was included of "Licking River." Filson later changed the name to Cincinnati, which scholars believe means "The City that eats my soul." 2. Cincinnati is sometimes referred to by the nickname "Porkopolis," thanks to a time when the city was the world's major pork processing center.