Day 9: Las Vegas to Los Angeles
- 250 miles
- 4 hour drive
We were up and out early, stopping for a quick breakfast. Abby caught up on her sleep while I drove through the desert. I thought the scenery was pretty as I steered towards California. We stopped in Barstow for gas and saw a really neat tribute to the 343 fallen firefighters lost on 9/11. Abby even managed to snap a picture!
We booked a room at the Hilton Glendale on recommendation from a friend and it turned out great! the room was nice and Glendale had a lot of restaurant options to choose from. We had lunch at Porto’s- a great medianoche sandwich for me and a Chicken Ceasar Salad for Abby. After lunch, we strolled back to the room for a quick rest before heading to the Staples center for the Sweet Sixteen game.
Today was our first experience with LA traffic as we made our way to the Staples Center. All I can say was that I was glad that we left really early. We managed to find a parking lot close to the arena and went to pickup our tickets. The security guard pointed us to the Family/VIP ticket window, but of course our tickets were at the other will call window, on the other side of the arena. But, the LaSallian spirit came through, as Vinnie from the La Salle Athletics ticket office recognized us and used his badge to cut across and bring us our tickets. It was nice to not have to wait in another line and thanks to him for going the extra mile. Then again, it also seemed that we were one of a small group who traveled to see EVERY game! Alumni Relations had a great location picked for an Alumni Reception, right across the street at the ESPN Zone.
Abby and I were stunned- the place was packed. We saw SO many more alumni than at any of the other games and receptions. It was great to see Explorer Nation turn out to support the team. We had a chance to catch up with the Glitter Bros (adding fellow Sig Ep brother Mike Deflavia and Tim’s brother AJ Tilson to the mix), as well as other West Coast alumni. Alumni VP Trey Ulrich asked if Abby would mind helping him out with passing out the La Salle gear he brought. Of course I volunteered her and she grudgingly obliged. After reminding her that Trey was ‘just about family’, she ended up having a fun time going around the room handing those goodies out! I even received compliments from several alumni on how great of a job she did and how friendly she was.
It was time to head over to the Staples Center and once again, we had great seats!! Unfortunately, the game wouldn’t be as good as our seats, as our Cinderella run was ended by Witchita State. While I may have rooted against them in the Elite Eight, I ended up pulling for the Shockers in the Final Four. My logic was that if they won, we would’ve lost to only the national championship winner (or runner-up). Alas, it ended up being another ‘big school’ final, with Lousiville & Michigan. C’est La Vie!’