Washington D.C./Miami 09

(Mavs/Nash trip #6)

"Before seriously agreeing to date Barack, Michelle Obama asked her brother to take on her suitor on the basketball court (her father and brother had always said you could tell a lot about someone's character on the court)."

Washington D.C. (Jan 26th - Jan 28th)

Day 1

There are always two feelings that begin to surface right before I take these trips. 1. Excited. I really can't wait to go to my basketball games and see a new city. 2. Apprehensive. I'm such a dork. Why do I do this? I'm a little nervous. And so begins trip number 6. Seven if you count San Antonio, but we all know that going there isn't really a vacation. (Suck it, Spurs fans)

The first thing I notice as I step out the airport onto the Metro station platform is how cold it is. The tips of my fingers started to go numb, so I put my gloves on and put my hands inside my down coat. But that still didn't keep the cold away.

In D.C., apparently jaywalking is okay. I don't want to look out of place, so I do as the people do. Also, it is customary to stand on the right side of the escalator while people walk up the left. I don't think we do this in Texas.

Since I only have two days here, I jump right into it. I go for a walk around the city. Take pictures of the Capitol Building. Some of the inauguration stuff is still there. I guess it's like waiting to take down your tree after Christmas is over, but it will be a week ago tomorrow. Can we create new jobs that involve taking that stuff down? I walk down the National Mall looking at the museum buildings on the outside. I don't have time to go in.

I figure if I keep walking, I will eventually run into the White House, and I do. No sign of anyone stirring about. I ponder walking down to the Lincoln Memorial, but I see how far I am away from it and fear I will pass out and be eaten by the geese before I even get there.

I take the Metro back to my hotel because I am exhausted and freezing. I hurt. Somehow I manage to lose my sense of direction, and I walk the wrong way prolonging my tiredness. I get back to my room and vow to remember what way to go the next time. I'm tired of being tired.

My Suns game was alright. I don't know if Steve is really enjoying the way the team is structured now. It's like they are trying to be two different teams at the same time. I always feel that there's a parallel between the Suns and the Mavs. Something always seems to connect them. This year it's the year of not knowing. (Not knowing the identity of the team or who's going to show up every night or the right rotation) I hope both find the answer soon.

Wasn't really impressed by the Wizards' game presentation. It's really weird when a team doesn't have a Humble Billy. The game seems boring. The loudest anyone ever got in the first half was when they were giving out Chipotle burritos. The Wizards dancers are the second worst dance team I've seen behind the Clippers. Caron Butler is super good. I was hoping to sit by a Wizards fan, so I could ask if they are afraid when Antawn Jamison shoots a layup because he always looks like he's going to miss, but that didn't work out.

Took the Metro to and from the game. Got lost going to my hotel again. Damn it! I will defeat you L'Enfant Plaza. I'm exhausted. Until tomorrow...

Day 2

I woke up this morning, and snow was on the ground. Honestly, I needed a day to recover from yesterday's walking. Most of the schools are closed, but a lot of the working people seem to go about their business. I don't know how they do it without hats and gloves.

I didn't take the tour I had originally scheduled. Didn't want to be out on the cold snowy streets in some bus. The Lincoln Memorial isn't going anywhere, so perhaps another time. I did go downtown to do some quick shopping at H&M and Zara.

The rest of the day I spent in my hotel, which is across from an office building. Kinda reminds me of the Bourne movie where the lady asks Bourne how do they know where to find Julia Stile's character and he says, "It should be easy. She's standing right beside you."

70 degree days ahead in Miami...

Miami (Jan 28th - February 1st)

Day 3

I'm glad I decided to take an extra day in Miami. I didn't arrive at my hotel until 5:30p. Upon arrival at the reception desk, I notice a group of pilots and flight attendants. I hear the words "eins, twei," and the theory that Germans love Miami has now, in my estimation, already been proven. Looking out the balcony of my hotel room, I see the Atlantic Ocean. So peaceful and serene. This may be the life. It may not be my life, but I'm certainly willing to take it for a test spin.

Day 4

I'm so relaxed. I've really never thought about repeating a basketball trip, but so far I'm considering Miami. I'm not staying in South Beach. I'm in Sunny Isles Beach, which is a bit more laid back. I can walk to a Walgreen's or the grocery store. I rented a condo online that is inside a Le Meridien Hotel. I paid $179 a night, which is an excellent price for Miami. This place would normally be about $600 a night because it has a full kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and bathroom. I'm glad I went this route because I scored a super sweet deal. Might go for a jog later this afternoon down the beach. Don't really care for running, but it always looks therapeutic in the movies or on TV.

Day 5

Today, I took the rental car challenge. I have never rented one before. I feel like I passed with flying colors. GPS is great, but has some flaws. Thus setting up another vacation rule, if you're renting a car make sure you have cash on you in case you end up on a toll road. I've notice in Miami that everyone is very affectionate when greeting each other. Sweetie. Senorina. Mami. It's nice, but when it's a group of girls it can be overwhelming. Could Radiohead be the most relaxing, introspective beach music ever? Everything here seems too perfect. I like to sit on a towel at the beach, not on a beach chair. It feels more natural, and I get to look at all the shells in the sand.

Day 6

Note to self: When in Miami bring CDs because there aren't any good radio stations. On the beach at 10am for my daily walk and pensive staring out into the ocean. Sixty degrees and windy today, but nonetheless refreshing. I drove to Key Biscayne today. I've never seen a lighthouse in person, so I decided to take the trek. I went up the 109 stairs. Lighthouse keeper is definitely not a job for a tall person or those who are afraid of heights.

I went to a beach and souvenir shop and picked up 2 of these beautiful sarongs that turn into dress in like 30 different ways. There was this charming salesgirl who showed me the different ways you can wear them. She asked what sign I was. I told her Aries. She said she knew it because Aries are a little bit different and a little crazy. She said that they will always feel like a kid inside, they normally don't show their age and children are attracted to them. She said her birthday was March 31st. I told her mine was April 1st. How amusing.

Got to the game a little later than I liked. Missed tip off. Mavs looked ready to play. Very impressed by their offense, and their defense looked a whole lot better than in recent games. Dirk scored 30 on 12 of 14 shooting. The Morning News says the fact that Holger was there attributed to it (Yes! My favorite German quote machine is back in the States.). But make note that I was there, too.

There were these two little boys behind me who seemed to know more about basketball than a lot of adults I know. At one point, they were debating whether Dirk's name was (No-vit-ski) or (No-win-ski). Yeah, no one knows. But Steve says (No-win-ski), so I go with that. One of the kid's mom had to beg him to leave with 1:46 left. He kept saying, "There's only 1 minute." Stick to your guns, kiddo. One day you'll find the girl of your dreams who doesn't believe in leaving games early like you do.

The Heat dancers can give the Mavs dancers a run for their money in several categories including skimpy outfits, good dance moves and provocativeness. They actually win that last category hands down. I thought we must have been in a rap video at one point. But I ain't hatin' on them.

I liked this experience. I slayed the rental car with GPS. City of Miami you stole my championship, but I can't hate on you, either.

On iPod:

"13 x Forever" (Garbage)

"Sour Cherry" (The Kills)

"Walcott" (Vampire Weekend)

"Message Of Love" (The Pretenders)

"Crosstown Traffic" (Jimi Hendrix)

"Under Construction" (No Doubt)

"Dream Brother" (Jeff Buckley)

"Electric Feel" (MGMT)

"Lost Coastlines" (Okkervil River)

"Reasons Not to Be an Idiot" (Frank Turner)

"Live" (Lenny Kravitz)

"Frische Luft" (Clueso)

"Everyone Nose" (N.E.R.D)

"Move Shake Drop (remix)" (DJ Laz ft. Pitbull)

"Freakum Dress" (Beyonce)

"Saturday Night" (Ozomatli)

"See Fernando" (Jenny Lewis)

Beach Music:



Rilo Kiley

Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean"