Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category

Plan now for a Cubs spring training vacation

 

It’s not too early to make ticket and hotel arrangements for Cubs spring training games. The Cubs have already announced their opening games in Arizona.

Sloan Park before the crowd enters Jodie Jacobs Photo

Sloan Park before the crowd enters
Jodie Jacobs Photo

First up, they play Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Park in Phoenix Feb. 23. The rest of that weekend they are playing Texas Rangers in Sloan Park Feb. 24 and the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale Stadium, Feb. 25. The next week through March 1, the Cubs will be at home at Sloan against the Seattle Mariners Feb. 26, the Chicago White Sox, Feb. 27, Oakland Athletics Feb. 28 and Colorado Rockies Mar. 1.

Even though the tickets are not yet on sale, the Cubs have a spring training waiting list. So best chance to get what you want is to sign up at MLB Sloan Spring.

To be in the middle of the Cubs action, consider the Sheraton Mesa at Wrigleyville West that is right there, abutting Sloan Park.

However, there are several good chain hotels and resorts near all the spring training ball parks. Plus there are lots of excellent golf courses, good shopping and outstanding museums that turn a spring training visit into a vacation.

Check out Visit Mesa, Visit Phoenix and Experience Scottsdale and Sloan Park.

Related articles: Spring Training at Wrigleyville West (2016 dates but tips are still valid)

 

 

Gorgeous gardens illuminate for the holidays

 

Walk among flowers, trees and interesting plants in the winter? Yes if the garden has been transformed with lights.

From the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum in the Chicago area to Bellingrath Gardens and Home near Mobile, AL and the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, several gardens across the United States are putting on their holiday evening finery with lights and sounds to say enjoy the season no matter what the temps.

Whether you take a a “staycation” or go out of town, there’s likely to be a garden near by dressed up for the holidays.

Delightful lights and scenes are around every corner at Bellingrath Gardens outside Movile, AL. Jodie Jacobs photo

Delightful lights and scenes are around every corner at Bellingrath Gardens outside Movile, AL. Jodie Jacobs photo

 

Bellingrath

If near Mobile, AL do get tickets to explore Bellingrath Gardens and Home. The 65-acre estate of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath treats visitors to breathtaking light displays and the home is decorated for the holidays.

Called Magic Christmas in Lights, and running Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, 2017, the holiday event has  about 15 scenes, 1,100 displays and three million lights to surprise visitors around every corner and off in the distance.. Weekends feature choral groups on the home’s South Terrace.

Bellingrath Gardens and Home is at 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd., Theodore, AL. For tickets, hours and more information call 800) 247 8420 and visit Bellingrath Magic.

 

Chicago Botanic Gardens

In the Chicago area trees sparkle with thousands of lights outside and trains toot around city landmarks inside during the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Wonderland Express celebration, Nov. 24, 2017 through Jan. 7, 2018. BTW there is gently falling snow in the main train area and poinsettias in the greenhouses.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe. For tickets and other information call (847) 835-5440 and visit Chicago Botanic Wonderland.

 

Morton Arboretum 

Illumination at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL is stunning and fun. Morton Arboretum photo

Illumination at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL is stunning and fun. Morton Arboretum photo

Also, go over to the Morton Arboretum where colored lights spectacularly light up the grounds during Illumination Nov. 17, 2017 through Jan. 1, 2018. The lights are interactive with some lights moving to music and some trees changing color with a hug or song. A medallion will also be sold that reacts to the sights and sounds.

The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 IL Hwy, 53, Lisle. For tickets and other information call (630) 968-0074 and visit Morton Arb Illumination.

Tip: Tickets to the Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum holiday shows need to be bought in advance because they are time and date specific and sell-out early.

 

Desert Botanical Garden

If vacationing in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area go over to the Desert Botanical Garden for Las Noches de las Luminarias, Nov. 24 through Dec. 30, 2017. Wander the paths lit by thousands of luminaria bags and twinkling lights. In addition the garden will be featuring the work of Japanese American sculptor Jun Kaneko.

The Desert Botanical Garden is at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ. For tickets and other information call 480-941-1225 and visit DBG Luminarias.

 

Next in the holiday series will be zoo lights but if you have a favorite holiday garden visit not mentioned here please tell us in Leave a Reply.

 

Spring training at Wrigleyville West

 

Hey Cubs fans, tickets are on sale now for home games at Sloan Park in Mesa AZ. Here are some tips if you snag a ticket for the Cubs’ Wrigleyville West location (yes, that really is the park’s nickname) or to see the Cubs at another of the Cactus League parks.

Sloan Park before the crowd enters Jodie Jacobs Photo

Sloan Park before the crowd enters
Jodie Jacobs Photo

 

1.    No matter how you feel about the cost of ball-park programs do get the Cubs official Sloan Park Spring Training 2017 program. You might even want to get an extra one for a Cub fan back home who didn’t make the trip.

It will have photos and good info on the Cubs players similar to baseball cards.

In addition, it will have the rosters of other Cactus League teams so you will be able to tell who is or is not on the field when they play opponents.

It will contain highlights from the 2016 Championship season and tell about player’s awards.

The program will also suggest where to stand for autographs and buy Cubs items. It also mentions places to dine and things to do.

 

2.    The first full-squad workout is Feb. 18. The first Cubs spring training game is Feb. 25 when a split squad will play the Oakland A’s in Sloan Park and the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium.

If going to the Scottsdale game check out the Western Spirit, downtown Scottsdale’s terrific Museum of the West. It features western paintings, sculptures and a collection of western gear from saddles and spurs to badges and rifles.

 

3.    When going to Sloan Park, prove to your friends that it is Wrigleyville West by snapping shots of its abutting street signs: Waveland Avenue on the north, Sheffield Avenue on the east side and Clark Street on the west.

A fan photo op Jodie Jacobs photo

A fan photo op
Jodie Jacobs photo

The park also looks like a somewhat smaller version of Wrigley Field. However, the famed marquee is inside here.

You can have a message light up on it or take a selfie in front of it.

 

Sloan Park is at 2330 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa, 85201. 480-668-0500.

 

Three Chicago Cubs notes

 

First, the Convention

Chicago Cubs convention, White House and Spring Training notes. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Chicago Cubs convention, White House visit and Spring Training notes. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

 

You know Cubs Convention 2017 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago is sold out. But you can catch some highlights and commentary on WGN-TV Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. CT.

The program, hosted by WGN sports commentator Dan Roan, will show some of Friday’s opening ceremonies, player and coach interviews, Cubs legends interviews, some of the seminars and a bit from “Friday Night with Ryan Dempster.”

If you miss the Jan. 14 Convention special watch the show Sunday, Jan. 15, on CLTV at noon.

Or watch both times. After all, you’re probably still replaying the final out in the Cubs World Series Championship game.

 

Secondly, the White House

You know the Cubs were invited to visit President Barack Obama at the White House. It’s been delayed due to schedule conflicts but it is finally taking place Jan. 16, a few days before the White House changes hands. So catch the coverage of the historic meet and greet event Monday on Chicago stations’ news reports.

 

Third, Cubs Spring Training

The Cubs open their Spring Season in Arizona on Feb. 25 with a split squad. The games are against Oakland A’s in the Cubs’ Sloan Park in Mesa and against SF Giants in Scottsdale. Both games start at 1:05 p.m. For the complete Spring Training schedule click here. For tickets visit Cubs Tickets.

 

 

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