On the Road: Glendale

Jan 3, 2016, 9:32 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2016, 10:38 pm


GLENDALE, Ariz. – I’d never thought of the desert as restorative.

Not until this past weekend at least.

There are reasons for this. Good reasons, in fact. See, Arizona has always been a playground of sorts for me. One of my roommates from the University of Washington lives in Phoenix, which means that any trip through town – or trip to spring training – for the past 10 years or so has become a de facto reunion that inevitably attracts other college classmates and becomes a headlong spring back toward the behavior of our early 20s.

Spring training was an annual destination, and our recipe was fairly simply: slather oneself in sunscreen, chase that with doses of Tecate and see what flinches first, your skin or your liver.

I’m 40 now so that’s changed. Usually. Last year, we held an eight-man brunch the day of Seattle’s Week 16 game at Arizona, and yes, that was absolutely as boringly mature as it sounds.

This trip was different, though. I was with my wife, Sharon, who just completed the first semester of the MBA program she’s enrolled in at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And being the shamelessly whipped spouse that I am, I thought she could join me on this trip to the final Seattle regular-season game and relax.

We flew down on Alaska Airlines flight 748 Friday night and stayed at the Camelback Inn, which is tucked hard up against a mountain and includes a spa.

We ate brunch at Chelsea’s Kitchen on Saturday. The green chile cornbread was delicious in spite of being gluten free and the baked eggs cooked with a slow-cooked pork in an individually sized cast-iron dish that were even better on Day 2.

Dinner was at Distrito, a restaurant from Iron Chef Jose Garces that serves Mexico City-style street food.

But what really made this trip was the desert. I’ve been here so many times, but I’ve never really seen it. I hiked on Tyner’s Trail near the hotel. I drove to Camelback Mountain to hike the Echo Canyon Trail, and as I sat down in the press box to cover Sunday’s football game between Arizona and Seattle I realized that I felt more rejuvenated than I have since training camp began back in August.

I first came to Arizona 20 years ago, and I’ve probably been in town no fewer than 30 times since then. I’ve been in a wedding here. I’ve been to spring training. I’ve celebrated New Year’s and oh yeah, there was a pretty important football game Seattle played here last February, too.

I’ve never had a trip like this, though. It was sunny, but not hot and up there against a mountain in Northern Scottsdale, it was absolutely, unbelievably peaceful.
Good thing, too. Because Seattle’s second season is about to begin. Giddy up.



Danny O'Neil

On the Road: Danny sets out for sun and celebrities in LA

Danny O'Neil travels to Southern California -- where the stars come out in the midst of a sun-soaked afternoon -- for the Seahawks first regular season game against the Rams.

7 years ago


Danny O'Neil

On the Road: Danny samples culture, cuisine and tradition in Oakland

SPONSORED --- I’m thankful to have a Mom who encouraged me and grateful that one year after her diagnosis we got to enjoy a day together in California as Seattle prepared to finish up its preseason schedule.

7 years ago

Kim Cassetto and her husband partied at Gate C9 on Saturday before boarding Alaska Airlines’ ...

Danny O

On the Road: Charlotte

A football season is a journey, and while Seattle finished two games short of the destination everyone dreamed of, that doesn't change the fact of just how incredible of a trip it was.

8 years ago

M&T Bank Stadium is one of two NFL venues that Danny hadn’t stepped foot in until the Sea...

Danny O

On the Road: Baltimore

It's strange the first time that you visit a city that you've spent years watching.

8 years ago

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson speaks in a news conference after a 38-7 win against the Viking...

Danny O

On the Road: Minneapolis

This trip was one in which Seattle went on the road and reminded everyone that it is a team to be reckoned with in its first trip to Minnesota since August 2010.

8 years ago

For all the polish and chrome on AT&T Stadium – not to mention the fact there’s a V...

Danny O

On the Road: Dallas

Everything is actually bigger in Texas. At least the video screen is, the one that's hanging over the field at the AT&T Stadium.

8 years ago

On the Road: Glendale