Labor Day weekend trip – Monday 9/1

Since we weren’t going to the US Open today, we got to sleep in…

But before we checked out, I decided to photograph the evidence of my little experiment. I did not use sunscreen at all for the two days (though I was wearing a brimmed hat), so the back of my neck, my arms, and my legs right above my knees (the part where my almost-knee-length shorts didn’t cover) were really red.
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Labor Day weekend trip – Sunday 8/31

Unlike yesterday it was sunny when we got out of bed at around 7:30. Shortly after 8, we headed over to a place we have eaten breakfast at before (not our usual Sunday place.) After our filling (but pricey) breakfast, we headed to the subway station and rode the subway to the US Open. We weren’t as early as yesterday, but we still arrived before any matches started.

The first match I saw was Nikolay Davydenko vs Dmitry Tursunov. Both of them are Russians, but Tursonov has lived in the Sacramento (California) area for a long time.  Davydenko ended up winning this match.

Then we went over to Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch 4-time defending champion Roger Federer playing against Radek Stepanek. I thought it would be a good match, since he had beaten Federer earlier in the year. However, Federer won this match in straight sets.

We stayed at Ashe to watch Andy Roddick play against Andreas Seppi. Roddick appeared to be in total control at first, winning the first set 6-2. Seppi played better after that, but Roddick won in straight sets.

That was the last match of the day session, so we went to the food court to eat dinner, then went to see the night matches.

The first one featured Olympic gold medal winner Elena Dementieva playing Na Li.  This wasn’t very exciting, as Dementieva won the match easily.

The second night match featured Novak Djokovic against Marin Cilic. This turned out to be a much better match than the previous one. Cilic took the first set in a tiebreak, but Djokovic won the second and third sets. The fourth set was interesting, because it seemed like nobody could hold his serve. It went to a tiebreak, but it was anticlimatic as Djokovic won the tiebreak 7-0 to win the match.

That concluded our US Open experience. Similar to yesterday, we had to take the subway most of the way back to our hotel, then a cab the rest of the way. We got back around 2 am, but since we didn’t have tickets for Monday, we would get to sleep in.

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Labor Day weekend trip – Saturday 8/30

When we got up around 7:15 am, it was overcast. We were thinking that it had better not rain. (The policy at the US Open is that if no matches are played when the session is cancelled, then you get a replacement ticket to a session next year or a later session the same year if available. If there is one match completed, then you’re out of luck…)

We are all creatures of habit. We follow the exact same routine every year. On Saturdays, we eat breakfast at a particular place, so of course we ate at that place. Then we walked to the subway station and took the subway to the US Open at Flushing Meadow and arrived there a little before 10 am (which was well ahead of our usual arrival time).

Let me digress and explain how the tickets work. There is a “day session” and a “night session.” There are separate tickets for each session, and we had tickets for both sessions (though in the past, when we only had day session tickets, we just would stay on the grounds and not leave.) For each session, one can buy a grounds pass (which allows access to all courts except Arthur Ashe Stadium, the primary stadium where the top players almost always play) or an Arthur Ashe pass, which allows access to everything. We had Arthur Ashe passes for both the day and the night sessions.

After we went through the security screening, we followed our routine and went to the Ralph Lauren shop and bought souvenirs. I bought a US Open Polo shirt and a US Open hand towel.

Since the matches didn’t start until 11:00, we walked around the grounds for a while.
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Labor Day weekend trip – Friday 8/29

I had a 6 am flight to catch, so I drove to the airport at 4 am. Fortunately, security was really fast (and though you are supposed to take out your bag containing your liquids, I left mine in my carry-on bag and they didn’t notice it…), so I just hung out at the gate waiting for my flight to Phoenix, where I would catch the connecting flight to New York.

Unfortunately, the flight left 30 minutes late, and there was lots of air traffic at NY (when is there ever NOT heavy traffic there?), so I arrived about 50 minutes late. I met my brother and his friends W. and V. there (W. and V. drive up from Boston and pick us up at the airport.)

We drove down to our hotel, which is a few blocks what used to be the World Trade Center. (As an aside, we stay in this hotel every year, and the first year we went was 2001, so we missed 9/11 by about a week.) After we checked in, we took the subway to Chinatown to eat Chinese food. (Sorry about the blurry pics.)
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