The road trips are back on as we hit the stretch run in the regular season. My dad (87 years young) joined me on this Thunder journey to Portland and Phoenix. My father used to make business trips to Portland frequently when he worked at Beech Aircraft in Wichita.
Instead of flying to Portland last Monday in the afternoon, we decided to fly in early so we could have all afternoon in Portland to look around. An early flight means an early wake up call, it sounds good until you have to execute the plan. I was coming off a Sunday night game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, so I probably didn't get home until Midnight and maybe? picked up four hours of sleep. The alarms rang at 4:50 a.m., getting up early and making sure everything is packed and ready to go is quite a challenge in a semi-dark house, lights and noise are not a good mix, you don't wake up the wife, daughter and two dogs before sun up.
We're in the driveway ready to pull out and my dad says "you got everything... do you have your camera?" I immediately replied yes, but a couple of seconds I stopped halfway out the of the driveway and realized I didn't have the camera. I ran inside and there it was right by the door in the dark where I left it. It's amazing how you can find items right where you left them. I am not sure how many miles down the road I would have gotten until I remembered I left it. I pull over countless times on trips to double-triple check my luggage to make sure I have everything, but I like to think that my dad saved the day.
When we arrived in Portland we walked over to the Moda Center and the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum after lunch. I would say the Blazers current home and old home was about 5 blocks from our hotel. I was able to take a picture of my dad standing in front of the famous Rip City sign by the Moda Center. We also walked into the old Coliseum next door where the Blazers won it all back in the 70's, my dad watched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar play there once against Portland. By the time we we're done with the sight-seeing. I'll bet we walked at least two miles. I sure hope I am able to move around like him if I get the chance to be 87 years old.
My dad went to the Thunder game against the Trail Blazers and he also went to the Suns game the following night in Phoenix. My dad's quick assessment on OKC's two defeats? "Where did the defense go?" I am sure Billy Donovan was asking the same thing. My father stayed in Arizona, while I moved on to the game in Dallas. My sister lives in Scottsdale so he will fly back to Kansas in a few weeks. I am not sure how many more chances I will be able to go on trips with my father so I will always cherish this one. I know he enjoyed it except for that early wake up call.