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You can hear the whipping of the bat through the air from the on-deck circle, the crunching of the cleats in the dirt. You can see the beards on their faces and hear the words from their mouths, whether it’s a player, coach, or umpire. Autographs are easy to come by, and “good” seats turn into “great” ones thanks to the small stadiums. If you’re a baseball fan, that’s pretty much all that needs to be said to convince you that Spring Training is a worthwhile jaunt.
If you’re a casual or less-than-serious fan, the atmosphere – relaxed and summer-esk and filled with beer drinking in the sun during the winter month of March – should do the trick. While baseball is certainly the main event, the entertainment goes well beyond the ball field.
The state of Arizona is already sick and tired of this government shutdown bologna, and it's not going to sit around and watch its biggest assets lay dormant. The state isn't sending men in black suits to Washington, DC or anything like that, but it is trying to open up some of its natural attractions—and is prepared to foot the bill that comes along with it.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has offered up some cash and funding to the feds—state money, not her own—to keep the Grand Canyon up and running during the pesky government disagreement. Sounds like a reason for permit holders to celebrate, but unfortunately the federal government couldn’t care less. Apparently the National Park Service has rejected the state’s offer to help open the Canyon for business. Some local businesses also offered to pitch in, however, once again no means no.
Two Senators from the state are now getting involved, so stay tuned if you’re headed to the Grand Canyon anytime soon. We’re kind of thinking that the outside funding requests will eventually get their way, and that big hole in the ground will once again be up and running. Until then, you'll have to find something else to do in Flagstaff.
Rental Cars / Hertz / Road Trips / Cars / Driving / Florida Travel / Arizona Travel / → All Tags
We’ve seen some pretty good rental car deals in the past, and that’s especially been the case during the spring and the fall. Rental car lots are filled with cars that need to get out of the warm weather states—or heads toward them—so they’re usually pretty good with giving away one-way rental cars for little more than the cost of gas and taxes. Hertz has always been at the forefront of these road trip sales, but it looks like things aren’t quite is fun this year.
In the past Hertz has offered one-way rental cars for as little as $5 per day, but this year they must be in need of a little more spending cash. They’re still ready to run their Florida Drive Out and Arizona Drive Out sales, but this year the deals start at around $18 per day.
Know what's cool? Space. Know what's even cooler? When things floating around in the vastness of space come pay a visit to earth. Ok, that's only cool when it happens thousands of years ago and doesn't hurt anyone. Luckily for us, that's exactly what happened near Winslow, Arizona 50,000+ years ago.
Formerly known as "Canyon Diablo Crater," this meteor crater, now known as the "Barringer Crater," is said to be the world's (that's right, world's) first proven and best preserved meteor crater. It's so well preserved that NASA used it in the '60s to train astronauts preparing for Apollo missions to Earth's moon. They did this because the crater very closely matches those found on the moon.
That meteor doing its thing over—and into—Russia was kind of neat in a crazy kind of way, huh? Still, we’re pretty sure that we’d prefer that the space rocks stay out of the atmosphere for a bit. However, it's totally possible to check out some of the space stuff that’s made its way down to earth already, which is why we were intrigued to learn about one museum where you can safely check out some astronomical debris.
The best preserved meteorite impact site in the whole world is just outside Winslow, Arizona. The one mile across, 550-foot deep crater is yours for the checking out, as the site and museum are open between 8am and 5pm daily. It’s not just a huge hole in the ground—although it is that first and foremost—as they’ve got hunks of space junk on display as well. There’s a meteorite fragment that weighs a cool 1,400 pounds, and there’s plenty of space this and astronaut that. They’ve even got some training items on display from the Apollo space missions.
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Okay, good news and bad news. Good news first: earlier this year, a group of artists banded together to rescue some abandoned airplanes from the infamous boneyards of the Arizona desert, repaint them in dazzling schemes, and display them as artpieces within something called "The Boneyard Project" at the Pima Air & Space Museum. Yes, it looks super awesome and yes, it was open to the public, but therein lies the bad news: "was."
You see, The Boneyard Project happened over a weekend in January of this year. It's over. We've only just come to find out about it as some design blogs circulated resulting photographs of the exhibition. Apparently the event was publicized mostly through the street art community as pieces included DC-3s painted by How & Nosm, Nunca, and Retna; a Boeing C-97 by Saner; a C45 plane by Faile; a Lockheed VC-140 Jetstar by Andrew Schoultz; and an assortment of nose cones, cockpits, and other pieces painted by Bast, Dan Colen, Trustocorp, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Futura, Richard Prince and Eric White.
But wait! There's a little more good news...
Our neck of the woods seems to be warming up, the time change has set in, and the date on the calendar says that spring is right around the corner. Pitchers, catchers, and everyone else have already reported to the Grand Canyon State, and that’s enough confirmation for us that winter is pretty much over. Cactus League games are already underway as everyone has been busy burning those extra off-season pounds, and now it’s your turn to skip out of work, get out of the snow, and celebrate the national pastime.
Here’s the scoop on a few teams, where they play, and what they offer:
· Oakland Athletics
The Oakland A’s are probably most famous for their recent debut on the big screen, so if you want to see where Moneyball is truly played make your way out to Phoenix. Billy Beane still serves as the team’s general manager, and we’re thinking that there’s probably going to be more of a demand for his autograph this year. However, most of the attention will be focused on Manny Ramirez, as he’s probably the team’s biggest offseason acquisition. After flying into town you don’t need to travel far after landing to check out the spring home of the A’s, as they do their thing right in Phoenix.
Phoenix Municipal Stadium holds a whole bunch of baseball fans—like 7,885 of them—and the place was redone and revamped back in 2003 to bring things up to date. Despite the newness of the facility it still promises to retain some old baseball charm, and there are even some decent views of Papago Park in the distance. You quickly realize that you’re definitely in Arizona attending some spring training games and certainly not Florida. This weekend the Mariners and Cubs will be heading into town, and it looks like there are still plenty of seats available. Admission here is pretty darn affordable with most of the tickets running between $12 and $25, so there’s definitely of cash left over for a couple rounds of hot dogs and beers.
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There’s already a few rental car deals kicking around the Sunshine State—we’re still waiting to hear from Hertz—but it looks like it’s also the season to depart Arizona as well. The rental car companies are slowly but surely releasing deals here and there. So if you’ve always wanted to go on a road trip across the Southwest now is the time to do it. There’s probably a one-way rental car deal to meet you budget and needs, and this is especially true if you’re able to swing $5 per day.
Hertz is leading the pack when it comes to these rental car drive out deals. The rental car company is offering rental cars for as low as $5 per day as long as you’re willing to pick up your car in Arizona and then return it somewhere else. There’s unlimited mileage, no drop off fees, and plenty of places to pick up and return your car. Return options include states like California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Texas. The deals are available now thanks to rate code DRV5—for economy and compact cars—but you have to travel between April 4 and June 30. The deal is good for like 14 days, so just make sure your road trip doesn’t take too long.
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It’s finally March and that means that spring is right around the corner. The warmer weather brings us plenty of outdoor opportunity, but it also means that Mother Nature is ready to grow some tasty goodies. So get ready for spring with a few food festivals that show off the seasonal harvest:
Yuma Lettuce Days - Yuma, Arizona
It’s definitely a sort of BYODressing event, as Lettuce Days arrives in Yuma in just a little more than a week. This year’s lettuce festival—known as Yuma Lettuce Days—runs its course over a Saturday and Sunday through March 10 and March 11. Sure a festival dedicated to leafy greens might not exactly excite the taste buds, but of course there’s way more than just lettuce at this month’s food festival. There’s ice carving, vegetable carving, and even a really huge salad bar where you can get your fix of farm fresh fixings.
Tickets are just $5 per person, and if you’ve got little ones under the age of 5 they’ll get in for free. Celeb chefs will be in attendance along with the 40,000 lettuce fans that organizers are expecting. Brian Malarkey from Top Chef will be there to do his thing with all the lettuce, and when you’re sick of feasting on vegetables there’ll be some live music to keep you going. Our only complaint is that there doesn’t seem to be a lettuce eating contest, because that would be hilarious—especially with a side of ranch dressing.
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Besides the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day—we could take or leave that last one—February doesn’t have too much going on. It’s a great month to head somewhere warm to escape the winter weather, but it seems like this season hasn’t even been that chilly or snowy. That’s why we’re suggesting the old standby—drinking—to get you through this month. Here’s three beer festivals where you can toast to February:
Cincy Winter Beerfest
They’re preparing plenty of kegs, glasses, and other beer paraphernalia in preparation for this month’s frothy festival in Cincinnati. The fun takes place on February 10 and 11, and there are still plenty of tickets available for you and your drinking buddies. This year tickets will set you back $35 in advance of the party, and that’ll get you a snazzy souvenir cup—capable of holding five ounces—that you can refill up to 25 times. Things get underway each evening around 7:30pm, and the last call is just after 10pm so be sure to pace yourself.
The drinking take place at the Duke Energy Convention Center, and this year’s festival marks the end of the inaugural edition of the city’s beer week. Expect at least 300 different craft beers from here, there, and everywhere, and organizers are hoping for at least 10,000 beer fans to be in attendance. Brewers like Dogfish Head, Elevator, and Three Floyds are just some of the attendees planning to show off their lagers and ales. Organizers even have a spreadsheet of those planning to attend, so you can even take time to prepare your plan of attack.
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Not too long ago we were all excited about rental car deals out of Florida to pretty much everywhere, thanks to the migration of old people and college kids south. Now the rental car party is moving the way of Lewis and Clark, as Arizona has some cheapo one-way deals.
Now through the end of May you can grab a car from Hertz for as little as $5 per day. There’s no mileage caps, no drop-off fees, and all kinds of places to pick up the car and drop it off. California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington are just a few of the states where you can end your road trip. Just be sure to use the code DRV5 to get the deal or just click right here.
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Despite the temperatures across much of the country, the date on the calendar says that spring is right around the corner. We were hesitant to believe it thanks to the latest winter blast, but pitchers and catchers have already reported to Arizona, and that’s enough confirmation for us. Cactus League games are already underway as everyone has been busy burning those extra off-season pounds, and now it’s your turn to skip out of work, get out of the snow, and celebrate the national pastime.
Here’s the scoop on a few teams, where they play, and what they offer:
· San Francisco Giants
You might not remember who won the 2010 World Series—seems like a long time ago—but we’re sure that residents of San Francisco know that their Giants were victorious in last year’s fall classic. Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson are back to shut down the opposition, and the rest of team is in Scottsdale getting ready to warm up for the season.
They play all their spring homes games at Scottsdale Stadium, which isn’t too bad of a stroll into downtown for some drinks—and more nachos—following the game. Tickets for this season’s games start at just $7 for some of the cheap seats, but even the best spots in the house don’t really go too far north of $30. The Dodgers come into town on Saturday, but if you’re not around this weekend, the Brewers and the Angles are options for next week.