BNP Paribas Open - My Very First Trip in USA!!

Landing in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, I first set my foot in the US of A during the last week of February 2011. Driving through deserted roads, we reached our newly rented cozy luxury apartment in Chandler on a pleasant winter evening. The first week went by pretty quickly unpacking stuff and meeting people. Luckily, my husband's roommates from college (two of them) already settled down in the same suburb with their families, working for the same company. The introductions went by smoothly and I soon found myself being a part of a nice big group. A week later, we were told that a trip to Palm Springs in California was being planned to watch the Tennis tournaments and were asked if we would like to join. Sure, we said and thus happened my very first trip in USA.

We rented a family mini-van, Chrysler's Town & Country, for the trip. Though the name sounded odd to me, it was a huge and very comfortable vehicle for 6 people. And off we went to Palm Springs, CA which is about half hour from Indian Wells where the tournament is held. I did not know it then (I come pretty close to zero on a 0-10 scale for anything to do with sports), but it apparently is the best attended tennis tournament outside the four Grand Slam tournaments, and it has the second largest tennis stadium in the world. Now, you may be wondering why I bothered to go, but you know these events have a lot more going than the sport itself. The crowd, the food, the drinks and the general enthusiasm you know :) Don't judge me on this, but I like to attend these events more for the atmosphere and less for the actual sport! I am sure there are people like me, no?

 
In the Mini-Van


Out on the field!


Though I wasn't super excited like some of my friends, it was still good to see Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Sania Mirza. I am sure there are several other stars out there, but that friends, is the long list of people I know and can recognize on the field.

One of the several Tennis Courts


Roger Federer practising - I know you can't see, but trust me on this!


Sania Mirza - Oh, you can very well see her and the short skirt, I know
We actually happened to watch the entire game of Nadal Vs De Voest and I must tell you it was pretty entertaining, if you ignore the burning sun on our heads. The crowd, including us, cheered the underdog so loudly that at one point Nadal seemed visibly frustrated. But of course, he won. The inexperienced me (it was my second week in US, OK third weekend and my very first trip here, so I have an excuse) did not have anything to protect my head from the searing sun rays and it became so hot that the guy behind me could easily be making omelets on my head and I wouldn't even know it.

Nadal in action
Then it was evening and Maria Sharapova entered the field. She was even more entertaining with all her screaming and then it suddenly became cold. Now, this was worse than the heat coz there is no where to duck. We were all unprepared for the changes in the climate in California during the day and night and were forced to leave early as it got colder.


Screaming Sherapova
We retreated to our hotel and drove back to Phoenix the next day. Thus ended my very first trip in USA that taught me a thing or two about the climate variations here. Since then, we were better prepared and our trips only got better!

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