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Steve's Travel Blog: Take The Good With The Bad

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Four games in five days for the first and only time this season, that's a bit much don't you think?

Without question, United Center is the best arena I've walked into this season. The lighting is dimmer, almost a yellow tint to it and even has a hazy look, somebody smoking cigars in the cheap seats up-top?

I had the chance to sit right behind TNT's Craig Sager Thursday night in Chicago. A battle with Leukemia has kept him out of the game, hopefully he stays in because he's good at his craft and his suits are eye-opening.

OKC couldn't finish strong in Chicago, but I did. Brad Galbreath (KWTV Sports Producer-Photographer) and I wrapped up our live shot in a near pitch dark arena and then drove to Giordano's by Midway Airport to dig in. Chicago deep dish pizza is worth the price, of course I ordered the one loaded with various meats.

We walked in around 11:30 p.m. (they close at Midnight) and I sensed a look of -- "Really? You're going to eat this late when closing time is coming up?" We didn't care, the sign says open, so you're open, right?

About 30 minutes after ordering, Christmas arrived early for me, it was quite a sight. I managed to tackle 4-5 pieces because I wasn't sure the next time I would have a pizza like this one in front of me. I hear you can order one through the mail, but very pricey.

So thumbs up to Chicago, except for the outcome of the game.

Monday in Houston -- We had some problems.  I will keep it brief because I will create a headache if I think too much about it. How about two issues and I'll leave it at that. So I jogged to the arena earlier in the afternoon to get a lay of the land. I was fortunate to have a hotel room about five blocks away, which is always convenient. My pass wasn't ready yet, no problem, I'll come back at 4:00 and pick up my parking pass and game pass.  I pull out of the hotel driveway at 4:00 and head to the arena. I realized the valet attendant never gave me the key to the car (push button to start engine), so I drove back to the hotel and he apologized, I retrieved the key and back on my way.

Parking to pick up the passes was tight, so I had to drive around the arena twice until a space opened up so I could park in front of the media entrance. I finally parked around 4:20, a little too close to my liking with a 5:00 live shot approaching. I walk into the building to find out the passes will not arrive until 4:30, OUCH!  The lady at the pass table could tell I was needing to get in quickly, so she called Rockets Public Relations and a lady soon showed up around 4:26, so now I have to go park across the street in a parking garage and carry my equipment to the arena.

Security is tighter now at NBA games, so after they inspected all my bags, I finally headed to the court around 4:45. The rush is on. I made my live shot with about 30 seconds to spare. The biggest slap in the face was after the game, carrying all my equipment to the parking garage, only to find out the gate was locked and wouldn't you know it, the only gate that was still left open was on the other side.  I just laughed to myself and said it sure feels like a Monday. Gotta go --I have a headache now.

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