>  Trip 2013 (Page 4)

The two players above are Alex Bolt (lefty, blue hat) and Andrew Whittington (righty, white hat). You have almost certainly never heard of them, because their current world rankings are 471 and 368, respectively. Bolt just turned 21 a few weeks ago, and Whittington won’t turn 21 until later this year, so they might still have successful careers on the ATP tour, but it’s unlikely. Make no mistake: As top 500 players, Bolt and Whittington are excellent at what they do. But tennis is a cruel sport for aspiring pros. There are more than 600 players in the NHL, all making

We planned our itinerary so we would be in Melbourne during the Australian Open. Mercifully, we didn’t plan to go during the first week when extreme heat put a damper on the tennis (and fans). It was a very successful day out. We kicked it off by watching Serena Williams practice before her surprise ouster at the hands of Ana Ivanovic, with Sam noting her poor movement, and later regretting not placing a bet on the upset. Then off to Margaret Court Arena where we watched a slew of doubles, including the great Leander Paes and a couple of upstart, hometown

The forecast high for the day we landed in Melbourne was 44 degrees. That’s raw air temperature, not “feels like 44 with the humidex“ temperature. Our flight from Brisbane was delayed, so we arrived close to 2 pm, just in time for the hottest three hours of the day. The heat was oppressive as we walked across the Tarmac. We took a cheapo flight and the airport is under renovations, so we were relegated to a temporary terminal building. A metal building. Without air conditioning. So a long, hot wait for bags, followed by a long, hot walk to the

The area around Streets Beach and the Stanley Street Plaza was a really nice diversion in Brisbane. We didn’t actually partake of the beachy bits, having had lots of sun and surf the week previous, but we did enjoy a few rousing games of Connect 4 while lounging on the beanbag chairs. Table tennis was put off due to our own personal extreme heat policy.