My dad and I love football. We also happen to be Rams-converted-to-Cardinals-thanks to Kurt Warner fans. It was my idea to have Christmas come early for my pops and fly us to San Francisco to watch the Cardinals play the 49ers on Monday Night Football. The trip seemed simple: fly up in the morning, rent a car, have lunch, watch the red hot Cardinals lock up the division and fly home that night. If only that was how it went.
The beginning of the trip was just fine. My dad and I got a workout going early in the morning, then headed to LAX for our flight. When we got there, the flight was delayed fifteen minutes which was no big deal, there was about six hours to game time. When we landed in San Francisco we opted to rent a car to have some freedom to bounce around town before the game started. We drove over to Fisherman's Wharf and had a hamburger and chili fries at Johnny Rocket's (don't judge me it was a man meal before a football game, I'm only human!). Shortly after, we headed back towards the stadium to watch what we hoped to be the Cardinal's perilous passing attack and Super Bowl caliber offense. Let's say the Cards fell short.
Dad and I sat there through four quarters of the most absolutely pitiful
displays of offense we'd ever seen at any level of football. The Cardinals fumbled seven times and threw two interceptions, while the offense all but completely hung the defense out to dry series after series. The Cardinals lost their second game in their division again to the 49ers, who didn't look too hot themselves. Unfortunately, the Arizona Cardinals faltering sparked an evening I am sure not to forget any time soon.
With the wind out of our sails a bit, my dad and I returned to our rental car at 9:00pm, plenty of time to drive six miles back to SFO and catch our 10:45pm flight back to LAX. What proceeded was a two hour trek over the course of six miles! First, it took over an hour to get out of the main parking lot we were located in. Once we got to the main street, we sat in more traffic as the San Francisco PD did not direct traffic, but simply watched as all 60,000 fans from Candlestick waited at one traffic light! Then, thanks to our handy new Tom-Tom GPS, my dad and I were completely thrown for a loop and mistrusted our instincts to be guided through a wrong turn. After a cop gave us bad directions to the freeway, we only had about a half hour left until the flight left us behind.
Finally, we got on the freeway and what do you know; there was gridlock traffic and red lights for a couple miles. After some nifty navigating, we shot out into the clear and headed towards the airport. Before we could try and depart, we had to drop the rental car off which was at a different off ramp and BOOM, Tom-Tom struck again! After an annoying cadence of confusing directions, we missed our off ramp with only ten minutes to go and we were forced to drive a circle. Once we dropped the car off, my dad and I hopped on a broken down tram, got moved to another functioning rail line and ran up and down escalators on the way to our terminal. It's too bad the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff wasn't in the airport because me and my dad sprinted and cut our way through the San Francisco Airport like pro bowlers! Just a minute or so late, we round the corner for United Airlines flight to find...A COMPLETELY EMPTY AND DESERTED TERMINAL. No employees. No travelers. Not even a janitor in sight.
After some phone calls, some cursing and some laughing, dad and I conceded to stay the night in the airport and fly back to LAX at 6am the next morning. We could have stayed at a hotel, but at this point the trip was getting expensive and the only way to make the trip a really great story was to sleep at the airport! So we opted to bunk up at a Subway sandwich shop that was open 24 hours and we crashed in one of the booths. The trip turned out no where near as simple, smooth and enjoyable as planned, but man did it turn out to be an adventure. My father and I had fun on Monday. The kind of fun only a father and son could enjoy together during a complete disaster! Merry Christmas Dad, I wouldn't have wanted to share that experience with anyone else!