I am settled back home and contemplating adding Miami to my roster of trips when I read that Delpo is not going to return to the tour until Monte Carlo. So, I’m scrapping my plans for now, unless I get desperate for some live tennis. May add Cincy instead when Delpo should be properly healed and ready to do some damage at the US Open. Also met a great guy who thinks Cincy might be fun, so I may end up with a buddy to share cost/expense. We’ll see!
Sunday, March 14 – Thursday, March 18
BNP Paribas Open
Accommodations: JW Marriott Resort Spa
Pros: absolutely lovely place with tennis playing throughout the day in their lovely bar, which is how I was able to catch some of the evening matches. Was able to get a priceline price of $95.00 per night. If I had a car, it would have been perfect!
Cons: no shuttle to the tourney with cab rides costing about $25.00 each way. Solution: took their local bus #50 for a $1.00 to Highway 111 and then walked to the the tourney site in about 40 minutes with other tennis fans. I could have also transferred to the 111 bus for 0.25 cents, so not a bad compromise. Also, you have to pay to have access to the Internet, not cool!
Possible change for next year: rent a condo close to site with other travelers I met or convince friends to take the trip and hang in the desert. I couldn’t leave on Wednesday as I planned, so I pricelined for a deal at the Embassy Suites on Highway 111 for $80. While this spot has a shuttle and gave me their Executive Suite (way too big for myself), it was not the most attractive looking place. I felt like I was in a cheap motel. Still I liked their free internet access at the business center and free breakfast.
Tickets – Loge Tickets with USTA Discounts
Learned my lesson from last year and waited to purchase evening tickets based on the order of play. As a result of the unexciting matches, I stuck with my loge day tickets, purchased at a great discount with my USTA membership, and was fully entertained until late evening with matches on the side courts. Definitely will keep a look out for the USTA discount again next year. It was also great to have loge rather than day passes, because occasionally I did want to check out matches on the main stadium, even from nosebleeds.
The food at this tourney leaves a lot to be desired, unlike Miami which has fantastic food! I wish I had had a fridge, so I could have frozen my drinks. Still, I bought lots of snacks and didn’t really purchase any meals at the site. Just not worth it. Better to meet up with friends and go to some of the great restaurants in the area. I did try out Mama Gina’s which turned out to be pretty good and reasonably priced.
This continues to be the major hiccup since I hate driving. I think I’m going to have to get over my beef and just rent a car because Greyhound may be cheap ($26.00 one way to LA) but it is damn inconvenient and always late. I would rather not drive to and from the tourney, which is why I avoid the rental because I’m paying just to have it stay in a parking lot.
Goal for next year:
- Identify a compatible travel buddy, so this trip can be even more reasonable.
- Consider renting a place.
- Look into the pros/cons of renting a car.